Driving report Voxan Café Racer
Unadulterated two-cylinder aroma for pulse-accelerating enjoyment: The Café Racer from Voxan does its first laps – even if it is still in the prototype stage.
The homework has been done: Voxan’s motorcycle production has been running since mid-January and the long-awaited 1000 twin-cylinder – initially in a roadster outfit – will be at dealerships from March.
Reason to take a deep breath, therefore, for the fathers of the ambitious project. But there is no reason to put your feet up and your hands on your lap. No, the mills at Voxan continue to grind when it comes to development – as the Café Racer shows, which is due to expand the range of models in the fall, but has already started rolling.
100 pre-orders have already been received for this sporty derivative of the basic model. This is a leap of faith for the company that emerged from nowhere, but above all proof of the acceptance of the design language that designer Stéphane Valdant chose when designing the Café Racer.
But what does design language mean? As with the undisguised roadster, it is the V2 engine that speaks the power word. His corset, an original bridge frame made of tubular steel and cast aluminum, remains optically in the background, while the tank, bench and bikini cladding do their best to flatter the engine block with genteel restraint and underline its dominance.
As compact as the Café Racer appears in photos, it turns out to be compact in real life. Low, slender and lightweight – a small, elementary motorcycle. This nevertheless offers agreeable living conditions: the riding posture is sporty, but not extremely stooped thanks to the considerable height difference between the seat cushion and the handlebars.
The Café Racer is also conciliatory at secondary locations. The clutch is smooth and easy to adjust, the six gears of the gearbox can be changed with exemplary smoothness, the right hand finds little resistance when opening the throttle valve.
Almost too little, because the electronically managed injection engine hangs greedily on the gas and is always ready to set off a fireworks display that reaches an impressive climax at 9000 rpm with 120 hp. The background noise is just as impressive – a powerful song that tells of the ignition intervals of the 72-degree cylinder angle.
72 degrees and no balancer shaft – so the Voxan lets itself into the play of unbridled inertial forces: It vibrates. This is not a problem in normal operation with frequently changing engine speeds, but your hands tremble to sleep on extended high-speed stages.
The chassis of the Café Racer gives no reason to tremble. The Voxan has a comparatively conservative layout against the trend, which is giving super athletes ever shorter wheelbases, increasingly radical steering geometries and increasingly front-heavy wheel load distributions. The last bit of agility, which may fall by the wayside, is of course not missed: The machine turns easily and neutrally, hits and maintains the targeted course precisely, happily bustles through alternating curves – the consequences of the low center of gravity and the concentration that can be seen with the naked eye the mass around the center of the vehicle.
A contribution to this centralism is made by the rear suspension with the strut placed under the engine block, which – like the upside-down fork – comes from White Power. In terms of responsiveness, the suspension elements offer a high level of comfort given the current state of affairs. On the other hand, they appear overdamped on larger bumps, which limits their ability to react to larger bumps.
The braking system, on the other hand, is fully up to par. The front double disc system with four-piston calipers – made by Beringer – impresses with its precise pressure point and brutal effect.
No question about that Voxan Café Racer is – although still in the pre-series stage – already well-rounded. A slightly better wind protection and a less abrupt engine response should be possible by the start of series production. Then the price – we’re talking about 25,000 marks – shouldn’t be an obstacle to the acceptance of the French V2 athlete.
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