Saturday, April 28, 2007

The other woman: Anubis Cycles "Home Wrecker".

The Anubis Home Wrecker

"This bike was built to do 3 shows in 4 days in under 24 DAYS. We started with a severely neglected 1971 Honda CB 500. As you look at this bike do keep in mind this was built from discarded motorcycles and parts and has become a full blown high-quality Cafe' racer in just under 24 days. And then ridden a grueling 500 Miles through some of the windiest roads Wisconsin Has to offer. The motor is extensively modified and been bored out and modified to to create a whopping 605 cc's. This power plant puts out enough power to push the twistes and eat bikes nearly double its size."

Here's what Aunbis has to say about thier Care Racer building philosophy"
"Custom Cafe Racer is the perfect cure for poor circulation. This will get your heart pounding and your blood flowing while you do the dance with the curves as fast as you can stand. You will live more in 5 minutes on a cafe racer than most live in an entire lifetime.
For the rocket riders: I can tell you doing your twistes with style on one of these, there is nothing like it. Cafe Racers are WOLVES in SHEEPS clothing. Cafe Racers are "Old School" in every way. Time to choose your weapon. Your street weapon will work like any good weapon should, like an extension of your body. Unlike Harley's, no 2 cafe racers are alike.

With the same same chopper craze and the plastic fantastic sport bikes hitting the end of their fad era, the oceans of bikes at bike night are starting to look all the same. Most of them the same basic bike, just different stuff hung on them.

A new storm is brewing and poised to take the world by storm for yet another history making run that will shock the world.

Cafe racers are the next level of custom bike. The Cafe Racer movement has been around since the very early 50's in Europe. And was quite frankly the birth of the true street fighter and rocket bikes that we see on the road today, only with a whole lot more style in our opinion.

We take all of these tried and true vintage concepts and marry them with modern sport bike technology so you end up with a bike that is like no other. You then have true "Old School" style and Modern Sport Bike Performance in one bike. While true "vintage" cafe racers were death traps many times, your cafe racer does not have to be anymore with the use of High Tech Modern Components. Your safety is our first concern when we build a bike for you.

We are a new company in the realm of custom cafe racers, but our staff is not new to building cafe racers. Together we call on over 50 years of combined experience to bring you a bike that is exactly what you want and a direct expression of you, rather than the hundreds of cookie cutter bikes you have seen on show room floors or at bike night.

We build cafe racers and custom cafe racer parts for the discerning biker."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cafe Racer or Sportbike? -The CR&S Vun.

From Motorcycle
"New Zealand bike genius John Britten had a dream before he tragically died, that of a 100-hp single-cylinder machine weighing in at just 100 kg (220 lbs). Italian Roberto Crepaldi worked with the Kiwi on the idea and has now progressed to the first stage of trying to turn that dream into reality as mark of respect for his mentor.

The Vun is a road-legal bike made by his company CR&S (Cafe Racers and Sportbikes) and he hopes it is the first step in achieving Britten's dream. The current machine weighs 298 lbs and is powered by a 68-hp Rotax single-cylinder motor, which, while reliable, is not quick enough.

Cue Italian engine manufacturer TM, best known for its kart engines. CR&S have managed to tune a 710cc motor from them to give 75 hp, but they feel there is still another 10 hp to come. This new unit is smaller and lighter than the Rotax powerplant, but Crepaldi feels he can still shave more weight from the bike.

This continued development will be in the shape of a race bike to help sort out handling and suspension as well as overall power and weight. While the Britten's 100-hp/100-kg goal may well still be some way off, it is hoped that this next gestation will be even closer than at present."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cafe Racers-The wall art.

From Owen Art Studios:

"In the late 60's two cafe racers (Honda CB750 and Honda CB500) lean into a long sweeper on their way to the next cafe. You won't find this rare scene anywhere else -- it's a one-of-a-kind, guaranteed to get long smiling looks from the geezers and young whippersnappers alike. Great decor for any room or office. This print looks "pre-matted" as shown and fits into a standard ready-made frame"-Limited Edition of 250 prints

"Over three decades ago, two riders take their new BMW R75 cafe racers out for a romp in the mountains. This super-sharp image captures the rhythmic thrill and excitement of sport riding -- even by today's standards. This print looks "pre-matted" as shown and fits into a standard ready-made frame."-Limited Edition of 500 prints

Take the 125 cc Cafe Racer Challenge.

