Renowned and respected motorcycle builder Matt Machine paid the good folks at Rising Sun Workshop a visit to discuss the history and ethos of customisation and modification. An intimate group of enthusiast builders and riders were treated to a bespoke evening of experience and ideas with one of Australia’s best.
Many will already be aware of Matt and his work with The Machine Files – a reaction to Matt’s driven passion for machines both two-wheeled and four. Matt’s approach to motorcycles is remarkably organic, with a patient understanding of how the machine works that can be applied over many disciplines. This evening would be a unique insight into the custom world and a chance to pick the brain of a man with the knowledge of where this part of motorcycling started, and where it’s going.
About two dozen punters gathered in the warm early evening at the Rising Sun Workshop, deliciously cold beers in hand. Attentive ears surrounded Matt as he sat upon a seat in front of a slide show, starting his talk with the beginnings of the motorcycling world at the turn of the century. It’s in his preface that Matt talks to us about something that is very important in how he approaches working on motorcycling, and that is the difference between customisation and modification. These two words are often paired together like a nice red wine with a rich Bolognese – however there is a uniqueness to both that follows a different train of thought and discipline, resulting with a different goal. Through the evening, the history of changing one’s stock motorcycle to either perform better, or simply as a tool of artistic expression, is talked about and expanded upon.
Despite over 100 years of rich and complicated history, Matt touches on each key part in the moto world succinctly and explains its relevance. The connection from early Indian motorcycles, pre and post war machines (first and second world war) is connected through the decades. This evening was not to be just about how motorcycles began to be changed by their owners, but why. From the performance modification of stock machines that were to be thrown through the streets in the world famous Isle of Mann TT, to the Cut Jobs and Bobbers that would give birth to the highly expressionistic future of the American Chopper scene that would boom and thrive.
Café Racers and their post-war UK birth were touched upon also. From the counter culture youth that were experiencing a more prosperous world as austerity measures began to end rose the light and nimble street racing machines that have enjoying a hugely popular rebirth the past years.
Most who own or work on their motorcycles have somewhat of a history about their machines, or at least the style that speaks most to them. What Matt Machine offered was a comprehensive look at these styles through the years and related them to each other, offering no divide. Questions were asked from both the eagerly attentive attendees and Matt himself, with very thought provoking discussion being the fruits of these questions. The pros and cons of what manufacturers were producing for the market today was discussed at length. The obvious response of so many big players in the motorcycle world contributing to the growing trends and passions across the globe were a keen topic to be touched upon.
To cap off what was truly a special and unique evening, everyone sat around a large square table to share amazing food and more drinks prepared by Rising Sun Workshop (of which they’re so famous for) and continued to share ideas and thoughts. Rising Sun Workshop has provided yet another communal and educational aspect to motorcycling with this evening, and we hope to see many more in the future with more of Australia’s (and indeed the world’s) key figures in the art of motorcycling.
Be sure to check out more of Matt and his remarkable world of machines at www.themachinefiles.com.au
To keep up to date with Rising Sun Workshop and what else they have on offer in the future head to www.risingsunworkhop.com