This week’s episodes contain several firsts in the history of engineering homemade café racers, namely, the use of tools you never imagined part of the speedbike experience. The guys at York, Pennsylvania’s J&B Moto Co. enter with some high-falutin’ ideas about souping up an old Suzuki two stroke twin; electronic fuel injection, they claim, is the way to achieve modern speed from the 500cc twin, a feat that’s never been accomplished before. However, their project starts off with Jeff gassing up a chain saw – a two stroke of another kind – to carve out custom bodywork templates for what may prove a very challenging project bike.
Also, racetrack competitors Jerry Dudley and Stan Lipert get all down and greasy when they seriously disassemble the engine in their Honda twin racebike, shaving the crank and therefore imbuing the CB 350 with twice as much power and corner speed than it had when it left the factory. We’ve interviewed some talented wrenches during these first three seasons of Café Racer, but the works being done by Lipert at Northern Ohio Ducati are fascinating on several levels. For serious gear heads who wish to see more nuts and bolts builds on Café Racer, this one’s for you guys.
We keep an eye peeled for the rozzers (cops in Brit-speak) as we again ride with California street artist Thank You X, a café racing graffiti artist who’s determined to pay tribute to his two-wheeled hero in spray paint.
Episode 12 revs up with the crew at J&B Moto Co. fashioning some beautiful, artistically inspired custom parts for their Suzuki stroker, proving why these guys are considered some of the finest bodymen this side of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. However, will their search for aesthetic perfection overshadow the need for speed?
We’ll finally see a reveal of the long-awaited piece of motorcycling graffiti art that Thank You X has been covertly planning for the past couple of weeks.
Our cameras take a side trip to the Big Apple where we’ll ride with Julia Haltigan, a Triumph-riding street musician whose passion for gypsy-tinged alternative rock matches her fondness for classic British motorbikes. We’re often asked by old timers where the future lies for antique British bikes which are becoming increasingly rare, but after hanging with Julia, who can ride and repair her own classic Triumph, you’ll see that the kids are, indeed alright.
Finally, the checkered flag and bragging rights await Stan Lipert and his roadracing pal Jerry Dudley as they complete work on their hopped-up Honda racebike and head to Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course to see who’s the fastest. Don’t bother betting on an outcome for this heat – anything goes in the wild, unpredictable world of vintage roadracing.
– Mike Seate