The folks from Garage Projects, a Perth, Australia based shop, have gotten some great press recently. Their builds have turned heads, and their attitude is winning over some of the critics. Rex Havoc, and his friend Brad, decided to do a Brat Bike build, after some interchange with one of the people commenting on bikes on the site Bike Exif. Turns out, they set about building a “Brat” style bike, with a Honda CB350 they acquired, but this time as the build progressed, they began to ask themselves, “what would the commenters say on Bike Exif?” This partly influenced their decisions, and in the end, they completed a bike that seemed to win over a majority of the peanut gallery.
I found this story fascinating, and felt it tied in to the earlier post here on Moto Preserve, about “Who has the right to build a cafe style bike.” I emailed Rex, and we had a nice dialog about the critics, the state of the build community, and how personal choice is at times being overshadowed by the other people’s opinions about the “right way” to do things. Something he said in an interview with Sydney Cafe Racers rang true to me…
SCR: What is the essence of a café racer to you?
“This is a good question. Unlike a lot of people I don’t believe that the defining properties of a cafe racer in 2011 have to be the same as they were in the 60’s. Unlike the riders, the style has evolved and split into hybrid styles. A cafe racer does not have to have clip-ons, a bum stop seat, and a polished aluminium tank with chequered flag sticker down the middle. If you want to build a replica of a 60’s cafe racer then you’re going to need all that but a modern cafe racer can have scrambler pipes, ace bars, drag bars, flat seats, old style tyres, pipe wrap, digital instruments, EFI etc
As long as you have your open face helmet and pushing the limits with a smile on your face you are a modern day cafe racer.“
Stay tuned for more builds from Rex and garage Projects. They are sure to please…
Special thanks to: Bike Exif, Sydney Cafe racers.