”カフェレーサー”とは? 〜History&Style〜

バイク乗りの方なら”カフェレーサー”ってどんなバイクかご存知の方も多いのではと思います。しかしながら、ルーツがイギリスということは知っていても、カフェレーサーの歴史って案外知らない人も。今回は、カフェレーサーの歴史とスタイルについて少し触れていこうと思います。

・モッズとロッカーズ

カフェレーサーが誕生したのは、1960年代のイギリス・ロンドン。1950年代後半〜1960年代初頭にかけて、ロンドンでは音楽(ソウル、R&B、ジャズ)とファッションをこよなく愛する”モッズ”と呼ばれる若者等が急増しムーブメントに。彼らは、ピタっとしたスーツにミリタリーコートを着て、改造ベスパやランブレッタ(通称:鉄スク)に乗り、ディスコで夜な夜なフィーバーをする独創的で軟派なスタイル。混沌としていた社会や当時の大人達に、非常識な行動をとって反抗していたのが若者の”モッズ”カルチャーでした。

カスタム鉄スクに乗る”モッズ” (さらば青春の光DVD画像 引用)
映画「さらば青春の光」のジャケ (さらば青春の光DVD画像 引用)

その非常識で軟派なモッズに対抗すべく、ロックンロールを愛し、リーゼントに革ジャン、エンジニアブーツを履く硬派な若者たちが”ロッカーズ”と言われていました。1979年にイギリスで上映された「さらば青春の光」はモッズとロッカーズの対立を描いた映画としてはあまりにも有名です。助演ですが、若かりし頃のスティング(上の写真の左から4番目の金髪の人)が出演しています。

バイクに跨る”ロッカーズ” (カフェレーサーとは 引用)

”カフェレーサー”の由来

ロッカーズは、ノートン・トライアンフ・BSAなどのイギリス製バイクをレーサー風に改造して跨り、当時24時間営業だったACE CAFE LONDONに集まっていました。エースカフェのジュークボックスの再生と同時にスタートし、決められたコース走って誰が一番最初に戻ってくるかを競い合っていました。当初はこのジュークボックスレースに熱中するロッカーズらを”カフェレーサー”と呼んでいたのですが、次第に彼らのバイクの改造スタイルを指すようになっていったと言われています。

かの有名な”エースカフェロンドン”に集まるバイク (カフェレーサーとは 引用)

カフェレーサーのスタイル

カフェレーサーとしての改造スタイルは、とにかく快適性や利便性を捨てて、速度や旋回性を重視したものです。パーツごとに詳しく見ていきたいと思います。

❶マフラー:円筒形で後方へ水平に伸びているタイプ。

❷燃料タンク:とにかく細くて長いもの。

❸シート:車体後方寄りに配置されたソロシート。シートの後方に丸い盛り上がりがつくもの。

❹ハンドル:ハンドルバーが低くて狭いもの。セパレートハンドルやコンチネンタルハンドルが主流。

❺ステップ:より伏せた状態で走りやすいように、バックステップが主流。

❻カウル:カウルレスもあるが、ロケットカウルやビキニカウルをつける場合もある。レースっぽくフルカウルも有。

❼その他:公道でも走行できるように、灯火類やスタンドは付けている。エンジンや駆動系の改造はあまりしない。

(一部間違っているかも知れませんが、ご了承ください)

1960年代のノートン・カフェレーサー仕様 (Dig-it.media 引用)

この無駄を削ぎ落とした無骨な”カフェレーサー”のスタイル本当にかっこいいですよね。日本には、1970〜1980年代にかけて流行し、日本のメーカーもカフェ風のバイクやオプションを次々と販売しました。管理人は、当時まだ生まれていなかったので分かりませんが、日本人って英国スタイルが好きなので、カフェレーサー市場は盛り上がっていたと想像します。そして2022年現在においても、ネオクラシックのバイク市場が盛り上がりを見せ、カフェレーサー風のバイクが今も発売されていることはかなり驚きです。時代はまた繰り返すとはまさにこの事かと。

次回、管理人がある決断をすることを書いていきます。この”カフェレーサー”がフリになっているかも(笑)

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