Please visit our Site Sponsors



Tuesday
Sep302014

"The Fast Black Bitch" by Choppahead

Choppahead is known for their finger in your face personalities, hardcore videos that date back before the new breed of motorcyclists hit puberty and some bad ass custom Triumph choppers. They will be quick to let you know they build "Choppah's" pronounced with all the Boston draw that even if you were a full blooded New England-er you'd be scared to admit it. In my book, these guys put the real "punk" back into motorcycling. With a mask of pissing people off with their outspoken rhetoric and sometimes offensive clothing line, it only hides the teddy bear soft affection these guys have for all things motorcycles. This and their constant goal to build everything better has only gained them legendary status in the alternative motorcycle world. I've got to admit I got a couple VHS Choppahead movies in my collection (those are the big tape deck things from back in the 80s). Just Kidding! But before I ever opened my shop doors, I knew and respected these guys so when I first saw their Triumph engine, mono-shock, BSA framed bike, it was of no surprise that I fell in love. The fact that these motorcycle lovers built a "street race" bike is awesome. I hate the "Cafe Racer" name being put on a style of a bike because in my mind it is a "person", not a "thing". Choppahead hit this street raced machine out of the "bauwl pauwck" (that's Choppahead speak for "Ball Park"). They prove that deep down inside of that brutal and intimidating exterior, Jay and his crew are "Cafe Racers" at heart. Check this out if you have any doubts.  -Kevin Dunworth

Now some words from Jay at Choppahead:

"Back in 2009 our good friend Andy was in the market for a custom Triumph while we were in the market for some heavy-duty plumbing at our new shop. So after a lot of trading of work for work and a little bit of money, we built him up a cool little rat. Fast-forward to 2012, we had just got finished with the Tronza. Andy stopped by the shop and was floored. He was determined to own a Choppahead Cafe bike so we told him that when we found a cost-effective donor, we would throw one together for him. We picked up this 1978 Triumph t140 and immediately had Andy on board. Although he loved our monoshock bike, his vision of a café racer was a little more traditional. When we build bikes for a good friends we try to keep it a little more on a budget but we want to be able to showcase our work so we always end up over doing it" - Jay

Full shoot of the bike including under the cover photos:

 

Technical Specifications:
Bike 1978 t140
Displacement 750cc
Wheels 19" front powder coated/ 18" rear powder coated
Tires  conti go
Clip ons ebay
Rear sets ebay/Choppahead
Headlight lucas 5 3/4
Seat cowl Pete chase Cafe Cycle
Paint Choppahead
Rotors Harris / lightened
Brakes triumph stock disc
Ignition boyer electronic
Carbs AMAL 930
Sprockets 20 on the front 45 on the rear

Thursday
Sep182014

Welcome Larry Fletcher

I started attending the Mid-Ohio Vintage days in the late 90’s. It’s funny because I would never have considered it the “old days”. Very few women attended and no fashion or scene existed. Just old dudes, racing, swap meets and motorcycles. Where I came from and at my age, no one was into these types of bikes. It was cool to see some of the clubs roaring in and out and laughing and having fun along the way. I’d seen Larry a few times before. He always had a huge smile on his face and in passing we began to recognize each other. At one event, he was selling comic books and since I love collector stuff, I went and introduced myself. Hours later he went into almost all of the history aspects of motorcycling that I loved. This guy was cool!! He later grabbed me a Scottish brew and we shared some laughs. I set the imagery to show how rare a guy Larry is. He is a genuine 'people person' who is immersed in the lifestyle of motorcycling. My story is just one of hundreds I’ve heard about Larry. In my opinion you can shake Larry’s hand and know that if wasn't for guys like him, motorcycling would not be coming back like it is today.

For years now I have called Larry a pal. His smile became so iconic he was chosen as the face of some of Triumph America’s Marketing. Sasha and I have had the pleasure of working with Larry in many different capacities over the last few years. And when you live as many days on the road as us you become fast friends. 

Photo Credit Yve Assad

Below is a revised post from another great friend of ours, Sarah Lahalih. She sums up a bio that puts together why we are so excited to officially have Larry Fletcher on our team. This was originally blogged by Sarah for Chicagonow.com , a Chicago Lifestyle blog site. I believe this helps drive home the character and reputation for those that don’t know Larry.

Please look for a ton of new stuff coming out as we grow the Café Racer XXX family with the best talent, riders and enthusiasm this industry has to offer. Welcome Larry!

