Tag: Motorcycle

Malamadre Motorcycles sets the bar high for Bali’s custom scene

The custom motorcycle scene is more alive than ever. When on Bali, I was astonished by the number of cool custom creations cruising the streets of Canggu. I paid a visit to Malamadre Motorcycles, the guys that set the bar high for Bali’s custom bike scene.

The Malamadre Motorcycles workshop wasn’t hard to find. With numerous great looking custom motorcycles parked in front of the shop on Canggu’s main street; Batu Bolong. Add the open workshop and the awesome oldschool gasoline pump, and this place couldn’t get any more attractive to a petrolhead like me.

Malamadre sign
The Malamadre sign outside makes the shop hard to miss.

When entering the shop I heard a conversation in rattling fast fluent Spanish. I was then noticed and welcomed by owner Dirk Goetz. After expressing my enthusiasm and interest in his workshop’s creations he was more than happy to share his story with me.

While his name doesn’t give it away, Dirk is originally from Spain, from where he used to work for Volkswagen AG on international management level. It only took one surfing trip to Bali for Dirk to fall in love with the Island. He decided to leave Spain and his professional career behind and to start living the good life and enjoy the beautiful island.

IMG_0015
Check this beauty out, definitely my favorite!

How Malamadre was born

Malamadre Motorcycles was born in 2015, when Dirk decided he wanted to ride something more exiting than a scooter. After browsing through several options, he ended up buying a Suzuki Thunder 250. Fortunately, Dirk didn’t just stop there, he had a desire to customize his bike in to a vintage brat style motorcycle. So, guess what, that’s just what he did, he rebuilt the bike at a good friend’s garage in Canggu.

Then, there was one more thing Dirk desired: owning a brand. Together with his wife, Elo and some good friends they decided on the name and logo. Malamadre is the name of a bad ass character from the Spanish movie Celda 211, as well as Dirk’s preferred nickname during games of poker. And I must say, it has a badass ring to it.
Malamadre Motorcycles was born, and Dirk’s Suzuki Thunder was the first official Malamadre custom; the MM1.

Malamadre all over the world

Riding around on his bike, Dirk soon got noticed by other motorcycle fanatics, wanting to give their standard bikes a similar custom treatment. By a combination of word of mouth and a strong social media strategy, Malamadre Motorcycles has grown extensively. Until today, over 50 motorcycles, ranging from 200 to 1200cc, have been delivered to satisfied customers living all over the world, as far as New York, Belfast and Sydney!

IMG_0022
This shop is awesome, and the quality finish on the bikes is insane!

Look great on your bike

What’s probably one the best things about Malamadre Motorycles, is that a selection of their creations are available for rent. So, in case you want to look a whole lot cooler than the other tourists on their lousy scooters, you now know where to go. To complement your swagger, Malamadre has recently launched a clothing line: The Essence 1.1, available online and in their shops in Canggu and in Galleries Lafayette in Jakarta

IMG_0011
Look cool on your bike wearing the Malamadre Clothing line

 

 

 

 

Hello Hue

The second stop of our north to south journey across Vietnam is Hue. Hue is located halfway the long thin shaped country. We travelled from Hanoi to Hue by nightbus. A 12 hour lasting trip, leaving at 7 PM. We arrived in Hue at 6 AM, guess we had a bus driver with a heavy right foot. Tickets for night busses are generally easy obtainable at your accommodation. We booked ours at the Rendezvous hostel in Hanoi.

Besides the fact that you don’t want to be traveling in a nightbus for more than 12 hours, Hue is a little city with some pretty insteresting sights. A two night stay here is long enough to see all things necessary. After these two nights you’ll be fully recharged to commence your epic motorcycle trip from Hue to Hanoi, crossing the beautiful Hai Van Pass. More on that later!

Imperial City

Probably the major tourist attraction in Hue. This ancient part of Hue is surrounded by walls. Several generations of emperors and their family and staff lived here. We visited this magnificent place on a beautiful sunny day. Which resulted in heaps of great photos! Check the weather forecast before visiting because it’s not worth visiting the  Emperor’s city on a rainy day.

One of the many beautiful structures inside the Imperial City
View of the gardens and the entrance gate

There are some tombs to visit around Hue. However the weather on our second day in Hue didn’t allow us to visit them. You can either rent a motorbike yourself or go on a tour with a local. Most accommodations can arrange this for you.
Where to eat

To be honest, Hue was not particularly a culinary highlight of our journey through Vietnam. There are some local specialties like Banh Xeo, a fried shrimp pancake, which I tried, but it’s not that big of a deal.

Risotto restaurant

Like I said, Hue is not the place for enjoying local cuisine, plus we had a secret craving for some western food. Going in to this touristy restaurant with TripAdvisor logos everywhere, was not a bad decision at all! They serve proper pizza here and the risotto with green peas and chorizo I had was delicious!

