Portfolio A Belief In Design
And A Love Of Photography

Kevils BMW Café Racer Photographed by Andrew Butler

Born in the late fifties, kept away form the sixties I guess most of my damage was done in the seventies. Yep, late to the table in many ways, the Stones or Beatles question was replaced by Yes or Genesis? Thank god for punk.

“Winnie” the biology teacher rather unfathomably had a maroon Reliant 3-wheeler van and a Ducati 450 single, I’m not sure any of us really understood this but the 450 sat rather awkwardly by the sixth formers’ Lambrettas and the odd FS1E and SS-50. If you’d got a Puch never mind that you were in the elite set of youth with transport, your ‘ped just didn’t cut it.

Saints or Saintly?

It was across the road that things got interesting though, the secondary-modern school. Our girls wore bottle green, their girls wore St Trinian’s navy. Ding dong. Our blazers had an oak tree on the pocket, they didn’t bother with blazers, why would you wear a blazer?

Our headmaster had a gold mark one Capri their caretaker had a Vincent. I shall repeat that.

Our headmaster had a gold mark one Capri their caretaker had a Vincent. I really should have failed the eleven plus.

And on the school bus home I lived for the moment when the Robert Pat boy overtook us on his cafe racer, a Triumph Saint, a police bike with an aluminium tank. Oh yes!

From the seventies with the fifties and even sixties fading away this was a glimmer of something soon to pass, the British bike industry. Born in an era when cafe was pronounced caffee not cafai, these bikes were part of a time when motorbikes were transport for the masses but machinery that could be understood and personalised.

So to the bike above. For heaven’s sake, who would imagine turning something as inane as a police bike into a cafe racer? Err, the Robert Pat boy did. Recently BMW bikes have become a bit bonkers, some of them are really rather fast, others get starring roles in TV shows but few realise that back in the day they were also rather fast.

Time for The Eighties (series 7)

Look, I rode down to Kevils earlier down in Paignton, Devon. On a BMW too, but nothing at all like this.

Well that’s not true actually, you see, it’s my belief that a motorbike is all about the engine, it’s what gives it soul and it would be hard not to look at my bike and this one and spot the lineage even if you knew nothing about bikes.

However this one if I understood it right started out as a R80 series 7 and has been built to order as a café racer and I love it. The bike is called The Joker, there is a reason and a story to that, I am sure Kev would be willing to share with you

You can find Kevils Speed Shop on their Facebook page, say hello.

We have a new photography site featuring more motoring images here

Comments (0)

    Add a Comment