A couple of us hit up our buddies barber shop The Modern Man on Saturday and ran into a bridal party as we parked. We heard someone yelling “fuck ya…cafe racers” then he asked if his friends (bride and groom) could take photos on the bikes. It just so happened to be Trey Cool from Green Day. Pretty crazy. We didn’t want to be lame and ask for photos, plus the dudes from the barber shop already beat us to it.
It’s been slow on the motorcycle front as of late. The ‘65 Impala is now running. We will post a video, so you can here that crazy cam. Estimated 400hp out of the old 327. Should be a fun car.
A not so motorcycle update, but as mentioned before a couple of us have been distracted with a ‘65 Impala project. The car came with a mid 80’s 305, so we went on a hunt for the motor that is supposed to be in the car. Here is a couple of “before” shots of the 327. We’ve got a large order from Summit Racing that should get this beat up looking block up around 330hp by the time we are done with it.
More updates on this project to come along with a 550 build.
The One Show 2011. Thought I would throw up a shot of James and I from last years show with “The Natural.” It’s changed quite a bit since then. Couldn’t make it tonight, but looking forward to checking it out tomorrow.
finally spent the time to make a cnc program for the levers and perches that i have been making out of 4 pieces in the past, now a solid one piece design. made out of steel for durability and the ability to nickel plate. these will be available for sale soon, expect a couple different lever shapes and possibly an aluminium version.
Be sure to keep an eye out for some of James’ parts that are soon to be available. Can’t wait.
I had the opportunity to visit Bell a few weeks back down in Scott’s Valley Ca. I was impressed by the people I met down there along with the authentic approach they have with their products. Bell has a rich heritage not only in motorcycle culture, but in all motor-sports. Since hearing of the Matte Carbon STAR I knew I had to check it out. I couldn’t be more stoked to get the opportunity from the guys at Bell to put in my two cents on what is truly an amazing helmet.
Right out of the box I was torn with this helmet. Am I more impressed with it’s near weightlessness or the stunning matte carbon? I’m all for the performance value of carbon fiber, but visually it comes off looking like diamond plate or ghost flames to me. This view could very well be due to the abundant use of faux carbon fiber finishes. The matte STAR does a beautiful job of hinting to the technology behind the helmet, but doing it in a dare I say “classy” way. And don’t get me wrong, when I say class it’s a bad ass class, this thing looks mean.
I’ve always been attracted to the simple aesthetics of a vintage helmet, no fins, grills, tech graphics and best of all they usually weren’t 10 times the size of your head. Modern helmets tend to rub me the wrong way and I usually end up with a bit of buyer’s remorse with such purchases. While I am still drawn to the look of a vintage helmet, technology has come a long way. There is no denying the functionality and safety of modern helmets. Bell has however, taken a huge step in reviving the Custom 500 with safety updates resulting in a low profile DOT helmet, but that’s another review.
A friend of mine that does work with Bell told me that while in development of the STAR Bell had a helmet with 99 switches on it. They would have a rider wear it and test the ease of use of each lever until they got the perfect combination that the STAR now is equipped with. Everything that Bell has done to the STAR, has been done for a reason. Every vent, curve and angle serves a purpose. It’s a purpose you don’t fully understand until you’ve put some miles on it. To date, I’ve put about 200 miles on the helmet and 120 of those going 70+ in 40 degree weather. The only part of my body that wasn’t frozen was my head. In addition, the high humidity during Oregon winters cause visors to fog up instantly. This usually means that at some point I’m cracking my visor to defrost causing me to tear up to the point where I can’t see even with a clear visor. With the STAR they’ve included some options to combat this problem and they actually work. On the night portion of my ride back up I5 I clicked the front vent down one click to defrost. It allowed enough air in to keep the visor clear, but like a good baby shampoo — no tears. At higher speeds the helmet allowed me to turn my head without my helmet acting like a sail trying to knock me off the back end. The helmet is quieter than any other helmet I’ve worn, allowing me to listen to my music at half my normal volume (yes, I know this is illegal, that’s why I do it). The interior of the STAR is comfortable, form fitting, antibacterial, and washable. It doesn’t get much better than that. The chin strap has a handy loop on the right strap that you can loop through then secure to a magnetized strap keeper. It seems so simple to have a feature like that I don’t know why this is the first helmet I’ve worn that employs it. Along with the STAR, I was able to get my hands on a Transitions Solfx visor. I’ve never even taken the time to switch out to a tinted visor with any other helmets and I’ve definitely paid the price. This visor is clear, dark and everything in-between. I’ve worn it riding into the sun and in the middle of the night with no problems. On a cloudy, overcast day the visor adapts to that amount of light perfectly.
It can’t all be good right? I can honestly say that the one tiny negative I noticed is a whistle the helmet makes at high speeds. A potential annoyance on long rides but easily drown out with a little music in your ears. I think at this time I’ll chalk it up to operator error. Hands down this is the best helmet I’ve ever owned.
A few friends in NE Portland into the building and riding of Cafe (or any) Motorcycles. We are working on building a community to share learned experiences / wrenching tips / stories / advice / anything motorcycle related. The goal is connection.
Doomrider (07' Thruxton)
1976 MT125 Elsinore
2007 Ducati Sport Classic
Design work and photography for The Tarantulas by Scott @ CTC.