Find it hard to articulate why you love Cafe Racers? From the Moto Trend Channel here is a fantastic video titled “Vintage Style: Cafe Racers – The Downshift Episode 19″ featuring many great insights into just what makes a Cafe Racer desirable. Some great bikes featured too.
Check out this video from the Deus Blog featuring a raucous racing event between a variety of outrageous custom bikes and equally colourful characters – including the Bali Stig. More on their site.
Sometimes I wonder if motorcycle companies employ any ACTUAL designers when it comes to new bikes. A motorcycle is so easy to make look cool but somehow a company like Yamaha, who are responsible for some very beautiful bikes, managed to release a bike like the Scorpio 225cc as if to say, “You are a new rider, you should look stupid”. From the ugly plastic to the stickers designed to appeal to 10 year olds it is a wonder if they wanted to sell any of these bikes at all. It’s like they skipped over the motorcyclists and asked their parents what they thought their children would like.
I’ve always wondered what it would look like if you could just rip all that stuff off and show off the bike underneath. This bike has so much retro potential – it even comes with a kickstarter! Well luckily Deus has already done that with their reinterpretation called the FLUG. The basic bike is still there but now all the junk is gone and instead you have a rockin’ exhaust and standard Deus retro parts. I actually considered the Scorpio when I first got my license as it was in my price range but I would have to permanently keep my helmet on for the shame of riding such a hideous bike. However, this Deus custom is something I would have proudly owned, maybe if it was a little less “deusey”.
Check out their flickr site for more images of this bike.
I went up to Sydney to see the Annie Liebovitz exhibition but I couldn’t overlook the Deus store on this trip. It was a beautiful store full of retro stuff and stuff made to look retro… but who cares! It was a treat seeing all those beautiful bikes in the same room. Here are a few images from the store. Click on the images for a higher res versions.
Deus Ex Machina ran a custom bike building competition. The concept was, “Making the most with the least”. This is the winner, by Nick Eterovic and the bike is called the Much Much Go. I’m going to let the pictures do the talking now… Check out the gallery at Bike Exif and pictures from the bike build off event at Deus.
I came across Luke Robert’s flickr site while searching for Deus bikes. He has a fantastic folio of retro bikes with very thoughtful post processing and shallow depth of field photography to evoke a sense of nostalgia. Some gorgeous work, worth checking out.
I’ve been checking out the Harley Iron 883 since it finally arrived on Australian shores a year after it was released everywhere else. A stunning and surprisingly well priced (for a Harley) bike that resonates with the rebel in us all. I believe Harley has succeeded in kindling interest from non-Harley riders with this tough bobbed out sportster. It is a far cry from some of the mobile couches that you see around. To further enhance the desirability of the sporty sportster Deus has created this mechanical vision, a fully customised 1200 Nightster, including clip-on bars and a Yamaha SR400 tank! Check out the full details from Pipeburn.
Update: Hellforleather has posted extra pics of the bike. With the rider on it, the bike actually looks better, sporting a cafe racer type position. Mixed responses from readers on the website but I like the way this Harley is being redefined.
My short holiday period seems to be themed with robots and classic motorcycles. I have been energetically researching “modern” retro bikes like the Kawasaki W650s and Triumph Bonnevilles and the various customised incarnations. I adore their beautiful simplicity and charm.
I have also recently watched the latest Transformers and Terminator sequels. Despite my mixed feelings about the movies, something about futuristic robots fighting will always be entertaining to me. Featured in this clip above is one of those strange moments when worlds collide. It begins a little odd and low tech (like watching a Red Dwarf episode for the first time) but stay for the quite impressive ending.
I have fallen in love with these retro wonders; robot transformations not required. These bikes are solidly built and a blank canvas for someone to tinker with to express their individual tastes. I don’t think I’ll ever be mechanically minded enough to customise or restore a classic bike myself. That’s why companies like Deus Ex Machina exists; to inspire and remind people about the passion of classic motorcycle design and to charge ridiculous amounts of money for the pleasure of owning one. Being in the presence of these restored mechanical beauties would cause many motorcyclists to question – what more do we need?
Our pace of advancement leaves many feeling alienated, and even for someone like myself who embraces new technology, I yearn for simpler things that connect me to the physical world; not the one of smoke and mirrors. These old bikes link us to an age where disposable was a strange and new word. Resurrecting a classic bike breathes new life into our past and values lost. However, if I were to remain true to this ethos, I would simply continue to ride my current bike and get on with my life. I must admit that I like the smoke and mirrors (even in the guise of something old), but instead of labeling this contradiction as hypocrisy, I’ll settle for calling it a hobby… for now. There will be no shortage of bikes, robots and robot-bikes.