You might be looking over your shoulder waiting for Autumn to drop the weather but we say “people do not live in fear!” While blue skies persist and an urgent voice on the wind whispers “just keep riding” go grab your lid and hit the road, after catching up on the latest news and views from Kommune…
Workshop Membership & Storage
For less than a latte a day (literally $1.78) you can bag a full workshop membership with access to all the tools and equipment you’ll ever need for moto maintenance and those custom projects you’ve been itching to get into. Check our sign-up page here or swing by Kommune Wednesday-Sunday 10am-8pm for the full walk-thru. We’ve also freed up some prime real estate on the workshop floor, so if you’re looking for a designated storage bay come grab ’em while they’re hot because these spaces do not hang around!
17 Days Until DGR 2022
Our double-header Kommunal Kustom build is ticking along nicely but with the DGR rapidly approaching on Sunday 22nd May both teams have been putting in weekend overtime. Rick, the man with the silver tongue, has locked in a Kommune Konnections shown ‘n tell at the DGR finish line at Moondog World, so if anyone feels like having a yarn with the DGR community this will be your soapbox from which to wax lyrical about the good vibes band wagon that is our super social moto club!
Vintage Classics & Modern Retros Ride For Men’s Health
If you haven’t registered for the DGR yet, click here then go ahead and join Team Kommune here. We’re a noble crew riding for a noble cause clocking up enough good karma to see us through until next year’s ride! After registering, have a dig around your DGR dashboard. You’ll be able to view the full Melbourne ride route, upload a handsome photo, see where to make and receive donations and if you’re feeling inspired there’s a blog section to tell the world what the DGR means to you.
Caffeine & Gasoline
Boots polished? Looking sharp? Full tank? Check check check. Meet the crew at Kommune around 8:30am on Sunday 22nd May for coffee and donuts and we’ll roll out together. The Dapper Paparazzi will be capturing the pre ride buzz and as you read this we’re busy crafting some immensely collectible trophies to honour the Best Dressed and Down To The Wire almost-didn’t-get-it-finished bike. Jon matey, we want to see your BSA Bantam in all it’s restored glory!
Top drawer prize pack for the most dollars raised including Cafe Racer Kit from Modern Motorcycle Co + game changing Revolt kit thanks to Jimmy.
Kommunal Kustom Build Update
The NX650 Flat Tracker is really taking shape with the seat pan and tank in place and the subframe being built around them under the watchful eye of Tookey. Next will be mocking up a wiring loom and respoking wheels. Ever an eye for design, Matt’s been detailing the engine with a fetching sky blue paint and at this stage it’s looking like the Flat Tracker will be the bike that rolls into Moondog World, even if it’s on a trailer! To be honest even if one or both of the bike’s aren’t 100% complete they’ll make for a great display of camaraderie and patient persistence.
After wrestling with Microsoft technology for a few infuriating hours, Kyle and Jimmy set to work plasma cutting a headlight mount for the scrambler while the rest of the team continued bringing the XT600 engine back to life. If there’s one overarching truth to the project it’s this: there’s customising; you know, swapping out indicators here, changing tyres there and then there’s custom building, where you’re dreams are a incessant kaleidoscope of almost-impossible-to-find bolts and the stark, cutting light of a welder. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, remember when a simple oil change turned into an all-nighter? It’s sort of like that in the Scrambler department but ever the amateur-pros, the team are nobly adhering to the old adage “if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing properly.” Valves have been reseated by hand in the old fashioned way, forks have been dismantled, inspected, cleaned and reassembled and if the team’s commitment to DIY needed any more confirmation, Michael, Steph and Lee actually fabricated a tool from scraps of steel and old nuts and bolts for the sole purpose of unscrewing a single component, way down there in the bowels of the fork tube. They could’ve left it alone, could’ve put it in the too-hard basket, but curiosity and a dedication to knowing their machine inside out resulted in a workshop forage, some head scratching, another round of coffees, a bit of welding, jubilant smiles and a celebratory BBQ. Nice work team.
International Female Ride Day
From Moto Femmes in Collingwood to 3 Ravens Brewery in Thornbury, Saturday 7th May is International Female Ride Day, check the Facebook event page for route details. Balls and beards are only part of the story nowadays, the macho thing is pretty boring and it most definitely ain’t a man’s world around the workshop anymore; the rules of the road have changed and the only thing that matters is a collective enthusiasm for anything on two wheels.
The ride itself is short and sweet this year, with more focus on the destination and a chance to bond with a bunch of like minded riders on machines of all shapes and sizes. Whatever you’re into and whatever your experience, the IFRD is a statement addressing the importance of making the moto scene increasingly diverse and welcoming. If you’re a Kommune member, get in touch with Steph, Rowan and Amelia who are carrying the torch for our workshop community.
Kommune Swap Meet
In collaboration with our neighbours at Field Work coffee we’re organising a Duke St Moto Swap Meet on Sunday 5th June. More details to follow in the coming weeks but at a glance this is gonna be a superb chance to go treasure hunting for all the bits ‘n bobs you know you need and everything you definitely don’t need but definitely can’t refuse. It’ll be a glorious display of vintage and new, retro and rare, stock stuff and custom curiosities, steals, deals, superb coffee and a BBQ to boot. Oh and Kommune members can pitch up a stall for free.
Got parts to sell? Sort ‘em, price ‘em and bring ‘em down.
Got a bike to sell? Dust it off, price it up and roll it out.
Need parts? Of course you do.
Need a bike? C’mon, you know the formula is always N+1…
We’re also on the lookout for artists and artisans whose work aligns with the DIY custom scene, as well as purveyors of quality vintage moto clothing and memorabilia. If this sounds like you, shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want this to be something well worth getting out of bed for, a vibrant melting pot of everyone who’s anyone that’s got something quality to sell or swap. You might be harbouring a stash of hard to find old skool tools, sought after OEM parts to help a mate get that roadworthy, a whole project bike or Evil Kenevil’s toothbrush; the Kommune swap meet is about keeping the stories alive that live in your garage and showcasing the talent that lives in your fingertips. Keep an eye out on Facebook, Instagram and Kommune Social for more details.
“The Ace-Hy wasn’t as much about road riding as it was about…grass track racing, cross-country racing, 100-mile endurance runs, and a lot of hillclimbs. One of the club’s favourite activities was the annual Christmas Turkey Run…mostly an off-road cross-country race held late in the year in the cold and the snow”.
We’re a nostalgic bunch at Kommune, hopeless Romantics, suckers for sepia-tinged tales and analog day dreams. It doesn’t take much more than a series of black and white photos from the archives of moto history to make us swoon and go digging for a resto project, like this story about Calgary’s Ace-Hy Club in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Props as always to the passionately curated online resource that is The Vintagent, diligently covering everything from cutting edge Cake elec bikes to dust-caked desert duellers of yore.
“I’ve spent much of my time in southeast Asia, mostly in Laos, living on a motorcycle and fighting the illegal wildlife trade. I’m one of the few existing optimistic conservationists, creating and implementing wildlife and environmental education for children in remote and vulnerable villages within nationally protected lands…rife with poaching”. Janelle Kaz aka Motogypsy.
It’s easy to look good on a motorcycle and maybe that’s reason enough for some to take it up in the first place but what if your choice of a life on two wheels was part of a deeply conscientious endeavour to do some real good in the world. Check Janelle Kaz’s story to see just how far a labour of love can take you.
That’s a wrap from Kommune HQ, now grab your lid and hit the road. Big thanks to Kommune lifer Jason Lau for the photos from our weekend wrench sesh and to the crew who keep us company down here at Duke Street.
Written by Tom Ansell