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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this great documentary that I have watched twice it’s was totally fascinating to me Called (The Glory Days of British Motorbikes & Cafe‘ Racers-Classic Triumph & Nortons)
it gave me a deeper insight into the British biker culture and society over the past century and how it progressed with motorbikes and cafe racers, Especially with the Ace Cafe’ scene.
You have the cool Rocker bikers that their biker image was also very important to them besides their bikes, then u had the Ton Up Boys which required u had to do 100 mph on your motobike to b a member.
Then u had the bad azz Chelsea Bridge Boys, if they caught u on a scooter trying to cross their bridge they would toss the scooter of it, poor scooter guys…
Then u had Rev. Bill who started the 59 Club that ended up being the largest motorcycle club in the world at one time, how cool is that!
And finally Scooters are cool again if u were a scooter boy they called u a “Mod”.
if I was born over there in that time era i would of been Ton Up Boy for sure, I definitely had the need for speed on a motorbike when I was younger, I felt invincible with the live for today and not tomorrow attitude.
But life expectancy for a Ton Up Boy was not good statistics, thousands of young riders lost their life’s on motorbikes due to speed And conditions.
I am curious now if their are any members on here that were at one time affiliated with any of the clubs I mentioned above or maybe relatives that might have some interesting stories or history facts to share that would b great. Or anyone who was just around those time periods with their thoughts about cafe racing scene would b cool too.
I don’t know if it has been talked about yet but in honer of the Ton Up Boys and cafe racing Triumph came out with the special limited edition Thruxton RS “Ton Up“ model, I like the blue color but I don’t like the raw white ABS plastic looking seat tail and front fender. They should of painted them the same blue color as the tank and then run a classic white racing stipe down the middle like the early year thruxtons, with a white number plate with a red 100 number. add some British customs GP exhaust cans and u have a better looking Ton Up edition cafe racer motobike. Of course I don’t have the cafe fairing which I do like besides the street fighter style but if I had the fairing on my TTR as far as looks I would like my TTR better then the “Ton Up“ version, but that just my personal opinion As far as looks.
it’s pretty cool to own a bike with so much history like the TTR but all of my bikes I owned have some very significant history and value that goes with them that’s why I own or owned them.
being a triumph owner now has taking me to the other side of the world without traveling but through the internet on T- Rat to chat with all u cool members I would of never met if I didn’t own a Triumph and joined the site. We get to share our passion for motorcycles though pics and conversation it's the next best thing to being over there.
So a shout out to all Triumph Bikers and Cafe’ Racers!…. FTG
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I've been riding for over 52 years and that was before my time. Riders of that era would probably be mid 70s now.

I've seen a few on YouTube channels on the Ace Cafe but I can't recall one on this forum.

I started reading motorcycle magazines mostly U.S. in 1968 and don't remember any coverage of the ton up boys.

Perhaps the downturn of BSA, Norton and Triumph by the late 1960s and the rise of the Japanese bikes contributed to end of that era too.
 

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All great movies Utube is the best place to find these old movies, have seen all the ones you have liked and if you have a liking for Norton's the The Tunnel of Love is also a good movie set in the 70s London, 750 Commando, ex bike racer and a pretty girl, I won't say no more, there are also a lot of British MC training movies as well with some great British MCs of the 60/70s.
 

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Those three BSA twins are beautiful. Proper motorcycles. How those young guys could afford them I do not know (unless it was a publicity photograph)

I have checked on the UK governments vehicle annual test website for any MOT records on them at:

VEE 595 - no details found - - - must have been stored (shed or possible barn find here?) or more likely written off or crashed?

UJV 982 - BSA 650cc - made in 1963 - first registered 1963 - untaxed with tax due on 1st Sept 1980, no MOT records, date of last V5C (new ? owners logbook) issued 15th Sept 2017

UJV 595 - BSA 650cc - made in 1963 - first registered July 1980 - untaxed with tax due on 1st Feb 1993, no MOT records, date of last V5C (new ? owners logbook) issued 30th October 1990

Perhaps the first bike VEE 595 has gone or rusted away, but the other two may still be around in a shed or collection somewhere.

Hard to say which 1963 model these bikes are. Anyone got any ideas?

