Culture Events

Twenty/20 Helmet Art Exhibition

Twenty artists, twenty helmets, infinite creativity and a ton of people of enjoy it all. Sabotage Motorcycles brazenly pulled off a killer collaboration alongside Art Pharmacy and Vandal Gallery for a night of some truly incredible work from some of Australia’s best talent.

Many months in the making, the duo from Sabotage Motorcycles, Giles and Andy, successfully gathered together 20 of Australia’s most exciting artists for this ambitious project. The goal would to be to give each artist a plain DMD helmet and give them free reign to do with it what they will. The wide variety of artists and styles meant that there would be an exciting variation on what the final products would be.

The artists that would be forging these creations would be Amy Roser, Sindy Sinn, Mike Watt, Chico Insacious, Jason Wing, M-lon,Lauren & The Lost Boys, Kentaro Yoshida, Vincent Machin-Truc Buret,Skulk., Nev Sety, Scott Marsh, Blak Douglas, Karen Farmer, Ingrid Wilson, Nico, Ginger Taylor, Kyle Smith, The art of Simon Lovelace, Apeseven, Oodlies/Joi Murugavell

Vandal Gallery certainly had their work cut out for them as the trickle of punters that began to filter through the doors soon turned into a colourful crowd of many folks from Sydney’s motorcycling family as well as it’s art scene. To sate the thirst of the many, Sailor Jerry and Young Henry’s provided a steady stream of booze. It’s no secret that both these bountiful booze brands are always keen to back community events, and make sure no one goes thirsty. This morning’s hangover is still partly their fault however; fortunately I’m a forgiving man.

The process for each artist no doubt would be unique, especially with such varied mediums on display; from traditional painting techniques, to auto spray work, even wood. Creative muscles were certainly flexed. To top it all off, all the helmets would placed on eBay for sale, with the proceeds going to The Movember Foundation.

Be sure you get your saucy buns on down to the Vandal Gallery to check all this wonderment in the flesh.

VANDAL Gallery:
 16-30 Vine St, Redfern NSW 2016
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

Want to own one of these tasty lids? Well pull your thumb out and get over to Sabotage Motorcycles eBay store post-haste!

A very special thank you to the sponsors DMD Helmets, Smith ConceptsYoung Henrys and Sailor Jerry





Bikes Culture

First European

We had gotten wind recently while on a voyage to the magical land of Christchurch in New Zealand that there we were a couple of custom euro machines being created at a dealership, so naturally we had to swing by to suss it out. Sure enough we met Andy at First European, shop owner and designated lunatic who showed us some of the more customised work that’s been going on in his shop.

Andy has a bit of a history with European machines, having owned a car repair business that specialised in European cars, and also being European himself. Does being a pom count as being euro? Not entirely sure these days, definitely don’t care. What were we talking about again? Oh yes, motorcycles! Andy had taken over the First European and wanted to change its feel from the sterile and soulless stock floor to a place where riders could actually hang out and get extra work done to their bikes. “I consider our place to be a people shop, and as such riding with our customers is a big part of it. During the summer months we have a midweek ride every week where we go to a local bike friendly bar, enjoy some beer and pizza and just hang out.”

Andy has been a bike nut since he was a wee lad back home in the UK, getting ‘tank rides’ on his Grandad’s BSA Road Rocket. From there it would only progress onto machines for himself. “As a teen, a group of us from school all bough project bikes (pieces of crap that no one else wanted) and turned them into Scramblers so we could ride them on the local slag heaps. Then when licence time arrived we started on Fizzies (Yamaha FS1E) and Suzuki A50’s where we used to try and tune them by ‘porting’ them with rotary files and a Black and Decker drill. By then we were all apprentice engineers so we thought we knew everything there was to know about two-stroke tuning. As an apprentice I started to help one of the older guys at work with his race bike and then really started to learn about setting bikes up and tuning them”

Now that we know a bit about Andy and have had a hearty dose of nostalgia, it’s time to check out a couple of nice machines that are currently living in his space. First up is a very adventure inducing Moto Guzzi V7 Scrambler, dubbed the Green Meanie. This bike was somewhat of an accidental project, in that Andy had a completely stock standard V7 Stone in that shop that needed a bit of livening up. “I knew that Guzzi did some neat bolt on parts and thought that an Arrows high level pipe might look good. We fitted this to the bike, but it looked a little staid, so then began the discussion to build the bike the way we thought it should look. We removed the rear guard and fitted small LED indicators and tail light and fabricated a side mount for the number plate. We then set about tweaking the arrows pipe to firstly make it look cooler on the bike and to secondly make it sound better. To do this we removed the system and took the catalytic converter out of the mid pipe making it a “proper” open pipe.”

“We then adjusted the angle of the tailpipe section so that it tucked back much tighter to the back of the bike. With this done we then set about changing how the front of the bike looked. Here we removed the headlight and bulky front indicators and fitted two 4 inch units and small LED indicators. Then we whipped off the front guard and chopped it about to make a high guard. At this point the basics of the bike were coming together so we then had to decide on its finishing touches. Here we picked the Guzzi leather tanks strap from a V7 racer along with aftermarket motocross bars and risers. We removed the left hand side panel and replaced with a small leather satchel and trimmed the right hand side panel in a wood effect vinyl.”

Breaking away from Scramblers for the time being, we now had a perv and a gander at a bright speed machine, a Triumph Thruxton R 1200 Café Racer. The popularity of these bikes since they were released were of no surprise once you sat your arse down on the seat and got going. This is one of, if not THE best modern classic around. This one in particular was crafted as Andy’s personal bike. “With this bike we went for a look that sort of said this is what the factory would have built if legislation didn’t get in the way. So first up we removed the silencers and catalytic converter. I wanted very traditional reverse cone megas but no one made anything that looked right so in the end we bought two pipes put them in the lathe and machined them to suit we also had to make up decat pipes (again when we did this bike you could not by aftermarket decat pipes) we decided not to siamese them as we wanted to highlight the engines 270 degree note on overrun (just posing really). We removed the rear guard assembly and made up an aluminium tray to act as a tail tidy and to carry the ECU, to this we fitted a small integrated tail light and indicator unit and a small number plate (apparently number plates just shrink when you wash them officer).”

“Up front we removed the factory bars and fitted full low clip-ons with short levers. Having got rid of the front indicators into the tail light assembly we had to fit some small units to the front. Standing back and looking at the bike at this stage the front looked a little awkward, so we decided to lower the headlight and instruments by 22mm to give the bike a cleaner more balanced look. With this done we had a good looking and great sounding café racer that went and handled the way we wanted but although it looked “nice” it wasn’t truly custom. We then sat down with Lee our custom painter from James Lee Design and talked about some designs. We finished up by going for an orange base with a metalflake so as to create a copper tone. I like the new Triumph logo but I wanted the badges on this bike to look older so Lee airbrushed them in a distressed pattern and finished them off by painting little rivet heads onto each badge.”

And last but no least, or something, is an incredibly aggressive Triumph Scrambler that was probably a bulldog missing one eye in a past life. This beast is aptly named ‘Frankenscrambler’ which is great coming up to this spooky Halloween season. “The Triumph Scrambler was built for a customer. The basic design brief was “aggressive and cool” We started with a brand new Triumph Scrambler off the showroom floor, we removed the entire front end and replaced it with White Power fully adjustable USD forks, we knew we wanted to have twin disc brakes up front and we wanted to use 17” wide wheels front and rear. We sourced a 3.5” wide rim for the front and a 5.5” wide rim for the rear and then laced these onto triumph hubs.”

“At the rear we opted for Ohlins remote reservoir shocks and we shortened the frame to create a more balanced look. The exhaust system for this bike has changed a few times, with us having made two different high level systems before finally opting for the two low mounted reverse cone silencer system currently fitted. The paint on this bike was a bit challenging as although it probably doesn’t show too well in the photos it is a green base with satin finish black over, so when the sun shines the green shimmers through the black. Also the tank transfers are “in” the paint rather than on it, but it means that the tank feels smooth to the touch and is just that little bit different. There are plans for a big bore kit and bigger throttle bodies at some stage so watch this space.”

“The custom work we do for customers is pretty regular but tends to be what we would term mild café racer conversions of peoples standard bikes with three or four full builds on top of that per year. We will keep customising bikes as we go along. We have a couple of older Triumphs that we are doing conversions on at the moment, the next sort of show build will be a Triumph T120 that we intend to build as a scrambler.”

For more on Andy and First European check out their website here – and be sure to pop in and say G’day.


Culture Events

Matt Machine X Brad Miller

Take one of Australia’s best bike builders, pair him with one of Australia’s best up-coming bike builders, and then invite them to the most prestigious chopper show on the planet. The result would be an incredibly unique S&S Knucklehead. Rising Sun Workshop opened their doors yet again for a unique evening with these two builders, their bike, and the confessions that come with it.

It was in October of 2016 that Rising Sun Workshop first had Matt Machine share his knowledge and experiences to anyone who would listen. This would be based on the history of custom motorcycles, and the balance between modification and customisation. This night, however, would be something a bit different; it would be a lot more personal, and with the incredible custom machine sitting proudly on the floor of RSW, a lot more tactile.

Matt Machine has flexed his custom bike muscles at Born-Free before, taking out the ‘Best British’ trophy in 2015 as an invited builder – an incredible honour in its own right – and was invited out again this year.  Matt wouldn’t be wrenching solo on this project however, teaming up with young-gun Brad Miller to combine their creative and technical prowess. We first met Brad when he was wrenching out of his home garage in Canberra, and since then he’s gone on to create some truly incredible builds, showing the world his natural talent and passion for these machines.

