British Café Racers

The popularity of cafe racer motorcycles has soared over the past few years, with many of the main manufacturers releasing their own brand new versions, based on models from 30+ years ago.


This book is packed with hundreds of great images from the most popular manufacturers dating back to the 1930s. A must for any classic bike fan or bike builder with a ton of ideas and also great stocking filler…


October 23, 2106


British Cafe' Racers.
A fabulous book on the Café racer scene, Loads of shots of some of the most superb Bike's on the scene, with wonderful stories full of background fact's and humor on the bikes, and the guy's that built them.

A must read for any biker that like's something a little out of the norm, just like a Café' Racer!

by havadrink
12 Oct, 2016

Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Nieuw boek van Veloce Publishing
Met de terugkeer van de Café Racers, een hype die nog nooit zoveel  café racers van zoveel merken op de weg bracht, is het vaak de vraag hoe deze zich verder zal ontwikkelen. Maar misschien nog wel belangrijker is het verleden, want de geschiedenis van de café racers is boeiend, interessant en leerzaam voor de eigenaren en bouwers van de café racer zoals zij in de loop der jaren is geëvolueerd.
Veloce Publishing publiceerde recentelijk het door Uli Cloesen geschreven boek ´British Café Racers´. Daarin geeft Uli de lezer inzicht in het ontstaan en de ontwikkeling van de Café Racers, ooit geboren  in Engeland waar roemruchte merken als Norton, Triumph en BSA om maar een paar te noemen, vaak als basis dienden voor stoere mannen die zo snel mogelijk van de ene pub (café) naar de andere reden. Van oude motoren tot aan de nieuwste modellen, geeft het boek inzicht met tekst en veel foto’s in de enige echte Engelse café racer scene. ‘Do the Ton! Oftewel haal de honderd mijl per uur, zo’n 160 km/h!  In de jaren 50 en 60 een extreem hoge snelheid.
British Café Racers is het eerste boek wat alleen maar ingaat op de Britse café racers; de geschiedenis, de ontwikkelingen en de hedendaagse cultuur. Een must voor iedereen die van motorfietsen houdt, maar zeker voor de café racers onder ons. Nu de hedendaagse custom bike scene de café racer liefdevol heeft omarmt en er steeds meer motoren in café racer stijl worden omgebouwd, is het goed dat er nu een boek is wat daar diep op ingaat.

Het leuke van dit boek is dat er breed wordt gekeken, niet alleen voor de puristen, de liefhebbers van oud Engels spul ‘zoals het hoort te zijn’, maar ook nieuwe, bijna naar Streetfighters neigende Triumphs staan er in. Alle bekende en minder bekende Engelse motorfietsmerken worden behandeld, van Ariel tot Weslake en alles wat daartussen zit, waarbij allerlei combinaties als de Triton ook aan bod komen.

Het boek is zeer informatief maar leest lekker makkelijk weg. Veel goede foto’s maken het tot een naslagwerk, maar ook de belangrijkste van de vele festivals en evenementen als het Isle of Man – Festival of Jurby, Glemseck en de  Tri-Days worden kort beschreven.  Met achterin het boek een verklarende woordenlijst waar veel informatie, ook wat clubs  en fabrikanten betreft, is het werkelijk een zeer compleet boek wat een goed inzicht in de Britse Café Racers verschaft.  British Café Racers is een echte aanrader!
Dutch text in English:
New book from Veloce Publishing

Wednesday, 19 October 2016
With the return of the Cafe Racers, a hype that never seen so many café racers of so many brands on the road, it is often the question of how this will develop. But even more important is the past, because the history of the café racers is fascinating, interesting and instructive for the owners and builders of the café racer as they evolved over the years.
Veloce Publishing’s ´ British Café Racers ´ written by Uli Cloesen  gives the reader an insight into the origin and development of the Café Racers, born in England, where illustrious brands like Norton, Triumph and BSA to name but a few, where often used as a basis for tough men who wanted to go as fast as possible from one pub (CAFE) to the next. From old engines up to the latest models, this book gives an understanding of the topic, backed with many pictures of the real English café racer scene. ‘Do the Ton’ meant going a hundred miles per hour, about 160 km/h, which was in the 1950s and 1960’s an extremely high speed.
British Café Racers is the first book which addresses the British café racers; the history, developments and contemporary culture. This book is a must for anyone who loves motorcycles, but certainly for the café racers amongst us. Now the contemporary custom bike scene has lovingly embraced café racers and more and more engines in café racer style are seen around, hence it is good that there is now a book which delves into this topic.


