Hundreds of motorcyclists, including a host of classic BMW café racers from across Europe, took part in the iconic Ace Café Reunion and the famous Brighton Burn-Up ride-out. The 20th Annual Ace Café Reunion was chosen to be part of BMW Motorrad’s 90th anniversary celebrations because of the legendary café’s huge influence on the café racer scene in the 1960s. Over 200 riders took part in the Ace Café’s traditional Continental Run, setting off from Germany and traveling through Holland, Belgium and France to arrive in London ahead of the weekend’s activities.
In addition to a weekend of motorcycles, live music, ride-outs and celebrations at the Café itself, the event moves to the south coast of England for the Brighton Burn-Up. The Burn-Up is a traditional ride-out which sees a huge number of riders heading to the south coast city, filling the famous seafront Madeira Drive with thousands of motorcycles as well as displays, stalls, and live music.
BMW Motorrad added to the event by displaying the stunning Roland Sands-designed Concept Ninety motorcycle, a selection of customized classic BMW café racers from British custom house Kevil’s Speed Shop, and introducing two special VIP guests. The guests were former AMA-racer Steve McLaughlin, who effectively created the World Superbike series and won at Daytona on a BMW R90S, and Head of Design for BMW Motorrad Edgar Heinrich, who has been responsible for some of the most important BMW motorcycles in recent history. Both Steve and Edgar joined the festivities at the Ace Café.
Heinrich and McLaughlin chose the best BMW café racer custom on the day, with the bike’s winner being invited to visit the BMW Motorrad factory on an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to Munich.
Commenting on the event and the owners’ bikes at the Café, Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design for BMW Motorrad, said, “It’s really cool to see the Ace Café and there are so many nice bikes around here that I like. There are lots of details that I haven’t seen before, especially on some of the BMWs with custom-made parts. What I really like are some of the changes: just a few years ago there were some ‘no-go’ areas in terms of design but now anything goes, there are no ‘rules’ anymore – and this is a good thing. As you can see, you can do almost anything with an airhead boxer: there are typical café-racers, bikes with knobbly tires, even a BMW with a Honda tank – but it all looks amazing. I’ve really enjoyed seeing so many BMWs blending in with the cool world of these café-racers.”
Kevin Hill, owner of Kevil’s Speed Shop, said, “It’s fantastic to see so many BMW riders and cool motorcycles here at the Ace Café. BMWs were an important part of the café-racer scene and, looking at the Concept Ninety, you can see the influence they had is still here today. It’s an absolute pleasure to have come along and displayed a few of our custom motorcycles here – the rocker spirit is alive and well at the Ace Café.”
The Ace Café is part of British motorcycling heritage, and was the home of the original ‘café-racer’ scene in the 1960s. The café re-opened in 1998 and ever since has been a focal point for bikers in and around London.