2016 GirlClutch Poker Run to Benefit Wounded Warrior Homes

Hi everybody,

GirlClutch (in conjunction with SBROC) presents our first Poker Run benefiting Wounded Warrior Homes (no affiliation with any other Wounded Warrior organizations).

Wounded Warrior Homes is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides affordable housing and resources for Veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

This event is open to all men and women, regardless of what kind of motorcycle they ride!!

The ride starts at Biggs Harley Davidson in San Marcos (where coffee and pastries will be provided). Riders will then head out to the different poker stops (see below) in whatever order and route they wish.

All riders must arrive at Biggs Harley Davidson in San Marcos by 1:30pm to hand in their poker hands. A BBQ lunch will be provided.

Prizes for best and worst hands TBD.

Raffle prizes include:
– Gift Certificate to Electric Tiger Tattoo
– Tattoo Balm from Drunken Sailor
– Free Track Day with TrackXperience, Inc.
– Date Night Basket (Dinner & a Movie!)
– Oil Changes by Rev Moto Industries
– $50 Gift Card to Cycle Gear
– 2-hour photo session with 1904Photography.com
– Men’s haircut by Mary at Stud Cuts
– Pair of 1-hour Paddleboard session at Carlsbad Lagoon
– Julian Apple Pie
– More being added all the time!

Poker Stops:
Stop 1: Biggs Harley Davidson
Stop 2: RevMoto Industries
Stop 3: Julian Pie Co (Santa Ysabel location)
Stop 4: CycleGear San Marcos
Stop 5: Biggs Harley Davidson

100% of the proceeds go to Wounded Warrior Homes.

To register, visit: https://www.classy.org/san-marcos/events/girlclutch-poker-run-2016/e80030

We also need volunteers. Register here to participate.


Squid to Fogey: Four Phases of a Motorcyclist

1. Birth

You’ve bought your first bike. But first you have to hide it from your parents or your wife. You have to figure out a way to lock it to the carport, or in a storage unit. But you didn’t really think about where you’d put it, once you got one.

Everything is as intimidating as it is new, exciting, as it is frightening. No matter how old you are, you’re born for the second time, given another chance to live life the way you’ve always wanted to. The roads are your freedom; your wheels are your ticket to the most amazing day you’ve ever had. This is your shot at adventure, to renewed vigor, your escape from the mundane – but at a price.

You drop your bike a hundred times for stupid things like missing your footing at a gas station, or haphazardly moving your bike in the garage. You curse words you don’t remember learning. What you wouldn’t give for an indestructible brake or clutch lever. But that’s okay. Nothing a sticker and some zip ties won’t fix. Oh, and you’re the butt of every joke with your riding buddies. They call you a ‘squid’ and make fun of your chicken strips. You really have to learn what that means.

The other day, you took one hand off the handlebar and felt like Evil Knievel. Some might say Malcolm Smith or Jason Britton. You have no idea who the hell they are, but everyone has supposedly ridden with them. You might have even popped a first gear wheelie by accident. You really need to figure out how to do it on purpose because that was AWESOME! You talk to every rider you meet and ask a hundred questions to which, unfortunately, there are a hundred, completely contradicting answers. So you find forums to get your information and learn all about that thing called ‘trolling.’

You find a good group to ride with and you grow.

2. Childhood

You never miss a bike night, or a stunt show. You click ‘going’ to every bike event on Facebook. And afterward, you leave a smiling mug shot on their page. You take pictures and video of EVERYTHING. You ride everywhere, anytime. Who needs an invitation? You’re happy to go it alone. You might have even ridden all the way to Arizona just to touch the border at 3:00 am because you were bored, before turning around and heading back home. My name is Danger!

Someone says you should try the ‘twisties.’ Someone shows you how to do wheelies; or you watched YouTube and learned yourself. But now that you know how, you can’t stop. It becomes a habit and the tickets start piling up. You know the motor cops’ names that operate in your city or your favorite ride spot by heart. You start learning where all their hiding places are.

You go to the motorcycle conventions just to watch the stunt shows and sit on new bikes. You’re not buying one right now, but making a list because your beginner bike feels too slow – time to move up.

You’re learning who all the professional Moto GP riders are and you follow all the stunt riders on Instagram. You spend every night at the stunt lot, and then ride some more after, just to see how fast and far you can go before your gaslight comes on.

