mardi 7 mars 2017

Rock 'n' roll on the race track.

Vintage racing is a trend in Japan. Vintage bikes have made racing affordable again, especially for young people. That’s why most of the riders on the B.O.B.L. race track are between 20 and 40, and women are in on the action too. There are races all day long; the Curry Speed Club competes against teams like the Cool Beans or the guys fromDrive Thru. The air is filled with the smoke from motorcycles, which mixes with the mist so common to Japan’s mountainous regions. The riders take their motorcycles to the limit and beyond, with footrests scraping the ground and engines howling. “I enjoy immersing myself in that era.
There was something playful about speed back then, you can enjoy it. I also enjoy the style which is important to me too”, says Daisuke. He embodies the vintage look down to the last detail. The motorcycles, the tools, the clothes, the rock 'n' roll. “I play guitar and make a lot of music with friends. Sometimes I get a song in my head during a race and I’m totally in my element”. Even here at the edge of the race track, Daisuke hardly raises his voice beyond his usual volume. Perhaps it’s a typically Japanese trait, but he barely betrays his strong emotions when he quietly but confidently says: “This classic technology will not die out. The spluttering, stuttering engine is true to our intuition. It gives us a good feeling”.

Vintage racing with a curry flavour.

His fingers glide over the smooth surface of his racing bike. He completely rebuilt the chassis in a 1960s style and upgraded the three-speed, four-stroke, 60 cc Honda engine to seven horsepower. From the handlebars, seat, footrest system to the brake and gearshift levers – there’s hardly anything on the bike he didn’t make himself. He also treated himself to a few original Honda RSC racing parts. The machine is perfectly set up for the races that he organises and also competes in: B.O.B.L. – Battle of Bottom Link.

Four times a year, vintage enthusiasts from all over Japan meet on remote racing courses to pit their souped-up old-school bikes against each other. The riders compete in teams. So Daisuke and his friends started the Curry Speed Club. “Whenever we met, someone used to bring curry for everyone”, says Daisuke, laughing. “I enjoy racing with friends. Our respect for one another is a positive thing on the race track. Also, a little rivalry can be good for a friendship”.

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