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the motorcycle is back – do the ride thing

BikeEXIF tweeted a cool video yesterday morning. That’s a lie. They tweeted it months ago, and I thought I published this, but apparently I hit save as draft instead. ****. Anyway…

At first glance I thought it was only about the custom motorcycle scene. In it they feature some popular folk you might recognize including Roland Sands, Vincent Prat, Ola Stenegard, David Borras of El Solitario MC, as well BikeEXIF’s own Chris Hunter.


The video talks about cliché feelings of motorcycle riding (freedom, the elements, you know, the works…), but it’s really about the worldwide reemergence of back-to-the-basics motorcycling. Sometimes ya rock a fender, sometimes ya can’t find one! Them’s the brakes, kid. Lately the desire for a more “analog” fashion of motorcycle is all the rage among surfers, skaters, and *grumble* those gawdamn hipsters.

Gawdamn hipsters!

The boys talk about how mainstream motocycle manufacturers are finally starting to catch on to the trend too. We’ve been seeing this coming for a long time. Honda’s Fury stretched the lines of a factory japanese cruiser further than we’ve ever seen. Ducati’s SportClassics offered beauty of an era gone by, with today’s performance and research and development benefits to riders… including the patented Ducati PIA alarm system. I’ll let you guess what PIA stands for. Finally there’s the Moto Guzzi V7. One cool machine that invokes nostalgia of a classic Honda CX500 with its longitudinal 90-degree V-Twin engine. Of course, for its anniversary, Yamaha is breathing fresh life into the Yamaha SR500, and I’m sure there’s much more I’m forgetting, but the point is clear: Motorcycle manufacturers are jumping on the retro-style motorcycle emergence.

Back to the video – Have a look at it. Listen up to our homies from BikeEXIF and El Solitario as they tell you about what’s happening in the custom motorcycle scene.

The only question that comes to mind, and maybe you reader folk can help me with this, is…

With so many counter-cultures adopting custom old-school motorcycles as their urban transport of choice, and manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon to offer up what they hope will meet those demands, how uch longer until “custom” becomes mainstream?
Surely we will never suffer the same bitter, bloated and gluttonous end that the choppers craze suffered, will we?

As I thought about that in my mind I did a little Googling about this video by Gestalten and others. It turns out that there’s more than just a video about bobbers, cafe racers, and other back-to-the-basics stripped down motorcycles. They’re selling a book all of that as well. The book is titled The Ride – New Custom Motorcycles and Their Builders and is available here.

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