Now up: Cafe Racers, and Japanese invasion of the 1960s and 1970s.
Café Racers had an important part to play in the development of motorcycling as a form of leisure activity. Groups and clubs started to form, and meeting points such as the famous Ace Café became an intrinsic part of motorcycling culture. The advent of rock n roll, youth culture and teenage freedom came at a time of massive infrastructure and road improvements in the UK – suddenly the lifestyle of motorcycling came to the forefront, and they were no longer purely a tool.
Moving into the 1960s and 1970s, the dominance of Japanese motorcycle makers came to the forefront. Able to produce bikes cheaply, more efficiently and with greater reliability than their western counterparts, Japanese makers such as Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha put together modern designs that became best sellers around the world.
Next up: 1980s Japanese dominance and innovation.