The Bearded Chap recently Posted a Blog on how the idea of Purpose Built Moto came to be. Below is the story told by yours truly of my amazing ride down the West Coast of America.
I had always loved motorcycles, growing up riding dirt bikes, watching my dad leave with his mates on weekend trips, and eventually buying my own as soon as I was of age. I don’t care what it is, or what it looks like if it has two wheels and an engine, you’ll have my undivided attention. I was lucky enough growing up to be surrounded by similar people, spending weekends riding out, getting hurt, breaking your bike in one form or another and coming home to fix it. What started as an interest soon engulfed me and became what some might call an obsession.
By the time I was 15 I had 6-8 bikes at any given time in the shed of various sizes and styles. I’d buy them, ride them, rip them down, fix them up and sell them to pass my time on the farm, from brand new dirt bikes and Vintage Motocross bikes through to Cruisers I didn’t care as long as it was loud and fast.
Being young and with a mildly reckless attitude towards road rules, I eventually lost my licence at 19 and sold most everything I had and moved to the beach, instead of spending my time and money on bikes it was now nightclubs and booze at various spots in my new home on the Gold Coast.
Twin Falls Yoho Valley
Fast forward a few years and I had grown hairy and restless, I packed a bag, my beard , and bought a plane ticket to Canada, the plan was to travel from Canada to Mexico by whatever means necessary. Living simply and fulfilling my primal needs as a man to be free. I spent the next month hiking around the Rocky Mountains with a backpack and a hammock sleeping atop mountains and by alpine lakes, cooking on a camp fire and living with nothing but what I could carry, eventually hitch-hiking my way to the coast and putting my feet on the ground in Vancouver. I had some time to reflect on the adventure that unfolded and there were a lot of lessons that came out of that trip, the first that comes to mind is, no matter how hard the hike, or how heavy your pack, there is always room for a bottle of whiskey. The city was strange to me after spending so much time in the wilderness and I was uncomfortable in a crowd of strangers, I needed some familiar faces.
I had some friends offer me a couch in Seattle so I made the trip to the Emerald City. I was met with a barrage of craft beer and weed smoke, I felt a lot more at home here, and soon made some connections around the city in the local bike scene. Seattle being famous for its grunge culture I was surprised at just how friendly everyone was, and a conversation was had over a few beers that cemented the rest of my trip and has bought me to the point of owning my own custom motorcycle business. I was asked
“So how are you getting to mexico?”
To which I had no answer, another new friend asked “Hey, aren’t you into bikes?”
I know this one,”Yeah.”
“I know a guy selling his old harley softail, You should meet him.”
so I did.
1989 Harley Davidson Softail
I purchased the 1989 Harley Softail in Tacoma, travelled back to the city and called a local Cafe Racer Builder to ask for a favour.
For a carton of beer I was given a space in the shop to get the bike ready for the Journey that by the time it was over would see over 5000 Miles of American Highway.
No Trees, No Problem
2 days were spent fabricating a sissy bar to strap my bag to and prepping the bike, I tied down and said my goodbyes to Seattle. South was the only direction I had, sleeping out at the base of Mt’ Rainier, Oregon’s Forests, Northern California’s Incredible Redwoods and Secluded beaches.
Eat, Ride, Whiskey, Sleep, Repeat. Day after day of amazing scenery and coastal roads, and a lot of “helmet time”. For the non riders “helmet time” refers to the time you have on open roads to let your mind wander, your thoughts disappear at the push of the start button and let the road take your worries.
Humbolt County, CA.
It was during this journey I had decided that motorcycles were where my heart lied and that’s what I needed to pursue with my time. I started taking notes in my travel journal of Ideas I had and the idea behind Purpose Built Moto was conceived. The Journey on two wheels is well documented, everyone knows what happens on road trips and riding with your mates, but there’s a journey unto itself before those wheels ever touch the ground. Beautiful Motorcycles don’t just happen, there are craftsmen and artists behind every bike you see on the road that catches your eye because it’s unique or different.
People spend hours, days and weeks pouring their ideas and style into making their bike an extension of who they are, It’s a love affair. Purpose Built Moto Aims to bridge the gap and have the owners and riders of these machines involved in customising their own bike. They may not have the tools, time, or skills necessary to customise a Cafe Racer, Bobber, Chopper, or whatever style they like, but we do, and we want you involved. From the outset we aim to collaborate with the rider, not just work for them. Taking our passion and your ideas to build you something you can make memories on and talk about for years to come, this is Creativity Mechanised.” Tom Gilroy – Founder of Purpose Built Moto.
GS550 Border Run