The build process for this S&S Knucklehead would be experimentation into learning to work extensive hours alongside one another without killing each other. 12hr+ plus days working in close quarters would take it’s toll on just about anyone, but it’s a relief to say that both Matt and Brad are currently alive and breathing.  The plan for this machine would to be create a garage chopper with whatever parts were available to them, while still creating something different. By different, we mean breaking away from the traditional 60’s and 70’s style choppers and bobbers that populate most of the Born-Free show. Matt’s inspiration would flow back a few more decades, with plenty of non-traditional flare.

The night was dubbed ‘Builder’s Confession’ and that’s exactly what we got. It wasn’t about telling everyone only the positives, or making the build out to be a crucially thought out, finessed machine. But instead, it was a truly honest and open discussion on the process of this machine, and on working together in close confines for extended hours with a deadline to get this project completed before it was to be shipped off on a plane to the United States. This would be a proper garage build, with simple tools and whatever was lying around to be used. Matt’s skills would be seen in the aluminium work that makes this bike stand out, shaping it with an Oxy, annealing it before bending it by hand – while Brad completed most of the rest.

The key goal in completing this non-traditional machine would be to have something that not only ticked an aesthetic box, but could also perform well and brake well. The organic nature of the build saw a natural process of parts changing throughout the project, however some parts were already planned before the build had begun – such as the oil tank. Much of this work was completed with tools that might not have been the best suited for the job, but Matt and Brad stressed to the punters of this evening that the job could still be completed – it would just take a few more hours.


For a first time as well in this build, Matt had enlisted the help of a friend with a 3D printer, who had helped create the manifold. Despite the old school feel and techniques used in his builds, Matt stresses that we should all embrace technology, and surround ourselves with those that do. If there’s any issue with a part or build, you can make it fit, and you can find the solution. Matt and Brad are very much cut from the same cloth in that they’re ‘At-Home’ people. If there’s a problem, then there’s a solution that they can find in themselves instead of paying someone else to do it.

For more on Matt and Brad’s incredible work, follow the below or be forever missing amazing machines in your life.





Mike Pero’s Motorcycle Gallery

It was the success on both the track and in business that formed the roots of the Mike Pero Motorcycle Gallery in Christchurch, but it would be an earthquake that would see this incredible collection really take shape and become a must see for any motorcycling enthusiasts visiting the area.

Many of our Kiwi readers will recognise the name Mike Pero in regards to things like mortgage brokers or real estate, but it’s out on the track in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that Mike’s name first started getting traction. The New Zealand road-racing champion had claimed victories across several classes of racing, including 350cc, 500cc and a 410cc production class. Everything Japanese with two-wheels is what catches Mike’s eye, with Yamaha two-strokes being his weapon of choice. Mike Pero still holds the NZ Land Speed Record for a 350cc category.

Mike had jumped on his first motorcycle at the age of 14, and it wouldn’t take long for him to expand this into racing on the track while also beginning a motorcycle mechanic apprenticeship. With a passion for motorcycles firmly driving him, Pero would go on to win six national championship titles, while still riding today at competitive classic events.

Back when the 2011 earthquake struck Christchurch, Mike was forced to close up his booming business headquarters in the now damaged and dangerous city centre. A new building was to be constructed to act as a temporary location to run his business for the coming years. Fast-forward to 2016, and it was time to move the staff out for a new, more permanent business location. This meant that there was now a completely empty building that was just begging to be used – but for what? Spoiler: It’s a ton of a bikes. Surprise!

This would not just be any collection, but the largest of it’s kind in New Zealand – and quite possibly Australasia (though we won’t admit it due to trans-Tasman rivalry) with over 60 bikes in display, all Japanese and all with their own little piece of history behind them. A majority of these machines are on loan, with the two biggest donors being the Veitch family and John Shand. Some are stock machines in perfect condition, but the main spirit is ex-race bikes that have a proud racing heritage behind them.

The collection shows off a period of when Japanese bikes were rapidly taking over the market, both on public roads and the track. With a keen eye, you can track all the innovations that were implemented on many of these machines across the decades, from the ‘70’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s. These are the bikes many of us have fond memories of, be it from owning them back in the day (not me though, I still have my youth) or watching them claim title after title with legends sat atop them.

If you find yourself in magnificent Christchurch, be sure to get your buns over to the Mike Pero Motorcycle Gallery where you can easily spend a couple of hours pouring over this excellent collection of machines.

For more head to or head over to 1 Hawthornden Rd, Avonhead – Wednesday to



Culture Events

The SCR Harley Bash

There was a distinct nip in the air this morning as a small herd of assorted scumbags from Sydney Café Racers stretched in bed and geared up. Arguments arose between significant others over how we would stop-off at polling booths to make sure we all voted in the recent local council elections, but this being a Harley group ride, all the would-be 1% milk in their coffee drinkers stormed out ignoring their civic duties in favour of open roads and wider open throttle.

Despite Sydney Café Racers being about café racers (who would’ve thought?) some select pariahs also enjoy the glory of American V-twins. A small group gathered at Harry’s Tempe for a quick pie-n-perve at each others bikes. A lot of people brought out fresh projects that hadn’t been seen by most in daylight hours, yet. After the customary meet-and-greet, the glorious chorus of machines set about causing a ruckus on Parramatta Rd as we made our way out to meet the second group along the M4 Motorway. The day would be filled with a heart amount of riding, food, drinks, bullshit stories and plans for the next ride.

Here’s the story as captured by Joshua Mikhaiel













Bikes Culture

Our Pick: Top 12 DGR Bikes

With the dapper season upon us and The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2017 fast approaching, we took some time out of our busy day to peruse and drool over some of the amazing machines and their fancy riders. Here’s a pick of some of our favourites, though with over 56,000 attendees in 2016 this was no easy task. Actually we were just browsing motorbikes on the internet, which is super easy.

Anyway, in no particular order, here you go!

1. A tidy and sharp Yamaha XV garners a firm handshake from two Gents

Photo – @speedydonahue

2. Beautiful vintage BMW taking a spot next to another of its kind in Rotterdam.
Photo: @davidmarvier

3. No point dressing up dapper if you can’t see yourself. The Mirrored Magyr Mod!
Photo: @Budapestcaferacers

4. The Winger Springer has room for two!

Photo: Brian Avery

5. Sunbeam S8 glory, something you don’t see everything day but we’re glad we have.

Photo: @Mattcoleman

6. A rusty little number from Amsterdam leading the pack.

Photo: Guus De Graaf

7. Yamaha SR400 with a damn tasty headlight spotted in London.

Photo: Max Cantellow

8. A tidy little Honda CX500 number from Oporto, Portugal

9. Room for three with Sergio’s beautiful old Ural

Photo: Baptiste David

10. Reckon he likes red? Fantastic classic BMW airhead from Manila.
Photo: @mikopedernal

11. Monkey bike fury in Adelaide

Photo: @greasersmotorcycle

12. A century old machine, the Triumph Model H making an appearance at Whitely Bay.
Photo: Brian Avery

Don’t miss out on the fun! If you’ve got a classic or vintage styled machine, get involved! Register at

Bikes Culture

The Great Scrambler Heist

While Papa Ducati slept, a crack team of reprobates snuck into the Scrambler barn to rustle up a herd of machines for 2 days of riding. With the new Desert Sled and Café Racer amongst the mix, a good amount of varied hoonery was definitely on the cards.

It was a mongrel team of riders that all turned up on the day, a good mix of blokes and sheilas who all seemed to hit it off instantly. This would be the foreshadowing of an excellent 2-day riding adventure across roads and twistys, dirt and water. The plan was remarkably simple – gather all the Ducati Scramblers that we could, ride their brains out, and enjoy it all the while. On the menu were the Scrambler Icon, Classic, Sixty-Two, and the brand new Café Racer and Desert Sled models.

The battle plan for day one would be to all ride together until we broke free of the traffic confines of Sydney. After a pit stop, and many coffees, two groups would be formed and broken off for the day. One would be on the Café Racers for some road and cornering action, and the second team would be snatching up the adventurous Desert Sled options for some fire trails and water crossings.

First we’ll touch on the naughty, dark little number that is the Scrambler Café Racer – a bit of a contradictory name, but we don’t mind. This is a standout from the new Scrambler line, and has gone for a more road savy/urban approach that has tapped into the ever-popular café racer niche. With it’s forks brought in, compared to the rest of the Scrambler line, and clip-ons attached, this is a remarkably light and nimble machine. It’s begging for corners, and a lot of joy is brought to your soul once you tuck over and lean in.

The Café Racer is a little bike, make no mistake. Though the taller riders of the day didn’t seem to have many complaints, so it’s not just us short bastards that can enjoy such machines. Riding close in check were the more standard Scrambler Icon and Classic models, eagerly keeping up with the dark Café cousin. Riding out through to Kurrajong and Wiseman’s Ferry was great in itself, but once we remembered we had escaped the office and work obligations, the fun really set in.

The on-road and off-road teams finally rendezvoused after hours of fun and swapping bikes. The local pub would be the victim for our hungry bellies, although upon arrival we were told the kitchen was closed “5 minutes ago”, now I’m not one for conspiracies but this seemed awfully suss. Maybe they didn’t like our haircuts? Maybe they were Harley riders? Maybe the kitchen actually was closed and I’ve got issues? It’s hard to say really, and maybe it’s all true. Regardless, the local pie shop up the road filled the spot just right. How good are pies but?

