In case you’ve been in suspended animation, let us fill you in on a little secret. If you like custom bikes, racing and getting silly, Europe’s Sultans of Sprint is so up your alley, your neighbours have just called the cops because the alley is now full of French lunatics doing burnouts…
We’d call Paul d’Orléans a Renaissance man, but 14th Century Italy wouldn’t have enough vintage motorcycles, loafers and Hawaiian shirts to keep him happy. Instead, we’ll just call him a modern day moto legend…
It’s with a little embarrassment and an apology to 50% of the world’s population that we admit to not having ever featured a female photographer in our Moto Photos weekend specials. Well, not until now that is. On our recent trip to Italy’s MBE Show…
Looks like we aren’t the only ones who enjoy riding inappropriate bikes in the desert. For the past six years, the guys at Fuel Bespoke in Barcelona have been holding Scram Africa; a ride, over 2000km, that tests the skills of riders through the south of Morocco on roads, trails and dunes. A trip specifically for nostalgic riders inspired by the original 70’s scramblers – sorry, you’ll have to leave that KTM at home.
It’s not everyday you receive an email asking if you’d be interested in going to India to ride Royal Enfields across the Rajasthan desert with a film crew and a professional photographer. That’s exactly what happened at the end of last year: I received an email from a guy called Matt from Nevermind Adventures. He runs organized motorcycle adventure tours all over India. Only a fool would think about it for just a second. I thought about it for two, and replied: ‘When do we leave?’.
Could you imagine the art world if its exhibits were held in strip mall parking lots? Imagine having to go to a swap meet or burger joint to see the latest from Cindy Sherman or David Hockney. It’d feel off, right? That’s how the motorcycle world treated two-wheeled works of art, at least until 2008 when custom bike builder Keino Sasaki, artist John Copeland and photographer Jeffrey Schad combined forces to create the Brooklyn Invitational: at its roots a motorcycle show, but much more culturally ambitious.
We were lucky enough to be able to attend Malaysia’s 6th annual Art of Speed show in Kuala Lumpur last month. Rumour suggested that it was up their with the best Asian shows. After a long weekend full of local custom culture, food, beer, bona fide moto celebs and even a decent ride into the Malaysian countryside, we were just about ready to open a new Kuala Lumpur office.
I’ll readily admit going into the 2017 Wildays show feeling a little jaded. Bike shows? I’ve seen ’em all. They’re either a car park full of bikes and corporate tents in the summer sun, or they’re a convention centre full of bikes and corporate stands with air-conditioning. Been there, done that. But by the end of this particular show, my eyes had been opened. There is another way to do bike shows. A better way. And I think Italy’s Wildays show has found it.
Pipeburn was lucky enough to be invited by Royal Enfield to attend the 2017 Wheels & Waves show in Biarritz. While we did our fair share of socialising and sun soaking, we were also there to document something a little special. For the 2017 show, Royal Enfield teamed up with Leicester shop Sinroja Motorcycles to make not one, but two custom bikes especially for the event.
Time for a frank and truthful admission. This here fancy moto blog, along with all of its ilk, would be nothing without the photographers. How many words would you read about a cool bike without all the pretty pictures? After all, writing about motorcycles is like dancing about architecture, no? One of Europe’s main moto lensmen and someone to who we personally owe a great deal of thanks to is Germany’s Marc Holstein. With a clear and infectious passion for photography and the custom bike scene, we’ve lost count of just how many Pipeburn stories he’s shot for us. Here’s an interview with the man himself, along with the very best of his recent shots.