This website
suggests they might be the Star.
Other names primarily for the USA market were very many ! and arelisted on this website with some emphasis on USA models if you dive in to the scanned USA sales catalogue
 

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I have had a long running interest in the whole rocker scene. The music, the bikes the style of dress. I have my historic vehicle plate registration through the “Ton Up Boys Australia” Club and we are affiliated with the Ace Cafe London.
The club was very active 15-20 years ago ( wow! I can’t believe it’s been that long) but we have all had kids and gotten old so things have slowed down. There is a great book called “Rockers” by Johnny Stuart that is focused on the Ton Up era that has great photos of those days.
Here are some pics from the past. I’m the third one back on the left in the first pic(checkered helmet)





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VEE595
Nice guy, his mates have bikes so hangs around with them, clip on handlebars, but they are a bit uncomfortable so fitted them at the top. Rack on the back for his sandwiches his mum makes him to take to work. Will have to get back to the office soon, wonders if a Vespa might keep his winklepicker shoes dry, ends up with 4 kids and a mini.

UJV982
Bit of a lad, likes the style to attract the girls, flash white ‘ton up’scarf just to let people know. Clip on bars half way down, bit uncomfortable, but better than being accused of being a wimp. Everyone’s mate, Jack Flash, good fun. Ended up with a chop and long hair in 66 to pull the hippy chicks.

UJV595
Hardcore Ton up boy, lives to ride, rather die than come second. Clip ons as low as possible. Surly and mean, dumped the BSA and bought a Triumph, built it into a Triton. No girlfriends but doesn’t care. Still riding or died on a bike.

😊 Peg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tom thnx for sharing! Great pics! that is so super cool that u are Ton Up Boy member affiliated with the Ace Cafe’, lucky u to b involved with the culture on that level. And I will check out the ”Rockers”….FTG
P.s. oh yeh did u still have to do a 100 mph to became a member Back then or now
 

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View attachment 770290

VEE595
Nice guy, his mates have bikes so hangs around with them, clip on handlebars, but they are a bit uncomfortable so fitted them at the top. Rack on the back for his sandwiches his mum makes him to take to work. Will have to get back to the office soon, wonders if a Vespa might keep his winklepicker shoes dry, ends up with 4 kids and a mini.

UJV982
Bit of a lad, likes the style to attract the girls, flash white ‘ton up’scarf just to let people know. Clip on bars half way down, bit uncomfortable, but better than being accused of being a wimp. Everyone’s mate, Jack Flash, good fun. Ended up with a chop and long hair in 66 to pull the hippy chicks.

UJV595
Hardcore Ton up boy, lives to ride, rather die than come second. Clip ons as low as possible. Surly and mean, dumped the BSA and bought a Triumph, built it into a Triton. No girlfriends but doesn’t care. Still riding or died on a bike.

😊 Peg.
😁

Which part of England are you from, Peg ? Was it you that was banned from Two Wheel Tuesday in Old Buckenham for doing wheelies through the village on bike nights ? Black Triumph Triple RS.
 

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Hi Steve,
I’m From London, it’s not me on the wheelie machine, I never got past Meriden bikes.
I don’t really like the organised gatherings so would I not go to Old Buckenham, etc.
Regards
Peg
 
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I’m 70 next August
From 16 to 19 years old I went to the Musketeer coffee bar on Ilford High Road.
We would ride to the Beachcomber in Upton Park which had some good pinball machines, have a coffee and ride back. The Beachcomber was more of a Mod cafe actually but we all got on ok. The Musketeer was a proper rocker cafe.
There were a lot of rockers with Triumphs BSA Gold Stars and twins and Triton cafe racers but they were a little older, Fonz quiffs, went to the pub Friday nights, the Teds were older still and more in the pub/ Palais.
I had a Panther 250 twin (Villiers engine) first, then a Honda CB77 with tracker bars and dunstalls, both more “street scramble” than CR then my ‘39 T100 which I loved, this had more of a custom look, well Easy Rider had arrived and everything changed. Then the bike was stolen and I borrowed some money and bought a car. It would be nearly 10 years till I owned a bike again but that break may well have saved me from a bad crash or two.
We all knew lads who didn’t reach their 30s.
A 50s 650 with marginal brakes flat out on the north circular or the Brentwood bypass took a lot of stopping..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Newsh, thnx for sharing your story, it gives more personal historical insight to the times back then in the UK motobike scene…. FTG
 
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