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MCN wins first place in The Bike Shed’s Café Racer Cup

Published: 23 July 2018

MCN's Senior Road Tester, Adam Child, came first place over the weekend at The Bike Shed's new annual summer event, The Café Racer Cup. 

Securing the win on his #MCNFleet18 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe Racer, Child raced 15 laps at the event which took place on Saturday, July 21 at Lydden Hill, Kent and featured a track day and race event just for café racers. 

Congratulations also to Alastair Latimer and Nathan Thomas who won second and third place respectively. 

Bikes and riders varied hugely, from former racers on modern Café Racers, to track novices on air-cooled, hand-built machines. Charley Boorman joined in on the action on a Triumph Thruxton R.

“It’s not often you get the chance to ride a Café Racer around a race track, with lots of like-minded people and a little bit of competition,” said Boorman. “Brilliant fun, could do it all day, every day. Café Racers on track, it doesn’t get much better”.

Nearly half the competitors rode to the track, some from far away as Belgium, to celebrate the bikes that kick-started the return of the new wave custom scene. Plans are already afoot for next year event, which will be a two-day festival.

Top three Cafe Racer results

  • 1st place, Adam Child, time of 11:59.816 (Best lap: 47.560)
  • 2nd place, Alastair Latimer, time of 12:06.063 (Best lap: 48.019)
  • 3rd place, Nathan Thomas, time of 12:14.485 (Best lap: 48.809)

MCN won a trophy, a bottle of champagne and over £1000-worth of riding gear from The Bike Shed, which was donated to charity. 

And aside from all the on-track action, the event had 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. 

The inspiration for The Bike Shed 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.”

Visit the Café Racer Cup website for more information.