Hugo and Fred from Blitz Motorcycles have been sending us their bikes for years now. The funny thing is, we didn’t really know much about them. We obviously knew they were French. We knew they were building some unconventional looking bikes out of a small garage in Paris. We also knew they loved leaving the rust, dents and original paint on the vintage tanks they use. But we didn’t know much else. It’s great to hear their story and the sacrifices they have been through to fulfil their dream of building motorcycles for a living. It’s also great to see Hugo rocking a Sydney Café Racers trucker cap – the French being know for their impeccable taste in fashion.
This short film is about the intriguing Frenchman named Bixente. He is the man behind Bixente Moto in Biarritz, France. Bixente Moto isn’t your typical custom bike shop. You see, Bixente collects and sells all sorts of moto memorabilia, vintage furniture, skateboards, BMX bikes and anything else that takes his fancy. Of course, they also build bikes, preferring to work with old english metal – Bixente has a particular passion for BSA’s.
The film was directed and edited by the talented Douglas Guillot who also shot the Southsiders 2013 Wheels & Waves official videos. Just like those, this one will make you want to go for a ride along the French coast.
Consider, if you will, the pitiful life of the average pogonophobic. ‘What’s a pogonophobic,’ I hear you ask? A pogonophobic, dear reader, is a person with a morbid fear of beards or facial hair. How quickly their daily goings-on must transform into nightmarish, hair-filled scenarios brimming with unimaginable terrors. The accidental glimpse of Tom Selleck while changing TV channels. Waking in a cold sweat with a head full of Ned Flanders. And what could be worse than a monstrous craving for fried chicken only to flee in fright at the Colonel’s wondrous white whisker wings? This is what; a veritable ‘perfect storm’ for pogonophobics the world over. They call it hell on earth. We call it ‘The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride’.
One of our favourite bikes we have featured this year was the elegant Royal Enfield Bullet 500 built by the very talented Max Hazan from Hazan Motorworks. The bike was pure class and had a level of craftsmanship we rarely see. This film gives us a look into Max’s world and his passion for building these bespoke motorcycles from his Brooklyn based workshop. You can tell he loves what he does and is the first to admit he is one hell of a lucky guy to be making a career from it. A lot of people dream of chucking in that desk job, Max is actually living that dream.
A few months back we featured Old Empire Motorcycles stunning Royal Enfield Bullet which received much praise from you guys. This time they have sent us a little film they made about delivering a Honda CB250 Superdream they call ‘The Hunter’ to one of their friends and customers. The journey starts in Suffolk, England – where their workshop is based – and then follows them as they travel over 1000 miles, eventually arriving in the south of France and surprising their friend.
Apart from the fact it has been shot well and has an engaging story, the thing I love is the honesty of the video. The fact that they left in the ‘uncool’ bits, like not being able to do up the helmet properly (which I’m guessing was given to them by Ruby for the film). Plus also showing the bike breaking down on its first ride – which is completely normal but they could have easily left it out. I’m glad they didn’t. Everyone loves a road trip, and this little film has made me want to go on one, real bad.
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.
It’s not every day that you find out the the largest private collection of original Crocker motorcycles – in the world – are being stored in a warehouse/cafe just down the road from where you live. These beautiful ‘Icons of 1930s Los Angeles’ have found a new home in a small Waterloo cul-de-sac nestled in one of Sydney’s latest gentrified areas. The owner of these exquisite motorcycles, Chilli (as he’s affectionately known), has set out to “preserve a rare piece of automotive history by offering the same bespoke experience as back in Crocker’s prime at 1346 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles” – hence the name.
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It’s almost been 3 years since Shinya the “motorcycle mechanic” starred in the stunning short film called the ‘Smell of Oil’. Well, we are glad to see he is back in front of the camera with another beautifully shot film. This time it was directed by Danielle Levitt and shot by Evan Scott as a supplement to the third issue of On Paper Magazine. Shinya not only builds some of the most amazing examples of moving sculptures but he is also one of the most intriguing personalities in the motorcycle scene. In the film, Danlelle digs a little deeper into what makes Shinya tick and the feeling he gets when riding his machines. In the end, the film left us wanting one thing… to go for a ride with this master of metal. How about you?
Check out Danielle’s site for more photographs of Shinya in his element.
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.
This aesthetically pleasing mini documentary was shot by filmmaker and photographer Ryan Scheer for Helm boots. There are six in the series and this one focuses on Alan and Stefan from Revival Cycles in Austin, Texas. The guys talk about their love for motorcycles and how grateful they are to be doing what they are doing – narrowly escaping a life in the dreaded cube farm.