3/3/15

Garagism *


There is something universal that we feel in old garages.

When I speak about garages, I speak about the real ones, not the corporate bike Dealers, those where you can breath the mechanics first, and smell this mixture of oil, gas, metal that takes you up to the nose after crossing the door.

Today the soul that belongs to these garages has gone in profit of globalization. All the Bike dealers are alike and display the same products. Whether i' am in the US, in Europe or Japan, the feeling is the same, my eyes are lost in the void, because I find nothing to hang onto. The way the world is sterilized is sad but seems to comfort many out there.

Luckily, there remain some garages where we still restore and customize machines that are out of time, even if profitability is not in the heart of the action. The passion wins in this case. We’d better live our dreams!

I had the opportunity to visit many garages during the last 37 years, in each of them, there is always a very unique atmosphere coming out of it. First, you feel the importance of the tools, but then you look at the interior design and furnitures that usually reflects the personality of the owner. Some will rememberold dealers like  Hamrax in London where parts hung from the ceiling or Corbeau Motos in Paris - two institutions that have now disappeared.

Recently, we have visited some workshops in Japan, and despite the clear futurism of this country, there is a soul. It is like a stop in time.  We were impressed by the spirit of the craftsman who works with his hands and the authenticity coming out of it.
Here in Germany in the suburbs of Munich, Ola Stenegard brought us to a specialist of English and Italian motorbikes.

A sort of rebel (Asterix in BMW’s land), Reinhard Neumaier has always loved and practiced racetrack and on Speedway. He prepares his own machines, but also the one of his customers. Manx, Gold Star Jawa, Jap Wanderer are some specimens, Reinhard is not limited to any brand.

His only limit is time as days only counts 24 hours… The actual society doesn’t allow to hire anymore, so when you are a customer, you need to learn to be patient for this type of work...

How longer will we be able to keep doing what we like ?