Rusty Kustom Biker Build Off

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Rusty Kustom Biker Build Off a couple of weeks ago in Belgrave, Victoria. Because I had a workshop to run earlier that day, it meant that I only got to witness the aftermath of what I was told was an epic day of bike crashes, music and merriment. I did however get a chance to photograph some of the beautiful creations that featured in this event. The highlight for me was Rusty Kustom’s own bobber built from a rather dishevelled Yamaha DT400 and that gorgeous custom tank. A lot of love went into these bikes as well as the whole event. Looking forward to next year when I can be there for all the shenanigans!Kustom002 Kustom004 Kustom005 Kustom006

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All photographs by Jason Lau.



Tank Moto Magazine Launch

Tank Moto Magazine official launch party was on last night on 25th May at Gasolina, Melbourne. It was a great meet up to celebrate the launch of an Australian based magazine about custom motorcycles. I missed out on my free copy which went out to the first 100 visitors but there was still plenty to enjoy. There were so many gorgeous bikes there and a great collection of builders, painters, mechanics and enthusiasts. Check out and support this great magazine, which hopefully signals the ever growing custom bike scene in Melbourne.


Little Rebel

Came across this little beauty the other night and managed to snap a shot of it before I had to drive away. The bobbed out Honda Rebel looks like a really fun ride, with it’s wrapped pipes and solo seat. Very cool indeed.



Mods vs Rockers

A great gathering was organised last Sunday to bring together custom bikes and scooters in a massive ride ending up at Kustom Lane Gallery in Hawthorn. A few of the bikes there were featured in the Oil Stained Brain exhibition from the previous week but there were also plenty of other gorgeous two wheeled machines to enjoy.  The people there were generally very inviting and willing to chat about their customised rides while others enjoyed the entertainment and sunshine.

I decided to edit these photos in black and white as it was like stepping into a different time in history as you entered the closed off lane; literally full of classic Nortons, Ducatis, BSAs and much much more.  Check out the images below.

Oil Stained Brain – Custom Bike Show

I had the pleasure of attending a Melbourne custom bike show organised by a group called “Oil Stained Brain” at the 1000 Pound Bend Gallery.  The organisers are Jimmy Goode who runs Kustom Deluxe and Geoff Baldwin, of Return of the Café Racers.  Both guys are deeply passionate about the custom bike industry and feature a wide range of interesting work by independent builders.

The show was a well populated by black leather clad bikers, rockers and guys with very neat hair.  It was the first of hopefully many shows featuring builds from local and interstate bike builders.  It also features films and artworks on bike culture as well.  Some highlights include a very steampunk styled 1974 Shovel head with a pneumatic front suspension and a glass bottle fuel gauge, a beautifully restored BMW R1000RS with just the right amount of modern bits, and an iron clad 2008 KTM 250 EXC-F.  It was an impressive exhibition considering the small but strong subculture of custom motorcycle riders in Australia.  To be honest, some of the patrons rode up on some pretty sweet machines as well.  It was a proud day to be a motorcyclist and I hope to see many more events put on by the passionate folks of Oil Stained Brain.

DP Customs

DP Customs have a way of customising their bikes that just makes you want to ride them.  Their designs have a sense of fun while retaining a deep love for the form and function of these machines.  Some of their bikes are completely customised with an array of hand made parts, while others, like the Centennial Harley Sportster (pictured below), have cleverly changed a few key sections to create a completely different ride.  Their colour schemes are often bold but stylish, creating a distinct style rarely found with other builders working with Harleys.  You can watch the video at the end of this post to see what these guys put into their builds.

You can also check out their website if you want to see more of their bikes.  My only critique is the tacky “girl on a bike” shot they have on their home page.  As a photographer, I don’t think it’s a great pose or shot, and as a bike rider I don’t need the girl to tell me that I’m looking at a great bike.  I appreciate the image of a beautiful girl on a bike as much as the next rider but I expect to see something with a little more imagination or style from these guys.  Enjoying rummaging through the magnificent machines on their gallery page.

Bill Phelps Photography

These deeply textured images by Bill Phelps can be found in his website.  They are unapologetically gritty and full of visceral detail seen through his wide angled lens. Phelps is a photographer who works in many genres including advertising but these are from his personal series and you can really feel his love for bikes in these photographs.

JVB – Brit Bob

I am constantly surprised at how many directions you can take these bikes from Triumph.  German bike builder JVB (Jens von Brauck) has crafted this tantilising cruiser from a Triumph Thruxton and has actually made mini ape bars look appealing to those outside the Harley clubs.  The bike looks ‘complete’ to me, in that nothing seems out of place, from the chopped rear fender with integrated lights to the new headlight housing.  There are so many tasty details that I should just let your eyes wander over them and maybe pay their website a visit as they offer some of these parts directly.

Below is a terrific clip of the bike being ridden by the folks of MCN.  They also cover some more of the build details.