Every now and again something catches our attention which simply makes us stop, breathe, and exhale calmly in awestruck wonder. As in all creative industries, inspiration can come from all manner of different genres, and Architecture is no different. Today, I came across this article which I simply had to share. The minutes I was writing can wait. Inspiration must come first!
For lovers of craft, metalwork and custom motorcycles, I would like to introduce the ’65 Harley Ironhead by Hazan Motorworks in Los Angeles.
For most custom motorcycles, the starting point is a finished factory product which is then modifed to suit a particular vision. For this bike however, that vision was so bespoke that its creater had to fabricate everything from scratch ‘from the rear sprocket to the front hub’. The starting point, from which the name suggests, was the ‘Ironhead’ engine by Harley Davidson, a 4 stroke, 45 degree V twin used in all its pre 1986 ‘Sportser’ models. Everything else is bespoke and as the article rightly proclaims, this is ‘Art’. The result is simply breathtaking.
There are 2 things which stand out for me – its form and its materiality.
Its form is an ever so beautiful and modest blurring of vintage motorcycle compenents with contemporary lines. The deliberatly huge front drum brake is vintage technology of almost agricultural heritage now, yet its polished aluminium mirror-like surface gives it an almost aeronautical/space age feel in a naive Stanley Kubrick kind of way. Its elegant front bubble cowl, drop bars and slender fuel tank evoke Art Deco machine age feelings of fast chromed lines and angles. Both these aesthetics are contrasted against the rear end where the huge fat rear tyre, the aluminium ladder frame swinging arm and the light pointy seat and tail give it a very contemporary 21st Century MotoGP bike feel. It is almost like looking at 2 different eras of motorcycle history in one bike.
Secondly I love its materiality. Aluminium is possibly an obvious choice but its execution is exquisite. Just think about how much passion has gone into the forming, moulding, welding and polishing of all those components. The carved timber seat is an intelligent choice too, the principle point of contact between bike and rider is manifested through a ‘warmer’ material in very much the same way architects express the difference between inside and outside with similar contrasting warm and cold materials.
Anyway, enough of my waffle. Follow the link below, have a read and form your own opinions! What do you think?