Robs proposed Cafe Racer project

"It all started on a Sunday night in the U.K. A few of us were thinking about what we were going to do over the winter period and one guy was talking about doing up a Honda CB125. His other (possibly better) half had been saying that he only worked on things for other people and that he needed some drive to get his own projects finished. He and I started talking and a few years ago I had thought of doing up a KH125 in to a café racer (unfortunately I sold it later in the year without doing anything to it). As the evening progressed we started discussing the idea more and more in detail and started to jokingly finalise some rules and requirements to the challenge.

The next day we spoke about it again and decided that it probably wasn’t a bad idea. The competition aspect was the drive that we both needed to finish something like this so we decided that we would go for it. Over the next week we talked about it in more depth and came up with some rules and requirements. Some of these rules were ‘suggested’ by our better halves (mainly the ones regarding cash limits!) and I’m sure there will be more added later (Rules).

As we talked to other people, some of them were daft enough to show an interest! We then decided that it was probably not a bad idea to have more than the two of us involved. It was then that we thought it might be a good idea to get something down on paper and make it a bit more 'official'.

The Challenge is open to anyone! if your interested just send us an email on and we'll try to help as best we can!"

There aren’t rules many at the moment. We wanted to keep it simple.

1) The bike has to be a 125cc bike (but it can be any ‘flavour’, 4 stoke, 2 stroke, single cylinder, twins, etc.)

2) The bike has to remain road and learner legal (part of the final test will be an MOT and a Dyno test to make sure it conforms with the DVLA’s rules).

3) After the bike has been purchased the budget for all work/modifications (not including the MOT or the Dyno test) must NOT exceed £600."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dead or Alive / In or Out?: The new Norton.

Owner of the the new Norton Line Kenny Dreer has suspended operations in April 2006, but the great blog Return of the Cafe Racers has this to report:

"Well it seems that the new Norton Commando project hasn't been laid to rest after all. The site is still live and a news posting from Noa Simons (VP Administration) dated Feburary 6th 2007 states that things are looking up...

"Dear Norton Enthusiasts:Thank you for your interest in Norton’s progress.Great news - the production-intent 961 Norton Commando is looking and sounding better-than-ever! In case you missed it, the May 2006 issue of Cycle World contains an extensive riding impression write-up based on trials done in early 2006.Here at Norton, we continue to pursue a path into production of the long-awaited Signature Series and production 961 Commando motorcycles. We have received additional funding to continue this pursuit. In a planned move, we have vacated our design and prototype facility in Gladstone, OR. Our lease is up and we have begun looking for a new location where we may begin production. During the move and production financing process, Bruce Murdock, former Norton CEO, continues to lead the company in the pursuit of capital, and Kenny Dreer continues to play a role on Norton’s Board of Directors.We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting news of the company, and ultimately, an awesome new motorcycle to ride! Your patience is greatly appreciated.Thank you for your ongoing support of Norton Motorsports."

Here's the text from the Norton web page:
"A new era has begun for Norton Motorcycles. The 961/SS Commando is the first new Norton model to be launched from the all new Commando Platform. This platform is the basis for multiple models in the coming years, including the Commando, Commando ‘S', Dominator, and Atlas. Each new model will draw inspiration from the past and build on the Norton legacy for the future.

Future development will also lead to the introduction of the all new, state-of-the-art, Manx Platform. These completely modern motorcycles, including Manx and Interstate, will represent the ultimate expression of the Norton brand.

Norton Motorcycles"

The Cafe Racer from Denmark: Lego Technic # 8810 Cafe Racer.

Hummm, that seat looks a little uncomfortable.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

One more great thing that we can't get in the states: The Kawasaki Estrella.

From the extensive German (and multilingual) Kawasaki
"In 1991 Kawasaki decided to start building a nostalgic looking motorcycle for the Japanese market, described as »New Classic Sports Model«. The market launch in Japan took place in 1992. In 2005 the Kawasaki Estrella still belongs to the motorcycles delivered by Kawasaki - unfortunately not in the european market.

