At the end of last year, the Hard Rock Cafe in Kraków, Poland, unveiled one of its rarest and most unique exhibits.
On October 21st 2016, the world-renowned US restaurant added a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle to its collection of rock and roll artefacts. The Cafe Racer, developed by Polish custom bike company Game Over Cycles (GOC), shows just what happens when the motorcycle world and the music world collide.
Known for their groundbreaking ideas, the GOC crew started out with a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 and built it up into a symbol of the rock and roll lifestyle.
The rear swing-arm has been transformed into a guitar fret board, the battery box is shaped to look like a guitar amp. In fact, the bike is laden with custom parts that have been modified to represent instruments and music gear -- but are also fully operational elements of the motorcycle. For example, the coil cover is in the shape of guitar, and its tremolo arm can be used to drop pressure and suck fuel into the carburettor.
The only standard part in this bike is the Sportster 883 engine. And, aside from the leather seat, all the motorcycle’s parts were created in the GOC workshop specifically for this project.
Founder and owner of GOC, Stanisław Myszkowski, explains the concept of the motorcycle.
“With every theme bike we make, we try to make it express the philosophy of our company. Detailed thoughts on concepts are as equal a part of the process as the precise execution of technical design.”
“In creating the Cafe Racer no detail was coincidental. The ideas for custom parts, their formation and their positioning all have a precise meaning within the concept of the bike. This requires creativity and unusual solutions, and the GOC team all played their part in making this unique bike a reality.”
The identity of the Hard Rock Cafe can be found deep within the organs of the Cafe Rider.
The gearshift, for example, is in the shape of a turntable’s arm — the bike shifts through gears in the same way a music fan switches through the tracks of their favourite records. And the bike’s wheels, blacked-out and etched with track names, spin like records on a turntable.
The exhaust system is designed like a saxophone, and these musical references go deep into the way the bike operates. Adjustable openings on the bike’s exhaust can adjust the sound of the bike, in the same way a musician adjusts the sounds of their sax. The bike’s engine breathes life into the exhaust just as a musician breathes life into a sax.
The bike's air filter has been made in the shape of a classic vocal microphone. The air filter's sponge interior allows adequate air flow - its design is informed by a microphone's sponge filler which prevents external contamination and allows for greater clarity of recording.
References to the world of music are also present in other parts of the motorcycle.
The leather seat has been engraved with notes from the chorus of the classic AC/DC song "Highway to Hell". This artwork is a direct representation of the highways leading into the city of Sydney, AC/DC’s home town. The iconic 666 emblem, metaphorically emphasises the infernal imagery of the song.
Even the graphic design of the bike is unique and interwoven with symbolism. The graphics and painting by AEROGRAF Piotr Parczewski have an unusual, porous texture, giving the bike a tactile look, making you want to reach out and touch it. The gold flakes used for the Hard Rock Cafe logo evoke the US automotive industry’s “pinstriping” technique and are informed by the gilding of sacred structures.
But ultimately, the Hard Rock Cafe is a place to eat, drink, listen to music and rock out. And the GOC designers have created a bike perfectly suited to it’s environment. Indicators for measuring the speed and oil pressure imitate the dials of a coffee machine, while the infusion of the fuel tank looks and works like the closing of an old fashioned whiskey flask. Furthermore, the bike’s metallic parts are designed to compliment the famous ceiling at the Hard Rock Cafe in Krakow. Covered in drum cymbals, the ceiling reflects a golden light from their copper surfaces, and this is complimented directly by the metallic copper finish of the bike itself.
Finally, the GOC team have hidden subdued ambient bulbs in the bike’s lights to generate a cosy, ambient feel for the Hard Rock Cafe. Every part of this bike will contribute its own unique element of rock and roll energy to this world famous venue.
Custom parts made by GOC
Rack cover with oil hoses mounting
Painting and electroplating of engine’s components
Frame Type: Stock H-D modified by GOC
Front End Type: Stock H-D / Springer (upper triple tree by GOC )
Rear swing arm modified by GOC
Wheels Front: H-D Fatboy modified by GOC / 16"
Wheels Rear: H-D Fatboy modified by GOC / 16"
Cafe tail section
Fuel and oil cap
Bars with risers
Levers and grips with mounting
Foot pegs with brake pedal and shift lever
Front lamp with steel covers
Rear and front brake mounting
Air filter in the form of microphone
Coil cover in the shape of guitar (with a suction lever)
Battery box in the shape of amplifier
Clutch derby cover
Plating (patina, brass, copper)
Engine: Stock H-D Evolution, production year: 2004 capacity [cm3]: 883
Seat: Kamil Machuła - KM leather design
Painting (fuel tank, cafe tail section, front lamp): AEROGRAF Piotr Parczewski
Length - 230 cm
Height - 95 cm
Width - 90 cm
Weight - 240 kg
- First place in the "Sportster" category and prestigious audience award — "People's Choice Award" in the Harley-Davidson Custom Bike Show contest organized at the European Bike Week 2016 (Faaker-See, Austria)
- First place in the „Modified Harley” category in the Custom Chrome Europe Faaker See Championship at the European Bike Week 2016 (Faaker-See, Austria)
Game Over Cycles is a Polish custom motorcycles manufacturer formed in 2012. The company is known for its original creations, such as The Recidivst - world’s first tattooed motorcycle and Behemoth Bike - a custom motorcycle created in collaboration with global Polish metal music legends Behemoth. Machines created by Game Over Cycles have won awards at some of the world’s biggest custom bike competitions. In just four years, they’ve received eight awards at European Bike Week, having won the prestigious “People’s Choice Award” no less than four times. European Bike Week is Europe’s largest open and free bike festival and one of the biggest in the world. The event has been organized annually in the Austrian village of Faaker-See and according to organizers' data in 2016 the event saw an attendance of more than 120,000 visitors and 70,000 bikes from around the world.
Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies, with venues in 71 countries, including 168 cafes, 23 hotels and 11 casino. Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia. It’s also known for its collectible fashion, music-related merchandise and genuine American cuisine. The crew is engaged in numerous charity activities and has always been true to Rock’n’Roll philosophy.
Hard Rock Cafe Kraków operates since 2010 and is located in the heart of Kraków, on the Main Market Square. It can seat up to 130 people on three floors with two bars. The Rock Shop placed on the ground floor offers collectible merchandise with HRC logo. HRC Kraków guarantees electrifying ambience, genuine American cuisine and more than 100 jaw-dropping memorabilia, including Jimi Hendrix’s Poncho, a silver harmonica with Bob Dylan’s signature and a pair of black gloves worn on stage by Madonna.
Game Over Cycles: www.gameovercycles.pl
Hard Rock Cafe Kraków http://www.hardrockcafe.pl/krakow
KM leathr design http://www.kmleather.pl/
AEROGRAF Piotr Parczewski www.aerograf.com.pl