R.M. Prisig's ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’. Che Guevara's ‘Motorcycle Diaries’. T.E. Lawrence's ‘The Mint’. All literary classics in their own right, but also important books when considered as milestones in man's efforts to understand the spirituality that comes from riding a motorcycle. For mortals like you and I, the sublime beauty is more likely to manifest itself as a knowing smile between friends after a Sunday afternoon blast along a country road. Or the telling ‘it's hard to describe’ phrase offered up after a non-biker asks you what riding is really like. Mario from Miami's IronGeek Garage is a mortal just like you and I, yet his ability to speak to the heart of the matter when it comes to bikes is pretty damn impressive. It moved us, and we hope it does the same for you.
Entries in Video (3)
As a southern hemispherian, I have a strange relationship with winters. And I'm not talking about the kind we get down here. In fact, calling those ‘winter’ is akin to calling Nicki Minaj an ‘artist’. But just like any other westerners, we grew up with images of Frosty the Snowman, sleigh rides and ice skating on frozen lakes. What the picture books and stop motion Christmas specials conveniently avoid, though, is the nastier aspects of la saison d'hiver. Like the heating bills, shovelling snow, and worst of all - the fact that your bike stays put for what seems like an eternity (hello North Eastern America if you are reading this.) But is that really a negative, or is it a customiser's blessing in disguise?
Hold that thought while you watch the latest video from long-time Pipeburn contributor and good mate Andrew David Watson. It's a piece he's done with Cast & Salvage, a very cool-looking Philly bike shop. As Andrew puts it, ‘winter is in full force up here, and we still have another month or two to go, so hopefully everyone watching has a winter project to keep themselves busy with until it's riding time!’ Enjoy.
Imagine thusly. You're a fan of Evel Knieval (who isn't?) and you decide to honour your hero by trying a few big jumps yourself. Now you'll be wanting a bike that's up to the job. Something with a decent amount of go that's light, tough and has a suspension set-up that can take a seriously bone-crushing landing in it's stride. So, which bike would you choose? If you're anything like the Nitro Circus or the Crusty Demons you'd probably opt for a nice little Yamaha YZ250 or the popular Honda CRF250F. Good choice, my imaginary stunters. And what bikes would you never jump in a million years? A Harley Roadking? Of course. What about one of those O.C. choppers with the 20 ft forks and all the spikey bits? No friggin' way. And it goes without saying that you'd have to be as crazy as a shirt full of feral cats to try it on a stock standard 1970 Laverda 750 vintage racer, wouldn't you?
Cinematographer and long-time friend of Pipeburn, Andrew David Watson, takes up the story. "I've been keeping my eye out for a good motorcycle short story since finishing the piece on Liberty Vintage last year. I was flipping through the pages of Classic Motorcycle and saw a short article about a guy named Louis "Rocket" Re, who jumps a stock 1970 American Eagle Laverda 750 in homage to Evel Knievel. I thought it was pretty awesome that he was jumping a vintage motorcycle and I was even more surprised to found out that he lived somewhat close to me. I decided to try and track Louis and see if he would be interested in being filmed. After only a few emails I was on the phone with Louis making plans to shoot."
"Stylistically I wanted to do something that was a bit of a departure from my other work and other motorcycle films. Louis has a fantastic outlook on life so I decided to go with a more colorful approach. It was really great meeting and working with Louis. I really respect his dedicated, motivation and drive to follow his dreams, hopefully this piece expresses that!"