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1rst Annual Cinco de Moto

May 6, 2017

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo and their newly expanded space, Brooklyn's Vax Moto and Vax Taco debuted their Cinco de Moto event May 5 combining motorcycles, margaritas, tacos, music, beer and a live Coney Island side show. Adam Guys, who helped design the Vax Taco logo, also supplied his talents for Cinco de Moto artwork -- limited edition tees and posters -- for the inaugural (1rst) event.

Despite heavy rain earlier in the day, the weather seemed to clear for the festivities, which saw bikes of all shapes and sizes drop by ... sport, classic, baggers, adventure, and some cafe racers.

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Two Cities ... Two Looks

May 5, 2017

Our Photographer Spotlight this time around is a double shot ... Action photographer and filmmaker Stan Evans focuses on three riders from the 'city that never sleeps', including pro snowboarder Chauncey Tanton, Alex DiMattio of Jane Motorcycles fame, and fitness model, Soulcycle instructor and moto enthusiast Emma Lovewell. Then, in a companion piece for our sister site LAMotorcyclist.com, Evans hits some sweetspots of LA motolife -- the twisties, the offroad and build culture, and the style behind America's top moto destination -- in a Los Angeles gallery of editorial rider portraits.

View NYC Gallery [+] | View LA Gallery [+]

A Night of Motorcycles and Art

April 28, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

A host of moto and art enthusiasts descended on the MotorGrrl Garage in Brooklyn, April 28, for an 'adventurous' Night of Motorcycles and Art. On display ... Grace Roselli's Naked Bike and Viragos by Susana Rico. Rico debuted a tintype series of photos documenting women and their bikes, while Roselli exhibited photo prints and paintings from her most recent collection, a series which seeks to create a meaningful conversation on how women and the female form are portrayed in society.

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Making riders hungry for social activism

April 14, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

Two wheels, a variety of boiled, fried, simmered, or steamed fillings wrapped in dough … and a common social cause.

For organizer Tom Nguyen the three ingredients which make up The Dumpling Tour — a motorcycle charity run next month benefiting the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) — go together like pierogies and sour cream.

“There are hundreds of versions of dumplings in different countries all over the world,” says Nguyen, one of three owners at Brooklyn’s Phumpling Co, which has showcased its Chinese/Vietnamese pho-packed, bite-sized soup dumplings at Popup New York for the past two years.

“The reason why we as New Yorkers are able to enjoy gyoza from Japan, pelmeni from Russia, pierogi from Poland, momos from Tibet, empanadas from Latin America — just to name a few — is because of the immigrants who came to this country and shared their incredible food with us. Diversity in food, culture, and thought is what makes this country thrive.”

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Not so Doomed in NYC

April 11, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

What’s really in a name? On first impressions DOOMEDnyc, and its borrowed tagline – ‘life will be the death of me’ – appear to offer a rather bleak outlook on life.

But for artist, industrial designer and creator Rachael Inman, the handmade leather bag company’s philosophy is quite the opposite, an ironic statement on not letting life pass you by … of embracing and focusing your creativity, and living up to your potential.

“I think the brand can come off as this negative, down thing … like ‘doom and gloom.’ But it really is not what the meaning behind it is, … at least for us,” says Inman in a recent interview from DOOMEDnyc HQ in Greenpoint, adding the original concept came from her now-husband and business partner Jason Goodrich, a photographer by trade.

“I think that what the message was for him – ‘I'm doomed to be an artist.’ – that was very much what rang true for me as well, because I tried the whole corporate thing,” Inman says. “I tried to not be an artist, ... not only was I working too much, it was also that I didn't have a voice. I'm such a creative person and see the world so differently that … I was like ‘I can't do this anymore. This is killing my soul, literally.’"

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Metal moves like life … One step forward, two steps back

March 28, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

I have coast-to-coast friends – builders, mechanics and DIYers – all of whom are quite proficient, some even downright talented, at maintaining and modifying their motorcycles. I get by … I can do oil and filter changes, replace brake pads, bleed brake lines, do minor wiring mods, and even swap out batteries and re-program ECUs.

