Café Racer Festival
Two hundred motorcyclists experienced the thrill of riding on the historic banked Montlhéry race circuit south of Paris over the weekend of June 11-12 as part in the fifth Festival organised by the French ‘Café Racer’ magazine – and we were among them.
Watched by a huge crowd, the riders were split into Classic, Modern, Character and Race classes and each had three 20 minute sessions per day.
We rode our first generation Triumph Speed Triple in both the Modern and Race categories and it acquitted itself well, using its massive torque to power high onto the banking, which graduates to being almost vertical. A fantastic experience!
When not watching the track sessions, visitors had a vast selection of stands to visit, many featuring juicy café racers prepared by some of Europe’s top bike builders.
Additional on-track entertainment was provided by sprint race club ‘The Sultans of Sprint’ who raced as hard during the afternoons as they partied in the evenings, led by flamboyant organiser Andreas, who spent the whole weekend dressed as an Aladdin pantomime interpretation of a sultan, complete with a huge gold turban.
His impromptu rendition of ‘Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?’ half-way through his commentary of Sunday’s races was a highlight of the weekend. Mad but brilliant!
Warm, not to say hot, sunshine blessed the weekend, which also featured live bands on Saturday evening in the outdoor bar area.
There was also the chance to test ride a range of modern bikes including Ducati’s X-Diavel, Harley-Davidson’s Dark Classics and the latest bikes from Indian. Triumph riders could also do a few parade laps of the circuit.
We took the opportunity to display our 1959 MV Agusta 175 and 1977 Honda 500 café racer, both getting plenty of interest and compliments from visitors from all over Europe.
We’ll be back for next year’s event, with a hospitality area for customers who would like to join us either in the track sessions or just to wander around and soak up the atmosphere.