OUR OLD FANS

by Carlos Risco July 2016 WHATS ON IBIZA Read in PDF format N10/2016
OUR OLD FANS THEY MAKE THEIR OWN BIKES, INVENT THEIR OWN RULES AND GRAB HOLD OF LIFE AND PLAY WITH IT ON TWO WHEELS. THEY ARE THE NEW PROPHETS OF THE NEW WORLD OF CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES

HIPSTERISM ARRIVES TO THE CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE

The biker thugishness of the leather-clad “Easy Riders” – astride their Harley Davidsons, cigarettes hanging from their mouths, gripping their Bobber-type handlebars – has been giving ground to more vintage and stylish motorcycle owners. A new sort of ‘macho’ has emerged, riding beautiful machines full of history but generating new authentic icons on wheels. Somehow, hipsterism has now become a part of bike culture and – drawing on the sentimental pilots who design their own bikes to the British bikers who frequented the Ace Cafe in the ‘70s – they seem to have a conquered a new universe in hedonism and beauty. Left behind are irreverent icons such as Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild One’, replaced by a new culture that adores vintage bikes, aged leather and customisations.

HEROES FROM HERE

‘The Greasy Hands Preachers’, a documentary produced by Orlando Bloom, summarises this trend well by focussing on the main designers in the world of motorbikes. Directed by Arthur De Kersauson and Clément Beauvais, the film has made its rounds at the San Sebastián and Cannes festivals, winning over a new generation of custom motorbike enthusiasts who are leading a silent revolution against the commercialisation of the big brands. Among them is the Galician David Borrás, known as ‘el Solitario’, who stands out as one of the most famous custom designers of bikes in the world. From his lair-cumworkshop in Rías Baixas, and under the concept of ‘Who the fuck is El Solitario?’, Borrás has launched a series of daring machines that brush with the futurism of ‘Mad Max’. All are declarations of intent, starting with their names (Bad/Good, Big Bad Wolf) and through to the finish (with cables left out in the open and unpainted). These exclusive customisations don’t go for less than €15,000. The other facet of El Solitario is the carefully made clothing and textile accessories for both bikers and enthusiasts, made by his wife Valeria, who previously worked for Nike.

THE FACE OF NEW CUSTOM

Julian Heppekausen de Deus, from Venice Beach, Los Angeles, has been at the forefront of this trend that mixes men’s classic clothing, surf culture, customised bikes and espresso coffee. He has a store in Milan, Deus Ex Machina, that offers strong and fast sensations through refinement and a search for excellence. Just his name evokes the feeling of the art behind the machine and the machine behind the art. The third big name is Roland Sands, an American motorcycle racer and designer of custom motorcycles who, apart from his reinterpretation of iconic motorcycle models, has a series of customisations to his name (such as BMW’s new Nine T) and orders from the famous (Mickey Rourke, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). With his pieces for motorcycles and an exclusive series of leather jackets and gloves for bikers, Sands leads a whole movement in contemporary customisation. The French Fred Jouden and Hugo Hezegabel of Blitz Motorcycles seem to be the European equivalent of Sands, with classic taste and delicate motorcycles that filter the passing of time and the sensations of the old ‘bikers’. More poetical is the vision of the Japanese Sinya Kimura, who designs his motorcycles as if they were haikus, infusing the machine with wisps of wind and energy.

BIKES AND SURF

The Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz (8-12 July) has once more become the catalyst of a motorcycle culture that includes art, custom bikes, vintage cars, surf ethics and music, a unique mix of enthusiasm and passion with the participation of El Solitario, Roland Sands, Deus Ex Machina and Blitz Motorcycles. It’s a worldwide statement that the culture of customisation is impacting on the motorcycle industry as endorsed by standard models such as the Ducati Scrambler or the Guzzi V7. Something is changing in the world of motorbikes – and these are the actors.

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