I’ve also added my fair share of bolt-on aftermarket parts.

But, high school industrial ed classes notwithstanding, designing and building specialty parts for bikes always felt a little out of reach.

So it would seem like providence when a Sheetmetal Shaping Fundamentals class, offered by noted custom builder Keino Sasaki, of Indian Larry, Brooklyn Invitational and Biker Build-off fame, came up on the local moto calendar … a chance to test my mettle, so to speak.

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Riding on the Edge through ‘Graceworld’

March 22, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

Naked Bike Project Stares Down Society’s Portrayal of Women

Grace Roselli is as complex and varied as the artwork and photography she produces.

Tall ceilings, large paintings and photography from her latest series – Naked Bike, a well-worn 1967 Triumph Tiger, and two large, affectionate pooches – Laayoune, a Dogo Argentino, and Mokey, a Bull Mastiff/American Bulldog mix … They all dominate Roselli’s Brooklyn-based work/home space … it’s a mixture of calm confidence, gritty styling and in-your-face imagery, not unlike Roselli herself.

The Bay Ridge, Brooklyn-born, Rhode Island School of Design graduate sways between fiery passion and calm introspection as she describes the culmination of her love of motorcycles and her ambition to create a meaningful conversation on how women and the female form are portrayed in society … the essence of the Naked Bike project, and a theme that has followed Roselli her entire artistic career.

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Getting Back to Build Basics with Keino Sasaki

March 17, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

HOW METAL MOVES ... AND HOW YOU CAN MOVE METAL

Some might call it a test of metal. A course designed to put you back in touch with artisan skills, working with your hands, and mastering tools that have been used to shape metal for many decades.

Sheers, snips, mallets, hammers, dollies, English wheels … basic tools and techniques are at the heart of a course being taught at Red Hook-based Keino Cycles, by owner, builder, Indian Larry disciple and Brooklyn Invitational co-director Keinosuke ‘Keino’ Sasaki.

“Basically, this is a class I wish I had (had) a chance to attend when I started to shape metal,” says Keino, whose shop is famous for handcrafted motorcycles such as the recent Vincent custom collaboration with Stephen Pate dubbed ‘Widow Jane’.

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NYC Photographer Spotlight: David Goldman

March 14, 2017

A documentary photographer and filmmaker living in Brooklyn, NY -- and a current member of the NY Classic Riders -- David Goldman originally pointed his camera at musicians and celebs. But a few years back he switched his focus to working with NGOs and socially conscientious companies, documenting human rights, marginalized people and maternal health issues. Goldman, who rides a 2004 Triumph Thruxton, has always been into motorcycles … but cars were his first love. He even took some racing courses in his teens and had hopes of becoming a pro racer. The long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan now hopes to eventually buy a BMW GS 1200 one day, and like so many people have done before, ride across the country. Goldman's moto world credits include shoots for Walt Siegl and Pagnol-moto.

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Via Meccanica: Corinna Mantlo's Art in Motion

March 12, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

Via Meccanica’s new Brooklyn-based digs are a cozy space … kettle on the boil, NPR tunes in the air, comfy couch and a quartet of motos in a backroom which houses a collection of leathers, threads and an industrial sewing machine. Creativity and inspiration abounds …

You may have seen Corinna Mantlo’s handiwork on a number of classic restorations, seats that give a nod to vintage styling with piping and creative stitching, but with added details … a slightly more curved line than stock, or increased support for a smoother ride.

Revival Cycles’ Rickman Velocette – on display at last year’s Brooklyn Invitational, the Vinago, a 1982 Virago 1100 custom from Billy Joel’s collection at 20th Century Cycles, and Iacona Custom Cycles IMS Championship Sportster are just a few showpieces recently added to the 36-year-old's proverbial leather belt.

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Zen and the Art of the Gourmet Taco

March 12, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

There is a sophistication in simplicity when it’s done right … whether you’re running a 5,000-square-foot motorcycle storage facility and private members’ community garage … or a gourmet taco stand.

