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Men and motorcycles: a story that has vacillated somewhere between cult and cliché for years. Custom bikes, in particular, have a history that is deeply rooted in the spirit of freedom and change of the 1960s, as well as man's primal urge to build something with his own hands--or, in this case, tools. The Ride 2nd Gear is a showcase of the power and beauty of these bikes. The Ride 2nd Gear presents a stunning selection of recent custom motorcycles, as well as the small, local workshops around the globe in which they are built. Hotbeds of creativity and craftsmanship, these workshops are mostly run by single individuals and attract a small yet devoted community of fans and fellow builders.
The custom bike community as a whole is united by its passion for the ride--one so strong that it is now attracting a younger generation. Whether alone or in a group of like-minded friends, in a city or in the countryside, just for the weekend or embarking on a long-distance road trip, these drivers are actively sharing and celebrating pure riding pleasure on their own unique motorcycles that are lovingly crafted with time, dedication, and technical expertise.
From limited series to one-offs, The Ride 2nd Gear features the brilliant results of this process. Its pages are filled with bikes that offer extraordinary design and driving experiences. In fact, established brands are now acting on trends set by the custom scene whose bikes are often more radical and sophisticated because more attention can be paid to detail and each new idea can be fine-tuned to perfection.
Some models shown in The Ride 2nd Gear stem from or are based on classic bobbers and choppers, Italian-style racing machines, plastic Japanese motorcycles, and rare BMWs or Triumphs, which may very well be up to 80 years old. Others are art bikes made for show or futuristic visions inspired by the aesthetics of science fiction, fantasy, or anime. But whether they preserve or radically expand on traditional craftsmanship, these custom machines are more agile, faster, and therefore more fun than anything produced in the past.
Journalist and custom motorcycle expert Chris Hunter co-edited both this book and our previous release The Ride. Born in England, Hunter now lives with his family in New Zealand, where he runs the motorcycle website Bike EXIF. It is now the world's most popular showcase of custom bikes with millions of pageviews every month and a passionate global following.
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