Driving report Cafe Racer


Driving report Cafe Racer

My generation

Two machines that go to the heart because they revive the spirit of days long gone: the LSL-Triumph Bonneville Ace Cafe and the Moto Guzzi V2 Sport, two real cafe racers.

I already felt a certain inner tension when I drove to the Ace Cafe for the first time last year, ”says Jochen Schmitz-Linkweiler, managing director of the Krefeld accessories manufacturer LSL. Thousands of bikers cavorted in the parking lot in front of the infamous London cafe when he pulled up with his first Triumph Bonneville conversion called Clubman. In the roaring sixties it was good form to turn into the cafe parking lot on the last groove.
In the new millennium, after the grandiose reopening in 2001, things are more civilized, the Ace connects, no matter what brand you drive. Even with the once hated mods, the rockers now maintain friendships. Schmitz-Linkweiler is fascinated by this peaceful, open-minded atmosphere. On his first visit, he quickly made friends with Mark Wilsmore, who lovingly and years of detailed work gave the ailing building of the Ace Cafe a new look. “Mark was so enthusiastic about my Clubman Bonnie that he did a couple of laps in the bar with it.” Of course, Schmitz-Linkweiler has been completely piqued by the myth of the Ace Cafe and wanted to be there again this year at Ace Day. In proper style, of course, with a specially designed motorcycle, his Triumph Bonneville Ace Cafe. He put many, many hours of work into it, designing delicious extras that also fit perfectly on the LSL accessory shelf.
He arrives in England in June full of anticipation, but then for a brief moment he does not pay attention to him in a roundabout. His triumph, his homage to the Ace Cafe, collides with a truck. The motorcycle and the driver finally reach the bar, heavily damaged. Wilsmore sees the malaise, just smiles and says that it used to be quite normal. The boys held their record races during the cafe’s weddings. Drop the coin into the slot ?? Put a coin in the jukebox, press a song, then race the motorcycle to the predetermined turning point on North Circular Road and be back at the cafe before the song was over. That counted, then you were the boss of the Ace.
If you would have been in the 60s with the Guzzi conversion and its powerful two-cylinder in any case. Basis: the Moto Guzzi Jackal, converted in Berlin-Kreuzberg, where the V2moto team has lived and worked since 1998. Since then, the three enthusiasts have put around 100 conversions, preferably Guzzis, on their wheels. Regardless of whether it is the renovation of a Le Mans I or, as in this case, a model “from new to old”. “With the Sport we wanted to show how we imagine a Guzzi”, says Markus Brendel, one of the three managing directors of V2moto. “We have already restored a lot of Le Mans I cars, which then always costs around 8,000 euros, but the customer still has an old motorcycle. Then we took a look at the Jakal. Man, we thought, you just have to … “.
“Only” is relative in the case of the V2 Sport. Because it takes a lot of parts and even more work to turn a cruiser into a classic sports car in the 70s style. In the best tradition of cafe racers, if you will, which have been converted to suit your taste. Le Mans I-Tank, Magni half-shell cladding, a narrow, leather-covered seat bench, wider 17-inch spoked wheels, the battery moved under the gearbox, clip-on handlebars, a set back footrest and, as the icing on the cake, a parallelogram swing arm, also from Guzzi -Finisher Aturo Magni. With the exception of a self-constructed airbox, the engine remained untouched. A nominal 75 healthy horsepower for the 210 kilogram V2 Sport is always good for over 200 km / h. If it has to be.
Schmitz-Linkweiler also left the twin of his Bonneville untouched. Expensive tuning ?? what for? Of course, in the 60s, hair was done and done until the connecting rods tore off. Today, the standard 66 hp of the two-cylinder is sufficient. Enough power to break the once famous 100 mph mark, known as “The Ton”, in an imaginary record race. This Ace Cafe Bonnie not only looks a lot sportier than the base model, it also drives that way. The combination of Wilbers stereo struts, progressive fork springs and wider, smaller rims works wonders. Not least because the Avon Azaro ST (AV 45/46) fits on these wheels, a fine touring tire with which you can enjoy the freedom of lean angle that has been gained. Great, this vote was the LSL triumph. Exactly the right mix of comfort and sporty toughness.
The Bonnie has a precise, harmonious turning behavior, but does not lose any of its handiness, on the contrary. It’s amazing how nimble the Bonneville, weighing over 200 kilograms, can be driven. The significantly more forward-facing, but not uncomfortable seating position goes well with this. A motorcycle for connoisseurs, ideal for a brisk ride on winding country roads. A brisk pace, however, requires a courageous twist on the throttle, because the Twin is not exactly a pulling miracle despite its 790 cm3. It seems a bit strained between 4000 and 6000 rpm, but above this mark it makes up for it with an astonishing liveliness, without annoying the fee with vibrations.
They are standard on a V2 from Mandello. Shakes like a wet dog when starting the engine, thanks to intake manifold injection it willingly hangs on the gas, makes its big appearance in the middle speed range. The V2 Sport pushes and stomps powerfully. And indeed, this Guzzi brings the Le Mans I feeling almost perfectly across. On the narrow and low machine you crouch behind the large Magni half-shell cladding, which offers remarkably good wind protection. The Guzzi made in Kreuzberg, fully connected to their tradition, prefers the wide, fast curves. Calmly, almost stoically, she irons away waves. Even newcomers to Guzzi get along well with her straight away. Because the parallelogram swing arm successfully counteracts excessive load change reactions. “Of course we could also use the original swing arm, but then the hindquarters wedges out quite a bit, especially when accelerating,” says Brendel, explaining the use of the expensive but good Magni swing arm.
E.Beneficial: the second Brembo brake disc on the front wheel, which makes it much easier for you to reduce kinetic energy when you drive very quickly. However, the conversion of the braking system also has its price: the set costs 590 euros. 18,645 euros the V2 Sport. A good motorcycle that is unique so far. But the guys from V2moto hope to be able to inspire enough interested parties for a small series of their retro Guzzi soon. Jochen Schmitz-Linkweiler is planning something similar with his Triumph. The only difference: while the paintwork of the V2 Sport can be designed according to customer requirements, the Krefeld-based company insists on the only conceivable color for his Ace Cafe Bonnie: performance white.

