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Custom Deluxe
Custom Deluxe

Miami-based Moto Studio’s bespoke creations are sculpted for speed

Duncan Quinn

In the 1950s, with time on their hands and adrenaline in their veins, London’s rebellious youth rolled up their sleeves and started modifying BSAs, Triumphs, Nortons, Vincents and other British-built motorbikes to go much, much faster. Channeling Marlon Brando in The Wild One while wearing UK-made Lewis Leathers, they convened at the Ace Cafe to swagger and swap stories and spare parts — hence the term “café racer” was born.

Getting from the Cafe to the Hanger Lane roundabout and back before the jukebox stopped is said to have earned you membership in the infamous “ton-up club”, only possible with modiŒed bikes that could easily do 100 mph, i.e. the “ton.” Some modern machines can almost get there in Œrst gear, but at the time it took Glengarry Glen Ross-sized brass balls: no fuel injection, no variable valve timing, and no Kevlar body armor to protect you if it all went sideways.

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March/April 2019