Event: The Bike Shed’s Café Racer Cup

Published: 11 July 2018

In a celebration of the current café racer revival, the Bike Shed has launched a brand new annual Summer event.

The Café Racer Cup will take place on Saturday, July 21 at Lydden Hill, Kent and will feature a track day and race event just for café racers. The track day, which has already filled its spaces, is aimed especially at riders who haven’t done one before.

Aside from all the on-track action, organisers promise a festival atmosphere with an emphasis on the spectators with cafés, bars, street food vendors, retail and plenty of space to spectate in a family friendly environment. You can even take your dog, apparently.

The inspiration for the event

Originating in the service stations and road cafés of the '50s and '60s, café racers have enjoyed a return to the spotlight recently, starting in the custom scene and then moving into the mainstream with bikes like the Suzuki SV650X.

In a world where riders often arrive at trackdays with fully stocked support trucks with slick tyres in warmers, The Cafe Racer Cup is designed to embrace the attitude of the original café racers, getting on-track on bikes normally ridden on the road.

Organisers say, “It was the Cafe Racer that started the whole modern-retro motorcycle resurgence, and while the brats, scramblers, bobbers and flat-trackers get all the glory, we still love a fast-looking bike with clip-ons, rear-sets, a single seat and chin-on-the-tank attitude. Add number decals and an electrical-tape X on the headlight, and the game is on.

“The format for the ride is just like a trackday, but aimed at complete novices and those with modest track skills. Unusually for a trackday event, all bikes will be fitted with transponders, so you can see your lap times improve, and we will group riders into sets where people are lapping at similar speeds – regardless of the bike they are riding.”

Unfortunately, rider places are now full, but spectator tickets for the event are still available from the Café Racer Cup website and cost £15.99 or free for under 16s.