With the pies tucked away safely in our fat little bellies, we got wind of a beautiful lookout spot out near Blackheath. With the sun slowly making it’s way down, this seemed like a great way to finish the day and so the entire gang of Scramblers set out once more. We made it to our picturesque location with time to spare. The sun gave off dividends as we soaked up the incredible, albeit freezing, scenery.

Once the sun was gone it was a unanimous decision of “fuck it, it’s freezing, let’s get the fuck out of here.” To retreat to warmer housing, which also happened to have plenty of booze. Go figure? A big cook up was just what we needed, with everyone jumping on board to help with the feast. Young Patrick even learned how to chop vegetables for the first time, with L’Oreal from Ducati being very proud. The rest of the evening was very uneventful, with no one doing any creepy or sexual dancing at all.

Definitely not.

The following morning saw everyone rise with only mild hangovers, probably from too many finely sliced vegetables. Today would be the same riding, however with each group swapping bikes. This is where the very exciting, very new Desert Sled model would come into play.  This incarnation of the Scrambler series might be what should have been originally released years ago, it’s got plenty for hitting the beaten track and applying a bit of mischief and adventure into your rides.

This bike is in true retro form, throwing back to the stripped-down machines of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s that would be tearing up desert of the famous Baja desert race. With plenty of suspension, seat height, ground clearance and MX-styled bars, this is a much different riding form to any of the other Scrambler line. A completely different machine to the Café Racer (duh) and a much more dedicated off-road feel than the standard Scrambler line.

The Desert Sled is the heaviest of the Scrambler line, thanks to some much-welcomed additions. The frame has been reinforced to deal with the abuse of off-road riding, along with bigger suspension and a longer swing arm. The air-cooled 803cc L-twin engine that is in all these Scrambler models has been minimally changed, although with some welcome and subtle ones. The snatchiness of the previous Icon series has been eliminated, courtesy of a more progressive throttle opening and some work on the ECU. This hasn’t taken away any of the fun, but means you can control it when you want.

We took two of these Desert Sleds down some fire trails, across dirt, gravel, and the odd water crossing. They held their own, and, while not a completely dedicated dirt or adventure bike, it definitely performs well and is a tonne of fun both on and off road.

Despite the flashy new models of Scrambler taking up a lot of the attention for the day, the previous models held their own and maintained their stance as a versatile and enjoyable bike. Even the LAMS Sixty-Two model kept up, once it caught up on the straights mind you.

With dust having entered just about every crevice in our souls and hundreds of kilometres smashed out, it was time to return our faithful steeds back to the Ducati barn. Heading back east, the traffic began to return. Congestion, beeping, and the usual not-very-good-people you find on Sydney roads.

Back to Sydney.

Back to the office.

A special thank you to Ducati Australia for the bikes, and for all the cheeky boys and girls that made it such a great time.

Photography by Josh Mikhaiel and Throttle roll



Angry Lane – The Ultimate Riding Bags

Born from French fashion heritage comes some very exciting new additions to the motorcycle accessory world. Help keep the thieves at bay with the new Rider Daypack and Helmet Safe Bag courtesy of Angry Lane.

Brothers and Parisian natives, Ben and Guillaume have been in love with motorcycles since an early age. It would be in 2012 that the pair would team up in creating their own custom motorcycles as they launched Angry Lane to facilitate their obsession. “We were looking for a cool name when Ben mentioned the legend of record-racing in the UK, when motorcycles riders were “dropping the coin right into the slot” of a jukebox before heading full speed to Hanger Lane in London and coming back before the record finished. With our French accent, it made it sounds like Angry Lane.”


Paired with their passion for motorcycles is their penchant for design. With experience in areas such as Japanese denim jeans to MotoGP leather suits and jackets, soon Angry Lane would start producing it’s own products. This drive to create would be rooted in the brothers’ parents. “Our mom was working for the famous fashion house Courrèges back in the 70’s. At the age of 12yo, while asking on shortening his first pair of Levi’s, Ben received the home sewing machine’s manual for his only help and advice. It was the beginning of a lot of experimentations on our own clothing, from patching our worn out denim jeans to hand-sewn embroideries on bags or military surplus jackets bought in Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. ”

“Our father was more of a self-taught technician and mechanic, repairing electronic appliances to finance his firsts mopeds, he has been working in quality control and 3 dimensions measuring instruments his entire career. The family garage was full of tools of all sorts and electronic components to repair and give a second breath to all sorts of things, no wastage on what can be saved! That included repairing cars and motorcycles and it quickly became a natural activity during weekends.”

Backpacks and riders go hand in hand, with it being one of the most practical and easy ways to carry any items when you’re riding. This would culminate into the creation if the Rider Daypack as Angry lane would join forces with Phil Hayes of Pacsafe in creating a new practical, sturdy bag that looks good and is anti-theft. “We took some existing bag shapes and we designed our bags with the features we needed for riding (things like custom shaped straps for comfort, weather-sealed material for riding in the wet and an included rain cover, velcro tabs to stop any straps flapping in the wind, military style webbing to attach extra gear, reflective logos for visibility etc.) we paired this then with the patented Pacsafe technology called eXomesh 360, a stainless steel cage with locking system, is one of the main features as you can leave your Rider Daypack and/or you Helmet Safe Bag attached to your bike without worrying about them.”

“We gave some of the first prototypes to our friends, with some using the bag to go surfing – they can attach the bag to a tree or whatever anchor point they like. Some skateboarding friends are also using it. The Rider Daypack has been designed with motorcycle use in mind, but it is appealing to a much wider audience.”

Another exciting item is the The Helmet Safe Bag. This brilliant design tucks away neatly on a bike, and allows the rider to safe store the helmet of choice on the bike if carrying it around is ever a hassle. This is something that can definitely be a lifesaver, with many riders having their helmets stolen or vandalised when left on the bike. The bag features the full slash proof eXomesh 360 stainless steel cage with a locking system and is waterproof.

“Our ultimate goal has been to offer very well made bags, well designed, offering safety features so that people (like me) can stop checking their bags every 5 minutes when they are not riding and can focus on what is important: their friends, family, watching a show, enjoying a chat – whatever.

As we want to stay close to our customers, we decided to reach them out directly to help us bring these 2 bags to market: by going with a Kickstarter campaign we can offer some heavily-discounted early bird prices and the opportunity to join us on this ride. They will be part of this adventure and the first ones to get the bags.”

To check out their kickstart campaign and grab some goods for yourself CLICK HERE



Culture Events

Origins Of Original – Sailor Jerry X Gasoline Motor Co.

There’s a magical tour hitting the road, fuelled by custom bikes, tattoo art, bands and of course delicious booze. Sailor Jerry are making their way down the east coast of Australia and you’d be a fool to miss out. Here’s their Origins of Original tour!

To help celebrate the legacy of tattoo great Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, Sailor Jerry Australia have embarked on a whirlwind tour that kicked off in Brisbane 10th August at Ellaspede. Some of Norman Collins original artwork that has forged an iconic place in tattoo history will be showcased at each event. This is a rare opportunity for tattoo aficionados to get a look at some remarkable pieces that won’t often be shared.

You can’t have an event celebrating tattoos without tattoo artists being present. Each event will have a tattooist on hand to help punters get inky. We checked out the Sydney event, which was housed at the famous Gasoline Motor Co. location in Alexandria. The space alone is worth a check out, being filled with a ton of amazing custom and unique machines. Sailor Jerry was present now however and the place was about to be kicked up a notch.

With a never-ending supply of delicious drinks being supplied, everyone was in terrific spirits (there’s a pun in there somewhere) with plenty to enjoy. Newcastle band The Owls were atop a flatbed truck belting out some killer rock for the crowd. This 5-piece group was the perfect compliment for the setting, and if you see their name on the bill in your town you better bloody go see them. You won’t be disappointed, and your ears will love for you it. Sydney local legend Tommy J was on hand belting out some trims for those in need of looking a little sharper.

The tour isn’t over, so if you’re in one of the following cities pull your thumb our and enjoy the magic!

10 August 6-10pm Ellaspede
Bands: The Owls & WAAX
Live Stream 8pm
Tattoo Artist: Victoria Rose Tattoo

12 August 3-7pm The Edwards
Bands: The Owls & Nicholas Connors
Live Stream 5pm
Tattoo Artist: Luke Muller tattoos.

13 August 2-6pm Gasoline Motor Co.
Bands: The Owls & The Van Demons
Live Stream 8pm
Tattoo Artist: Rhys Gordon

15 August 6-10pm North Wollongong Hotel
Bands: The Owls & Pin Head
Live Stream 8pm
Tattoo Artist: Tattoo WAYNE

17 August 6-10pm Golden Vine Hotel Bendigo
Bands: The Owls & The Second Sex
Live Stream 8pm
Tattoo Artist: Jarred Boland Tattooer

19 August 4-8pm Kustom Kommune
Bands: The OwlsThe Stiffys and Amyl and The Sniffers
Live Stream 5pm
Tattoo Artist: Benny Bones Tattoo




Roads We Road: Episode 3

Episode 3 of ‘Roads we Ride’ has hit the streets, and Throttle Roll are spreading the word of this great initiative by Transport for NSW and the teams at Pipeburn and Stories of Bike.
Matt Laxton talks us through why he loves Macquarie Pass, and what he does to ensure he keeps on returning to ride it on his stunning Ducati MH900E. As they say, we’re all masters of our own destiny; with ‘Roads we Ride’ being a welcome reminder that rider knowledge is key to keeping the shiny side up.
See you on Macquarie Pass.
Culture Garage Sessions

S.S. Scooter Engineering

Vintage two-stroke Italian scooters run through Sandy’s blood. He dreams about them – their shape, their sound, their beauty. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone more passionate about scooters than Sandy at S.S. Engineering, and the quality of his work is testament to this.