The nice thing about this book is that it covers the subject widely, not just for the purists, the collectors of antique English stuff ' as it's supposed to be ', but also showcases new, almost Streetfighter like Triumphs as well. All well-known and lesser known English motorcycle brands are covered, from Ariel to Weslake and everything in between, including all sorts of combinations like the iconic Triton.
The book is very informative and is readable in a nice and easy way. Many good photos make it a reference book, but it also contains the most important of the many festivals and events, such as the Isle of Man – Festival of Jurby, Glemseck and the Tri-Days, which are briefly described. It also has a glossary at the back of the book with a lot of information, including clubs and manufacturers; hence it is really a very complete book, which gives a good insight into the British Café Racers scene. British Café Racers is highly recommended!


British Cafe Racers
Long ago, before I first saw Easy Rider, it was British bikes that dominated my formative years and cafe racers seemed like the epitome of the genre that fired my imagination.

For me therefore this books holds an especially powerful attraction. Opening with comparatively modest images of AJS and Ariel it then dives into a ‘rare as hen’s teeth’ Ariel square four in a Norton frame. Remember those? No neither do I but apparently they were called Noriels.

As I turned the pages the usual suspects appeared, including the revered Gold Stars, that honest owners would tell you were just awful as day to day motorcycles and the comically named super rocket BSA 650. Call me cynical but I don’t think mine ever topped 60mph but hey, they could look good.

Then we have the Brough Superior which in the hands of George Brough lapped Brooklands at 100mph in 1922! The astonishing thing about some of these old bikes was just how fast they were or could be for short periods. Most of my early motorcycling days on bikes younger than the mythical Brough were spent fiddling, kicking and searching the road for bits that had fallen off but then maybe I am viewing the past through oil smeared goggles of which I owned several pairs. Some more unlikely contenders as cafe racers appear, like the Excelsior Manxman and Greeves before we fly up to date with a contemporary Harley-Davidson engine in the lauded Norton Featherbed frame, all very un-American. The modern day retrostyled Nortons feature at the end of this book looking eerily similar to theri forebears. Now I had no idea that a man called Steve Maney in Wakefield is turning out Norton Commandos with over-sized 1000cc engines, how about that then?

The next chapter features a mouthwatering Royal Enfield twin, the Interceptor, that has been customised by American style guru Charles Giordano and it looks gorgeous. Every page is different with a surprising V-twin Royal Enfield, ‘The Carberrry’, popping up as if from a steam punk festival. Apparently it may even appear in production as Paul Carberry is now in india and involved with the RE company there.

Then we have an Egli framed Triumph with a Morgo kit featuring a balanced crankshaft which owners boasted about. I remember making ‘I’m impressed’ noises at such claims while thinking – why the hell did the factory produce unbalanced ones – didn’t they have scales?

The ACE Cafe puts in an appearance with a lovely modern Triumph outside in a moody nighttime shot and a stunning Vincent in a Norton Featherbed frame in sunlight. Then we have some modern Triumphs which I’d say were more streetfighter than cafe racer with their signature huge gaps between seat and rear wheel, but they kind of belong.

What makes this book more than another historical review is the fact that this style is enjoying such a renaissance with advocates like the Bike Shed, reflecting the resurgence of interest in the assertive style of the bikes that put the bad boy into British biking long before Elvis went glam rock or the Beatles sang ‘yeah yeah yeah!’

According to author Uli Cloesen this is the first book dedicated exclusively to British cafe racers. It’s not a steal at £30 but it is a quality production from publishers Veloce and is available from them or Waterstones. I often give review copies away but I’mkeeping this one on my shelves. Mutch


Wer sich an Café Racern nicht satt sehen kann, wird mit dem aktuellen Titel von Uli Cloesen bestens bedient. Der in Neuseeland lebende Schwabe hat sich ganz auf Umbauten spezialisiert und bereits einige interessante Bände veröffentlicht. Für Gespannfahrer ist in erster Linie das 2015 erschienene Werk „Italienische Gespanne“ (Verlag Kastanienhof) interessant. Doch auch der neue, bei Veloce Publishing“ in englischer Sprache publizierte Band dürfte für Dreiradler interessant sein. Cloesen gliedert sein jüngstes Werk alphabetisch nach den Basismaschinen von AJS bis Weslake, was das Zurechtfinden erleichtert. Dennoch kommt der Fan nicht umhin, das gesamte Buch akribisch zu studieren. Schließlich zeigen viele Umbauten interessante und inspirierende Detaillösungen. Da aktuell nurmehr Triumph und Norton Hardware zum Umbau anbieten, ist die Auswahl der Maschinen zwangsläufig klassischlastig. Aber für Liebhaber der Café Racer dürfte dies kaum ein Manko darstellen.


