The Ride 2nd Gear

Since the so called alternative customculture is relentlessly growing it can certainly be labelled as a popular culture nowadays and therefore it was only a matter of time until someone had the idea of publishing a big, shiny book about it. Berlin based publisher Gestalten, a reference in terms of cutting-edge visual culture such as art, photography, architecture or design, has taken the plunge and released its book called The Ride.


Now, one might suspect some artsy bloke wearing funny glasses grabbed his pen after watching a few episodes of a certain American reality TV-show about merry-go-round Choppers but rest assured; the guys from Gestalten are way smarter than that.

Editor of The Ride is a bloke called Chris Hunter. If this name doesn’t ring a bell, let us tell you that this Chris Hunter is the owner of a Website called BIKE EXIF. If you’re still clueless, we’re pretty flattered here at 1DOWN4UP.NET but believe us, in terms of motorcycles Chris Hunter knows what he’s talking about. Due to this fact paired with the overall quality of the book, the Ride simply turns out to be THE book about the actual alt-Custom-motorcycle-scene.


A very apt foreword is followed by a very readable explanation of today’s most common custombikestyles before 350 more pages introduce you to the world’s finest motorcycles and their builders. They didn’t neglect the technical part of each build but it’s no Haynes either. The presentations of the builders and workshops turn out to be quite a good read but don’t slip into these pathetic vintage-handmade-craftsmanship-stories we get served on video platforms every day. The Ride is about the essential thing, namely the motorcycle and its builder’s abilities.


Since there’s no end in sight for the custombike boom and new bikes and builders are literally popping up every day, Gestalten released a second volume of The Ride, suitably named The Ride – 2nd Gear. And this one is seamlessly tieing-up with the first one. New trends are explained, new workshops presented and more fabulous bikes are depicted. What more to ask for?

So, no matter if you’re only slightly interested in custom motorcycles or if you’re a die-hard aficionado; The Ride as well as The Ride – 2nd Gear should find a place on your bedside table. It puts the recent alternative custom culture in perspective and leaves no question unanswered.


In addition to these two books, another book called The Chopper has been released by the Gestalten people. Anyone interested in the history of the chopper (a history way profounder than the common boobs-plus-chopper poster in your garage might suggest) should get this book. Meticulously written and researched by Paul D’Orleans, another one of these name motorcycle enthusiasts should be familiar with.

Each of these three books come with a 49,90€ price tag an can be ordered online at Gestalten’s own Webstore or bought in any well-assorted bookstore. But there’s a fancy online-exclusive which consists of the book coming in a posh linen slipcase plus a nice patch. Placed on your coffeetable this collector’s edition makes you look highbrow as sh...

Available here: Gestalten Online Shop