At Cafe Racer XXX, we truly believe that "two wheels translate" and as much as we support the Cafe Racer and custom culture, we fully support motorcycle racing as part of our culture. We currently sponsor and promote racers in multiple disciplines including Melissa Paris who races in AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike and Spanish CEV Superstock, AMA Pro Flat Track and SMEC Supermoto rider Johnny Lewis, Isle of Man TT and Macau GP rider Brandon Cretu, and Land Speed racer Michael Goni who pilots the World's fastest BSA. We also take an inside look inside the AMA Pro Racing Paddock with a regular blog by former race team owner and manager, Bree Poland. Recently, we had the opportunity to be part of the world famous Daytona 200 where Triumph America snagged their first Daytona win since 1967. Cafe Racer XXX was set up in the Fanzone with a number of custom builders and was honored to be part of the "Cafe Racer Village" hosted by Moto Media XXX. Our very own Kevin Dunworth led "Real Talk" and interviewed a number of racers on stage.
Why all of this racing? Standing in the midst of a race lights your blood on fire. Try it. The adrenaline, speed and energy that surrounds you is simular to the feeling of your own throttle wide open on an empty road. The skills, guts and passion embedded in the racers deserves our respect. We are all part of the same riding community. Racing is at the roots of motorcycle culture and hell, Flat Track was born in America. We need to support the regrowth of the sport and we encourage you to get involved in whatever way you can. Choose a rider, get to know and follow them throughout the race season. Have a race question? Don't hesitate to email us and ask. Find the closest race and attend it with friends or your local club. If you are unable to do so, tune into Fans Choice TV and watch. Or even better, try you own hand at racing! Next, we'd like to introduce you to a very cool race series called the Thruxton Cup that you can easily be part of at any age and skill level with a Triumph Thruxton and some minor safety modifications.
Since its launch in 2005, the Thruxton Cup has been igniting the passion of Triumph Thruxton owners and racing fans alike. Fuelled by the devotion enthusiasts have for the British marque itself and the Thruxton model specifically, this factory spec racing series is nothing short of enthralling. What began as a program developed in partnership between Triumph and the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) that initially lured out a handful of weekend warriors on their showroom spec Cafe Racers immediately began enticing riders of all ages and experience levels to join their ranks. Triumph, along with series partners British Customs and BES Enterprises quickly joined forces to add fuel to the fire that is the Thruxton Cup. Thanks in large to its ease of entry and open-armed community, the Thruxton Cup has snowballed into full field of twenty-one riders, battling for optimal lines, elusive checkered flags and the “single most glamorous trophy in the world”.
(Rob McLendon (16) and Jarret Martin (1T) battle for the racing line at NOLA)
Triumph Motorcycles and racing have been synonymous since their first two bikes rolled out of the factory in 1902. That tradition has continued right through to today, with Danny Eslick’s Daytona 675 capturing top spot at this years Daytona 200 just a few weeks ago -- a feat not realized by the British brand since 1967. And then of course, there’s Bonneville. Possibly the most famous surface for speed, it doubles as the namesake of Triumph’s signature modern classic. The Thruxton, itself a Cafe Racer variant of the Bonneville, also shares its name with racing greatness. Named after the Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire, England, it was the scene where the Bonnie secured its first complete podium in the 1969 five-hundred mile endurance race held there. Winning is often its own reward but as a bonus to the Thruxton 500, podium finishers scored incredible advertising opportunities, making Triumph’s feat doubly important and probably just as tough as ad dollars often lured the fastest teams to the track.
(John Jewett (385) flying the familial colors)
Launched in 2004, the Thruxton enjoyed merely one production year before it found a dedicated home at the track. Now a decade later, riders are getting ready for the third race of the season. A walk through the pits at NOLA saw men and women of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience slinging a leg over their Cup racers -- some, searching for the thrill of victory while others are just looking to have some fun in a supportive atmosphere. As Zack Materne of Triumph of New Orleans pointed out, “Racers here are well aware of the fact that you don’t need to hit 160mph to have a great time on two-wheels”. In fact, its that utter accessibility of the series, highlighted by incredible bang for your buck and competitive camaraderie that’s most most alluring.
(Two Triumph/British Customs collaborations fight for supremacy)
(Thruxton Cup’s first female racer, Sarah Lahalih and Larry Fletcher)
In 2009, British Customs partnered with BES Enterprises (better known as BES Racing at the track) to become title sponsors of the Thruxton Cup. Together they have provided immense support to the series with their extreme passion for the bikes and the sport itself. This partnership has proven fruitful as they’ve teamed up with individuals (in a rider support and sponsorship role), as well as entire teams and AHRMA itself to further foster the racing’s success.
As official performance part supplier, BC’s straight forward approach encourages riders of all levels to, almost literally, plug-and-play themselves from the street directly to a competitive spot on the starting grid. They even have pre-packaged kits to help get riders started. And with a good chunk of Triumph owners already familiar with BC’s expert engineering for their daily transportation, the learning curve for track modification is almost non-existent. Most of BC’s ever-expanding catalogue of performance and styling parts are bolt-on applications that can be easily installed by just about anyone and their race applications are developed in the same vein. Triumph, BES Enterprises and British Customs got together at this season’s most recent race at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, taking in the excitement, dodging rain showers and making sure the teams and riders they support are having as much fun as they are.
(Greg Heichelbech, current CEO of Triumph North America, gets a congratulatory High-five from BC’s James Panther)
Also taking in the festivities was The Transportation Revolution Speed Shop -- an offshoot of New Orleans based Triumph dealership, has set up permanent residence at NOLA. Their garage specializes in trackside service for riders of all series at the track, with special interest in the Thruxton Cup. Offering transportation, storage, servicing and even gear rentals for aspiring racers, they’ve no doubt helped many a weekend warrior realize the sting of champagne soaked eyes, including a few riders most wouldn’t suspect.
Current CEO of Triumph North America, Greg Heichelbech spent this past weekend honing his skills, racing in Friday’s torrential downpour at NOLA Motorsports park. When you consider that those wet weather adventures were simply to earn his AHRMA race license, the infectious levels of dedication, stemming right from the top, become clear. Greg succeeded, thankfully under sunnier skies, on Saturday afternoon, passing his test and earning his spot on the starting grid. This weekend in NOLA also saw the first female rider join the Thruxton Cup family, as Sarah Lahailih (Triumph Race Liason) joined Greg and Larry Fletcher (Events Manager/Historian) on the graduation podium, further illustrating the incredible commitment that Triumph has to racing of all disciplines. The Thruxton Cup family is certainly growing, but there’s always room for a few more; click here to find out how to come on down and join us!
(Greg Heichelbech, CEO Triumph North America, master of augmented sales, and rooster tails)
(Sarah Lahailih, Triumph Race Liason isn’t slowed down by puddles)