-Kevin Dunworth

I am not alone when I say, when I think of motorcycle culture, specifically vintage motorcycle culture in Chicago, I think of Larry Fletcher, or Fletch as we all like to call him. Larry Fletcher has ridden Triumphs his whole life. Not because that’s what he could afford. Not because that’s what was passed down to him from his father, who rode motorcycles before starting their family. No, Larry has ridden Triumphs his whole life because his dad took him to see The Great Escape, The Wild One, and Coogans Bluff. “Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, those guys were the coolest of the cool.” Larry was a frequent visitor to Santa Fe Speedway on Chicago's south side in the late 60's and early 70's. Where Gene Romero and Gary Nixon tore up the dirt oval on Triumphs. Gary and Gene were both AMA Grand National Champions during that era and were both featured in On Any Sunday. Not to mention, Larry watched Evel Kenevel jump (and crash) a Triumph over the fountains at Cesars Palace in Las Vegas. “That was the time I grew up, and that is what I was influenced by. So it is not surprising that I wanted a Triumph as my first bike.”

Fletch’s riding career started when he was 10, his home was located near the entrance to some woods and the neighborhood kids were all riding their father’s British bikes that were set up for dirt. His friends were happy to share their motorcycles with him. It was not until the mid 80’s, when Larry relocated to Chicago, that he finally found his first bike,” A beautiful 65 Bonnie, black with 9’s on the side covers .The 9’s were in honor of Gary Nixon - his national racing number. Unfortunately, it was stolen, but it was quickly replaced with a totally stock and original ‘65 Bonnie.”

At the time, the vintage motorcycle scene in Chicago was not really developed. There was a Vincent MC that would meet at the Bucktown Pub every Wednesday, but “eventually the Harley riders started showing up, and that was the beginning of the end.” The Vincent Club took their bike night private, and began meeting at a private shop on Goose Island.

As a self proclaimed Triumph Geek, Fletch booked a trip to London in 1994. He had 3 specific goals for that trip. A visit to the Triumph factory in Hinckley, to attend the Chelsey Bridge Rockers Reunion and to check out the Stafford Swap Meet Motorcycle Show. While on his trip, Fletch visited the site of the original Ace Café London, and instantly found inspiration to open the Ace Café Chicago.

The Ace Café Chicago was opened 3 years later. The first event the café hosted was called The Battle of Brighton, and it was an instant success. Then came the Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Show, and event that most riders in Chicagoland aught not miss.” What I enjoyed most about the café, was hosting the events.”  Eventually, the Ace Café Chicago closed, but the events did not stop. In fact, they multiplied in number and in attendees.

In 2005,The Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Show turned in to an event called Mods vs. Rockers. There were over 200 attendees at the first annual event. It is still going on today, and has grown every year. Somehow it is able to maintain the same pure vintage culture it had when it began 6 years earlier. The estimated attendance for the 2011 event was over 1000. Also in 2011, Mods vs. Rockers had it’s first huge unsolicited sponsor. Triumph Motorcycles sponsored the event.

I asked Larry what it meant to him to go from daydreaming about riding his first Triumph as a child while watching motorcycle movies about outlaw bikers, to having that very company be the marquee sponsor of an event that he created almost 30 years later. “I thought it was great, I had seen Triumph at the forefront of the industry in the 60’s, then almost distancing themselves from their past when they returned with new bikes in the early 90’s. Now it is very clear they are embracing their heritage again, and I love seeing that and being a part of it.

Mods vs. Rockers gets its name from its history in England of the clash between the Mods, who were typically fashionable well dressed art students, who were into Jazz music and rode scooters. Rockers modeled the “American Greasers” and were typically dirty, dressed in leather, listened to Rock and Roll, and rode motorcycles. There were feuds between these two groups, which eventually led to riots in Brighton. The riots were highlighted by the film Quadrophenia.

Mods vs. Rockers is one of many events that Larry and his crew host throughout the year, others include:

Motorcycle Mondays- 1st Monday of each month, May - November at Five Star Bar

Rockers Reunion- Early May each year at Ace Motorcycle & Scooter with Live Rockabilly and BBQ

Pints & Pistons- Bikes & Burlesque (Wednesday evenings at Holiday Club)

Rockerbox Run- The Official Chicago ride to Rockerbox

Acetoberfest- Motorcycle and scooter Rally

Hell Rider - Halloween Party...This year it's called Hell Rider vs. Godzilla...At Ace and the Bottom Lounge

In 2009 Larry started the Steel Toe Press and created Mods vs. Rockers Comics. They just released issue Number 4. The T-Shirt and apparel line is called Mods vs. Rockers Gear and can be purchased at www.mvrgear.com.

I look forward to attending many more of his events. So does local business owner and Triumph dealer Johnny Scheff. Johnny and Fletch have worked together on several events, and this is what Mr. Scheff had to say about Larry.” Larry has nurtured and grown the vintage motorcycle scene in Chicago, with no motive other than fun and love. He is the real deal. He loves the bikes, loves the people, and loves the culture. He is the common denominator that bridges the gap between little cliques to make the best events.”

