Friday, October 7, 2011
I went up to Auckland last Saturday to check out GRINDERFEST, a show/competition for 'garage built' bikes organised by Irish Jon of the Grease Monkeys. You can see more photos of the bikes in this show on Jon's blog here, and the Grinderfest blog here. You can see who won etc on the Grinderfest one.
I should have gone up the weekend before. I thought there was gonna be a closing party of some sort on the Saturday night, but there was really just the prize-giving in the afternoon (which I missed cause Pete's brother took me for a ride to get some lunch and we took aaagggeeess). Still it was good to see the bikes, and to catch up, albeit very briefly, with Jon and Sarah. This had obviously been a lot of work for them and I think they were pretty shagged by the end.
There were some pretty interesting machines on show, including one bike that had been built around a Subaru car engine. I guess I focused on the more 'conventional' customs in that respect. I like my bikes to look like bikes, I'm not into massive engines, ultra high speeds, or crazy concept kinda things. There were a couple of Mad Max lookin bikes, and a whole bunch of stuff that deserves mention for creativity or whatnot, but yeah not my cup of tea sorry. There were some great choppers and bobbers, some of which I took photos of. Interestingly there weren't any cafe racers that I thought were totally amazing. There was one, a bitsa kinda thing, I can't remember what it was? Brit bike of some kind? It was ok, just didn't blow me away. There was a Thruxton, which I was keen to see because I'm really keen to start fucking with mine over the summer, but to be honest, once I saw it, I didn't think should've been there. I'll quote Jon from the Grinderfest blog to explain...
"There will always be some people who just don’t get it. The biggest crowd at the end of the afternoon was round the store bought chopper (just like on TV). It was a nice bike but the only thing that I could see that was garage built were the little bits of bent tin that were holding on the indicators. Same for the Thruxton, which was a lovely bike. Hell, I’ve even got one, but getting a professional paint job and a few high end catalogue parts was exactly what we were trying not to promote"
I think Jon puts his position fairly clearly here, and it's one that really resonates with me. It's what he means by 'garage built'. It means you built it yourself. Or with hands-on help from your friends while standing round the garage drinking some beers and talking some shit. It's not buy a new Harley, order a bunch of parts from Orange County Choppers, and get some professional you never met before to put it all together for you. It's not that I'm vehemently against that, it's just that I like Jon's attitude and approach to motorcycles. If there were more guys like him around (and obviously there are!) then there would be more cool bikes on the road (and obviously there will be now... in Auckland at least?).
I'm hoping to talk to Jon and to get something in the first HFoS fanzine anyway. I hope he got some better photos than me!?
Big thanks to Pete's brother, Andre, who loaned me his Sporty while I was in Auckland. Took some getting used to, riding a Harley I mean. But was great fun, and cool to ride something really different for a change. Still don't see myself getting a Harley anytime soon, but yeah I was certainly starting to get a feel for it... don't rev it too high eh!