Predictions For The Year Ahead, Pt. 1: The Year Of Adventure
We like to think we have half a finger on the pulse at The Cafe Racer – or at least an ear out for that big single-cylinder thump – so throughout February we’re putting together a list of trends that we think will come to the fore during 2019. Check back soon for Part 2!
Over the past year or so, we’ve seen a big rise in the popularity of getting lost. I don’t know if people are just getting the jump on the Mad Max turn the world seems to be taking, but leaving the WiFi behind has never been so appealing.
More and more of our riding buddies are answering the call of the wild and heading out on the bike to rough it for the night, and you don’t need a GS covered in steel boxes with the light of a thousand suns to do it. Universal motorbike panniers, and products like Kytone’s ever-popular Pot’cho offer tidy ways to pack your mule for a spot of motorcycle touring, without ruining that carefully curated aesthetic. Check out the Iron & Resin Terrain II pannier (pictured below) as a starting point.
While the concept alone is by no means breaking new ground, this field (lol) is not without its innovations. Manufacturers are increasingly turning their hands to bar bags, tweaked backpack design and other luggage options to bring load-bearing capacity to bobbers, cafe racers and scramblers alike. The new GTFO range from Roland Sands Design, for example, wears its intentions pretty firmly on its title.
Emerging brands are thinking truly outside the box, with brands like Sea Of Rocks and Wingman Of The Road offering moto-specific sleeping solutions. London-based Sea Of Rocks have specialised a whole range of products to aid the travelling motorcyclist, or as they put it: “Moto Hobo Supplies”. Their flagship Rolling Palace is a step up from the average bivvy, and utilises the bike itself when pitching to offer a surprising footprint size from such a compact package. With more products due this year, keep a close eye on those guys – the moto hobo lifestyle seems set to permeate our world unstoppably.
For those adventure lifestyle converts who are also in the market for a brand new machine, major bike manufacturers are certainly not getting left behind here. The new Triumph Scrambler 1200 models, introduced at the tail-end of 2018, feature increased suspension travel and wheel sizes compared to the long-standing 900cc bikes of the same title. This brings genuine off-road capability to a design clearly harking back to 60’s desert racers. In a similar vein Norton, having introduced the (slightly) more wallet-friendly Atlas 650 range, bring the aptly-named Nomad to the party.
As a bunch of happy campers ourselves, we’re pretty pleased to see this corner of the scene growing. As the snow thaws you can expect to hear more from us on trips out, what to pack for a motorbike overnighter, and our favourite pieces of moto tech and equipment that make these adventures everything you hope for.