It would be living in England back in the 90’s that Sandy would first discover the scooter scene. It wasn’t just about the little two-stroke machines, but the culture around it. The music, the dancing, the diversity – it was a culture and a cult. “I remember riding down the Isle of Wight for the first time after spending the winter tuning my scooter and spending every last penny I had to get her ready. I was not prepared for the awesome sight of over 1000 vintage scooters and thousands of enthusiasts all in one place. I was so overwhelmed on the first day that I got there. I just sat down on the side of the road and watched for hours the parade of scooters, the plumes of smoke and continuous chorus of the two-stroke scooters screaming around the Island.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, and Sandy’s true love for these machines is absolutely contagious. Upon arriving back in Australia, some stowaways would return with him. This would be his new love for scooters, his tool box and his first scooter. “She started life as a humble 125cc, 5hp machine that struggled to get past 50kmh in a slight head wind. She became my test-bed and was a real application of what could realistically be achieved. On the last run of the drags she pulled up 13.8 sec with 28hp at the rear.”

Armed with all his passion, hard work and knowledge, Sandy would open his first workshop on King St in Sydney’s suburb of Newtown. This would become a hub for 2-stroke Vespas and Lambrettas, with every weekend bringing in enthusiasts from all walks of life together to share their uniquely Australian perspective and experience on scootering. “This would also become the place where I met my beautiful wife. Her scooter had broken down (we now affectionately refer to it as “Shit-Boxy”) so she had brought it in for repairs. We were married a year later. Fiona may actually surpass my passion for vintage scooters. At the age of 15 she started building her own scooter in her parents basement (which she still owns).”

Unfortunately due to land lords neglect, this gorgeous historic workshop that had become a home for vintage scooters would suffer a fatal blow. A heavy storm caused irreparable structural damage and the decision had to be made to evacuate the building. “It felt like we had lost everything, but through the help of my wife and my mates Mark and Marcello, my passion was not drowned. We found a new home in Alexandria where we’re at today and built the business back up.”

There’s a myriad of projects going on inside the shop, from conventional restorations to the more eclectic works, such as a Vespa car, and a Scooter with nitrous. “I had been looking for a Vespa car for 15 years, and after a coincidental discussion with a mate, he managed to find one that was up for auction in QLD. She was a right hand drive Vespa 400 that had been partially stripped. John Zimmerle was the previous owner who was passionate about scooters and micro cars, but unfortunately ill health had gotten in the way of his project. Sadly he passed away without seeing the fruition of his work for this particular model, but now I am the custodian of this unique micro-car and the responsibility has fallen on me to do her justice. With over 20 boxes of parts, luckily I have the love and support of my wife Fiona, and son Ryder, to help me painstakingly go through parts books, itemising and parts and meticulously assembling her trying to pay homage its last owner”

“As for the moment, I am building a custom watercooled race engine Vespa all themed around a Rat style 50’s racer which will be unveiled at Throttle Roll in a year’s time. I am also rebuilding a beautiful 1959 GS 150 for a customer in Western Australia, and doing a rust-eration on a 59 Douglas for a 90 year old customer that bought the scooter from new in the UK, strapped his suitcase on the back and road to Australia… all 17,000 miles until the scooter was  finally was laid to rest of its duties 30 years ago. I am sympathetically rebuilding as to not to remove the history from the scooter, but   ultimately to breathe new life in her so the owner can fulfil his final dream of having a final ride on her again.”

“I try to always up-hold the strongest of environmental efforts on the workshop, from the recycling all of all materials used, to limit waster usage, but ultimately it is the rebuilding of these old vehicles that have often been abandoned and forgotten about on peoples garages and sheds that get rebuilt and re-purposed for future generations to enjoy and love again.”

Stay tuned for that naughty nitrous scooter we mentioned previously, we intend to show off in all its glory!




Hard Left – Toby Dixon

Hard Left is a photographic series that depicts the culture behind the Valvoline Raceway in Sydney’s West through the eyes of photographer, Toby Dixon. Car racing aside, Toby has captured the community that is behind these events and has shown the mayhem under a different light.

Having always been a petrol-head growing up on a farm in rural NSW, dirt bikes were the weapon of choice for Toby as he soon learned that this machine gave him a sense of freedom and independence scarcely found elsewhere. “This naturally led me into a fascination of anything to do with petrol and engines. I was obsessed with road films like Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run, and Mad Max… (and Farrah Fawcett). That opening scene of Cannonball Run with the red Lamborghini Countach running from the cops was burnt into my mind. The sound of the V12 vibrating on the highway bitumen still makes my adrenal glands go “weeee!”.”

This need for speed and hoonery has resulted in Toby combining his passion for photography alongside the machines that excite us so intensely. The illustrious Valvoline Raceway would play host to Toby digging deeper into a scene of driving that has been drawing-in families for decades. “I’d shot there once which went well, but felt that I could dig a lot deeper into what was going on here. There are so many elements that make up the full story of interesting things to see at the speedway. I knew that the more I went out there, the stronger the story would become. I didn’t think I’d make an exhibition out of it until only a few months ago.”

As any photographer will know, shooting in low light has its host of difficulties. Chuck in fast moving objects, and you’ve really got your work cut out for you. The chaos, the dust, the mud – this is a track that lives up to its heritage. “It’s absolutely chaotic. The dust, the sounds, the smells of burning methanol and fried food – it’s nothing short of a sensory overload. I used Canon DSLR’s that were proficient enough in low light. I couldn’t have shot this series the way I did if I was attempting it a few years ago. Back then, I’d have to shoot at such high ISO’s that the images would never look good blown up to the size of what I have at the exhibition, 1.7mx1.2m”

This series is the result of constantly going back to the track, finding new aspects to shoot and applying new ideas. This would eventuate into creating a studio inside the pits to capture portraits of some of the characters that Toby had met in his earlier shoots. “Each image was created within a studio setup using lights that emulated the look of people watching the race. I’m really proud of the way these portraits fit in the more ‘reportage’ style of the series.”

Check out the amazing massive prints on show at Sun Studios August 10th-18th.

Culture Events

4 Mates, 10,000 Kilometres – Ride For Rights

Four mates combined their passion of riding, and passion for equality, into a motorcycle adventure of a lifetime. Travelling over 10,000kms in 4 months throughout India, advocating for children’s rights, the boys have now landed back home and production of their forthcoming documentary has already begun.

Cam, Scottie, Tay, and Ben are the champions of this story. A bunch of mates who all grew up surrounded by bikes since a young age. From racing dirt bikes to bashing about on properties in the rural outskirts of Sydney, this would be a passion that would lead them onto more charitable things.

As these mates grew older, their appreciation of the life they were granted grew into a new meaning as they looked at what equality meant. Cam had visited India previously, and it was there that a chord would be struck. “I was instantly drawn to the children that I was fortunate enough to meet, and could really empathise with their individual stories. Despite the card they had been dealt in life, many were determined in their goals in life.”

It’s this appreciation of what we have, and not what we lack, that would be the drive for this journey of awareness and discovery. “We are so often unhappy with what we have because it doesn’t represent our dream situation, and in doing so, we fail to truly succeed and find our inner happiness. To help inspire and bring opportunity to more children was our dream, and our love for motorcycles allowed us the most exciting way to travel across the country and visit these children that inspired us.”

The ride would be dubbed Ride For Rights, with it’s aim to give underprivileged kids a voice and a chance to achieve their goals. They partnered with an Indian NGO, who start at a grass root foundation that provide the building blocks to bridge the gap for better health, rights, and education – for children and parents alike. “Partnering with CRY (Child’s Rights & You) allowed us to experience these issues first-hand throughout the country, and witness the successful integration of their programs. CRY works to provide education for children as young as 3. They would learn to understand the basics of hygiene and nutrition and see children learning in classrooms all the way through to graduating higher education.”

So what bikes do you smash out 10,000kms on across India? Some proudly Indian owned and made Royal Enfields, of course. Royal Enfield helped support the boys journey by supplying them with some of the new Himalayan adventure bikes. These machines would receive a massive workload as they tackled all kinds of terrain, putting their purpose to the test. “We saw it all on these bikes. Beaches, deserts, rivers, highways, jungles, cities and everything in between. They were more powerful than most bikes on the road in India, so having a little more squirt and ability to take these off road mean more fun and exploration for us.”

“Having motorcycles and a map that spanned the entire country, we were fortunate to be able to reach many rural areas and experience a raw side of India. This allowed us to meet a lot of inspiring people, and do our part to try and tackle some of the issues being faced. The children and their positivity were our drive when the going got tough, and they really left a lasting impression on us all. Knocking over close to 600-700kms most days in 40+ degree head was challenging (throw in a few 50+ days as well), paired with rough roads and road rules merely being a suggestion. 50% of the time you’re playing Russian roulette while the other you’re dodging animals or playing chicken with an oncoming truck. But hey, that’s all part of the adventure.”

