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Café Racer International available now!


Whilst much has been written about the café racer scene, both historically and otherwise, the trend for retro styling and bike shed builds continues to this day, with machines that command an unmistakeable presence and remain the embodiment of passion and innovation.

The days may have passed when metal, grease, oil, leathers and attitude bucked tradition and sprouted a revolution in machine masculinity, but those self same builders helped perfect linear lines from the 1950s and 60s that worked towards the genesis of a next generation café racer style.

Cafe Racer International

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By the 1970s, the postwar disaffected may have become mainstream, respectable in suits and holding down 9-5 jobs and saving up for semis in suburbia, but those once stereotypical, leather-clad, anti-social iconoclasts had never buried the shared passion that called for mechanical acumen and social enterprise to the common good.

And many others found themselves drawn to the fold, heading up the nouveau avant-garde, acting as conduits for yet further experimentation and aesthetic innovation. Like their wheels, they were on a roll, and just like before, everyone in the biking world sat up and took notice.

Manufacturers were soon on the uptake, happy to blend retro styling with contemporary technology. Slowly but surely, the biking world became aware of a fresh, stark simplicity appearing from behind closed doors. Devoid of adornment. Darkly masculine. Clinical. But beautiful at the same time.

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Motorcycle enthusiast, journalist and author Michael Cowton grew up at a time when the evolution of café racers hit the streets, and became a part of the culture when bikers converged at the Ace Cafe, the former transport cafe located in Stonebridge, north west London.

Head along the old North Circular and even today you can hardly miss it. His passion for the scene never left him.

Turn the pages of Café Racer International, and see how the eclectic tastes which were once seen as very much a British affair, spread across the globe. Become immersed in pages of bikes boasting show-winning attention to detail and superb qualities of finish; bikes with world-class pedigree.

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The author test rode new machines that remain the embodiment of the soul and spirit of riding, from the BMW R nineT to the glorious Triumph Street Twin; the Suzuki SV650X to the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer; the Honda CB1000R+ to the Kawasaki W800 Café.

Bikes for the free of spirit with a sprinkling of rebellion. Bikes that reveal the seemingly unstoppable force of neo-classicism.

Within the 132-page bookazine, enjoy a range of profiles, including the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club; Ian Saxcoburg of Café Racer Kits discussing big ideas in small sheds; and Kevin Brennan of Hipster Motorcycles on timeless classics and retro-cool restorations.

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Plus, if you are riding a café racer, you need to add your own touch of class as you hit the highways and byways and boulevards, so over six pages you can enjoy a selection of some of the latest gear to tempt your pocket.

Café Racer International is available NOW to buy at £7.99 from WH Smith High Street stores. Alternatively visit classicmagazines.co.uk or call Customer Services on 01507 529 529.

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