Author(s): R Klanten
Men and motorcycles: a story that has vacillated somewhere between cult and cliche for years. Custom bikes, in particular, have a history that is deeply rooted in the spirit of freedom and change of the 1960s, as well as man's primal urge to build something with his own hands -or, in this case, tools. The Ride 2nd Gear is a showcase of the power and beauty of these bikes.The book presents a stunning selection of recent custom motorcycles, as well as the small, local workshops around the globe in which they are built. Hotbeds of creativity and craftsmanship, these workshops are mostly run by single individuals and attract a small yet devoted community of fans and fellow builders. Rather than coveting the newest luxury models to come off the assembly line, this community is more concerned with transformations. They want to turn grandpa's old heap, a bargain found on eBay, or a soulless model from another era into something of their very own. They want to augment old motors and existing mechanics with modern technology or make their personal visions of aesthetics and handling a reality. This process takes time, dedication, technical expertise, and skilled handcraft.From limited series to one-offs made for personal pleasure or to order, The Ride2nd Gear features the brilliant results of this process. Its pages are filled with bikes that offer extraordinary design and driving experiences. In fact, established brands are now acting on trends set by the custom scene whose bikes are often more radical and sophisticated because more attention can be paid to detail and each new idea can be fine-tuned to perfection.The models shown in The Ride 2nd Gear stem from or are based on classic bobbers and choppers, Italian-style racing machines, plastic Japanese motorcycles, and rare BMWs or Triumphs, some of which may very well be 30-50 or even 80 years old. They are vintage in the best sense of the word.They not only preserve, but also improve and expand upon the quality of traditional craftsmanship. Decked out with state-of the-art disk brakes, LED lights, gears, and drive components, these custom machines are more agile, faster, and therefore more fun than anything produced in the past."