In Europe, the Estrella was available in two versions - and three variants - from 1994 to 1999. It is said that selling the Estrella in Germany and some other european countries happened more or less by mistake by Kawasaki! The total amount of Estrellas ever sold in the whole of Central Europe may be less than 5.000! There were less than 1.500 Estrellas in Germany in 2005.

In Japan, the Estrella has been available in six versions and numerous variants from 1992 until today. In contrast to Central Europe (with less obstacles to get the driving licence for big bikes) the Estrella has been a big success in Japan."

The Estrella also lends itself to an array of Cafe variations:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Gallery: Our German Friends.

From "Postal Daves" Cafe Beemer page.

"Richard van Ooijik from Rijnsburg Holland tells us: "This is my Beemer cafe racer that I recently finished. I bought this bike some four years ago as one piece of junk and I started rebuilding it. From the start I knew I wanted te build something away from the ordinairy, something that cherished the old style without being dull, a mix of old and new without doing harm to the history ."

"This is the Beemer Caff of Thomas Arens in Germany. Well done indeed!"

"Gregor Halenda is the proud owner of this well done beemer beauty: "The idea behind this bike was to create a BMW cafe racer in the Triton spirit. Stock frame is trianulated into a trellis above the engine. Front end is Ducati 851, tank is from The Tank Shop. 1000cc engine is blue printed and is in a mild state of tune."

The amazing Advanced Motorsports Ducati Sport 1000.

From MotorCyclist magazine:
In the January 2007 issue, featured a 2006 Ducati Sport 1000 customized by Jeff Nash of Advanced Motor Sports. Here are the parts lists of the items listed in the articles."
Ducati Performance Parts: Front Ohlin's Forks $2018
Ducati Performance Parts: Ohlin's Rear Shock $1217
Ducati Performance Parts: Comfort Seat $180
Ducati Performance Parts: Camshafts $630/pair
Ducati Performance Parts: Indicator Kit front & rear $330
Ducati Performance Parts: Indicator Kit front & rear $330
EVR: Slipper Clutch $1795
AMS: 98mm Piston/Cylinder kit $1650 (Exchange)
Paintwork/Decals $ 1500
Brembo: Brake/Clutch Assemblies $650

Photography: Kevin Wing

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Evel Knievel: Cafe Racer?

In toy-form only: (from the Evel Knievel toy museum:)

Just who is Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel? , Jr. (born October 17, 1938 in Butte, Montana) is an American stuntman, best known for his public displays of long distance, high-altitude motorcycle jumping which often resulted in serious injuries, particularly during the 1960s. Ever the consummate salesman, he was able to turn his popularity into a marketing juggernaut with products ranging from radios to toy action figures.

His achievements and failures got him into the Guinness Book of World Records several times including his record forty broken bones.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life on Planet Derbi: The Mulhacen Cafe and Scrambler.

The Derbi Mulhacen Cafe 659

From Cycle World:
"Named after the tallest mountain in Spain, the Derbi Mulhacén 659 is the largest-displacement motorcycle ever produced by Spain. Built by Minarelli for Yamaha in Italy, the fuel-injected, sohc, four-valve, liquid-cooled Single is a willing mill, producing 47 horsepower at 6250 rpm and 41 foot-pounds of torque at 5500 rpm. The dry-sump engine serves as a stressed member of the tubular-steel frame, the front downtubes of which double as an oil tank. A 43mm Marzocchi inverted fork handles suspension duties up front, while at the rear a link-actuated shock is offset to the right side of the cast-aluminum swingarm. Wheelbase is 54.5 inches.
Weighing a claimed 357 pounds dry, the Mulhacén feels light and accelerates briskly. Naturally, the 659 is best-suited to dancing through the corners of a twisty mountain road, where it is quick and sure-footed. The front brake—a radial-pump Brembo master cylinder mated to a radial-mount four-piston caliper pinching a 320mm stainless-steel rotor—is a good compromise, especially if you plan to ride off-road; but if Nennewitz proceeds as planned to design a road-only version with 17-inch wheels and radial tires, a twin-rotor setup is a must.

At 32.6 inches, the seat is rather tall, but its narrowness where it meets the gas tank allows 6-footers to easily reach the ground. Shorter riders will have to tiptoe to maintain their balance at stops. This is one detail of the project that needs to be revised. Since seat padding is already thin, though, lowering the seat may require re-designing the subframe.

