Saturday, 17 August 2013

Cafe Racer Festival, Montlhery

August? It's August already? What! I don't seem to have had two minutes to relax this year. June was the craziest. Two trips to the Isle of Man (one on a rubber dinghy); Dirt Quake II, Wheels and Waves and this event, the brilliant Cafe Racer Festival and the historic Monlhery circuit on the outskirts of Paris.
Both Ben and I work for Cafe Racer magazine (the French one) and have big admiration for its boss, Bertrand, so when we were invited, we made our second long trip to France in a week, having just returned from Biarritz.
I'm so glad we did. It was great.
The event was all centred around the amazing speed bowl track, that dates back to the 1920s. For something like 100 euro, you could have sessions riding it as fast and high as you dare. The photo above shows the scale. Articulated lorries fit through that tunnel. The speck is a bike coming down from the steepest, tallest section of banking.
There was a 'street' of dealers, bike builders, kit sellers and painters too. The Sideburn stand was manned by me (Gary) and Dave Taylor, who spent Saturday and Sunday spinning fantastic tunes too. The browsing spectators loved them, the insurance company opposite us, didn't.
We were next to Mr Martini (from Italy) and a classic bike racing club from England. Sideburn stockists, Motokouture (above) came from Belgium. Star Twin came from the Netherlands...
Radical Ducati drove up from Madrid with a ton of great bikes, including this 350...
SR500 specialists Kedo came from Germany...
One of Krugger's bikes came from Belgium. Bertrand the event organiser did a mid-week flit from Paris to the neighbouring country to pick up this reverse-head Honda. Fred Krugger was supposed to be there but his leg had been broken by a flying race bike that went out of control at the Isle of Man TT and cartwheeled down Bray Hill. The world famous custom builder was stood in the garden it landed in. He was lucky he wasn't killed.
This dude is a famous French actor, called Pio Marmaï. He's a big deal, but I didn't realise till I looked him up when I got him. He was here drinking beer and racing his scruffy XS650 chop. That's when he wasn't taking his cat, Mr Pickles, for a walk.
Bertrand, the boss of Cafe Racer - editor, publisher, writer, everything. He also organised this great event, with help from a small team. Here he is getting in some crucial Gallic shrug practice while talking to the one and only Sonic Seb.
If I saw these two fellas walking round in England I'd be wondering where they parked their slammed VW Golf, but they owned and built these two stunners. 
GSX-R1100 with drum brakes. Er, ooookayyy...
Mr Martini, Bertrand B, me. Hats for sale at the Sideburn shop.
Neat KTM LC4 road racer.
Cool French cats in their Lewis Leathers.
Awesome road and race bikes were everywhere you looked. Like this Dick Mann replica.
And this XR750 road racer.
Norton George was over from the UK too, with his amazing bobber (running modern discs)
Variety. Neat ancient Peugeot...
And this Zen Buell, meant it was my kind of event.
Met loads of cool people from great companies, like David and his wife from Pure Motorcycles.
Pull Your Finger Out
Me and Renia from the Chatokhine Crew.
Seb and Laurens.
Neat Sportster tracker.
Triton, Vans and Church of Choppers sticker.
A few XR1200s turned up.
Bertrand lent me his Trackmaster Triumph (that featured in the recently sold out SB12) to race in the sprint. I did alright till I starting missing gears... (Photo by Renia1)
What an amazing event. If they do it next year, be there. We will be. G


Laurent said...

Here is a link (on Facebook) to the photographs I made during this event, just in case you could find something interesting...

Nick said...

Looks like a great event, used to do a lot of track days in France with the Ton-Up Club always good fun

motoguru. said...

More XR1200's in the one photo than the MoCo managed to sell in North America! :)

Unknown said...

Great bikes - which model is the red one on the first picture ?