This is the Lowside! A new series bringing you closer to custom builders and motorcycle events around the world. For our first episode, we head out to Austin, Texas, where for one week a year it seems like the entire motorcycle world converges in this one spot. MotoGP comes to Circuit of The Americas and Revival Cycles throws its annual Handbuilt Motorcycle Show. Riders, enthusiasts, and industry folks take advantage of this unique meeting of racing and custom culture to enjoy both, giving each side a unique look at the other.
Morgan Gales, our Custom and Culture Editor and host of the Lowside, flew out to Austin to get inside the event, behind the scenes, and talk to some of the people who made it happen. First Is J. Shia of Madhouse Motors in Massachusetts. J built an awesome and far-out Royal Enfield Indian with a foot throttle. While most of the bikes here seem more purpose-built, Shia made this as a form of self-expression—something to keep her excited coming back into the shop every day. So we caught up with her during the setup day at the show, then headed out to one of Austin’s finest barbecue joints to taste the food for which this city is known: smoked meats.
After that, we headed back to Handbuilt to catch up with old friend and invited builder Oscar Peralta, who owns and runs AfterCycles out of Queretaro, Mexico. Oscar brought out his café racer Road King build—a 121ci Milwaukee-Eight-powered Road King turned into a modern, carbon fiber-clad café/bagger hybrid. There we checked out his bike and walked the floor at the show, looking at some of the stand-out customs and discussing details of design and the way we imagine they would ride.
Lastly, before heading out to race some Super73 electric bicycles and go out partying in the city, we had chatted with the chief engineer behind Revival Cycles’ custom BMW R18 build, Chris Auerbach. This build, known as “The Birdcage,” was created around a prototype engine that we have learned a little bit more about since this was filmed, so be sure to head over to Cycle World and get the details on the new powerplant and what it may soon become. Chris talked to us a little bit about the details and inspiration behind this one-of-a-kind build, what it was like working with a prototype, and how they accomplished all of it in a span of six weeks.
We have more episodes coming down the line, so if you liked what we’re doing, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to the channel!