This summer, “Motorcycle As Art”, the flagship annual exhibit curated by Michael Lichter at the legendary Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Rally, will be focusing on the origins and renewed popularity of the Café Racer movement. As I wrote many times, shades of the 50’s and 60’s are everywhere in our motorcycle industry with a huge revival of the Cafe Racer Subculture, not only in its birthplace of England but everywhere around the world.
Co-curators Michael Lichter and Paul d’Orléans have assembled a comprehensive display of 32 machines from 12 makes and 6 decades, plus never-published photography – from the original café racing scene in 1960s England to the present, paintings by Triumph ‘resident artist’ Conrad Leach, images from the Ace Café Collection, vintage leather ‘Rocker’ jackets from the Lewis Leathers archive, the “One-Show” 21-helmets display of custom painted helmets, painting by Andrea Chiaravalli and photography by Erick Runyon with other artists to be announced.
Each year, the “Motorcycles as Art” exhibition is a prominent event during the Sturgis Rally, garnering tremendous media coverage from around the globe, and thousands of enthusiasts in person visiting it. This year’s exhibition will certainly get even more recognition as it will live on in a coffee-table book “Ton Up – Speed, Style and Cafe Racer Culture,” published by Motorbooks International. Michael Lichter will photograph in his Sturgis studio all the motorcycles, jackets, artwork, and photographs from the exhibit. In complement, Paul d’Orléans is writing a comprehensive history of the Café Racer movement, from its deep origins in speed-modified road bikes to the ‘classic’ period in England in the 1950s/60s, through its various resurrections in the 1970s, 80s and especially with the advent of Internet motorcycle blogs, TV shows, and ‘Café Racer’ magazines, the explosive popularity of the style in the 21st Century.
All ‘Motorcycles as Art’ exhibitions are hosted each year at the Buffalo Chip’s® 7,000 square foot Exhibition Center 3 miles east of Sturgis. “Ton Up! Speed, Style And Cafe Racer Culture” offers free admission to the public and will be open from August 3rd to 9th (entrance next to the east gate of the Buffalo Chip).
Sponsors include GEICO Motorcycle, DHL Worldwide, Handy Industries, Hot Leathers, Keyboard Motorcycle Shipping, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys and Spectro Performance Oils.
Featured Motorcycles And Builders.
Included in the show are original or modified machines by BMW, BSA, Ducati, Honda, Harley Davidson, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Rickman, Triumph, Vincent and Yamaha
The 30+ confirmed bikes for this exhibit include premium examples of 50s/60s Café Racers (Gold Star, Norvin, Triton, Dunstall, etc) from Herb Harris (Harris Vincent Gallery), Yoshi Kosaka (Garage Co), Mark Mederski (National Motorcycle Museum), Gordon McCall (Quail Motorsports Gathering), plus Willie G Davidson’s #0001 1977 XLCR,
Cafe Racers from:
Alain Bernard (www.santiagochopper.com), Arlen Ness (www.arlenness.com), Barry Weiss, Brian Klock (Klock Werks Kustom Cycles), Bryan Fuller (www.fullerhotrods.com), David Edwards (www.bikecraftmagazine.com), David Zemla (www.burlybrand.com), Dustin Kott (www.kottmotorcycles.com), Giuseppe Carucci (www.southgarage.com), Greg Hageman (www.docschops.net), Jason Paul Michaels (www.dimecitycycles.com), Jay Hart, Jay LaRossa (www.lossaengineering.com), Kevin Dunworth (www.loadedguncustoms.com), Ray Drea (Harley-Davidson design director), Richard Varner (www.championsmoto.com), Roland Sands (www.rolandsands.com), Shinya Kimura (www.ChabottEngineering.com), Skeeter Todd, Steve “Brew Dude” Garn (www.brewracingframes.com), Steve “Carpy” Carpenter (www.cb750cafe.com), Thor Drake (seeseemotorcycles.com), Vincent Prat (Southsiders MC) and Zach Ness (www.arlenness.com).