For Brooklyn’s Justin Walters it’s all three … a combination of businesses he’s blue skied about since he first opened Vax Moto six years ago.

“Originally when I first wanted to open up a garage I had this master plan … food, retail, wrenching, merchandising, beer garden … but it was an extremely expensive financial venture that I just wasn’t ready to do on my first out,” says Walters.

Now three locations later with plans to double the Butler Street facility’s 225-bike space in the very near future, the 45-year-old family man and ‘74 Harley Shovelhead owner says the timing was perfect for his newest idea … Vax Taco.

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Photographer Ryan Handt : Capturer of Light

March 12, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

In our first of many features highlighting some of the bright sparks in the NYC Moto community, we talk with acclaimed shutterbug Ryan Handt, his style and photographic inspirations … and his fascination with motorcycles. The 35-year-old native New Yorker’s work covers the gamut from high end marketing shoots for the likes of Belstaff and Union Garage NYC to more journalistic ventures documenting every element of the local bike scene: events, builders ... and the incredible bikes they produce. You may have even had your portrait taken by him during last year’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride when he set up at Union Garage. For Handt the devil is in the details, whether its maintaining his distance from subjects to capture a scene authentically or pouring over images in post to make sure the color is absolutely perfect.

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NYC Photographer Spotlight: Bart Ksiazek

March 12, 2017

Bartosz 'Bart' Ksiazek is a New York City-based portrait and lifestyle photographer with an unlimited passion for motorcycles and everything that has wheels.

His work in this gallery spans the range from posed and lit moto setups to action-based motorcycle photography under a variety of lighting conditions, from moody night shots to filtered sunset images.

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It's a Moto Family Affair: The NY Classic Riders gear up for Spring

March 12, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

It’s about motorcycles, group rides, building a DIYer’s knowledge base and exploring all of what NYC has to offer two-wheeled enthusiasts. But at its core, really the NY Classic Riders MC is about building lifelong friendships … an extended moto family, so to speak, which supports all aspects of New York moto culture.

That’s a large leap forward from what club founder Dominique D. envisioned four years ago when he and a close-knit group of ex-pat French riders first started to organize local informal rides in and around the city.

“I first created this group to gather all my New York riding friends, and thought this would be the best platform for us to share ideas, bike tips, and arrange weekend rides,” says Dominique, a relatively new rider who came to NY half a decade ago in his mid-30s.

With the help of a burgeoning Facebook membership, which is currently pushing the 600 mark, a newly launched and comprehensive website (featuring member bios, videos, photos, a blog and recommended moto vendors shops and eateries), and even a new logo, the NY Classic Riders seems well positioned for the upcoming spring riding season.

“My goal is to continue building a strong community of riders,” says Dominique. “I see already in the group, people that would have never met before, developing amazing friendships, after only a single ride. People from the group today are meeting even outside the motorcycle context. When I see this, I tell myself: ‘Mission accomplished!’”.

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NYCMotorcyclist.com | Joining the Family Spring 2017

Jan. 5, 2017 | By Rahoul Ghose


And the next chapter begins ... with help from LA Motorcyclist logo designer Danilo De Donno (@stylographic) work on our new sister site -- NYCMotorcyclist.com -- begins. The NYC Motorcyclist logo ... a crouched rider wearing a Schott-style leather jacket and riding a stripped down vintage racer ... is inspired by Brooklyn build culture and moto fashion.

Slated for a Spring 2017 launch, the new community website hub has started out life as a special section, featuring New York specific stories, events and club info.

We are now looking for your contributions and help in building our galleries and links sections. NYC Motorcyclist provides galleries for moto artists and photographers in NYC and the surrounding areas, including a bio, a small selection of work -- 8 to 12 images, preferrably with a common theme -- and links to websites and social media. No negatives here ... just great exposure. We are also looking for entries for our NY Moto Directory ... shops, stores, resources ... etc.