Technical data: Moto Guzzi V2 Sport

MOTO GUZZI V2 SportDataMotor: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, longitudinal crankshaft, one lower, chain-driven camshaft, two valves per cylinder, bumpers, rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, transistor ignition, no exhaust gas cleaning, electric starter, Three-phase alternator 350 W, battery 12 V / 30 Ah. Bore x stroke 92.0 x 80.0 mm, displacement 1064 cm³, compression ratio 9.5: 1, rated output 55 kW (75 PS) at 6400 rpm, max. Torque 94 Nm (9.6 kpm) at 5000 / min Power transmission: primary drive via gear wheels, mechanically operated two-disc dry clutch, five-speed gearbox, cardan, secondary ratio 33: 8. Chassis: double loop frame made of tubular steel, telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 45 mm, parallelogram swing arm, stereo -Spring struts, adjustable spring base and rebound stage, front disc brake, floating brake discs, Ø 320 mm, four-piston caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 270 mm, two-piston caliper. Spoked wheels with aluminum rims 3.00 x 17; 3.50 x 17 tires 120/70 ZR 17; 150/60 ZR 17 Chassis data: wheelbase 1575 mm, steering head angle 62 degrees, caster 98 mm, spring travel f / r 124/114 mm.Colour metallic titanium gray Price incl. VAT 18645 Euro unit prices Chassis Magni parallelogram swing arm 1136.80 Euro Bitubo stereo struts 306 Euro Kit (second brake disc, hand pump, steel braided brake line, Brembo four-piston brake caliper) 590 eurosWheelsMorad aluminum rim 3.00×17 ?? € 423.40 Morad aluminum rim 3.50×17 «€ 583.50 Other itemsAirbox V2moto € 450Battery box made of stainless steel 102 € Indicator kit € 148.50 Valpolini steering damper € 166.50Seat bench with leather cover € 406Stump handlebars € 174Footrest system V2moto € 290Magni half-shell instrument panel (painted) € 887.40 (painted) 326 euros

Technical data: Triumph Bonneville T800 Ace Cafe London

Engine: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, transverse crankshaft, two balance shafts, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, Keihin constant pressure carburetor, Ø 36 mm, transistor ignition, uncontrolled catalytic converter with secondary air system, electric starter, 324 W alternator , Battery 12 V / 10 Ah. Bore x stroke 86.0 x 68.0 mm Displacement 790 cm³ Compression ratio 9.2: 1 Nominal output 45 kW (61 HP) at 7300 rpmMax. Torque 62 Nm (6.3 kpm) at 3500 rpm Power transmission: primary drive via gear wheels, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, X-ring chain, secondary ratio 43:17. Chassis: double loop frame made of tubular steel, telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel tubes, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, adjustable rebound stage damping, front disc brake, Ø 310 mm, double-piston caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 255 mm, double-piston caliper. Spoked wheels 2.50 x 18; 4.25 x 17 tires 110 / 80R 18; 150 / 70R 17 Chassis data: wheelbase 1493 mm, steering head angle 61 degrees, caster 117 mm, spring travel f / r 120/105 mm. Warranty two years without mileage limitPrice including VAT. 11,890 euros Basic price Triumph T 800 Bonneville 7860 euros Unit prices LSL accessories Triumph Bonneville Set of rims 2.50×18 “and 4.25×17” 629 euros Spoke and centering 179 euros Chassis Progressive Wilbers fork springs and fork oil 107.80 euros Silver suspension stereo struts 619 euros Other LSL footrest system 289 euros LSL handlebars “Match” (inch size) 349 euros LSL instrument kit (with tachometer) 249 Euro LSL aluminum lamp holder 109.95 Euro Turn signal (chrome) 12.95 Euro / piece Bellows 59.95 Euro

It ?? s only rock ?? n ?? Roll

The legend lives on: In 2001 the traditional Ace Cafe reopened its doors.

At the end of the 50s and the beginning of the 60s, the Ace Cafe in London experienced its heyday: Rock ?? n ?? Roll, Triumph, Norton, Royal Enfield, BSA and wild conversions, the Cafe Racer, for illegal races. World famous through the film »Quadrophenia«, highlight: the rioting in Brighton in 1964, when rockers and mods, the young, scooter-driving and amphetamine-swallowing middle class, fought for hours in the street. In 1969 the cafe ended for the time being, almost at the same time as the gradual decline of the British motorcycle industry. With a lot of idealism and even more courage, Mark Wilsmore rebuilt the meeting place together with friends. Since opening in 2001, they have organized “Ace Day” and “Ride with the Rockers” to Brighton every year. The website: www.ace-cafe-london.com

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