Inspiration: Interview

For The Friendships

Meet the Sydney Cafe Racers

The Sydney Cafe Racers (SCR) are a diverse mix of policemen, posties, CEOs and tradies with a shared love of burning rubber in New South Wales. We chat to founder Mark Hawwa to find out how his love for cafe racers transformed into this 500-member-strong group.

Q. Why was the group created?

A. In 2010, after spending time in Japan, I found love for cafe racers. Coming back to Sydney, I built one and thought I was rad as hell! After riding around by myself, I got a bit bored and thought it would be awesome to ride with others. I couldn’t find any groups suitable for me, as I didn’t want to join a club, so I created Sydney Cafe Racers and it was a hit. There were heaps of people in the same boat that didn’t want the politics of a club and just wanted to burn rubber.

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Q. Describe the kind of riding around Sydney.

A. Absolutely everything from street to quarter mile, to track days, national parks, interstate rides, overnighters, camping, hill climbs, dirt riding.

Q. How many of you are there in the SCR?

A. Active members are around 500.

Q. Which bikes are the most popular in the group?

A. It’s a mixture of absolutely everything. Our core philosophy is around custom and classic bikes. Bobbers, Cafes, Trackers, 3-wheelers and all the weird stuff. Single cylinders tend to be a favourite with the younger riders and Triumphs with a decent proportion of the older guys.

Q. What’s been your best ride so far?

A. My personal favourite is when six of us rode down to Melbourne for an event – 2,400km in total. All on cafe racers, crouched over, weight on the wrists and couldn’t walk for days afterwards. We took no main roads, opting for twisties and longer roads all the way down there and back.

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Q. What kind of professions is the group made up of?

A. It’s a huge mix, there are professional athletes, council workers, CEOs, police. It’s really dynamic and the beautiful thing about it is no one cares. We are all equal.

Q. What is the age range of the group?

A. From 17 through to 70. We are a very diverse group of riders.

Q. What’s the mix of men and women like?

A. Initially, it was heavily male and in some ways it still is, but over the years we have facilitated growth within the female community, have motivated and helped train a substantial amount of females on how to ride. Between our 500 active members, I think it would be safe to suggest we have around 50 female riders that join us.

Q. Where/what is the next meet-up/ride/event?

A. We just had a get-together when 30 of us had some fun on the racetrack. Our next big ride will be taking part in The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Sydney and then after that it will be summer here with plenty of overnighters, camping and thrashing bikes through some twisties.

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This article is dedicated to Joshua Michael Young who died in August 2015.