Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Urban(e) Bikers

I know I've grumbled about this before, but why are mainstream bike mags' photos so predictable? If it isn't "Look at me, I'm a racer I am", it's cosy garage and contented owner with mug of char. There's a place for these pics, but surely not every third page?

So I love these photos by vespamore-uk.blogspot - really gritty urban pics of urbane anonymous bikers. If Banksy did motorcycle photography this'd be right up his street.

The other thing I like about vespamore is that he uses film. Benzina's period pics are all printed on photographic paper from negatives before being scanned - it give a period feel that digital just can't capture. There's (I think) a wonderful pics of a Morini 350 by Vespamore in Benzina #4 that looks as if it was taken in the Seventies, despite the bike clearly having seen better days. Real people riding bikes they love every day, and not a trailer (let alone a van) in sight. Folk like this are (almost) as great a hero to me as old time racers like Read and Ago. This year I'm sworn to use less SORN


  1. Thanks for plug ; )

    Any chance you can send me a copy of Benzina issue 4, drop me an email & I'll pass on my address.

    Cheers - Paul (vespamore)

  2. You're right - the photos on the covers and in the contents of "Bike" in the mid to late Seventies showed far more humour and inventiveness than anything since. No such thing as a generic style of cover at that time - each was distinctive and different from what had preceded it. Occasionally nowadays Bike does something that hints of the good old days, then the next month its another utterly charmelss pic of a banked over modern supebike on the cover. Bob Carlos Clarke - now that was a bloke who knew how to photograph a bike...