Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Café Racer Phenomenon - Online

The past week I have been posting links for cool motorcycle books online. Well here is another!

“The Café Racer Phenomenon” is a brilliant book with all the background on a subculture that have inspired so many.

Happy reading


The Bimota Racing CB750

In September 1972, Massimo Tamburini crashed his Honda 750 Four at the Misano racetrack. The accident left him with three broken ribs. If the accident hadn't occurred, Bimota may never have come into existence. While Massimo was recuperating, he constructed a tubular steel frame that could withstand the horsepower being produced by the big Japanese manufacturer's engines. The frame Massimo constructed lowered the center of gravity and reduced the weight of the original Honda. With the creation of the HB1, the Bimota was born.

In 1972 Tamburini joined with Signors Bianchi and Mori to form the Bimota Motorcycle Company. The first frame kit, the HB1 (Honda/Bimota) was released in 1973. Ceriani forks, Marzocchi rear shocks, sporting tank and seat, cast wheels and cast iron brakes and Brembo calipers transformed the Japanese machine.

Only a few copies, perhaps 10 pieces of HB1 were built, making the machines exceedingly rare. Few people could afford the price tag in those days, and none of them was approved for the road, they were all conceived as racing machines

Bimota later produced a racing kit known as the BX-1 Kit Honda 750, so race teams could build there own HB1 type racers with a donor Honda CB750.

The Dholda Racing CB750

The story of Dholda from Belgium dates back to 1934, when Peter D'Hollander opened a bicycle and moped shop. Dholda, the combination of D'Hollander and Honda, was primarily involved in long-distance races in 1978 and 1979.

Dholdas Honda's were never intended as a road vehicle. They were built for the racetrack, and are still used in vintage racing today.

The Eckert Racing CB750

In 1974 the famous German Honda tuner Roland Eckert Eckert build a big bore 970cc racing Honda, for racing at the Nurburgring.

The Eckert racing CB750 was primarily built for long-distance races, like the 1977 24 Hours Le Mans race entry.

Roland Eckert, withdrew completely from all motor racing after the tragic death of his son in 1991.

Only few of the original Eckert racing CB750s are in existence today.

The Egli Racing CB750

Around 400 Egli frames were built for the Honda 750 SOHC / 4, some of them as a racing frame. The complete Egli frame weighs only 8 kg! The control head has oversized tapered roller bearings, as well as the rockers. The wing consists of oval frames with stereo shocks. Initially Ceriani or Marzocchi forks was installed along with shocks by Koni, Ceriani, Girling or Betor, depending on customer requirements and driving style. The brakes came from Honda, Lockheed, Grimeca, Scarab.

Later Egli built there own front fork, which had two connecting pipes between the two dip tubes directly above the front wheel, making the fork much more stable. For engines with dry sump lubrication, such as the CB 750 SOHC / 4 engine, the backbone tube also serves as the oil tank. The problem was this design was that it did not supply enough oil when braking for longer periods

The Rickman Racing CB750

In response to the groundbreaking Japanese motors The Rickman brothers were out with their CR (Competition Replica) chassis of the legendary Honda CB 750 and Kawasaki Z1/Z900 engines. The kits had their own 42mm or 38mm fork, single or double seat, front and rear disc brakes and Lockheed Borrani-spoke wheels or later cast aluminium wheels

The Seeley Racing CB750

Colin Seeley built a series of frames for the Honda CB 750 SOHC / 4. Unlike its British competitors (Dresda, Spondon, Rickman and Harris), the Seeley-frame was designed so that not only the Honda 750 engine, but also the most parts can be used to simplify the conversion. There were re-use from the standard Honda CB 750 engine, carburettors, air filter, front fork, wheels, brakes, oil tank, battery, fenders, headlights, tail lights, turn signals, foot pegs and side cover.

There were four different versions of the framework for the K-F and subsequent models. There were two different versions of the F-frame for the F1 and subsequent F2/F3-Modelle. In addition, Colin also built a few sports suspension with special oil and other weight-saving changes.

The double cradle frame is made from Reynolds 531 chrome-moly tubing and brazed. The frames are polished and usually plated, but there were also a few painted frames.