I asked Larry what was next for him, he said he is secretly hoping that Quentin Tarantino will make a movie based on the Mods vs. Rockers comic books.

-Sarah Lahalih

Monday
Sep152014

Welcome Kevin Dunworth!

Kevin Dunworth has built some very intriguing machines that have caught the attention of corporations and collectors alike over the past couple years. He refers to his style "Retro-Mod" which essentially takes race inspired design from every generation and applies it to streets bikes. Most recently he has leaned towards air-cooled twins and Triumph unit construction engines. "I hate being pigeon-holed", says Kevin when asked about being a Triumph guy. It just kind of happened; you can blame my Dad and all his Triumph pals. I love all bikes but Triumphs just kept showing up at the shop.”

His latest creation “Bucephalus” is a proto-type and being offered for $19,800 to a collector or fan of his work. Made from lightweight 7075 aluminum frame design, he invested countless hours in the geometry and has poured heart, sweat and way more cash than the asking price so he hopes it goes to a good home. A little history… this bike was debuted last year at Michael Lichter and Paul d'Orleans "Cafe Racer" show at Sturgis and featured in the collaborative coffee table book. It was on the cover of "Bike Craft” magazine with a 6 page spread. It was used for the Triumph America Castrol Moto social media campaign and toured under the Triumph brand for the IMS circuit. It was featured at the Motorcycle Film Fest, on many blogs such as Silodrome and part of the Austin “Hand Built”. 

Check it out for yourself at EBAY

 

This is just one of Kevin Dunworth’s pedigreed customs that has led Cafe Racer XXX to collaborate with him. Next year, we will offer a limited number of Cafe Racer XXX builds for sale built exclusively by Kevin.  We look forward to joining forces on some of the best exotic cafes he has yet to build. Chime in on what platform you would like to see us start with. And last, welcome Kevin Dunworth as the XXX builder.

Photo by Kim Boyle, Boyle Custom Moto

Bucephalus photos courtesy of Triumph Motorcycles

 

Wednesday
Sep032014

Zaeta Event at Perris Raceway

Cafe Racer XXX joined forces with GoAnimoto LLC to create a Zaeta event on Sept 4th from 4pm-9pm at Perris Raceway in Southern California. En route to the Bonneville salt flats, a short pit stop will allow some of the most elite riders in the world to saddle up and take the bike for a spin. Some of the riders attending will include AMA Pro Flat Track & AMA Pro Road Racing riders including Stevie Bonsey, Josh Chisum, Sebastiao Ferreira, Jimmy Wood, Sr, Jimmy Wood Jr, Jim Medlin and many more. Other personalities include actor Jason Lee and Hollywood stunt rider Joe Bucaro. Custom motorcycle builders and personalities Kevin Dunworth, Roland Sands, Kim Boyle, Oliver Jones, Sarah Lahalih, Jay LaRossa, Stacie London, and Brandon Holstein will give the Zaeta a twist.

Press and motorcycle enthusiasts are welcome to check out the Zaeta bike for FREE or take their own personal bike for a spin on the track during the time slot of 6:30-7:30PM for a nominal fee of $10. Listen to the DJ, cheer the pros as they dash for Café Racer XXX coffee or peruse the custom bikes on display from Deus, Lossa Engineering, Speed Merchant, The Cut Rate, Newport Italian and the BA Moto club.

SCHEDULE

2:00-3:30 Vender setup

4:00 Gates open to the Public

4:00-6:00 VIP + Media riders test Zaeta Bike. *Pros also allowed on track

6:00-6:30 Public is allowed to take their bikes on track. Cost is $10 for a couple laps. Bring gear

6:00-6:30 VIP riders will have catered meal

6:30- 8:00 Second round of VIP Zaeta testing

8:00-9:00 Open track time under the lights 

 

A very special thank you to the financial sponsors that made this event possible including Zaeta, GoAnimoto LLC, Café Racer XXX, Newport Italian, Hollywood Trading Company, Pakelo, Soul Custom, Speed Merchant, Lossa Engineering and BA Moto! I would also like to thank Deus and The Cut Rate for bringing some bikes for display


If you would like to know more about the Zaeta or the Test at Perris Raceway, please feel free to contact either, Donna Parodi or Sasha Valentine for more details

Donna Parodi

DonnaParodi@gmail.com

Sasha Valentine

caferacerxxx@gmail.com

 

About Zaeta

Born in Italy, the Zaeta brand is a cohesion of technology , thanks to the strategic partner In Motion Group, from founder Marco Belli, Italian flat track champion Paolo Chiaia, Matteo Uliassi and contributor Graziano Rossi.  Please visit www.zaeta.it for more information.