Boulangerie Francaise 

This tiny French bakery cafe is ideal for breakfast or lunch. Another thing which is to like about this boulangerie is that they teach underprivileged kids from the streets to work here.

Where to drink

Roots coffee

A nicely designed coffee bar which was located right next to our hotel. A Triumph bonneville as decor and great coffee and smoothies is wat we loved about this place. They also have a motorbike parking facility next door, where some pretty cool bikes are stalled.

Now that’s a good sense of style! A Bonnie as decor!


Bar next to Boulangerie Francaise

I’m sorry but I could not discover the name of this cost bar located next to the French bakery. We spotted it during lunch and decided to visit it later on. A nice place with ridiculously cheap beers during happy hour. There’s live music performed by locals every night from approximately 8PM!

DMZ bar

Located in the main bar street you can’t really miss the DMZ bar. They claim to be the first bar of Hue. With its cool army look interior and old school hip hop and R&B tunes, it’s a nice place to have a couple of beers.

Where to stay

Tanh An Guesthouse

You’ll get serious value for money here. It’s located in a little alley, but their sign is at the main road so it’s easy to find. Once you pass the reception on the corner you will most likely be welcomed by the hilariously funny and singing host. Comfy spacious double rooms at only 5 USD per person per night. The Imperial city and my recommended bars and restaurants are all within maximum half an our walking distance. Check for availability here.

Hue to Hoi An by motorcycle 

We were tipped by fellow travelers Asweroam to book a motorbike at Motorvina. They offer one way motorbike rental including a luggage transfer. Which means that you can just drop your bags at their rental office in Hue, get on your bike, ride the Hai Van Pass to Hoi An, leave the motorcycle there and collect your bags at the Hoi An office. Highly recommended if there’s two of you riding one motorbike! Check out the availability of their bikes here. I rented the Honda XR 150 which was a great bike to take on the Hai Van Pass! It ain’t cheap but the one way service with luggage transfer is very convenient!

Our XR150, a very decent bike to take on the Hai Van Pass with!

A rare custom motorcycle discovery in Hoi An

Check this out to learn where to find two true hidden gems for motorcycle fanatics in Hoi An!

While travelling you often randomly meet awesome people with shared interests. This happened to me once again last week in Hoi An. While discovering the city on our bicycles we decided to cross the bridge to the other side of town to find out what’s there. We found the very cool and original designed Knoy Bar. It was the custom Yamaha SR400 tracker motorcycle parked in front of the bar that mostly got my attention.

Custom SR400 tracker
Roc’s custom SR400 tracker

 

After a chat with the extremely kind owner Fong and his brother from another mother Roc we soon learned that we all shared the love for motorcycles.

Piston head ashtray
A piston head that serves as an ashtray is a clear hint that this bar is runned by motorcycle enthusiasts.

Fong told me that he had only opened his bar 3 months ago. After he had been traveling in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia for a while he started building the bar all by himself, using mainly recycled vintage resources, which give the bar it’s unique and cool vibe. Check the bar out here!

Doggie bar surveillance
The Knoy Bar is under constant surveillance by this curious little doggie

After having shared our stories on motorcycles and travel, Roc told me about his friend with a unique custom motorcycle workshop at his house in Hoi An. Naturally,I was stoked to see this place so we agreed on going there the next day for a meet and shoot.
The day after we met at the Knoy Bar again and Roc took me on the back of his cool SR400 to his friends’ place. It was a wild Vietnamese style ride. Roc didn’t bother using the horn at all, as the amazing exhaust sound would let the other road users know that we were coming and that they had to make way.

Let's goooo
Let’s goooo!

 

10 minutes later we arrived, all hyped up from the short but exciting ride. However I had to let the adrenaline rush go when I got introduced to Tientran, probably the most zen and introvert Vietnamese man I have met so far. After an awkward, eye-contact-avoiding handshake, Tien let me enter his amazing workshop. It was full of old school helmets, retro biker jackets, and heaps of leather bags which Tien was apparently making and selling.

Leather bags
Tiens’ business on the side, leather bags

 

I spotted a cool custom Yamaha SR bobber in a dark corner of which I attempted to take some photos. But it was to dark for getting good shots. Then, the doors on the street side  went open and I was absolutely stunned by what I was presented with! There was a 1972 BMW R71 army sidecar. After about three firm kicks on the kickstart Tien got it to run. Roc told me that this was something really special as Tien had never done this for anyone before. The fist exclusive ReisPost item here guys!

Custom Hoi An
Tien rolling out his precious creations

 

After that he also started up the SR bobber custom and rolled it outside allowing me to take some nice shots of that too. Soon a small crowd gathered to admire Tien’s creations. Not a big surprise if you check out my pictures below!

Yamaha SR bobber custom
Tien and his cool SR bobber custom
Customs in Hoi An
These bikes soon gathered an admiring crowd!

 

Follow Roc and his friends on Instagram, as they are soon leaving on a motorcycle road trip!