A lower seat would further enhance the Mulha cén's already outstanding agility. More importantly, it would improve the seat-to-footpeg relationship, as the pegs are fairly low. Slightly more aggressive ergonomics would be even better tailored to the excellent handling capabilities of the superbly balanced chassis.
In Europe, the Mulhacén 659 will sell for the equivalent of $9500, steep money for a Single. At presstime, there were no plans to bring the bike stateside. That's too bad. Built in Barcelona has a nice ring to it."

The Mulhacen Scrambler

To make things even more interesting Derbi has a Concept of the Cafe called the Mulhacen 659 X-Vision that comes with built-in cameras and an LCD TV screen that lets you record your ride: The "X" in X-Vision represents the four directions in which its micro-cameras can focus. An LCD screen (with a memory function) on the handlebars lets you see the world surrounding you and record it. In fact, with this system, the biker can record their motorcycle rides, saving them and organizing them on their computer (or upload them to the internet)

"The black letter of the new breed": The UTMC

"The Underground Terrorist Motorcycle Cult is a worldwide disOrganization devoted to the cultivation of a new motorcycle culture, free of the bullshit and dogma associated with what is commonly known as "the biker lifestyle".

Not limited to motorcycles, also the scooter, the moped, the trike and all other variations of the motorcycle. We should not forget that that even the bicycle be included. Although it be smaller, it is our ancestor and it’s motor is the most fundamental of all things.

We do not commit acts of violence, terrorism is a method of using fear to accomplish goals. The truth can be frightening, turning off the television can be frightening, some would even say that riding a motorcycle scares them. Governments are constantly trying to put fear into us, as is the media, and everything else. The terrorism that the UTMC offers has to do with the removal of the barriers of class, race, religion, sexual orientation, philisophical belief and geography. Unlike most motorcycle groups we don't use the details of the individual or what they ride as a factor. This diversity all in itself is something that invokes fear into many people. For some, diverse coexistence, open uncesnored discussion and the revelations that can bring is the worst terrorsim possible. "

The Mission Statement of The Underground Terrorist Motorcycle Cult:

Expelled From Old School

"Motorcycling subculture has portrayed many things in the past. The predominant stereotypes representing the outcast and outlaw, no pity for those living above ground. A paradigm of anger, racism, criminal action and mindless following. Where the motorcycle is simply an icon for those who wish not to be looked upon or take responsibility for ignorance and paranoia.

• Orphans of Our Own Culture •

It takes only a small amount of research into our past to find out that the modern day archetype of the biker is one that was shaped more by Hollywood, the Associated Press, law enforcement agencies, fashion designers and the wild rumor mills of so called "proper citizens". The motorcyclists who returned from WW2 didn't want to be "bikers", they wanted to find a place in the world they had saved, a world that had changed them forever. The motorcycle gangs of the 60's didn't want to be "bikers", they wanted to be left alone. The cafe racers didn't want to be "bikers", they wanted to go fast, get a thrill, enjoy life. If you read the books about these groups and the times they existed in you'll find something very different than the myths you've been told. The Man, mass media and mass marketing had it's own plan for what they wanted the "biker" to be, they wanted to make money. The "biker" was a cash cow, no matter what they had to do to it. It's unlikely that T.E. Lawrence ever made you think about buying a motorcycle, but did Fonzie?

• Sacrificed to the Highest Bidder •

Where has this left us? The bike rallies and rides are comprised of social elements who have no respect or understanding for those who do not live a particular lifestyle. Almost a prejudice toward those who ride what they like, and not what the masses would prefer. The motorcycle events are not an accurate portrayal of the main culture, but more like a traveling circus with the same sideshow freaks on display everywhere. This subculture has lured the powers of the media and the unfulfilled upper class,tainting itself. The ways of this "Biker" culture are out of date and worn. Industry and society can box up and sell a biker image....for the right price. For the soulless, this is the escape to a new domain where they will no longer feel settled. But this shall wear away, like all of the pre wrapped destinies for sale, and give way to a tired, charred culture. All of that which made it real, sold to the highest bidders and leaving a living corpse of what once was.

