Using aftermarket parts for Triumph motorcycles, British Customs have added the classic café racer look to its ongoing Legend Series. The Legends Series bridges the past and the present by revitalizing the heritage of motorcycling in a fresh new way on their blog.
The Ace Cafe was built in 1938, and underwent several reconstructions due to expansion and World War II. What put the establishment at the heart of a motorcycle trend was where it was located, on one of the arterial highways of the area.
Add to this its enthusiasm for the growing rocker culture as well as an abundance of cheap, small motorcycles and the racer lifestyle was born. The British youth at the time did to their motorcycles what the American counterparts did to their beat up cars in the 1950’s.
Source British Customs
A café racer is considered as a lightweight, lightly powered motorcycle optimized for speed and handling rather than comfort, customized for quick rides over short distances. With bodywork and control layout recalling early 1960's Grand Prix road racing motorcycles, café racers are noted for their visual minimalism, featuring low-mounted handlebars, prominent seat cowling and elongated fuel tank and frequently knee-grips indented in the fuel tank.
These creations were used to race from café to café along the improving British roads and highways linking the various social hangouts.
Honoring this chapter of motorcycle history, British Customs has added a researched and connected piece on the cradle of cafe racer culture: the Ace Cafe.
To customize modern motorcycles to reflect those the original cafe racers rode, street bikes that had been stripped down and modified for any purpose wanted, British Customs published a series of style guides to help riders inspired to transform any Triumph Modern Classic. The guides include the iconic Bonneville, Thruxton, Scrambler, and other into a tracker, cafe racer, dirt bike, desert sled, bobber, resto-mod, and other styles.
This effort to make motorcycle customization as easy as any other weekend project, each week British Customs will publish at least two pieces on their blog to continue growing their archive on the racers, events, personalities, machines, and events that created the heritage of today’s motorcycle community.
Clutch and Chrome took a closer look at Ace Cafe and the era of Cafe Racers (8'00 Mark)