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4th August 2005


Ace Café Seventies Day

Where have all the real seventies bikes gone? Anarchy doesn't find them at the Ace Café's 70s day...

"Opal fruits, made to make your mouth water". Fizzy lemon, popsicle purple, candy red, lime green and blueberry blue are just some of the tangy flavours of seventies motorcycles that are parked up to attend the Ace Café's annual 70's meet on this blistering hot summers day. Cutting through the grinding north London traffic to reach the Ace café on my RD400c it was not totally unlike 1976, with the blazing heat and the pungent smell of two stroke oil around this north circular back water.

When Bikes Were Brown. Fantastic.

Crowds rubber neck as I give the eager air-cooled stroker a hand full of throttle and glide into the park up area only to be almost immediately upstaged by a gaggle of Kawasaki triples arriving en masse and the accompanying cackle of glorious sounds.

Honda might have been first, but Kawasaki did it properly. Still stunning.

The king was there, all hail the king, with seemingly every version of the Kawasaki Z900 polished and ready for an audience. Motorcycles once labelled as Jap Crap by the real ale swilling brigade now welcomed into the swelling (waistline) classic fraternity.

If you had to ride from Cornwall to Cadwell, which would you choose?

I walked around and felt a little despair, shot some snaps with a cheap camera half heartedly. Where were all the ordinary bikes that *real* people rode and raced to and from the Wimpy bars or rode to their first factory job?

Someone move those mopeds so that we can get a good view of the Morini...

And where were the clubs? Do these arm chair pontificating experts ever get out and ride the damn things or simply yank away on the internet discussing paint numbers and useless trivia?

...there, that's better.

Where were the many Italian or Austrian mopeds, or any of the ubiquitous RD250s or GT250s? Where were all the countless two stroke trail bikes, the TS Suzukis and DT Yamahas? Or how about the smaller Hondas from the SS50 to the CB350, or the horrible Suzuki GT380, or even a Fantic chopper! Nope, nothing, just the usual hyped up bloated kettle models that the classic motorcycle magazines seem bizarrely keen on banging on about.

Tea's Up

I don't remember it this way and I was there, on my RD400 in punk leathers racing around an urban one way system built with faceless charm with a pack of like minded mates all drifting in and out of casualty A&E from spills caused by Yokohama tyres and useless wet weather disc brakes.

Random RD Spares on eBay.co.uk

Another Laverda attempts - and only attempts - to upstage a Morini.

It seems that classic magazines now have a handful of bikes *they* feel are classic-worthy and a huge chunk of seventies motorcycling is ignored and consequently bikes are lost forever because they are not a suitable *investment*. Are publishers frightened to take a chance with their readership, their fiscal numbers, so reiterating the same old myths and rewriting history in the process? British grey porridge is a safer bet.

I'd had enough. Kicking the RD400 back into life and scattering the punters I made my way far from this maddening crowd and with a token front wheel pawing the air we were gone.

Friends reunited, school reunions, some say you can never go back, and tribute days like this do nothing to dispel that saying. But I nudged the RD to the edge of the power band, felt the rattle and hum from its willing motor and heard its banshee wail from the tail pipes, ready to burst its little heart for me again. I smile, a huge warm smile, we both remember. The song remains the same.

Anarchy

Random RD Bikes on eBay.co.uk

There could be a whole swarm of Morinis behind this CBX and we'd never know.

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