• The New Breed •

The new breeds; the punk rockers, goths, the ska, hackers, rockers, ravers, skaters, street rats and others are growing up, there are those who in the middle of life have found a passion for two wheels. There are also many who have ridden among the "common biker" for years, neither accepting nor understanding why the culture reflected something they wished to be no part of. We have a different set of beliefs and values, different goals and dreams. We are of many different political views, different sexual orientations, diverse religious beliefs, varying ages, we are from all walks of life. We ride without prejudice, without ignorance, we will not be accepted by the old school of the biker culture, whether we wish to be a part of it or not.

Enter the UTMC, dozens of motorcycle groups, businesses, affiliated organizations and thousands individuals spread across the world united for the new subculture of the motorcyclist. A subculture not based on what once was, but for those who live and breathe now, for those who ride now, The New Breed.

• With Fire and Sword •

The old biker community sometimes refuses to accept that which they can't bully or silence by force. They forget that there was a time not long ago that they were the ones fighting such odds, and only by the example of one club did they find methods of survival. Where the Motorcycle clubs of old prefer to stay in the shadows and fend off the normal world, the UTMC lives in the normal world. A movement of motorcycle clubs and individuals which choose a different path. We work and live here, we ride here, on the very streets you ride upon. We go to the same grocery stores and movie theaters, we are among you. A conspiracy of motorcyclists wishing to forge their own dreams and paths, to accept others to a community that does not follow the old ways. The UTMC is not a menacing criminal organization that uses fear as a tool for proliferation, but people with the desire to live and ride without the dogma of the old school culture. To break free from the myths and expectations of that which we do not belong to.

• All Roads Lead To Sol •

The UTMC grows on a daily basis as more riders across the world find that they are not the only individuals who see a different culture. There are no annual fees, no mandatory meetings, no presidents. We do not insist that our members spill blood for the cause, or make sacrfices for some shadowy agenda shrouded as a "greater good". The UTMC is a movement of people, united for the cause of finding like minded motorcyclists and to make a world we want to ride in. Upon these pages are the words of the Brothahs and Sistahs of the UTMC, information about what we are doing, where we are and how you can become a part of all of this. There is no fee or initiation to be a part of the UTMC, only the want to find more people like yourself. If you read the words upon these pages and find them representative of who you are, then you are a member of the UTMC.

Keep it fast and flat black, we'll see you on the road."

Monday, April 16, 2007

And you shall know us by the trail of blue smoke: Moto Carrera's latigo Canyon Special.

"Moto Carrera's Latigo Canyon Special. Named after the famous twisty Malibu canyon road, where RD's have made their mark for 3 decades.

This RD400 street fighter cafe racer was on display at Hanson Dam this August. It's owned by long-time customer and bike fanatic, Tim Cousens of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Featuring a 65hp stg1 Moto Carrera engine with RZ intakes & TM34 flatslides for maximum big wheelies! DG heads, Moto Carrera GP pipes and rearsets, Excel 2.5x18 rims, Avon Super Venoms, Works Shocks, Moto Carrera swingarm, and Stiegler LSL Mig headlights. We can build a Latigo Canyon Special from either an RD350 or RD400. Several options are available with prices starting at $12,500."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Goodwood Buell By Krugger.

From the Kneeslider:

"Here’s another take on a Buell, this time from Fred Krugger. This one is built to run in the Bub Speed Trials at Bonneville and looks the part. Girder front suspension, very nice bodywork with twin exhaust outlets in the tailsection."

Krugger does some amazing work, and his/their website has several other stunning examples of his work, be sure to drop by for a visit.

Billy had a glue dream: Cafe Racer Model Kits.

From Gasoline Alley Antiques: be the envy of the kids on your block.

( Below) Not really a Cafe' but still pretty amazing.....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Not for U.S. consumption: The Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 Sportsman.

"Produced exclusively for the UK market, the Sixty-5 Sportsman features the new 5-speed left foot gear-change and has electric start as standard. Its distinctive café racer looks are created by ingenious use of composite GRP bodywork, including a tank with steel liner and solo seat unit. Rear set foot rests, ace bars and an upswept “Gold Star” style silencer help to complete the picture."

The American Cafe that never came to be: The Supermanx.

The Supermanx

"The Supermanx takes the best design features from classic café racers of the 60's and 70's like the Triton, Laverda and Norvin and combines them in a classic twin loop featherbed style duplex frame based on the original Manx Norton.