You start getting pretty good at this whole riding thing, but the tickets are getting old. Damn the popo’s for profiling. But hey, at least you’re finally getting rid of your chicken strips. Only…it’s scaring the shit out of you. So you decide its time to try some more training, or maybe track days. And then you grow.

3. Adolescence

Just like teenage angst was a cliché the first time, not much has changed the second time around. You have your click you’ve fallen into whether it be the vested riders, the stunters, the canyon carvers, the retro-emo boom or the track junkies. You pick one and talk crap about all the others. Sure he’s fast, but he can’t wheelie like me. And vice versa. You get the picture.

You’re doing track days every month. You’re commuting miles and miles to and from work. You’re racking up seat time, miles and credence. You know everything and you’re still staying out late riding with your buddies.

And then …

Somebody crashes. Everybody crashes. You crash. The unfortunate mishaps come in threes, only to end very badly. Maybe you’re in the hospital for the first, second, third time. Maybe you’re going to your first, second, third funeral. Your family is getting worried and they’re on your case. They don’t understand you. Maybe you don’t understand you either. All you know is riding is who you are now. Maybe you’re lucky enough to meet a partner who understands and accepts it. They’re the ones who hold your hand after surgery, the ones who stand by your side at the funeral. They’re the annoying one who blows up your phone while you’re splitting lanes through traffic at the worst possible time. You make a note to put it on silent, but you don’t think about the feeling they get when you don’t answer.

But you’re good at this now. You can’t quit. You race. People know who you are. You’ve climbed your way to the elite. Everyone in the canyon inflates your ego by constantly reminding you how fast you are, especially if you’re a girl. It’s extremely addictive and despite the run of bad luck, you keep pushing harder and harder, as fast as the bike will go. Maybe you even competed and won a championship or two.

One day, you realize that very few of your riding buddies are left. The person who held your hand before is probably gone, replaced by a newer, more efficient model. Or at least one that doesn’t complain as much.

Now you’ve crashed a hundred times, fixed your bike countless more and you’re tired. And then you grow.

4. Adulthood

You still commute to work because you have to, but you’re not splitting lanes thrice the speed of traffic anymore. That’s for kids. You’re not waving your fist at other drivers either. You haven’t crashed, or dropped your bike in quite some time, but you may still get a ticket or two because everyone knows cops have stiffies for motorcyclists. No, but really, you appreciate what they do, and are thankful when they pull a ladder from the roadway that you might otherwise would have hit.

You don’t really go to many events anymore unless you know friends might be there. You’ll definitely ride to a Moto GP race, visit the local speedway or take your vacation at a motorcycle rally nearby. But you’re over the whole bike night thing.

Your chicken strips are back and that’s okay. At least you don’t have to spend as much money on tires. If you do get a wild hair and feel like scrubbing in (on a perfectly fair day – not too hot or cold), you leave really early, you know, before all the squids get to the mountain. You still do track days, but you ride in the intermediate group. The demon comes out long enough to get your adrenaline going, but not long enough to satiate your thirst.

Your gray hairs are coming in a little early. You scoff at hearing about ‘rider down’ on the radio. You’re a member of the AMA. You’re an instructor. You’re an explorer and you fantasize about a cross-country trip on the bike. You might even take it because you finally have the PTO to cover it, since you don’t call in sick to work all the time anymore. You don’t go conventions because there’s nothing there you haven’t seen at the dealer or in the magazine. You like the bike you have. Still, a second one would be nice. You know, one for commuting, one for track. But that’s mostly all talk.

You still keep in touch with your still-living riding buddies, but mostly through Facebook. You still see them once annually at a rally or bike meet-up, maybe even lunch. But they won’t make fun of you if you drive.

The great thing about getting to this point is you’ve passed through the guillotine and survived. You can take your bike apart and put it back together which saves you a ton of money on maintenance. Your insurance rates have FINALLY gone down.

You know your boundaries. You’re smart. And you can complain all you want because you have experience. You know what you can and can’t get away with. You know the consequences and which rides are worth the risk. You’re picky about who you ride with and for good reason.

And yet, the squid completely ignores your advice. No big deal. You shut up and nod your head, confident with the fact that you don’t have to prove yourself anymore, especially to him/her. The new rider asks you a question and you take the opportunity to mentor. You give him him/her the hundredth different answer, but don’t argue when they say someone else told them different. At least you tried. And you hope they grow.