Beneath the very serious cause of this journey lay plenty of adventure for excitement. Riding the highest road in the world in a blizzard at 18,380ft above sea level will definitely get the blood pumping. “Being the first through to Leh this year from the Manali side saw us facing snow, ice, blizzards, rivers and glaciers. We even had to take matters into our own hands as we lowered our bikes into a canyon 50m down to get to the other side due to bridge maintenance.”

“We’re all incredibly proud of each other for completing this journey. This idea formed around the kitchen table and with months of dedication, it became something much bigger than we ever anticipated. It wasn’t easy, the initial stages of organising were tough, as well as having issues with foreign correspondence. The project pushed us on a personal level, and it’s a true example of being able to carry out your dreams. It sounds cliché, but we didn’t take no for an answer. We persisted, and got what we needed to make this ride a success. We hope that we can inspire other like-minded individuals to do the same. Get out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve always dreamed of. It’s important to remember that we can’t change the lives of all underprivileged children immediately, but if you can make a difference on a smaller scale then the effects can be much larger.”

To find out more about their journey check out their facebook HERE

Help support their cause here –


DnA Custom Cycles – Evolved

Last time we visited Darren, he was creating incredible machines out of his tiny garage. With barely enough room to swing a cat (another hobby of his), it was time to find a dedicated workshop space, and we promised to return once he did. We’re people of our promise – no foolin’.

Despite making excellent use of the space available in his home garage, the ambitious builds that Darren and his son complete required a step up in their available space and tools available. A 320sqm floor area would now be the home of DnA Custom Cycles, and plenty of breathing room to get chopping and wrenching. “This new space meant I could move all the bikes, parts and machinery out of the house and into a much nicer environment. It also meant I had room to work on multiple bikes at once. We can now take a step back from what we are working on and get the bigger picture of the concept to make sure the style and lines remain true to the build.”

Seeing workshops grow from home-sheds to dedicated spaces with the success from quality work is great thing to witness. It’s hard work, and endless hours, but just by looking at Darren’s work there’s no surprises in this growth. It’s in the family as well, with his Son working alongside who is completing his second year at Tafe to become a qualified mechanic.

Still offering the core work of custom exhausts, CNC parts, and fabrication work, DnA are able to also add more to their growing belt of services. Log book servicing is now available, as well as a brand new Mainline Eddy Current Dyno and soon pink slip inspections. “This means we can get the most out of customers bikes, both in looks and performance, while taking care of all the rest.”

As for the current builds in the works – where to start? “We’ve got a lot on at the moment, with a Yamaha XV920 on the bench that we’ve made a custom top yoke, bar mounts, headlight mount and dash bracket to fit the R1 radial forks to. Nearby is a Suzuki DRZ400SM that we are doing a full chop on with an Ariel 500 tank, a complete new rear frame and seat to turn it into an old school tracker.”

Once the owners of these bikes step into the workshop with their machine and their concept, it’s up to Darren to make it all happen. With the ideas ready, it’s up to the tools to make the rest complete. “The Honda Grom and the Cagiva we’re working on have very specific plans for the final product. The Cagiva owner has sourced all the components he wanted on the build and I’ve been there to guide the purchases so that they suit the bike specs – there are some exciting parts that we get to play with. The Grom is a huge challenge, as we are working with an engineer to get this bike build right from the get-go, so a lot of detailed plans have been submitted and approved for it to meet the certifiers requirements.”

With Darren’s son/apprentice getting into dirt racing, there’s been a steady flow of dirt bikes coming through the shop for valve checks and adjustments, servicing, tunes, fork rebuilds and tyres. “We also service a lot of both old and new bikes, keeping them in good shape. We have been busy with engine rebuilds lately as well, which has added to the variety and fun. Upstairs is a paint shop that does all our work so we can keep everything in house, with the exception being our upholstery which is done by the legend Dave at Badarse Trim Co.”


“We can also take care of any accident quotes and repairs which, for custom bikes is a major plus, as a lot of shops are stuck on how and what is needed to repair a custom build as well as catering for stock bikes.

We also have a limited number of spaces available for bike storage, ranging from a basic hiding place from the other half to a fully minded storage with battery tending and routine runs on the Dyno to keep the bike ticking over without the risk of taking the owners bike on the road, reducing the risk of accident and damage.”

To check out more on Darren and his work, head to or check out their facebook HERE


One Sixty-Two – Stacey Heaney

Team Heaney is a real family affair, whether it be Stace and her racer/pit boss/wrench monkey father Des, or one of the many family friends/competitors that live trackside that may as well be part of the family when they stop by to talk shop about whichever bikes that are being raced that weekend. It’s full throttle forwards for Stace and the family behind her.

When you start riding motorcycles at the age of 5, and are surrounded by a racing family – it’s only a matter of time before you’re hitting the track. This was life for our hero of today, Stacey Heaney. Like most of us growing up, her father was a major influence in making sure her days were filled with machines that are primed for mischief. “Dad had a shed full of BSA’s, Triumphs and AJS’s. He made sure I had a proper background in bikes. This progressed to me racing classic motocross when I was 6, on an early Honda XR75. My Dad actually lied about my age as the only club around would only let you race when you were 12. The club president used to joke that I was the shortest 12 year old he’d ever met every time I signed on. I raced classic and modern motocross for about 19 years until I decided I wanted to give historic road racing a go. I was drawn to historic hill climbs at first, winning my first race on a Suzuki t250cc. People at that race said I really should give track a go as I was a natural on the tarmac, and so I did.”

The charm and character of classic bikes would be what Stace is most passionate about. The relationship between rider and machine, albeit at times turbulent, forges a unique bond. Racing these machines only furthers this. “There’s never a race where you’re not head down, bum up, working on your motorcycle. In order to win a race, you and your motorcycle have to get to the finish line. I enjoy the challenge.”

You’ll find Stace smashing the track on a couple of classic machines, namely a swift looking Yamaha XS650 which she rides on behalf of the XS Australia club. Everything that is tinkered with on this bike, worked on or fabricated is then put onto their website and newsletter for fellow XS riders and builders to learn from. Be it mistakes or strokes of genius.

“My favourite bikes to ride would have to be the 1960’s Triumph Metisse’s, or the 1958 Royal Enfield Bullet. There is something special about how the oldies ride, the sound and feel – there is no modern bike on the market quite like them. The oldies riding style is different to how you would ride a modern bike. You have to ride them like they’re going to church, but at the same time try to be fast with smooth corner momentum. Between gears, you have to be patient, take a breath and let them fall into gear. And the brakes… haha what brakes?! They either work for the first lap, or don’t pull up well at all. You won’t get that kind of challenge on an R1.”

Stacey competes in International and Australia title level events across the country for both road and dirt. Some of her impressive results include –

2017 International Island Classic; 1st overall 125cc class; 1st in points for overall 125 classes;

  • 10th place Phil Irving Trophy (Overall points for event)

2017 “Barry sheene’ international festival

  • Lap record p4 125cc
  • 2nd p4 125 cc

2016 Historic Winton _

  • First female to win the Ken Lucas memorial 2016 Winton
  • 1st place P3 Unlimited 700cc
  • 1st place 125cc class
  • 2nd place P4 unlimited class 650cc
  • 3rd place sidecars 3rd place

2016 International Island Classic

  • 1st overall 125cc class

2015 Wings and Wheels Sprints

  • 1st outright all classes

2015 Historic Winton

  • 1st all-female classic sidecar team

2015 Classic Scramble

  • Outright Winner Pre 65 unlimited class

2015 VCMR invitational

1st pre 65 unlimited feature classes

2014 Mt Tarrengower Hill Climb

  • First female to win event in 114 years of running
  • First motorcycle to win outright out of motorcycles and cars

2014 Australian Classic Motocross Titles:

-1st best of british

-3rd pre 65 unlimited cc

2nd women’s open (riding a pre-60 with pre 80 motorcycles)

Speaking with Cailin from Stacey’s pit crew gave us a unique insight into the discipline and passion that fuels Stacey to take out the growing list of titles. “Having only been with Stace at races for the last year or so, I can tell you that the way she approaches races has ramped up in it’s intensity. From researching the track, to physically preparing herself with a gruelling workout regimen, along with her own personalised practice days at the family property.  She’s often talking with other great riders as well as studying the techniques of the professionals whenever she can. This is what has helped Stace step up her level of racing with sights set on International races in the not so distant future.”

“Probably the 2 stories that stand out for me most in the last year for watching Stace race come from the International Festival of Speed this year where she was able to head interstate to a track she had never raced on before and in less than 24 hours of racing at the track she was able to beat the previously held lap record for P4 125cc class by more than 6 seconds. Really spoke measures towards her ability to focus on every curve and bump on the track and work her way into the ideal racing line – and it isn’t the first time I’ve seen her do that! I have to say my favourite racing memory though was after the racing had finished up at the Island Classic earlier this year, during the presentation ceremony they were announcing the front runners for the Phil Irving Trophy  (award for most overall points for the event) and as the presenter reads the first name, 10th place overall in points for the weekend, Stacey Heaney. It was in that moment I saw Stacey’s face go through a few emotions, firstly shock at being named along with some of the greatest of the classic motorcycle racing both in Australia and Internationally, elation due to the recognition of a hard fought event at one of the most challenging tracks Australia has to offer and then finally determination to take that moment and make sure that moving forward her name was going to become a permanent fixture amongst those named in that ceremony.”