Mike's choice of engine for the Supermanx is a massive Harley Davidson EVO style aftermarket powerhouse. This impressive 120 HP engine helps the bike cross over into the American V-Twin custom bike arena, gaining instant acceptance into the largest club in the motorcycling world. Even though the engine dominates the bikes appearance you will notice the development of several special ”Left Coast Limey” features… The unique adjustable handlebars not seen on any other current motorcycle , the speedo and tach built as a single unit into the headlamp, and the dual Monza pop-up gas caps on the tank, one of which is a hidden compartment.

All these features and many more on the bike are Mike's creations. When you order your own bike you will have many options. Supply your favorite old motorcycle jacket and it will be made into the seat! Mike's favorite leather jacket, a part of his life for 20 years was sacrificed for the Supermanx.."

Production Bike specifications:

Frame Twin duplex cradle, 1.25 d.o.m. steel TIG welded
Front Suspension WP inverted fork. Adj. comp/rebound. Polished black anodized finish
Rear Suspension Monoshock swingarm, 2.5” tapered roller bearings, chromoly pivot tube.
Works Performance shock, Adj. comp/rebound
Wheels Front- 19 x 3 alloy rim. Stainless spokes. 120/70/ZR19 AVON
Rear- 18 x 5.5 alloy rim. Stainless spokes. 200/55/ZR18 AVON
Engine H-D twin cam 88B series engine used as the base, with vibration reducing counterbalancer.
Displacements available up to 124 cuin. Massive torque and horsepower. (140/140)
Transmission RSD 5spd. ACR custom case. ACR custom mainshaft
Exhaust 1.75”/ 1.875” stepped equal length system. Twin ACR Gattling Gun mufflers
Bodywork Fuel Tank- Hand formed aluminum. Capacity 6.5 gallons
Oil Tank Hand formed aluminum. Capacity 4 qts
Fender Front- hand formed steel
Weight 495lbs
Sadly American Cafe Racers, the home of the Supermanx is no longer in business-shame. It would have been stunning if it survived.

Gallery: our Italian friends.

From The Cool Italian Page:

From Minnesota Motorycle Monthly: Diary of a Cafe Racer.

Here's an excerpt from the March 01 Issue:
The gas tank was a CB350 - 4 unit. It was a perfect fit and with the emblems and graphics removed its neat racer styling and subtle knee indents became apparent. An oil cooler adapter was fabricated by heli-arcing aluminum plugs to the old filter cover. Holes were drilled and tapped andthe appropriate passages plugged. The oil cooler was mounted in place of the electric starter. I rarely used the awkward forward thrust kick-starter as I knew from experience that it was prone to crack the engine side cover. In practice I found it very exciting and racy to yank the leather thong-connected red rubber balls from the velocity stacks, stuff them in my jacket and then run and bump start the bike in true period racer form.
The Super Hawk Cafe project was completed in the spring of 1975. The bike performed flawlessly from the start. It was extremely reliable and not a single component failed during the time that I owned it. The silver Cafe racer was my sole transport as I attended classes at the University. The route I took daily affirmed the legendary Super Hawk handling and power characteristics, and it instilled in me a sense of confidence on a bike which I have not known since.
I can't recall exactly why I began to think about selling the cafe, but at some point it seemed like the thing to do. We had a splendid run together and my family and career was becoming more important to me daily. The decision was made in the fall of 1975 and the price was set at $600. In retrospect that must have been a lot of money for a decade old bike that cost not much more than that new. I began to feel that maybe I had made a mistake when the first perspective buyer, almost without discussion, reached for his wallet and handed me six big ones. I knew then that I had made a dreadful mistake, as I watched him pull the red rubber balls from the velocity stacks, stuff them in his leather jacket, don his helmet, and run and bump the Super Hawk Cafe to life. At that moment my heart sank as I realized that the many good times we had together were over.

You can read all 34 entires of Diary of a Cafe Racer at From Minnesota Motorycle Monthly.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The not-so-true story of the MV Augusta 60cc Cafe Monomoto Superleggera.


