Written by Martin Hodgson
Telling someone ‘it can’t be done’ has proven to be one of history’s great motivators; Einstein and Edison were considered too dumb by their teachers to amount to anything, billionaire vacuum cleaner mogul Sir James Dyson couldn’t get a single company to look at his designs and Stephen Spielberg was rejected from film school, TWICE! So when Ryan Maloney was told by everyone that building a Grand National Flat Track bike for the street was ridiculous, it only lit a fire inside him to prove the world wrong. Named for the very thing it gives its doubters, this custom framed Kawasaki Flat Tracker is winning trophies, tearing up the streets and causing many a ‘Nightmare’!
Written by Martin Hodgson
There are millions of people who ride motorcycles around the globe; most on small capacity machines to commute through big cities, others ride for fun, while an even smaller group makes use of them for their weekend sporting activities. But then there are those who are true bikers, they live and breathe their life on two wheels and you know it the moment you meet them. Christophe Canitrot is one such man, hailing from Toulouse, France, there is always at least one bike for riding and another in the works. Now preparing for an assault on the European flat tracks for 2020, he unveils his latest love, a Staracer framed Triumph that’s as dedicated to the sideways lifestyle as the owner himself.
The resurgence of flat track racing around the world is no surprise; it’s fast, dangerous, fun and great for spectators to watch. Christine Gabler and Marc Holstein have been over in Japan for the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show but also travelled out to watch the ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ event – which as the name suggests, is a bunch of riders who just want to have fun and go left on inappropriate bikes. We thought we’d let Marc and Christine take us through the event. The wonderful photos and words are theirs:
Waking up super early to catch train all the way out to Kawagoe proved to be quite a challenge in the busy city of Tokyo. We were on our way to the ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ party event which was being held a day after the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show. The practice was to be held on Monday but it rained heavily all day. Tuesday looked amazing so me made our way out to the track, riding one and a half hours through Tokyo and another 30 minutes by taxi. We arrived on site at around noon which seemed like a perfect time as the track has just dried off.
In the heart of Amsterdam resides a small moto shop called Rusty Gold. Inside you’ll find a plethora of vintage and custom motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear, and the self-professed “meanest coffee” in town. The shop was started by Zoran, who decided to chuck in his advertising job to start this new adventure with two of his mates, Martijn and Kars. “Our custom workshop is hidden away in the basement, bit like the Batcave,” Zoran tells us. “The bikes enter via a lift we built, hidden away under a carpet.” One day, Zoran’s friend walked in for a coffee and a chat after he had just sold his custom Honda CB750. They started talking about what bike he should get next. Since he used to ride dirt bikes competitively, he always had a soft spot for flat trackers. “A flat tracker with attitude is what we ended up at.” The only question now was who would build it? “How about you guys build me the bike?”
We all have family heirlooms that have been passed down from generation to generation. Like expensive silverware, bone china plates, antique furniture and the most precious of all – motorcycles. We love a good story about a bike being in the family for decades and this is one of those tales. From as young as five years old, Jerrett Bellamy from Ontario, Canada, has been riding this exact Yamaha XT500 with his dad. “He made up some foot pegs that would clamp onto the frame so I could ride in front of him,” recalls Jerrett. “I can remember riding with him hanging onto the handlebar and us popping little wheelies.”
We were lucky enough to have local photographer and moto journo Tom Bing cover the Bike Shed show for us. He is friends with the Bike Shed crew and a lot of the bike builders, so it was great to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes as well as the bikes on display. Words and photos by Tom Bing.
It’s got to be the most exciting weekend of the year in the UK for custom bike lovers. It’s funny, when you’re anywhere near the ‘inner folds’ of something like the Bike Shed, you feel strangely proud of the achievements of all the people who have worked so hard to make the event come together yet again. It feels like a community event – not something you just attend as a punter, but something we are all a part of.
Not only is Paulo Rosas the head honcho at the aesthetically pleasing moto gear brand Pagnol, but he is also a talented photographer that is always shooting away at every motorcycle show. Paulo is also a good friend of Pipeburn, so we hit him up for some photos of the Quail Gathering and were impressed when we saw the shots – he even wrote a few words to go with them. Enjoy…
This year, I was hired as the Quail Motorcycle Gathering (QMG) official photographer for the 2nd time in a row. This all started three years ago when Pagnol was a vendor there and I took some shots of the event for a Pagnol story that they loved and then one thing lead to another and here we are again.
Indian Motorcycles – Racing Forward
They say your true character comes out after you go through the toughest time of your life. This inspiring video of Brad ‘The Bullet’ Baker shows just how strong and determined this flat track legend is. Brad’s world was turned upside down after a “stupid little crash” at the X-Games last year. The film shows how he is moving forward after the accident with the help of his friends, supporters and sponsors. His experience and never-give-up attitude has become an invaluable asset to the Indian Motorcycle team. So much respect for this young man who was at the top of his game and is now learning to do everything from scratch again.