Cafe Racer, Rockers And Rock’ N ’Roll

Alan Bernard of Santiago Choppers and myself share something in common. We are both baby boomers raised in Europe and consequently heavily exposed to the 60’s counterculture of the Rockers, Ton Up Clubs and Café Racers. Thanks largely to the increased interest in vintage motorcycles in general, classic Café Racers are back in our streets and on the custom motorcycle scene. In the pure tradition of Café Racers this new custom that Alan calls “Café 1958” is built for speed and good handling with a bodywork and layout mimicking the style of Grand Prix road racers, an elongated fuel tank, a humped seat, narrow bars to provide precise control at high speeds and to allow the rider to “tuck in” to lessen wind resistance. The bike is raw, utilitarian, stripped down as it should be, and feature a Panhead Outlaw 120” from Accurate Eng, a 6-speed tranny, 450 Honda Super Moto wheels, a Sportster front end, Suzuki GSXR hand and foot controls, a Triumph gas tank, Benelli 350 seat and shocks, etc. I am fond of Rockabilly and this bike makes me want to listen to some Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent tunes. “Café 1958” will arrive in Daytona on Thursday for Biketoberfest. Catch it if you can. Santiago Choppers

21 Responses to “Cafe Racer, Rockers And Rock’ N ’Roll”

  1. 1 Carl Oct 12th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Nice, but seems to me a little bit long for a Cafe Racer.

  2. 2 Tony Biocho Oct 12th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Cyril, show us more of these Cafe Racers. I agree, they are back and easy to built especially using all our other projects discarded parts taking dust in our garages..

  3. 3 John Elms Oct 12th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    What about organizing Cafe Racers races during big rally events? It would be cool and would attract big crowds. From the Broken Spoke Saloon & back. You must be back before Eddie Cochran song “Summertime Blues” ends on the juke box. .

  4. 4 jatinder Oct 12th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Cool,every old thing comes round again.rideable bike.

  5. 5 Harry Oct 12th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I actually dig the bike above; if I were to take my sportster in that direction, realisticily would it be workable? I don’t care if people think I’m a tool for doing it to a H-D, but I’d give it a chance cause I’d think it’d be a cool-ass project. Any opinions…

  6. 6 Mike Greenwald Oct 12th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    The Rickmann brothers used to build some great frames und the name of Metisse. I think that name still exists and is currently being produce in the UK. If I recall correctly they have a design for a Sportster. I believe that they had a nickel plated, brazed chassis. The Rickmann brothers also had very impressive bodywork that included tail sections and various fairings. Many of their chassis were made for BSA, Triumph Honda and Kawasaki. I always thought that the strongest appeal of the cafe racer was the improvements of power, handling, braking, etc over the standard street bikes without all the extra adjustments that appear on race bikes.

  7. 7 bcarter Oct 12th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    It’s a good looking ride, and yes… everything old becomes new again.

  8. 8 Harry Oct 13th, 2008 at 3:48 am

    Mike, thanks for the info, I’m getting on google right now.

  9. 9 Doc Robinson Oct 13th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Alan builds great bikes in many styles and some of the wildest, most stylish and sweet riding trikes out there. He also has a cool range of products. He’s also a great guy and a top custom engineer. Why he never got selected for Biker Build Off is one of life’s mysteries, especially given some of the choices the producers made for that series. Sheesh! It could have been so much better with lifelong, committed bikers/builders like Alan in the show.

  10. 10 EZ Oct 13th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I agree with John and have said for a long time that we need more EVENTS at the rallys. Most of us that have been riding all our lives have all the leathers and doo dads we need. We need more grass roots rides like this. Actually, I’d just like to see more drag racing of the 300mm tire monsters! Imagine that?

  11. 11 Mike Greenwald Oct 13th, 2008 at 10:37 am

    If they have redesigned, it may not currently appear there. Bikes in the Fast Lane had a pic available of it.

  12. 12 Steve Carpy carpenter Oct 13th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    The bike is a little out of proportion, but good to see, I have been building Cafe Racers for 3 decades now, I am from the UK but in 2000 moved to California where I build Cafe Racer Motorcycles for a living is where I am at and am so glad that people are liking these styles of bikes, my Dad rode them in london in 1959 and is an early member of the 59 club.

    There is a book out this month with me on the cover called appropriate enough CAFE RACERS.
    Peace and Grease

  13. 13 a 1 cycles Oct 13th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    hey ez..i race my 300 tire monster all the time it runs 10.70’s in a chopper chassis, i raced it on speed channels “pinks” and it was fun..i would love for the city to block off one of the airport runways or a street and let guys run for time slips..even one at a time becuase of law suits and the govt. protecting ourselves from would be fun charge 5 bucks a run and give it to charity? how a bout it daytona promoters?

  14. 14 Dave B. Oct 13th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Ahh, good to see a lean, clean, streetfighter finally getting some props!
    Don’t get me wrong, I like building tastefully tricked out bikes too, but this is more what I like to ride myself. I would like to see this become a trend for a while.

  15. 15 Mike Greenwald Oct 14th, 2008 at 10:30 am
  16. 16 Mario Oct 14th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    This is really HOT.
    I agree that the 60ties – 70ties are 100% back, also in Europe!

  17. 17 Harry Oct 14th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Mike, thanks for the link, got it saved in my favorites…Harry

  18. 18 burnout Oct 14th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    hope to see more of these! peace

  19. 19 Knucklehead Oct 21st, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Naaa! HD had them what? A year maybe two. Keep them across the pond.

  20. 20 guitargeek Nov 28th, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Carpy’s got it right, the proportions are off because the wheelbase is way, way, way too long. The fit & finish are excellent, but you can tell it was built by chopper guys. Considering that it’s probably their first attempt, I’m not apt to give them too much grief over it.

  21. 21 jcaferacer77 Aug 9th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    i think the fork is to long and makes it look raked out like a chopper type thing.. its not a caferacer in any way

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