Archive for 2009
The racer lives on.
Today, the cafe racer maintains a deep-rooted, passionate following, encompassing, in style and attitude, the soul of those early British Marquees and the leather-clad hooligans who earned the name “Rocker.” (A term rooted in Britain’s 1960s’ counter-culturists, the Rockers.)
Who doesn’t know this motto from Alexandre Dumas’ famous The Three Musketeers? Each of them is cut from the same cloth: unorthodox and quarrelsome, but nevertheless unique – with the shared goal of fighting crime.
What? A literary history lesson in a fighter mag? No way!
But the three “musketeers” in this article bear more than a passing resemblance to Dumas’ trio. They ride design-linked bikes, ride together most often, think together as they work – partners, in this case, with the shared goal of fightering – on their “Hyperfants.”
I found the Hyperfants close to my home in the Netherlands. They were created by an old acquaintance, who lives just a couple of miles away. So it’s true what they say: you don’t have to look far to find something beautiful; you only have to look past the tip of your nose.
When he was 10, Jay began to work on tractors and equipment, learning from his father-figure neighbor. By the time he was in high school, he was working for an auto parts store, building engines and doing machine work. Back when working auto parts meant really knowing the stuff, not just reading the parts fiche. His love for tuning led him to work at a high-performance BMW motorcycle shop in the Bay area of California, making parts and building winning race bikes. The eight years spent there, he says, taught him more than he’d ever learned in terms of performance tuning. Years later, he moved on to hot rod engines and sprint cars. He’s spent time alongside people like New Zealand’s John Britten, but he has no “holier-than-thou” aura about him. More recently, Jay has done heavy equipment repair (ask him about his customized work-truck), which he is stepping away from a bit while working for a local business owner — building race cars in one of the nicest home facilities I’ve ever seen, including a personal dyno! Suffice to say, just about everything Jay does revolves around motors and/or having fun.
The custom bug bit Gonzo back when he was still riding pedal bikes. He moved onto cars, and eventually motorcycles, working on his own and friends bikes. He eventually decided to turn it from a hobby into a business building custom bikes and creating awesome body work! Gonzo loves the streetfighter scene, he says the fighters represent freedom and fun on the streets.
After about six months trying to be in two places at once, frustrated that things weren’t moving more quickly, Waxy decided it was time to enlist qualified help. Fellow biker Sandy Frayman, who lived nearby, joined the Crank It team after meeting Waxy through a friend. Sandy, involved with bikes all his life, had been following the fighter scene for several years, but had never actually built a fighter — until he began working for Crank It Cycles. His background as a mechanic, welder, fabricator and all-around “MacGyver” was a great asset; even when he didn’t know how to do something, he could damn well figure out how! “We don’t call Sandy ‘the bracket man’ for nothing,” Waxy says.
Even the weather was die-hard…. appallingly so. The campsite was a virtual flood plain, and everyone got wet to the bone at least once. But did that stop them from coming? Hell it did! Riders from as far afield as Gladstone and Melbourne, who had ridden in pouring rain for the entire journey, were smiling like Cheshire cats.