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Smart Turn System Signal-Cancelling Device

Smart Turn System

Self-cancelling turn signals

Forgetting to cancel turn signals is dangerous, leading other drivers to think you’re turning, when in fact you’re not. Conceived and designed by motorcyclists, the Smart Turn System protects motorcyclists by sensing when they’ve completed a turn and automatically cancelling turn signals. Less than 2 inches long and only 1.25 inches thick, the STS processes 300 different data elements on acceleration, vibration, inclination and changes in direction to decide when to cancel turn signals. Can be installed on many vintage machines. $162, includes shipping.

Handlebar Mount by Adaptiv Technologies


Handlebar mounts

As navigation tools, GPS devices and smartphones are pretty amazing, but they’re not always easy to access riding a motorcycle. California-based Adaptiv Technologies manufactures a range of mounts including the Adaptiv Handlebar Mount. Made from high-grade steel and aircraft-grade anodized aluminum, they feature Adaptiv’s unique Adaptisorb anti-vibration technology to reduce vibration from the bike to the gadget. A double-ball mount makes it easily adjustable and Adaptiv has a range of accessories including water-resistant smartphone cases to pair with the Handlebar Mount. $85. MC

Motorcycling Loses a Giant: RIP, John Surtees

John Surtees on his way to winning his first Isle of Man Senior TT in 1956. Photo courtesy Alan Cathcart

John Surtees, the only man ever to win World championships on both two wheels and four, with seven motorcycle World titles for MV Agusta between 1956 and 1960 before winning the 1964 Formula 1 World Championship for Ferrari, passed away in London, England, on March 10, aged 83.

Born in 1934, Surtees grew up working in the South London motorcycle shop owned by his father, Jack, a sidecar racer with whom 14-year-old John made his competition debut in 1948, riding with his dad to victory on his outfit, only to be disqualified for being under age! He began competing in grass track races at Brands Hatch, but graduated to road racing after starting an apprenticeship at Vincent and by 1951 was winning regularly on a 500cc Vincent Grey Flash.

In 1952 he rode a 500cc Manx Norton in his first World Championship race, finishing sixth in the Ulster GP. Surtees dominated British short circuit racing until 1955, when Norton’s race chief, Joe Craig, finally gave Surtees his first factory rides in what turned out to be Norton’s final season racing its increasingly outclassed singles. Surtees won 69 out of 75 races, including the 250cc Ulster GP on an NSU Sportmax for his first ever GP victory. In 1956 Surtees began a five-year association with MV Agusta, winning the Senior TT aboard the 500cc 4-cylinder MV to score his debut TT victory. He established an unassailable lead in the 1956 500cc World Championship to win his first of seven World crowns at the age of just 22.

Surtees won six World Championships in 1958-1960 in both the 350cc and 500cc classes, winning 32 of 39 races, while also becoming the first man to win the Senior TT three years in a row. He won every GP race he started in 1958 and 1959, a total of 25 victories in succession, and ultimately competed in 15 IOM TT races over a seven-year period, with six victories. Frustrated by Count Agusta’s refusal to allow him to race other motorcycles in non-championship events, in 1960 Surtees decided to combine both bike and car racing instead, making his Formula 1 debut for the Lotus team in the Monaco GP, retiring from the race with a broken transmission. Flying from there to the Isle of Man for TT practice, Surtees led all the way on his MV Agusta to win his final Senior TT, becoming the first person to average over 100mph riding to victory on the TT course, with an average race speed of 102.44mph and a new lap record of 104.08mph. It was an apt swan song, leading to two final World titles on two wheels.

Surtees made an immediate impact on four wheels with Team Lotus, scoring a second-place finish in the 1960 British GP at Silverstone, his second-ever Formula 1 race, and taking pole position at his third, the Portuguese GP in Lisbon. In 1963 he joined Scuderia Ferrari, clinching the Formula 1 World Championship for Ferarri in 1964.

