A profile of ACR custom motorcycles
When it comes to modes of transport in Nosara, the traditional menu consists of standard road bikes, cars, tuk tuks and the occasional horse. 12 months ago a Nosara expat and his friend expanded that menu when they launched ACR bikes. The head turning, one of a kind custom style motorbikes they have produced so far have been popular with both customers, and bike fans who see them rolling down the high street. Although the introduction of cafe racers in Nosara is a new thing, their history actually stretches back over half a century, and their beginnings can be traced back to post war london.
In the mid 1950’s post war Britain was still recovering from World War Two, and money was tight. At the start of that decade very few average people could afford a car, catalyzing a sharp rise in the production of much more affordable motorcycles. This period also coincided with the rise of the British ‘rocker’ subculture, many of whom would meet up in the cafes of central London and the outlying areas. These were a young, rebellious subculture who wanted a quick, personalised, and stylish way to travel between transport cafes along the newly built arterial motorways in and around British towns and cities. Thus was born the cafe racer.
These lightweight machines had a control layout and bodywork recalling early era Grand Prix road racing motorcycles. They were distinguished by visual minimalism, low-mounted handlebars, rear footrests, prominent seat cowling, elongated fairings, and knee-grips indented in the fuel tank that would allow the rider to tuck in, reduce wind resistance, and hang on after hitting the throttle. Cafe racers were built not for comfort but for speed, and quick pace over short distances.
Motorcycle classicists consider the period between 1950-1960 not just a great for cafe racers, but a golden era of motorcycle production. At the close of the decade, the British economy had all but recovered from the battering it sustained in World War Two. By now, the average Briton could afford a car. By the early 1960’s the cafe racer style motorcycle that had recently represented the inability to afford a car, had now become a status symbol that came to reflect rock and roll, speed, and rebellion.
By the 1970’s, cafe racers, along with many other components of British subculture, had surged in popularity around the globe. Although they still featured tuned engines, minimalist bodywork, and distinctive ergonomics, the global cafe racer sub-culture created a separate look and identity of their own, incorporating style elements from American Greasers, 70’s bikers, and of course – British rockers.
Eventually, fashions changed, and the cafe racer scene all but disappeared from the limelight. Nearly 50 years later, cafe racers are back with a vengeance, and are now much in demand by motorcyclists the world over. Including those in Playa Guiones.
After a number of years spent developing a successful quad rental business, Alex Hazelton, owner and manager of I-quad, was asked by a friend to design and build a custom cafe racer. After consulting with mechanic friend David Mora, they got to work designing and building what would become their first production motorcycle. Thus was born ACR motorbikes. The first machine looked as good as it rode, and it wasn’t long before word got out. 12 months later, ACR has designed and built a range of different bikes, and has a string of back orders.
Although all units so far produced by ACR conform to the original cafe racer style, their back catalog includes a range of different options and designs with different components, accessories, and engine sizes ranging between 125cc to 450 cc. Once the client has decided on the basic design, the time from order to delivery is an estimated 2 months. Estimated prices range from $5500 up to however much the customer wants to spend, varying according to engine size and design choice.
For more information about how to own one ACRs creations, visit their facebook page, or contact Alex Hazelton at Iquad Nosara.