Monday, May 26, 2014

Cafe Racers – How They Took a Nation By Storm

Cafe racers were first developed by motorcycle enthusiasts in Britain in the 1960s. They were immediately a huge part of the rocker subculture throughout the area. The smaller motorcycles caught on quickly, especially in urban areas. They provide quick rides from one location to another, quickly allowing the rider to get from one location to another, usually to and from coffee bars and pubs in the area. They also quickly caught on in other countries as well, including Italy, France, and Europe. After that, the cafe racing style was also adopted by many Asian nations as well, and became known as Sake racers.

Cafe racers, as they would come to be called, were given the term by Popular Mechanics, who stated that they were ridden by those that wanted to appear to be street racers, but really spent most of their time parked in front of coffee bars. While this was true about a portion of the subculture, the actual races were also a huge draw to cafe racers during the time.

Sake racers are usually built to be very light, and do not have a lot of power. The motorcycle has been modified to create speed, without having to call for too many advanced parts, features, or options. They were excellent racing bikes that quickly caught on in numerous cultures for their ease of use, and their excellent speeds that they were able to produce.

By the mid 1970s, the Japanese bikes, known as Sake Racers, had taken over the British and American made bikes. They had also given way to some cosmetic changes as well. They would go on to use much more upscale parts, and gone were the days of the home fabricated fuel tanks and unpainted parts that had made the 1960s versions of the bikes so raw. Eventually they would continue to evolve to a point where there was little difference between the bikes marketed as cafe racers and other lightweight low-cost bikes on the market. This evolution quickly allowed for a large number of new entrants into the subculture, and grew the popularity of the bike overall.

Both in the case of cafe racers and sake racers, the motorcycles were mostly a part of the subculture of rebellious young rockers. They were looking for fast bikes, with a distinctive look that stood out from the other bikes during their heyday. Cafe racer culture even today is a part of rockabilly culture and is a part of many festivals throughout the region. The subculture helped to grow the popularity of the bikes and even today traces of that subculture exist throughout the world.

The classic cafe and sake racing style has really made a comeback as of late. This is partly due to the rise in the interest in vintage motorcycles. The internet has also made it much easier for fans of certain items to celebrate their interest with other fans, which has allowed for smaller niche markets to gain a lot more attention.

The increase in attention has generated a lot of interest in the cafe and sake racers. You can bet that they will continue to grow in popularity moving forward, especially with the internet giving people an excellent forum in which to discuss their interests.

About the Author:

Dewayne Jasper has been riding for over 6 years; you can also follow him on twitter and know about his riding.

Art by Lennard Schuurmans

Art by Lennard Schuurmans
Click it for ...or just visit his blogspot: