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     Right, so what's a Cafe Racer then?    

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England, the fifties.  Rock and Roll hit like ten

thousand volts of adrenalin exploding inside anyone

young enough to dance and old enough to smoke.

Youth culture was born with the absolute Beginners

and found its eternal soundtrack in Rock and Roll.  So

we got the raddio, daddyo, now how about the ride,

Clyde?  The price of a cage (automobile) was far out of

reach for the young, and in any case, postwar petrol

was still being tightly rationed.  But a second hand BSA

or a 750 Norton (the snortin' Norton), well... get on,

baby.  With nominal engine tuning, many bikes would

do the ton (100 mph), and a black leather jacket and

pants were the natural skin of choice.

 

And the place for a youth rocker to be?  Why, the

cafe on the motorway, of course.  Pubs?  Full of boring

old drunks.  Boring.  Youth gotta burn, y'know?  Gotta

be the caff.  Get a cuppa, get a Gene Vincent number on

the jukebox and steal a few sidelong glances at that new

bird that keeps looking your way.  Perfect.  Before long

the fine sport of record racing was created-start a song

on the juke, dash out to the bikes, wick it up to a

predetermined point some distance away and try to

make it back before the song's up.  Alive.  No sport for

drunks.  The sharply focused, hyper-acute animal joy

of the senses and the overpowering experience of speed;

now that's entertainment.

 

Not Surprisingly, the British rockers idolized the

top motorcycle roadracers of the day nearly as much as

their favorite singers.  John Surtees, Geoff Duke...

Heroes.  And rocker bikes were modified to resemble

the factory racers as much as possible:  low handlebars,

rearset footpegs, even solo seats, all designed to move

the rider from the upright "sit up and beg" position

to the more effective and purposeful "racer's crouch":

head forward, feet back.  All for maximum control of

the machine.  Built for speed and 100% fatfree. 

The Cafe Racer.  Head first, Rock and Roll, and

devil take the hindmost.

Don't let anybody tell you different.

Art.  Speed.  Liberty.  DANGEROUS DESIGN is born of the

culture of speed and is dedicated to increasing the speed

of the culture.

DANGEROUS DESIGN-BAD IDEAS FOR LIVING SINCE 1988

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