London’s legendary Ace cafe and the birth of the Cafe Racer bike

Few place names in this world are able to light up our passion as much as that of the Ace Cafe. Two little words that symbolise a piece of biking history and tradition that has forever changed the bond between two-wheelers and their riders, giving rise to a lifestyle that is now stronger than ever.
Yet, if you ride along the North Circular Road in London heading towards Southgate, you could easily pass right by the legendary Ace Cafe without even realising that you’re passing by the Old Continent’s most famous biker meeting spot, legendary Rocker sanctuary and birthplace of the Cafe Racer style.

These days, London’s Ace cafe has become one of the world’s most famous venues without ever having betrayed its original spirit and style, which is straight out of the roaring fifties, when the place used to be open 24 hours a day and was a permanent gathering place for the many groups of bikers that filled the parking area with their bikes, strictly British of course, showing off by doing wheelies and racing around the block.

Fortunately for us the Ace cafe still has that same Rock feel about it, even though the atmosphere in the parking lot is far less nationalist than it used to be and nowadays also includes some amazing imported bikes – including quite a number of Moto Guzzis – belonging to bikers of all ages, some regulars and some merely passers-by. The experience really is well worth the trip because, besides the enjoyment of sipping a beer or a coffee (the only two beverages they serve at the tables), here you can savour the almost 80-year history of this venue that first opened its doors way back in 1938 as a simple trucker’s stop.