Ton Up! – Speed, Style, and Café Racer Culture

2013 Motorcycles as Art Exhibit Highlights Café Racer Lifestyle

Join the Sturgis Buffalo Chip® and co-curators Michael Lichter and Paul d’Orleans for the annual Motorcycles as Art Exhibit during the 2013 Sturgis Rally. This year’s exhibit, “Ton Up! – Speed, Style and Café Racer Culture,” focuses on the origins and continued popularity of the Café Racer movement worldwide. The exhibit, open Aug. 3-9, 2013, is free to the public and will be located at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, next to the east gate. 

Co-curators, Michael Lichter and Paul d’Orleans, assembled a comprehensive display of 32 machines from 12 makes and six decades, including never-published photography from the original café racing scene from 1960s England to present time. Other items included in the exhibit are paintings by Triumph resident artist, Conrad Leach, images from the Ace Café Collection, vintage leather Rocker jackets from the Lewis Leathers archive, the “One-Show” 21-helmets display of custom painted helmets, paintings by Andrea Chiaravealli and photography by Erick Runyon. 

The 30+ confirmed bikes for this exhibit include premium examples of 50s/60s Café Racers (Gold Star, Norvin, Triton, Dunstall) from Herb Harris (Harris Vincent Gallery), Yoshi Kosaka (Garage Co), Mark Mederski (National Motorcycle Museum), Gordon McCall (Quail Motorsports Gathering), plus Willie G Davidson’s #0001 1977 XLCR, and machines from Alain Bernard, Arlen Ness, Bryan Fuller, Brian Klock, Dustin Kott, Giuseppe Carucci, Greg Hageman, Jason Michaels, Jay Hart, Jay LaRossa, Kevin Dunworth, Ray Drea (Harley-Davidson design director), Roland Sands, Skeeter Todd, Steve “Brew Dude” Garn, Steve “Carpy” Carpenter, Thor Drake, Vincent Prat (Southsiders MC) and Zach Ness. Also included in the show are original or modified machines by BMW, BSA, Ducati, Honda, Harley Davidson, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Rickman, Triumph, Vincent and Yamaha.

While the annual Motorcycles as Art Exhibition attracts a great deal of attention, the 2013 exhibit is special because it will live eternally on fans’ coffee tables in the book “Ton-Up – Speed, Style and Café Racer Culture,” published by Motorbooks International. All of the motorcycles will be photographed by world-renowned motorcycle photographer, Michael Lichter, to be included in the book, along with photographs from the exhibit and a comprehensive history of the Café Racer movement, written by exhibit co-curator Paul d’Orleans. The comprehensive history will explore the origins in speed-modified road bikes to the ‘classic’ period in England in the 50s and 60s, through the various resurrections in the 70s, 80s and the current style of the 21st Century.

“Ton Up! – Speed, Style and Café Racer Culture” is sponsored by Hot Leathers and Keyboard Motorcycle Shipping and is put on as part of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s annual Motorcycles as Art Exhibit, curated by Michael Lichter