In 1970 he founded Surtees Racing Organization, which competed as a constructor in Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 5000. Mike Hailwood, Surtees’ successor as Britain’s — and MV Agusta’s — two-wheeled superstar, won the 1972 European Formula 2 Championship in the Surtees TS10, the team’s greatest success. After renovating a 16th century Tudor house, Surtees turned to building up a property business, and to restoring many of the motorcycles and cars associated with his long career. He enjoyed demonstrating these and other classic machines at numerous events all over the world, but especially at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he rode historic BMW motorcycles and drove Mercedes-Benz cars alongside Nortons and MV Agustas from his own stables.

Motorcycles remained his first love, and with the advent of Historic GP racing Surtees renewed his racing license for what proved to be his final competitive event, the 1986 French Historic GP at Paul Ricard. He finished third on his Manx Norton behind Dave Roper and former World champion Hugh Anderson, both on Matchless G50s, but after that decided to hang up his helmet for anything except tests and demos.

John Surtees was a hard but fair man who set high standards for himself and others, which he expected them to adhere to. He knew his own mind, and wasn’t afraid of irking influential people, stubbornly sticking to his guns even if it meant ruffling feathers. If he’d been prepared to compromise he might have achieved even more than he did, especially in the murky world of the Formula 1 paddock, where a straight shooter like John Surtees was a fish out of water. He achieved a great deal in life, and both the motorcycle and car worlds are much the poorer for his leaving us. — Alan Cathcart

Custom Motorcycle Cables by Barnett Clutches & Cables


Custom cables

In addition to a full catalog of available clutches and cables, California-based Barnett Clutches & Cables can make up just about any cable for any motorcycle. We recently had them make us a cable for editor Backus’ 1973 BMW R75/5 and the result was predictable; a quality item at a reasonable price. Our BMW cable is sheathed in traditional black vinyl, and like all Barnett cables features a longitudinally wound casing with stainless steel wire to eliminate flexing. All cables are made inhouse. Price: $34.60, as shown. MC

Stud Removal and Installation Set by BikeMaster


Stud remover/installer

Motorcycle parts specialist BikeMaster has an extensive line of specialty motorcycle tools, including this eight-piece stud removal and installation tool set that lets you remove and install engine case and cylinder head studs without damaging threads. The set includes removal and installation tools to fit 6mm x 1.0, 8mm x 1.25, 10mm x 1.25 and 10mm x 1.50 stud thread pitch. A further plus: The installer tools make it easy to properly torque studs. $49.95. MC

Handlebar Switchgear by HVCcycle


Yamaha switchgear

Two-stroke specialist HVCcycle in Lincoln, Nebraska, now has replacement handlebar switchgear to fit many different 1970s Yamahas including the RD100, RD125, RD250, RD350, RD400 and XS360 and XS500. Available in two different types, the replacement switches are duplicates of the originals and are plug and play on non-electric start models; the right hand switches do not have an electric start button. OEM switches are pretty much unobtanium, making these an excellent option for tired switchgear. $60 each. MC

Ace Cafe Orlando Sets World Premier for May 19

Ace Cafe Orlando logo

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines: Ace Cafe Orlando, the first North American location of the celebrated London-based cafe, makes its world debut on Friday, May 19. Guests are invited to kickstart the grand opening weekend of the all-new, full-throttle, rock ’n roll destination Ace Cafe with a cuppa coffee and tea when the Ace officially opens its doors to the public on Friday at 7 a.m., then stay to enjoy an action-packed weekend of festivities at the 35,000-square-foot motor-centric dining, entertainment and retail destination.

North America’s newest home for all who share the passion for speed, thrills and rock ’n roll is waiving the green flag, signaling that it’s “go time” for Central Floridians and guests from around the globe to celebrate the heritage and history of the most famous cafe on the planet. All three days of grand opening weekend will feature cool cars and hot bikes, live rock ‘n roll inside and outside both day and night, a BMW RnineT Racer motorcycle raffle benefiting Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (APHC), live demonstrations by three world-famous artists, onsite activities and brand partner merchandise (while supplies last), and a free Friday night concert by Rockin’ Jason D. Williams — direct from Memphis, about whom Rolling Stone magazine says “There hasn’t been raw rockabilly this solid since Jerry Lee Lewis, himself.” A snapshot of Ace Cafe Orlando’s grand opening weekend celebration is listed below; visit to stay up-to-date on the Ace’s grand opening happenings.