"J. Wood & Company has held an annual auction in Daytona for the past 20 years. This year, they auctioned off a very interesting piece of art that fetched a very interesting price. At the very least, it a well thought out piece of motorcycle racing art, that comes with an unbelievable story.
Here is the story that came with the bike….
"This MV Augusta 60cc Monomoto Superleggera is the experimental machine ridden by young wealthy Italian Luiggi Bandini, during practice for the 1954 Milano-Taranto Road Race. Bandini tragically lost control in a misty mountain section, while waving to a pretty spectator. His grief stricken father, Count Enzio Bandini, “The Falcon,” never again permitted anyone to ride or even view this advanced design, and knowledge of its whereabouts faded. Eventually, rumors of this fascinating machine reached the motorcycling bon vivant Todd Fell. On a trip to Naples, Italy, his quest to find it was rewarded at the Bandini country villa, where in 2004, fifty years after the tragic accident, the late Count’s family was persuaded to part with the treasure."

If mythical motorcycles are really your thing-visit the best (and only) site for just that: The Spagthorpe Motorcyle Company. Take for example David Helber's Spagthorpe Rottweiler:

"I was rummaging through the effects of my great-uncle, Major-General Tremorden Rederring, KCB, and found this photo of Bart. Capt. Isidore Dunn-Spagthorpe, late of the Royal Flying Corps., testing the Spagthorpe unirotor at his seaside villa near Tintagel in 1931. Both Capt. Dunn-Spagthorpe and the prototype came to an unfortunate end when the Captain’s trademark silk aviator scarf fouled an idler wheel, breaking his neck and pitching the machine over a cliff edge into the crashing surf of an outgoing tide. Neither the Captain nor the prototype was ever recovered. This ended Spagthorpe’s interest in the monowheel concept. The machine, according to pencilled notes on the back of the photo, had been given the developmental title “Mongrel,” but, had it endured to production status, would undoubtedly have been provided with a more marketably euphonious appelation. What appears to be the word “Rottweiler” is faintly inscribed in a lower corner of the back, and it is possible that this was the projected product name.

Beyond this, not much is known about the Spagthorpe Rottweiler except that it had a chain-driven oil filter."
Want to see some real functioning Monowheels? then go to The incredible Self Monowheel site.

From "Science et Vie" May 1993, p170

"Proud as a peacock, town sergeant Davide Cislaghi, a former electrician, has driven his 1.45 metre diameter monocycle for some dozens of kilometers. No problem with stability; all the vehicle parts are fixed to the interior circle to lower the centre of gravity. To turn, the pilot leans his body to right or left. On stopping, two little lateral wheels lower themselves."

(The text in the picture reads: "Insolites" wich means "Strange")

Damn Kids: The Rockers

from Wikipedia:
"Rockers was a term originally applied in a derogatory manner to British motorcycle-riding youths in the 1960s, but was later adopted by those same youths.

Rockers became defined as the antitheses of their scooter-riding contemporaries, the mods. Before this time, young motorcyclists had not been grouped together and labelled in such a manner. Mods and Rockers attracted attention in 1964 because of sensationalistic media coverage of fights between the two groups. Mods and rockers became known for Bank Holiday clashes in the southern English holiday resorts of Clacton, Margate and Brighton."

Some Brilliant history from
"A Rocker was a motorcyclist first and foremost not a mere fashion or youth music trend. Theirs was a style born out of necessity and practicality and they will generally be seen riding their motorcycles wearing a classic open face style of helmet and aviator goggles, especially the "pudding-basin" short style of helmet such as those still made by Davida Helmets. Davida has been providing helmets for 30 years. They have a worldwide reputation for the quietest, most comfortable, and well made helmets available.

These cafe racers or Rockers wore simple 501 or 505 Levis in blue, dark blue or black, leather trousers were also quite popular. These trousers and jeans were worn with either tall motorcycle riding boots, made by Lewis Leathers, engineer boots or Creepers, as is still the custom for modern-day Rockers. T-shirts and Daddy-O styled shirts were worn under heavily decorated leather motorcycle jackets, adorned with studs, patches, pins and usually an ESSO Petroleum 'gas man' trinket hung somewhere from the jacket. Also quite visible and popular was a patch declaring membership to the 59 Club of England, a church-based, youth organization that later formed into a genuine cafe racer club with members all over the world. Last but not least, while out riding, Rockers would usually wear white-silk scarfs to protect from the cold and cover their mouths while in inclement weather."

