The rise of an icon
The uncompromising form of the café racer is synonymous with its function – to deliver power and speed with maximum efficiency. These bikes emerged out of the British youth subculture of the 1950’s, when young people were travelling between road-side cafes in search of ‘underground’ jukebox music that wasn’t being played on mainstream radio.
Cafés such as the Ace Café on London's North Circular became primary points for riders to meet and then arrange races out to other cafés or the coast. At the time, the speed and handling of factory bikes was limited, and high-powered racing bikes could not simply be purchased from a showroom floor. It was this quest for music, adventure and speed – in excess of 100mph – that inspired the riders of the day to begin customising their machines themselves.
In order to create a racing machine, riders would modify the bodywork to reduce weight, drop the handlebars for improved ergonomics and wind resistance, and of course, tune their engines for speed. The stripped back design and prominent angles of these modified racers created a striking visual impact – one that has been maintained to this day.
Orbitkey x Return of the Café Racers
In collaboration with Return of the Café Racers, we have created a limited edition, racing inspired Key Organiser to pay homage to the café racer ethos. Inspired by the minimal, stripped back aesthetic of the iconic bikes, we have designed a durable and functional Key Organiser to help reduce your everyday carry to the bare minimum. It is custom-built for the road, to protect both your keys and your bike while you ride.
For this collaboration, we focused on durability and functionality from the outset. The band is made from a combination of handcrafted natural black leather on the exterior, and a super tough Chestnut Brown Crazy Horse leather lining. Crazy Horse is a highly resilient leather chosen for its durability and unique look. Made from full grain cowhide, it is of the highest quality. Crazy Horse leather is completely buffed, smoothed, and coated with a special wax which allows it to develop a unique natural patina over time. The handcrafted natural leather on the exterior has a harder, more durable finish that will wear evenly over time and resist abrasions.
In line with most protective riding gear, we’ve double stitched the leather seams to maximise strength and ensure durability. We’ve also used a blacked out, stainless steel, ratchet locking mechanism to secure your keys, and included a premium stainless steel D-ring attachment for larger keys and electronic fobs. But we didn’t stop there. To pay homage to café racer culture, we’ve also debossed a racing inspired checkered flag motif into the leather band, and created limited edition, custom packaging with the Return of the Café Racer logo. Taken in its entirety, this collaboration celebrates the aesthetic of the iconic café racer bikes and pays homage to café racer and automotive culture. It is custom-built for the road.
Click here to shop this limited edition Key Organiser.
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