Cafe Racer Love Affair

French born Georges Martin is a name that very few among you have ever heard. In the 70’s he was the man to go to if you wanted to turn your plain vanilla factory Japanese or English motorcycle into a horse bred Cafe Racer. Georges racing custom part offerings: gas tanks, handlebars, rear fender/reservoirs, wheels, brakes and a famous sturdy chrome rigid frame where all welds were brazed. I am not going to re-write the story of the Rockers and Cafe Racers movement (jump HERE if you were too young or need a refreshing course), but the Cafe Racer craze died at the end of the 70’s to be reborn, starting from Europe and just reaching our US shores, during these last 5 years.

One of Georges’ clients at the time was Alan Bernard now co-owner of Santiago Chopper out of Tampa. Street racing is still in Alan’s motorcycle genes and now being a being boomer he decided that it was time, before too late, to enjoy himself riding (too) fast all the very twisted roads he can find (his preferred ones being in the Carolinas & Tennessee.) So, he started to build a cafe Racer for himself and could not do it without using a Martin frame. After an investigative search in France he was able to locate both George Martin and one of his 70’s frames. For this type of bike and performance he was looking for, Alan chose a Kawasaki Z 1000, a 2007 Suzuki GSRX swingarm, front end and wheels (both 17″), a Benelli seat and of course a very characteristic shaped Martin gas tank. Exhaust is one-off, bended and welded by Aztech Welding.

And if you wonder about the Breitling Swiss Watch Maker logo, it’s because Alan previously built a bike for its owner, and anyway if you have to paint anything on a Cafe Racer what better choice than a watch company being internationally famous for its chronograph functions and other timing complications. If you want to see the bike being run, tune in (or ton up!) to the Cafe Racer Documentary Series produced by Mike Seate to start on October 1st , 2010 on the Discovery HD Theater Channel . Santiago Chopper.

Zipper's

11 Responses to “Cafe Racer Love Affair”


  1. 1 Brandon May 31st, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Nice street racing piece.

  2. 2 Wikked Steel May 31st, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Nice job Alan. Sweet frame!

  3. 3 Woody May 31st, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Nice nice nice!

  4. 4 adam May 31st, 2010 at 9:28 am

    breitling? really? ugh.

  5. 5 Scott May 31st, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    This racer is fast, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. If you ever see personally, you would just want to take it a ride away.

  6. 6 ger May 31st, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    alwayl liked the look of these big four cafe style bikes
    but my back would be fecked if i tried to ride one..

  7. 7 Heavy Metal Jun 1st, 2010 at 1:32 am

    I like looking at it even though I know I will never ride it. Looks FAST!

  8. 8 jatinder pal Jun 1st, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Not my taste.

  9. 9 Rob Jun 2nd, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Alan, very cool ! cant wait see in person and to ride it .

  10. 10 Conrad Nicklus Jun 2nd, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Thats pretty nice, but I like it even more since I saw the Breitling markings!! One of the best watch companies in the World… IMHO

  11. 11 gustian Jun 4th, 2010 at 6:15 am

    There goes my heart again…..,

    sh*t, have to take a pill……., calm…..,.damn……, snifff……,

    where are those days…….
    Figure I’m getting old (54) in the eyes off the youngsters,

    but still, I would rather break my back to ride it than just looking at it.
    As a proud owner, back in the seventies, of a Rickman-Honda (750F4 upgraded to 900)
    that bike makes me dream again.

    Verry cool bike indeed

    Peace Gustian

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