Friday, May 19, 2017

• The first Ace Cafe in the USA opens at 7 a.m. Grab a cuppa Julius Meinl coffee — direct from Vienna; tea and grab ’n go breakfast bagels, muffins, burritos, croissants, and cinnamon rolls also available.
• Lunch menu is served and bars open at 11 a.m., with live music on the back porch
• Raffle opens to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APHC
• Register to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting works by three world-renowned artists: Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero painting the Ace’s backyard beer garden bocce courts (opening summer 2017), and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Music in the car park (parking lot) starts at 4 p.m. with live rock ’n roll lasting well into the night. Taking the stage at 8 p.m. is headliner Rockin’ Jason D. Williams.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

• Carbs & Caffeine at 7 a.m. Kick-start Saturday morning and drive in for an early morning cuppa!
• Ace Cafe’s Cool Cars for Kids to benefit APHC. For a $15 donation per car, participants can be a part of the opening weekend car show and receive a limited-edition Ace Cafe grand opening T-shirt.
• Hungry? Start the day with a bang at Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch at 9 a.m. (a buffet-style, all-you-can-eat brunch served every weekend).
• Free activities in the car park starting at 10 a.m. with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging Ace fans until 5 p.m.
• Raffle continues to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APHC
• Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Live music starts at 4 p.m. outside with live rock ’n roll into the night.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

• Bikes & Bacon at 7 a.m. Kickstart Sunday morning and ride in for an early morning cuppa and Ace’s Bacon of the Week!
• Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch kicks off again at 9:00 a.m, with full lunch menu starting at 2 p.m.
• Raffle continues to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APHC
• Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Free activities in the car park starting at 10 a.m. with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging motor fans until 5 p.m.

Ace Cafe Orlando is located at the corner of West Livingston Street and Garland Avenue on a three-acre parcel in downtown Orlando in the extensively refurbished 100-year-old Harry P. Leu buildings (the former home of The Edge rock venue). The new “Ace Corner” is adjacent to the modern SunRail locomotive station and is a direct ride to the world-renowned Daytona race circuit via Interstate 4. The Ace spans two floors and features a full-service restaurant, two kitchens, four bars, a coffee bar, a communal counter, a mezzanine overlooking the main floor dining area and stage, private and semi-private group spaces, retail shops, and a motor-inspired art gallery. Boasting delectable and affordable American diner fare with a twist and also featuring authentic British favorites, Ace Cafe Orlando connects great food and dining with a passion for motoring and live rock ’n roll, providing a totally unique experience found nowhere else in the U.S.A.

“Our team is privileged to continue the culture and heritage of the world’s most famous motor diner,” said Mark McKee, CEO and Chief Gearhead of Ace Cafe North America. “This is exactly the Ace that we envisioned — a beacon for everyone, from petrolheads and enthusiasts, to the after-hours work crowd, families, music lovers, and everyone in between. We have remained true to the spirit of the Ace, and we have done so in a way that honors this incredible space in the heart of downtown Orlando. It is our hope that Ace Cafe Orlando will serve this community for generations to come.”

About Ace Cafe

Ace Cafe is the most famous motor-diner on the planet. Since 1938, Ace Cafe London has been a mecca for those passionate about cars, bikes and rock ’n roll culture. The original location on London’s North Circular Road began as a simple roadside cafe for truckers, then evolved into a popular destination for rock ’n roll-loving teens riding motorbikes during the ’50s and ’60s. Today, the Ace has a multi-generational appeal from motorsports enthusiasts from all over the world. Ace Cafe North America holds the exclusive licensee rights in North America and South America for this world-famous brand. Ace Cafe Orlando is the first North American venue for Ace Cafe. For more information, visit, and connect on Facebook, Twitter @AceCafeOrlando and Instagram @acecafeorlando_official. #GOAceCafeOrlando #AceCafeOrlando #SpeedThrillsTeaSpills