Try and be as humble as she can, when your own crew can easily see and recognise your drive and your love for the sport it truly speaks a lot about your ability – on and off the track. It’s hard to imagine Stacey doing anything else but ride and race

“Racing is my life. I tried call sports, and was terrible at them! I have built a family of fellow racers which I can’t wait to see on the weekends, and I think about bikes 24 hours a day. Working as a paramedic, my go-workers often think I’m nuts as we often attend to the fallen fellow rider, but the thrill and joy that racing gives me outweighs the risks and the fears. I still get the jitters and the nerves like the first time I lined up on the race track. I think that is what drives me to keep going. I remember my first race thinking “I have no idea how to do this, I’ll just give it my best!” and I still think that every time I’m out on the track. I suppose we never stop learning.”

Stacey’s father Des, who also has taken on the roll of crew chief/biggest sponsor, makes sure the bikes Stacey rides are in good condition and running fine. With Des owning most of the bikes, he knows them like the back of his hand. “When Stace started racing she was a very cautious rider but consistent – she was determined to finish no matter what. I see that in her today, her bike could be falling apart from underneath her, but she’ll find a way to get to the finish line which in classic racing is a major thing. My favourite memory was from the 2016 Historic in Goulburn. The heavens opened up and it was bucketing down, half the riders pulled the pin on the spot because it was like a typhoon – but not Stacey. She jumped on the bike without hesitation and lapped the field. At the end of the race all she said was “Well I’m not here to play in the pits am I?!”

Des’ stories of Stacey’s racing career is absolutely bursting with pride, and for a good reason. Sharing the passion for racing between father and daughter is a remarkably unique and special relationship. It might very well be part of the key to Stacey’s success – taking out wins so that Dad has plenty of great stories to tell at the pub for all to hear. “Another great memory of Stacey racing is the day she became the first Queen of the Mountain in 2014. Mt Tarrengower is a Hillclimb in Maldon Victoria on a 1972 Honda 750 Four. It had been won 13 years in a row by Mick Panayi with Stacey coming in a close second for 3 years running. With bald tyres that fellow competitors stated “should be wrapped around a lemon tree” and determination in her eyes, Stace took off on a blistering lap climbing the winging cliff roads of the mountain to claim the title. She became the first female to win the event in it’s 114 years of running – beating cars, bikes, and sidecars.”

“A great memory was when Stace was racing classic motocross. Stace often races 3-4 bikes a day so spends the whole day with a helmet on. A fellow club member saw Stace doing well on her 250 and asked me “Hey Des, your son Steve is doing all right, would he like to have a go on my triumph?” I just had a laugh and said sure Steve will give it a go. I pushed the bike over to Stace and said go out ride this bike and tell the owner how it goes. She went out and won the class by half a lap. When she pulled in and took the helmet off poor Phil nearly had a heart attack when he realised he just gave his bike to a girl not a guy. That was 5 years ago now, and to this day he still gets Stace to race his Triumph and swears she is his best team rider – even if she is a Stacey not a Steve.”

For Stacey’s daily rider, she’s got a ’98 Suzuki GSXR600, along with a KTM 350exc for going bushbashing. “I find that enduro riding is a fantastic way to improve key skills for the race track, such as fitness, throttle control, braking and terrain selection. Before every major race (both road and dirt) I’ll go out bush to prepare.”

“The future for me now is to go international. I hope to go to major classic events such as goodwood festival, and the classic TT. Australia is yet to be represented by a classic female racer over there, and I hope I can be the one for the job. Until then, you’ll find me on the grid at all the International Australian events, and all the classic events in Victoria.



Living Legend – Ken Lucas

We asked Ken when he started racing, “Forty-Five” was his reply. “Oh, you were forty-five years old when you started racing?” – “Nah mate, 1945!” Ken was scraping around corners while Hitler was getting his arse kicked across Europe, and the Jitterbug was all the rage with the youth of the time.

Ken is the epitome of what every rider hopes to be one day. Decades of riding, endless stories, and to be still riding into your supposed twilight years. At 86 years old, Ken is still riding his machines, and collecting plenty of new stories along the way. And of course enjoying the odd glass of Glenfiddich where appropriate.

Ken got his start on bikes around the age of 8, when WWII had just started in 1939. Growing up in Wangaratta, Victoria, the local army base had a plethora of motorcycles left on the road from soldiers who had recently joined up. “There was a ton of old beltdrive Douglas’ on the side of the road, so of course that’s where I got my first motorcycle from. After that we have moved into a house which had a big green old hedge out the back. Well, I had pulled that back and sure enough there was a 1932 Douglass 600cc with sidecar behind it! I was only learning then, so we tried to get the bike running on things like methylated spirits and kerosene to no avail. Then an aircraft had crashed in a field nearby, so we put some airplane fuel in the bike. I didn’t know about cleaning points in the magneto then, and we never did get that old bike goin’!”

We got chatting to Ken at the International Festival of Speed 2017. There he’d brought some of his treasured machines to hit the track and show off. One of these prized machines is a 1928 Douglas. An incredible old machine that has a lot more chutzpah than one would first imagine. Originally having a 750cc engine it it (which had also been taxed from an airplane) Ken picked it up from a bloke on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. The bike was very much incomplete, much to the surprise of Ken’s mate who had been tasked with picking the machine up.

The bike would then make it’s way to Melbourne, Australia where one of Australia’s most famous Douglas racers would have a hand at getting the old bike running. “James chucked in an airbox from a Douglas Speedway bike, and 2 carburetors. Now it’s a bloody animal! I let people ride the bike, and they can’t believe it. I lent it to Brendan Roberts at some titles in South Australia – now he’s a world superbike champion and even he couldn’t believe how it went and how strong it was. He started at the back of the grid, and was at about 15 before he got to turn 1! This lovely old bike gets taken out at least once a month, it’s been down to Tasmania for titles, Darwin as well – you name it!”

It’s not just the Douglas that’s getting all the attention, with a remarkable 250cc Manx Norton sitting pride of place close by. This incredible machine was built by none other than the famous Ray Petty, one of the most iconic and best Norton builders in the world. “There was a South African guy, Frank Cope, who was riding 500s in the early times. He was worried about the FIM, that they’d give him the shoot because of his age. So he went to Ray Petty wanting him to build a smaller bike, so Ray made this little 250cc for him. He led the MV’s around the Isle of Mann with it, before he went back to South Africa to retire before he passed on.”

This little beauty would then be found sitting in a container by a friend of Luke’s, who brought it over to Australia where it would receive a new chapter of riding and racing. “After coming back to Australia, my mate rang me up one day (he’d married an Italian girl by now) and was saying to me “Ken! Come quick come quick, the Mafia is onto me!” So I go over, and there’s this little baby sitting there – so I took it off his hands. We’ve raced it everywhere, and she goes like mad. When we’re going down the straight you’ve got to shut it down to half throttle, and it still wants to go!”

With decades of racing, Ken’s just about seen it all. Mud Scrambles in his hometown of Wangaratta were the first method of racing madness for Ken and his mates. “In Wangaratta, we had an area with a water crossing which we would all hit. All me mates were there, so we’d all race and no one could beat me! So then we started road racing, real seriously. We used to go to Keenan’s Paddock over in Yarrawonga. Now, our “road race” was getting the mower out, mowing the grass and that would be our track!” This progressed further to actual road racing, and classic meet-ups and titles.


“I’ve raced everywhere, all over the globe. I raced in New Zealand in the ‘80’s, and sure enough John Surtees was there. I was starting at the back, and getting 5th’s and 6th’s placements in the race. So I thought, “geez alright, I’m going good!” The next week we go to Ruapuna on the South Island. I would lead every race! Then John Surtees would pass me – of course I had to let him go since he was a world champion. When they had a big BBQ afterwards with all the riders and industry people, a bloke said to me “We’re going to the Isle of Mann TT, so leave your Manx here and we’ll ship it.” John Surtees says to me “Don’t do that John, we’ll give you a bike.” So of course I obliged. They gave me the most beautiful 350cc Manx, so I road that on the Isle of Mann. On race day, you’d ride your bike up to the circuit, it was magic. I went back there and road 4 times, which was a parade lap for the all the blokes that had ever raced there. The first time I road was on the 350cc Manx, the second time a 750cc, then I rode a 250 for the next few years. I was so spoiled! I even got invited to the Governor’s dinner. Haha me! They made me a member of the TT rider’s association. So when I go to dinner, I’m eating with Stanley Woods. Stanley was probably the biggest motorcycle icon ever, and there I am having dinner with him! I’m spoiled.

I’m toying with the idea of going back to Isle of Mann, but this time just to spectate.”

Video by Rohan Venn –



MOTOWERX – Simon Lovelace

“When I failed German O level at school, the powers that be suggested I take something else to fill my curriculum. I chose art – and failed that too”.

Fortunately, Simon stuck to it. From drawing crazy automobile creations with felt tip markers in primary school, to spending entire summers with his mate creating comic strips as their homage to the quintessential Sci-Fi anthology 2000AD. The works Simon created were a reaction to the life around him.

And then he got his driving license.

