News Feature

Worlds's First Tattooed Motorcycle looking for NYC Gallery Venue



October 10, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose

Polish bike builder Game Over Cycles is looking for a temporary NYC home for it's one-of-a-kind tattooed motorcycle, currently on display at the House of Harley in Milwaukee, Wisconsin through November.

Dubbed The Recidivist, Game Over Cycles' machine was inspired by the art of permanent body adornment.

"Motorbikes are commonly adorned with tattoo motifs using an airbrush. However, the uniqueness of The Recidivist lies in the fact that the bike's entire construction is covered in tattooed skin branded directly onto the bike's tires, tanks, seat, rear fender, lamp and many other smaller elements," company press and communication manager Chris Bienkiewicz says. "Light-colored cow hide leather - similar to the color of human skin - is engineered onto the bike. Artists from Polish tattoo studios applied traditional works of tattoo art onto the bike. All of that makes The Recidivist the world's first tattooed motorcycle."

the recidivist + sidecar | patryk ogorzałek / pogo images
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  The worlds of motorbikes and tattoos have long been kindred spirits ... The theme of the The Recidivist relates to this traditional relationship. In the USA, bikers used to tattoo for personal reasons - to express their character and lifestyle - as well as their social attitude.   

-- Chris Bienkiewicz, Game Over Cycles, press and communication manager
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The bike has recieved numerous awards across the pond, and more recently earned accolades in the US, taking 1st place in the 'Most Unusual' class during the Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show in August as part of this year's Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™. The bike also took 1st place in September's Harley-Davidson Museum Custom Bike Show in the pro class. The award was presented to the company by Harley-Davidson Museum vice-president Bill Davidson and his father, legendary HD motorcycle designer Willie G. Davidson, the grandson of one of the founders of Harley-Davidson company.

"The worlds of motorbikes and tattoos have long been kindred spirits," Bienkiewicz adds. "The theme of the The Recidivist relates to this traditional relationship. In the USA, bikers used to tattoo for personal reasons - to express their character and lifestyle - as well as their social attitude. The Recidivist, as an artistic vision, references those traditions, and through its construction and decorations presents a story of a man with strong character - a person, who values individuality, personal expression and sense of freedom."

the recidivist + sidecar | patryk ogorzałek / pogo images
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  Light colored cow hide leather - similar to the color of human skin - is engineered onto the bike. Artists from Polish tattoo studios applied traditional works of tattoo art onto the bike. All of that makes The Recidivist world's first tattooed motorcycle.   

-- Chris Bienkiewicz, Game Over Cycles, press and communication manager
____________________________________________________________________

References to the traditions are expressed not only in bike's theme, but also in its construction, which includes elements that draw from the look of tattoo machines. All of these parts are fully operational elements of bike's construction, and the mechanisms of these elements operate in the same way as they do in the original tattoo machines:

  • the bike's front suspension has the look of a traditional coil tattoo machine
  • the exhaust pipe looks exactly like a modern tattoo machine, including the tattooing needles which when you start the bike, move exactly as they do when the tattoo machine applies ink under skin

Furthermore, the machine's design is based on a number of technical solutions, drawn from the turbulent lifestyles of post-war bikers:

  • the lever starting the bike has a shape of a bomb detonator lever
  • the rear light indicators look like brass knuckle-dusters
  • front clutch and brake handles are formed in the shape of 'butterfly' knives
  • the break pump lever is shaped in the form of a section sign

The Recidivist is based on the Harley-Davidson Heritage model. From the original machine only the engine - a Twin Cam 96” - and part of frame are left. All other construction elements and mechanisms are original solutions created by the builders at Game Over Cycles. The bike was officially unveiled in September 2014 at the London International Tattoo Convention - the most prestigious body adornment convention in the world.

The Recidivist's sidecar was created in 2017 and had its world premiere at the Sturgis 2017 rally. The sidecar is fully tattooed, both outside and inside and also on the tires.

"In terms of the construction the sidecar relates to the bike, mainly it's fuel tank, as it has similar construction made of two sheets of metal joined with tubes, which imitates the look of a human spine," Bienkiewicz says. "Sidecar tattoos also relate to motifs present on the bike, but as it is with tattoos on a human body, with time they change together with the person they are tattooed on. Given elements get bigger, change colors, shapes and meanings. That is why on the sidecar there are tattoos paralleled with the ones on the motorcycle, such as the Themis or handcuffs. But it also includes new motifs in the form of relations to the abstract art of H.R. Giger and Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, as well as inspiration taken from real life, such as selected images from the history of the Harley-Davidson company."

the recidivist + sidecar | patryk ogorzałek / pogo images
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  We are just motorcycle and art lovers, treating our machines like sculptures. So it would be a great honour for us just to be able to share with the audience the kind of inspiration that engineering combined with imagination can give, and how it can be expressed in a vehicle.   

-- Chris Bienkiewicz, Game Over Cycles, press and communication manager
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Construction of the motorcycle and sidecar took 3,000 hours. Tattooing of the bike and sidecar took more than 2,500 hours.

"The bike is currently in the US displayed at the House of Harley in Milwaukee, but the company is looking for an art gallery or museum in New York, which could be potentially interested in displaying the world's first tattooed motorcycle to exhibit as part of their collection for a given period of time. We are just motorcycle and art lovers, treating our machines like sculptures. So it would be a great honour for us just to be able to share with the audience the kind of inspiration that engineering combined with imagination can give, and how it can be expressed in a vehicle."

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The Recidivist and the sidecar: Technical Details:

Size (both vehicles together): length 265 cm | width 185 cm
Weight: bike – 380 kg | sidecar – 155 kg
Engine: Twin Cam 96”
Specially impregnated leather: bike - Kult Motor DRP | sidecar - KM leather design
Tattoos:
Bike: Tomasz Lech - Individuum Tattoo | Krzysztof Królak - Rock'n'Roll Tattoo and Piercing, Warszawa
Sidecar: Artur Wiśniowski – Moto-Paint.pl
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Anyone interested in displaying Game Over Cycles' tattooed motorcycle -- The Recidivist -- as part of a gallery display should contact the company's press and communication manager Chris Bienkiewicz by email at gocpress@gameovercycles.pl or by phone at +48 882 061 648

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