Sharp End Magazine, No.05, 2009, page 43 

Sharp End Magazine, No.05, 2009, page 43

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england 1960s rock’n’roll pulses are jolting the hearts of the young as elvis sinfully gyrates his pelvis bikers apart from listening to the new music in roadside cafes rave about their wheels tuned upgraded and sporty english bikes are blazing a new direction for motorbikes and riders a subculture has emerged cafe racers ton up boys rockers and london’s ace cafe was their favourite meeting place back then in the 60s life was slower than today man had only just made it to the moon politicians were arguing arguing about who was right in vietnam and the cuban crisis brought the world to the edge of conflict the cold war and the drab political elite were shaken up by rock ´ roll and a generation of young people with a strong desire for fun adrenaline and speed this was a time when wwii was but a distant memory when people were not yet threatened by the virtual world and environmentalism was only practiced in theory the uk motorbike industry was at its peak and brands such as triumph norton bsa ajs ariel or vincent were the dreams of the youth at the time those who already had jobs and were financially independent could afford these bikes and began to fine tune them or build them up from scratch in order to improve their handling speed and appearance they took frames from here engines from there accessories from somewhere else the imperative was to achieve speed the ideal place for trading ideas socializing and talking were the cafés and suburban roadside bars which used to be the meeting places for truck drivers and travelers the ace cafe was built in 1938 as a roadside bar in the north east of london it was destroyed during wwii and rebuilt in 1949 in the 1950s it was home to rock ´ roll and an increasing number of bikers who chose it as their preferred meeting place jukebox hits resolutely resounded resounded around the clock causing the elderly to cover their ears in horror while the roars of tuned motorbikes dominated dominated the surroundings posing a hyperactive cocktail of petroleum adrenaline never before attained speeds r ´ r rhythms and youthful rebellion was born when asked hey johnny what are you rebelling against” in the generation’s cult movie shown in 1954 the wild one” marlon brando who was a star a biker and a rebel in a black leather jacket famously replies what’ve you got” the end of the 60s also signaled the conclusion of the golden age of england’s motorbike industry and its rock scene motorbike loving rockers began to be replaced by ever cheaper cars at the ace cafe the last beer and chips were served in 1969 the jukebox went silent and the roads in front of it were taken over by japanese motorbikes the ace cafe took a 25 year break and rose from the ashes like a phoenix it was brought back to life by mark wilsmore an ambitious man cheered on by many and the legend was re born during the last 15 years the ace cafe became the nostalgic and cult centre of petrolheads from all over the world including those who swear by elvis classic english motorbikes lewis leather jackets everoak helmets and lewis 501 jeans – as well as those who worship the poisonous road rockets of the 21st century 41 by primož jurman photography bor dobrin smoke’n’ride welcome to ace cafe 40 / 45 ride with us




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