Bikes were now a huge part of Simon’s life, so it comes as no surprise to find his art and moto world’s married together one way or another. With his homeland in the UK no longer tickling his fancy, Simon ditched Mother England for some warmer tides. “The first piece I did in Australia was on a cupboard door which I’d found in the street, next to a bucket full of brushes and acrylics. That piece stayed in my bathroom for years. It was basic but I used the opportunity to blag a show at a gallery in Bondi using real estate signs I stole from Double Bay. They were made with shitty ply and a coloured plastic frame. Tres contemp.”

Simon is no stranger to us perving at his wares, be it rummaging around in his garage, or taking his 2-stroke racer out for a picturesque shoot. These moto inspired artworks are the perfect amalgamation between art and life. Racing heritage and 2-stroke lunacy feature as the point of interest in the current works, which hardly comes as a surprise with Simon either riding or working on these style bikes when he’s not viciously applying paint to canvas.

“Most of my process comes from a college drop out period where I sprayed surfboards. Invaluable and payed. Everything else is an exploration of style. I want an energy that creates narrative, not a photo realist facsimile.”

“The Motowerx paintings I started creating were really just a eureka moment of realising how many people were part of the motorsport culture in Australia. I’ve always been drawn to producing work that excites me so bikes and cars seemed a natural avenue to develop.”

The Motowerx will be featured in an exhibition this Thursday, featuring high octane thrill seeking legends in a new form, on a new medium.

To enquire further about Simon’s work, or comission one for yourself you can catch him at, Facebook, or Instagram






10,000kms With An SR400

5 weeks on, and 5 weeks off. That’s 5 weeks working on boats out at sea, and 5 weeks to do whatever you wanted once home. This was work and play for Rory, and for those 5 weeks play he decided to make good use of the time he had. When you mention riding from Sydney to Perth, you’ll no doubt instantly think of more Adventure or Touring styled machines, with panniers and plenty of luxuries. Not for Rory – his trusty 1988 Yamaha SR400 would be his adventure machine. Some say his bones are still vibrating to this day.


Long before he was belting across the Australian outback on a single cylinder café racer, Rory was first experiencing motorcycling as a young fella sitting on his Dad’s old race bikes. “Dad used to do the Irish Road Race Circuit back in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. He always loved bikes, but when we moved to Australia he was more into surfing and hanging around the beach. A bit later on Dad would get back into bikes when he bought an MV Augusta, and a few of my mates started buying bikes so that was all I needed to get back into riding for myself as an adult.”


Now a seasoned rider loving life on two-wheels, Rory and his brother had just finished a ride from Sydney to Byron Bay. This kicked some inspiration into Rory’s mind as he enjoyed his well-earned time off from working on boats out at seas for weeks on end. “I always wanted to do a long ride, and so I did a short blast up the coast to sort out any gremlins in the bike. The SR400 handled well, except for a chain guard breaking (who needs one anyway!)” An idea now kicked up – why not ride from Sydney to Perth on this reliable SR400? He had the time off work, and could say, “I love you” to a certain girl in person. Without much more though, Rory had a brief look at a map online, packed some socks and undies, tools, a spare clutch cable and off he went – to ride across Australia.


This kind of trip is a dream for many riders. It no doubt has either been done, or is floating about in the heads of many that fantasise of a spur of the moment adventure, taking barely what was required. This care-free take on a great adventure is not doubt itching many from their desks right now. Why on the the SR400? “Well, it’s my only bike! I thought it would be part of the adventure, a test for myself and the machine. Every bike I saw along the way was a tourer with panniers, trailers, comms etc. I thought “What’s the point? They might as well be doing it in a Range Rover!” My brother had a good laugh when I left on the trip, as our bikes could barely make it out of the city without something going wrong back in the day.”


And so, after some digilent preparation in the form just tightening every nut and bolt and performing an oil change, Rory began thumping off across Australia. “The ride from Sydney to Perth was a dream – apart from the heat in outback NSW and coming into Perth. I had a minor issue with my tail light which was easy to fix, but the ride there was great!” Riding back to Sydney from Perth would be a different story, however.


“The ride back was different, as I was pushing to make it home. Instead of sitting on 100kph as I did on the way over, I sat on 120kph which is where it all went pear shaped for my 28 year old Yamaha SR400. First, I lost my entire tail light and number plate assembly somewhere between Ceduna and Kimba. I made it into Port August just as it was getting dark, and got up early before dawn the next morning and hightailed it out of there as Port Augusta was the only palce I saw a cop on the whole trip on the way over. I stopped for a ciggy and could smell petrol, I then realised my fuel line was split. I knew there was a mechanic in Peterborough, so I gunned it through the Flinders Ranges with fuel pissing all over my leg. I made it, got the fuel line fixed and was on my way.”


“I had stopped in Broken Hill, and made up a shitty number plate out of cardboard. I figured I’d stay the night before the final leg back to Sydney. 63kms out of Cobar, my left food slipped off the peg. I looked down only to see everything covered in oil. I thought “Well, that’s the end of the trip for me” I thought the engine had let go. I pulled over, but with no phone reception to call motorcycle alliance. So I sat on the side of the road, waiting for someone to drive past. To my luck an hour later a ute pulled up with 2 young ladies in it who gave me a lift to Cobar, where I organised to get my bike towed into town. I got the oil-covered machine to the mechanics and started pulling it apart. I realised the leak was coming from a tiny hairline crack in the frame (oil in frame bike). “


“I had to wait until the next day to get the crack welded up, so the boys at the mechanics invited me out for a beer. After some beers, I was suddenly there in a ute full of pig dogs, beer, whiskey and a massive spotlight on the hunt for pigs out in the middle of bloody nowhere. We couldn’t find any pigs, so we stopped by the Tilpa Pub for a few beers… where we found that the local sheep shearers didn’t take too kindly to us hunting on their land. The next day the crack in the bike was fixed and I powered on home to Sydney, a broken but incredibly happy man.”


“It was incredible just seeing how vast this massive continent really is, the way the scenery changes every few 100kms out on the Nullarbor is insane. The wildlife is equally as impressive, I think Australia has more feral goats than any other animal, I saw thousands of them! I rode past a wreck from the night before and it was a camel that hit a 4WD; absolute carnage. I would highly recommend to anyone that’s considering it to just do it, get on your bike and just ride and enjoy the adventure. If I were to do it again, I’d maybe take my time and go with another rider as it can get very boring, but I wanted to push myself mentally and physically. 1000kms a day for 4 days in a row in 30+ heat and on an SR is not the most comfortable experience, but an experience all the same.”

And the girl Rory had ridden thousands of kilometres to say “I love you” to? Well, turns out he didn’t tell her. Rumour has it that he has whispered it to his SR400 on a few occasions however…

To have your own adventure simply pull your thumb out, jump on your bike, and get riding. Go on, do it.



Culture Reviews

Segura Veloce Jacket

We’ve taken one of the very appealing Segura Veloca Jacket’s out for a 6-month field test and review. It looks good, that much is certain – but does it hold up to the test?


The French motorcycle accessory label Segura first hit Australian shores in late 2015, and so are still a fresh face for Aussie motorcyclists looking for some good quality, and good looking protective gear. Form and function is something that plays high on the list of many apparel manufacturers, as they strive to create something that both looks good, and protects the rider. It’s a tricky balance, with many accessories leaning further towards one side than the other.


The Veloce Jacket definitely ticks off the looking good part of its package. With very sturdy leather sleeves that only get better with age, they take on their own character whilst still providing the excellent protection that leather hide is so famous for. Chucking a denim vest over one’s leathers is all too common, particularly in the urban custom motorcycle scene. This jacket eliminates the middleman and comes with a waterproof, high quality denim vest permanently affixed to the jacket. Leather and denim – there’s no better marriage in clothing.


For those colder rides and winter times, a removable hoodie is also a feature of this jacket. The black Segura hoodie simple clips into the cuff of the leather sleeves, and zips up into the denim jacket to become a single unit. Once the weather warms up, or your wanting to simply wear the hoodie by itself you can remove it in two shakes of a lambs tail.


As far as protection is concerned (and most are generally concerned about this) The Veloce jacket holds up to many other sturdy protective riding jackets. The leather is top quality, with elbow and shoulder armour to help protect against any impacts. A separate back protector accessory is available for a very humble price, which is highly recommended to be added should you grab this jacket.


The Segura Veloce has been worn by our team throughout the Australian Winter (Which does get cold, we swear!) and now Summer. The hoodie is an excellent addition and keeps the body warmth on the rider, cutting any chills or wind out. Once removed, the jacket breathes a lot more and is still very comfortable to be used in the Summer time.


Segura Veloce features

Personal Protection Equipment EC
Leather sleeves with a waterproof denim vest
Shoulder and elbow armour
Removable hoodie lining which can be work separately
Plenty of inside pockets
Option CE back protector available separately (a must to add)


Conclusion: This jacket ticks a lot of boxes. It looks great, is very comfortable to wear, and most importantly is protective. You’re looking at around $700 AUD for this badboy, and so is in the range of your higher-end motorcycle jackets. The removable hoodie is a fantastic addition. The denim vest feels very sturdy – however it’s durability compared to it’s tougher Kevlar cousins is yet to be tested.

To find out more or grab a jacket for yourself, check out



Butler’s Customs & Café Racers

Last time we caught up with Liam Butler, he was working out of a mate’s shed with borrowed tools. Today, he’s grown and expanded to his own shop, and is pumping out some great builds while making his own mark in the Australian custom motorcycle world.