15. Dezember 2016


Much has been written about the lean, purposeful species of motorcycle known as café racers (see links below for more reading on the subject).


To many, both the genesis and on-going spirit of the café racer culture lies principally with British bikes and bike builders. While most books and magazines devoted to café racers include British bikes, Uli Cloesen’s new book, British Café Racers, deals almost exclusively with them. I say “almost” exclusively because Cloesen did include a Harley-powered machine built by Peter Sutton and Andy Marsden.


In his fast-paced seven chapters, Cloesen takes the reader through a stunning alphabet soup of some of the best café racers built around British brands in the world. I say alphabet because he literally organized the narrative and book’s excellent 250 color images alphabetically, from AJS and BSA to Velocette and Weslake. It makes searching the book for your favorite marque easy so it makes sense.


True to the original nature of the café racer, most of the machines are original designs hand-built around classic, high-performance engines on a one-off or very limited edition basis. However, Cloesen does include some present-day mass-produced models that fit the category, as well, such as the Royal Enfield Continental GT and Triumph Thruxton 1200R.


The book covers the range of café racer designs from lean, mean and super-clean to the jaw-dropping double engine Tri2Ton. That machine, built by Peter Andrews, is powered by two Triumph 650 Bonneville engines wedged into a Norton wide line frame that had been modified for drag racing. The massive machine is the only registered, road-legal double engine 1300cc Triton in England!


Cloesen includes such hybrids as the Triton, Tribsa, Norvin, Noriel, Velton and others and a range of true high-performance road legal bikes and some racing bikes, as well. One of the most interesting specials featured is the Carberry Enfield V-twin built by Australians Paul Carberry and Ian Drysdale.


It is the combination of two 500cc Royal Enfield singles into a 55 degree OHV 1000cc V-twin. Originally launched in Australia with the intent of building complete motorcycles with the engine, the operation has since moved to India for eventual mass production.


If you’re thinking about a café racer of your own, are already into café racers or just enjoy the lean, purposeful lines of the bikes, Cloesen’s book will be one you’ll go back to again and again.


December 20, 2016 - by Gary Ilminen


Tritons, Tribsas and much more besides

Mention the words ‘café racer’ and many of us will go all bleary-eyed as we remember the Tritons and Tribsas of old, gleaming in the sunshine with their race-style alloy tanks, clip-ons and rear-sets, alloy rims, swept-back pipes, humped seats et al, and packed into the gardens of hotels and guest houses all the way up from the Douglas Promenade to the Glencrutchery Road during TT fortnight, to the joy and admiration of all who passed by. 
But while the classic café racer remains as revered as ever, Uli Cloesen’s beautifully-illustrated book reminds us of just how far things have moved on, with many stunning descriptions and illustrations of 21st-century masterpieces powered by British engines ancient and modern, along with the growing number of tasty and reliable production models that are now available straight off the shelf. 
Born and raised in Germany, Uli Cloesen now lives in Wadestown, Wellington, New Zealand, and is the author of seven books about motorcycles, with topics ranging from custom bikes to café racers and sidecars, and his interest in British motorcycles stems from his ownership of a Hinckley Triumph Bonneville and an Indian-built Royal Enfield Bullet.
His first visit to the Isle of Man, for the Classic TT race week, came as recently as 2015, and when he found the bikes and their riders, the friendly locals and the stunning scenery quite unforgettable.   
His book looks at the British motorcycles that shaped the café racer era from its inception right through to the present day, and the thoroughness of his research comes through in the chapters entitled AJS to BSA, Brough Superior to Matchless, Norton, Royal Enfield to Rudge, Triumph (by far the biggest chapter), and Velocette to Weslake before finishing with a fascinating chapter on Café Racer Resources.
The amazing creations pictured include a Noriel 4 café racer that’s on display at the Bicheno Motorcycle Museum in Tasmania. Built in 2000 for an English client, it boasts a modified Ariel Square Four engine, Norton Featherbed frame, Norton gearbox and Manx Norton tank. Everything else is hand-made, and the result is worth drooling over for hours on end.
Spotted at the Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s Tynwald event, David Steele’s 2003 500cc Tonkin Tempest is another absolute beauty, sporting a DBD34 BSA Gold Star engine in a Seeley Mk 3 replica frame by Roger Titchmarsh. Aand the result is worth drooling over for hours on end.
Spotted at the Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s Tynwald event, David Steele’s 2003 500cc Tonkin Tempest is another absolute beauty, sporting a DBD34 BSA Gold Star engine in a Seeley Mk 3 replica frame by Roger Titchmarsh. At the front end, 35mm Ceriani forks keep everything well planted, and the swinging arm is fitted with NJB shocks.
As you turn the pages, the treats go on and on, including Italian customiser Nicola Martini’s gob-smacking Jerolamo, boasting a 70bhp, 885cc Triumph Legend TT engine, Ducati front hub, upside-down Showa front forks, huge double Brembo front discs and a considerably-raised rear end.
Some of the Vincent specials are truly eye-watering too, and this book should be on the Christmas list for everyone with a passion for hand-crafted beauty and fine engineering. PK
British Café Racers, by Uli Cloesen. Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, Veloce House, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester DT1 3AR (01305 260068, fax 01305 250479, email ). 128-page 248 x 248mm hardback with 250 colour illustrations. ISBN 978-1-845848-96-5. £30.