What Makes a Bike a Cafe Racer?

Rocker bikes are only "stock" when brand new. Customizing at a rather primitive level is the absolute rule. First to go are the standard handlebars, which are replaces by clip-ons. Racing type tank and seat are next. Then come modifications to the exhaust system, plus new paint and other minor decorating. The rockers strive for a "racer" image and so rarely hang superfluous goodies all over the machine. Neither do they do much about brake or engine modifications. The aim is therefore to get the best possible performance from essentially stock engines. Since individuality is highly regarded, there were many specials, such as Tibsas, Vinors, and Tritons.

The unannounced but widely understood ritual of initiation into this brotherhood, we learned, is "doin the ton." As one young rider told us, "You have to do it once. Of course you don't ride around at 100mph all the time, but its good to know you've done it, to know you bike can do it or once did it." Ad they don't do the ton on a racecourse on a flat stretch of country road. Likely as not they do it on the North Circular Road, or the Watford By-pass or the M1(one of Britain's few limited access expressways). They don't do the ton in broad daylight when there's no traffic and the pavement is dry. Likely as not they do it at night, when challenged to burn-off (or burn out). The air will be damp and the high beam won't be good for more than 60 mph and there will be trucks and cars of all sizes on the road. And that, mate, is when you do the ton. There has to be a story in it, for it will be told by a rider and his chums many times over. You have to make it good.

Beside the nightly round on the cafe circuit, rockers occasionally organize what they call a weekend "burn up." This takes the form of a fast cross-country ride to some point in the north of England or to Wales of Scotland. Within sixty miles of London lie the Brighton resort area and the Snetterton and Brands Hatch racecourses. These are too close for an all out burn up, and more appropriate destination is Liverpool or Manchester or even Edinburgh(470 miles). Trips take two days, possibly with a layover at a friendly club or possibly straight through. A burn up is a major adventure for the rocker. Like doing the ton, it gets plenty of retelling (and possibly embellishment) in the weeks that follow."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Welcome to Coolsville: Benjies Cafe Racers.

Project name: " Pinas 550"
Bike originated as: 1973 Honda CB 550
Engine: in-line 4 550cc
Mods: Clip-on bars, rear sets, custom hand fabricated
gas tank with matching seats, battery relocation, 4
into 2 pee shooter exhausts, break scoop, battery
Project name: " The Armadillo"
Bike originated as: 1970 Honda CB 450
Engine: twin 450cc
Mods: Clip-on bars w/speedo incorporated,
rear sets, custom hand fabricated gas tank with
matching seats, battery relocation, insulated

"BCR builds one-off cafe styl bikes, that has the aggressive, 60's and early
70's stylings. This website is dedicated to BCR's finished bike creations, current
bikes that are under construction, and various hand crafted cafe racer motorcycle parts.

The bikes that BCR starts with are vintage bikes that are uncommon and probably
unseen by a lot of people; unseen simply because previous owners don't want to beseen riding it, or it was just too old and not road worthy.

After hours of pounding, cutting and welding, these are what BCR came out with. Sorry, butno dime a dozen crotch rockets and clone bikes here.

BCR also offers bolt-on custom cafe parts for do-it-yourself motorcyle hobbiest. BCR parts are hand fabricated from scratch by sheet metal, or modern age material such as fiberglass and carbon fiber. BCR tries to build bikes and parts that attracts attention not only by using the gloss of chrome or the common lines of other bike builders and aftermarket parts manufacturer. BCR build bikes and parts
that are unique and different."

Vintage 1992:The Cafe/Scooter: Suzuki's SW1.

I don't know much about the history behind this unique vintage styled Suzuki. But What I do know the SW-1 was introduced in 1992 for the Japanese home market, and sadly never exported.

SW-1 1992

Overall Length: 2,105 mm (82.9 in)
Overall Width: 840 mm (33.1 in)
Overall Height: 1,095 mm (43.1 in)
Wheelbase: 1,380 mm (54.3 in)
Dry Weight: 183 kg (403 lbs)
Engine type: Air/oil-cooled 249 cc inline-4, SOHC, 4 valves. 20 hp
(15 kW)/ 8,000 rpm, 21 Nm (2.1 kg-m)/ 5,500 rpm.