Seeing how far Butler’s Customs & Café Racers has come over the past 18 months is something truly exciting. These beginnings were long in the making however. From working on cars with his Pop as a kid when he was as tall as a dining table, Liam’s love for machines was planted early. “As long as I can remember I’ve been pulling things apart and putting the back together to see how they worked. It was only natural I suppose that I’d end up becoming an automotive electrician by trade. I was drawn to motorcycles when I was little, my Dad, Uncle and Pop all rode as did my friends. I could just never afford one till I was older. Once I met my mate Paul and he showed me the bike he was building, I was hooked.”


After years of working for companies from building buses, police cars, army vehicles, race cars and mining vehicles, Liam decided to take his skills on a different path. Bikes. “When I got my first bike and built it up, I did my best to make it what I felt was the best and classiest bike I could on my limited budget of $3000. I had just been made redundant from the mines, had no more work and just a motorcycle to play with. After finishing it and getting a good response from people, my wife suggested I put a post up on Facebook letting people know I could wire their bikes for them, I got some work which kept us going till I found a new job but before long I was flat out. I thought that maybe I could take this passion to another level, and make it my full time job.”


Just as soon as this idea had entered Liam’s head, a logo was drawn up and his business name was now registered. Soon he was building more bikes and selling them, while also doing electrical work for others. A year and a half later Liam ran into his mate Chris Johnson who is part owners with Chris Joannu of the Edwards Bar in Newcastle. “I told Chris that I was eventually going to open my own shop and if he had any advice. He offered me a space in one of the shops they had next door to their bar, and so I jumped at it. The space now allowed me to take on a mechanic and engine rebuilder, along with being able to buy more tools and other things needed. Now we hold monthly rides, events and have a steady flow of custom bikes rolling out the door.”


Specialising in pre-90’s motorcycles, Butler’s take care of fabrication, engine rebuilds, complete restorations, electrics, custom builds and anything mechanical. The new space also allowed him to start working with apparel, parts and accessories, further expanding the growing repertoire that Butler’s Customs & Café Racers have. “We’ve built a lot of bikes from top to bottom, and currently are building a complete custom Honda XL250, a Yamaha XS400, a Suzuki GS650 and a Honda CB400.”


From working at home, then to a mates shed with borrowed tools, and to now operating a complete workshop space that bears his name, it’s a success that comes from passion and drive. Adding to the thriving Newcastle motorcycle scene, more and more are looking at getting involved with custom or classic bikes, and giving it a go themselves. Butler’s has proven to provide a hub for those wanting to be a part of the 2-wheel fun.

To check out more, CLICK HERE


“We’ve got some big things happening this year, with some massive builds for high end clients and companies, along with new events. We have our monthly Parry St Roll Up, where on the last Sunday of every month we ride from 12:30pm from the shop before coming back to The Edwards Bar for beers, bands and food. “



Two Souls, Two Wheels, One Passion

It’s been a long road, with lots of bends over many years for both Adrian and Heleana as they entered and expanded upon the custom motorcycle world for Sydney. To call them a couple wouldn’t seem quite right, more a team that have strived in created Sydney’s first self service motorcycle workshop and cafe – Rising Sun Workshop.


Motorcycling would enter both Adrian and Heleana’s lives very differently, and at very different times. Despite growing up on a farm, Adrian wasn’t allowed anywhere near motorcycles after his Mother had an accident whilst riding. This resulted in a strict no motorcycle policy on the farm, and so Adrian instead spent his time working on cars in the shed. “If the car didn’t run, I had a 1.5km walk to the bus stop, so I made sure the car always ran.” Learning everything he could from his Dad, Uncles and mates, plenty of work was done on machines in the shed. Fast-forward some years, Adrian was now liberated from the no-bike policy as he lived on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and sure enough he’d pick himself up a 1986 Yamaha SR400. “It was the third best day of my life riding that bike from Ryde where I picked it up, back to my home in Dee Why. I had a smile from ear to ear, and it’s probably the longest non-stop smile I have ever had.”


Heleana’s introduction to 2-wheels was somewhat the opposite, as she grew up in suburban Sydney, daughter to a Greek immigrant from a small village in central Greece. “Our backyard was a playground where we were only limited by our imaginations. Cars were a large part of the communal part of our upbringing, both mum and dad worked on cars both out of poverty (Dad bolted aircraft seats to the back of a bright blue Nissan ER van in the 1980’s for the family car) and passion. I was about 11 when Dad brought home a Honda CT90, showed me how to ride it, and I was off! Every day after school, still in my school uniform, no helmet and barefoot, I’d walk through the house dump my stuff, grab the key and run out to the Honda doing laps of the suburb making a game out of how much faster I can corner. Motorcycles became my way to get into that communal village more than I could with cars (11 is a little young to be trying burn outs in a valiant).”


So here we had a farm boy with no bikes, and the curly-haired girl from the suburbs who was doing barefoot laps around the neighbourhood. It would be on the first day of University in 2002 that they would finally meet, some may call it fate, others would just point out that two people generally seem to meet when enrolled in the same University. Regardless, with Heleana studying a Masters of Architecure and Adrian his Industrial Design Degree the two became friends. (or Friend-zoned as Adrian put it) “Adrian was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed having just moved to the big-smoke from the country. Everything was exotic, interesting and overwhelming for him… including me! I loved this guy instantly, a country gentleman who had this gentle resilience, a lot of patience and positive outlook on life. Incredibly, almost 12 years later and a lot more life, loss and joy lived, he still thinks I’m awesome and I adore him.”


The lovechild (for lack of a better term) of all these years together and a common passion for 2-wheels resulted in Rising Sun Workshop, although not overnight. While living together with Adrian’s newly acquired Yamaha SR400 in 2010, the pair instantly wanted to start wrenching on it. “I was a massive Deus fan boy and wanted in on the café racer scene. Both Heleana and I missed wrenching and tinkering like we used to growing up, we’d traded working on machines to the odd screwdriver or allan keys for various pieces of Ikea furniture.


“That’s when I saw a Pipeburn article on MotoMethod in Vancouver and a video about how they turned their mechanic workshop into a space that welcomed their customers, gave them overalls and started teaching and letting them wrench on their own bikes. The bit that got me was that at the same time each day, they sat down at a make shift table and ate lunch together. It seemed real communal. By now I was truly missing my parents shed and wishing for a space I could use with tools and other people and this hatched the idea for RSW. The cafe side was just as important as the workshop for bringing people together, creating an atmosphere of somewhere like minded people could hang out and share ideas and tell stories, as well as make the workshop work financially, RSW is equally both the workshop and the cafe, one would not exist without the other.”


It would be between 2011 and 2013 that they would try get this idea up and running, but financially couldn’t make it work. “We dared not tell anyone, and kept the workshop as an idea close to our chest in fear that someone else would beat us to it. And so someone did. I was on the train when I saw that the Kustom Kommune crowd funding had been launched. My stomach fell to the floor and simultaneously was devastated as someone else was about to make our idea a reality, but I also knew this is what I wanted more than anything else and was willing to do or try what ever it took to make it happen. I almost instantly called Jimmy from KK and told him what RSW was about, how long we had been working on it and that crowdfunding might help us get off the ground as well, Jimmy supported us thankfully and encouraged us to get a campaign up and running as well. We did, and 3 months later we exceeded our target raising $40,000. June 2013 we finished our crowd funding and June 2016 we opened RSW permanently. The 3 years in between involved 4x Development Applications, an illegal pop up space, 4x Throttle Rolls, many fines, lots of consultants, arguments, sleepless nights, 3 funerals, many new friends, the beginnings of a great DIY community, heaps more laughs and now 6 months open under our belt.” – Adrian


Going through this massive journey with your partner is something that is as rewarding as it is challenging. “We are definitely different people now compared to who we were just before we started on the RSW journey. We’re better, have harder edges and know who we are individually and together. The path to opening our doors has been extraordinary. Along that road we’ve been pushed and pulled in all sorts of directions… it’s treacherous and takes a fortitude to survive it without compromising on who we are and what RSW should be. We held ourselves really accountant to the community who backed us and I think this served us well, we had to back ourselves all the way. I’m really proud of this place and the extraordinary team who surround Adrian and I. It’s a massive achievement to get RSW open and remain the warm, welcoming, communal place it is.” – Heleana


“Being business partners and life partners is equally rewarding and challenging. We have definitely had tough times on this journey but I can honestly say if we weren’t in this together and weren’t married, I don’t think RSW would exist. It has definitely made us stronger as a couple and in the darkest hours when it looked like RSW wouldn’t happen, being together helped me get though the dark times and gave me strength to keep fighting. Also having the combined unwavering support of Heleana and also brutal honesty is the best combination. I always know the feed back is constructive and from a place of support, no other agendas are at play.” Adrian


Today, Rising Sun Workshop is a warm, thriving hub of wrenching and good food. The old Mitre 10 building has been transformed into a beacon for those wanting to learn more about working on their ride, while also having the space and tools to do so. A luxury many living in urban areas do not have, with garages and sheds being few and far between. The café pumps out a ton of incredible food, which has received acclaim across the Internet. This space also plays host to unique and bespoke events, providing intimate sessions with acclaimed bike builders, and events for Aussie heros. “There’s been a clear thirst for knowledge exchange, both teachers and students alike are really enjoying the workshops we’ve been running, Brad Coles does an incredible job running the workshop and teaching. We’re looking to expanding our workshop offering to match the evolving knowledge base of our members and will be focusing on engaging more women in wrenching.” – Heleana

For more be sure to head to or check out the space in person.