Picture This

July 28, 2020 | By Mike Seate

Since the earliest days of forming the nucleus of Cafe Racer magazine, generous people have been donating their rare, historical images to us. Once, back in 2009, we posted a simple flyer on the community cork board at London’s Ace Cafe asking to see photos from the original ton-up era. The response was so overwhelming that the dozens of old black and white snapshots we received permission to copy, helped us flesh out not only the first few issues of Cafe Racer, but they provided much-needed historical legitimacy to the Cafe Racer TV series we were then working on. In the ensuing decade or so, we’re still lucky enough to receive images from readers which is remarkable given A) how few high-speed cameras or cameras of any kind were about in austere, 1950s and ’60s England and B) that people would entrust their cherished motorcycling memories with us. The archive has grown so large and all-encompassing that we’ve decided to share much of it with you, our readers, by serving up an all-new Annual Edition comprised entirely of photos. Though most of the content will be comprised of these hard-to-find black and white photos of original cafe racers at play on the roads and in the cafes that they called home, many are stunning, full-color shots collected from our friends and associates around the world who are dedicated to keeping the cult of fast, customized streetbikes alive. We’re just now winnowing down the final 100 photos from thousands under consideration, and the perfect-bound issue should be ready to ship come early October. Keep an eye on this website for more info because this annual edition, like the pictures inside it, will prove a real inspiration for true cafe racer enthusiasts. Cheers!