published by OldBikeMart 12-16


HetMotorRijwiel 01-17


HetMotorRijwiel 01-17.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 2.8 MB

Cafe racers are (still) one captured the imagination of many motorcycle enthusiasts speaking motorcycles category: machines that halt all look like if they 180rijden and equipped with lots of chrome and aluminum. The café racer was born in England and for many fans of the genre is a 'real' café racer, therefore, one that is based on a British motorcycle. They get more than their money with the compound and published by Veloce Publishing in England by the German-New Zealand author Uli Cloesen "British Caféracers". 128 pages in size 25 x 25 cm pass many famous brands, from AJS to Weslake in dportieve attire discussed, which incidentally is both AJS as Weslake an outsider, because the depicted AJS is a 7R Boyracer and that is really a serious racing machine and that also applies to the eight shown Weslakes.

Do you consider purely a café-racer as a racing engine for the road (due to lighting and license plate), these machines fall off. Fat also applies to engines as a Vincent Grey Flash, a Matchless G50, Manx Nortons and enkjele Seeley specials. But his beautiful them! This applies to virtually all machines included in this book, including several iconic combinations of chassis and power: the Norvin, with Vincent V-twin engine in a Norton Featherbed frame, the Triton with a Tirumph twin or triple in a Norton frame, the Tribsa, with a Triumph-block in a BSA frame with Ariel sqaure Four engine. Even more exotic are one of two Enfield single cylinder built V-twin and BSA and Norton bicycle parts with JAP OHV V-twin blocks. That emphasis on Tue book on the images, that are provided each one of high quality. The English text describes the components that the mentioned engines are built, including specialists as Andy Molnar, Egli, Weslake, Rickman, Seeley Godet and discussed. The book concludes with eem chapter on contemporary suppliers of everything the builder of a
cafe racer but need. Convenient for whom the 250 color photos in the book are an inspiration to themselves to build a cafe racer. Of the same size and design it is by Uli Cloesen composite "Italian Cafe Racers". This book starts, however modest, at least for the displacement of the engines described in the first chapter: a
comprehensive overview of the many Italian brands that have built sport models from 50 to 125 cc. Daana follow the 'tough guys' and passing machines and Benelli's Motobi', Ducati, Morini's Guzzi's Laverda and of course MVs reviewed. This book does not close with a list of prudcenten but with a chapter on the 'upside-down' motorcycle: (!) The Nembo, where the 1925 cc three cylinder block hangs upside down in the frame. The writer asks it to "Is it a cafe racer, a streetfighteror a stylish über-naked roadster?" Last in this book are a few pages dedicated to Italian electric sport bikes. Well what you like classic lovers also find, we see here the future and even an unsuspected classic brand as Saroléa prijky against bility on (incidentally quite successful) racer! Like the book on British café-racers is the photographic work here to feast and you mustobserve that they (or perhaps: correct) know how a sporty engine should look like in Italy.