For more information on advertising on the new site, or to send us NYC story ideas, photos and event info, please email rahoul@nycmotorcyclist.com. Social Media:   

Head to Head Carbon: The Classic Helmet Showdown

Dec. 26, 2016 | Rahoul Ghose

Known for its feather weight and high tensile strength, carbon fiber is fast becoming the optimal choice in motorcycle helmet construction, a welcome change from fiberglass and lower end polycarbonate options.

But the added safety benefits, longevity and comfort offered through stylistic carbon fiber models currently available through the likes of NEXX, Les Ateliers Ruby and Bell come at a premium, with prices ranging from $500 to well over 2K for the luxury of being ahead of the crowd.

LA Motorcyclist decided to pit three top-end, retro-styled helmets in a head-to-head comparison to see if you really can put a price on the protection of your precious noggin; at odds, the newly released NEXX X.Garage Carbon, the Bell Bullitt Carbon, and, at the peak of the cost chart, Les Ateliers Ruby’s Castel.

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International Motorcycle Shows 2016 : New York

Dec. 10, 2016 | Photos: Rahoul Ghose

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say. Attending a bike show always has me looking at the details ... that's where my inspiration lies, both as a photographer and as a rider.

The IMS in New York, Dec. 9-11, had more than a few bright spots, including: the international debut of Brooklyn, NY-based Vanguard’s first release, the Roadster ... a post-modern brushed aluminum triumph of design and engineering; numerous custom builds as part of J & P CYCLES Ulimate Builder Custom Bike Show -- which featured several Yamaha Virago variations; BMW's amazing 2017 R nineT Racer and Scrambler; and KTM's wide range of multipurpose and racing inspired models.

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NEXX now aiming X.Garage series at West Coast riders

Nov. 16, 2016 | Rahoul Ghose

The NEXX X.Garage helmet is the first of many LA Motorcyclist tested, selected and endorsed moto products scheduled to be sold on LAMotoStore.com. We talk to North American Director of Operation Ricardo Silva about the relatively new helmet line and the company’s big plans for 2017.

With the addition of a new carbon fiber variant to the popular X.Garage retro helmet series for 2017 and the opening of a dedicated North American headquarters – based in New Jersey – earlier this year, NEXX Helmets is setting its sights on the niche US moto market and expanding westward.

A look at the Portuguese company’s 2017 catalogue reveals a series of helmets for riders from all segments of the motorcycle world: racers (X.R2), sports tourers (X.T1), dual sport (X.D1) and scooter enthusiasts (SX), and, most recently, the now broadly popular café racer set (X.G100 & X.G10).

NEXX has been around for 15 years, but is now looking at making a serious mark in the US, says Ricardo Silva, Director of Operations for North America, adding the X.Garage helmet series represents a culmination of unique styling and technology, combined with a refreshing artistic partnership with another Portuguese lifestyle moto brand – Maria Riding Company.

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Royal Enfield targets a ‘simple’ success in the US with ‘Made Like a Gun’ motorcycles

Oct. 4, 2016 | Rahoul Ghose

An interview with Rod Copes, Royal Enfield, President, North America

With a new recently opened headquarters and flagship store in Milwaukee, WI, and plans to triple the number of dealers in the US and Canada in the not-so-distant future (from 30 to 100), Royal Enfield’s North American president, Rod Copes, is hoping to reignite the continent’s 1960s love affair with mid-weight British vintage bikes.

Companies such as Triumph, and to a much lesser extent Norton, have led the way, flooding the US market with a variety of expat offerings in the 900 cc range and above. Copes – who took over the reins of Royal Enfield North America in August 2014 – says Royal Enfield’s smaller-displacement-centered brand has a very different outlook on the industry, one that emphasizes simplicity in the face of the current trend of rising prices and overcomplicated products.

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8th Annual Brooklyn Invitational

Sept. 24, 2016 | Photos: Rahoul Ghose

A curated collection of close to 30 motorcycles from around the world was showcased at the 8th annual Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show Sept. 24 -- including a modified Indian entry from LA's own Rolands Sands -- at Root Studios in Williamsburg, NY, a sprawling 16,000 square foot photo studio and sponsor of the event since 2010.

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