No Stunts, No Guns, No Glory

12074835_702524810785_1146938723333636868_nI’ve been learning a ton about people on Instagram. I search daily for new pictures of tattooed people and their bikes. Early on, I came across a stunt rider named Dane Britt whose rambunctious Mohawk, ambitious stunts and multiple tattoos matched up with MotoInked’s IG perfectly. But what stood out about Dane was his guns, and I don’t mean the muscle kind.

As owner of K&D Guns & Ammo, he’s the first stunt rider I’ve come across who’s also a gun enthusiast. In mean ways, people who love guns and stunts are a lot alike; they’re both misunderstood and legislation is not kind to either of them. So how are you supposed to find happiness in a country where both of your major hobbies are frowned upon? Well, if you’re Dane, you have an indelible optimism that can’t be crushed by haters.

281244_10150244604956029_5590221_nHere’s what he has to say about why he loves guns, bikes and tattoos.

MI: Tell me about K&D. Where does your passion for bad ass weaponry come from?

DB: K&D Guns and Ammo is my gun store. I have one partner, Keith, and we just opened the doors in August of 2015. I come from a family of hunters and gun enthusiasts and just like to shoot. For years, my dad has been asking me, “What is your goal with all of this networking you do? You can do motorcycle stunts and sing to people for a little longer, but your body won’t last forever.” So for the past five years or so, I have been narrowing down what I wanted to do outside of entertainment. Guns are the other thing that I really enjoy, so it just fell into place. I always try to make things I enjoy into my job. Keeps life wayyyy more fun! 😀

MI: You’ve got a lot going on, on your YouTube channel, i.e. singing, dancing, stunting and guns. What do you like doing most? 

DB: HAHA! This is tough. People ask me this a lot. I think I enjoy drifting motorcycles the most. It is the best rush for sure, and it’s very rewarding when I put my drift videos on YouTube and kids all over the world can find it and learn from it.

MI: How long have you been riding?

DB: My dad started my brother and I riding when we were two years old. My grandfather started a motorcycle business in 1976, and my dad took it over in 1995, so myself and my brother both grew up in the motorcycle shop.

So much energy, so little time!

So much energy, so little time!

MI: What bikes do you own?

DB: I currently own a 2007 Harley Sportster, 2004 Yamaha FZ1, 2009 Suzuki DRZ 400SM, and a 2005 Kawasaki KLX 110.

MI: What is your favorite thing to do or place to go on a motorcycle?

My favorite thing to do would be drifting the Harley on a clear, flat, smooth, open parking lot somewhere.

MI: How many hours do you have into your tattoos? 

DB: Ummmm, ummmmm…..That’s spread out over a lot of years, but I would guess maybe 60-80 hours.

MI: Who were the artists who did the work?

DB: There have been several over the years. Jesse Collins has done some. Right now, I always use Jimmy Sparks at Rockstar Tattoo. He has a great shop, and a good attitude.

MI: What is your favorite tattoo?

DB: Favorite tattoo is probably the “Custom Made” tattoo on my chest. I take a lot of pride in being “different,” or “Custom,” and tend to stray away from things that would make me boring or unoriginal; if that makes sense.

You can follow Dane Britt and K&D on Facebook.

Careful of the YouTube Eyes Upon You

We are a generation of sharers. We record everything. Whether it’s a dash cam, helmet cam, bike-mounted Go Pro Cam or otherwise, we document everything we do and everywhere we go. Of course, the urge to post and share our adventures on two wheels is too tantalizing to resist, especially once the view count rises. Once you realize people are noticing, you post more hoping to repeat the success.

But are you getting the kind of attention that you really want? Are you posting viral sensations or stacking evidence against yourself?

With notoriety comes a price.

While you’re enjoying your five seconds of Internet fame, you’re handing your ass to local law enforcement on a silver platter. The more people that see your felonious activity, the higher up on the Wanted List you go. Being an outlaw may seem romantic at first, as you’re flashing the LEO’s the proverbial finger behind a Guy Fawkes mask, but once the notoriety has worn off, you become just another poor sucker behind bars.

Social media is becoming our downfall.

Some people have become wiser. We’re aware that privacy has gone out the window and we know not to post anything work-related or any content that could compromise our employment or manner of living. It’s one thing to get fired; it’s another to implicate yourself to the point of incarceration.

And such was the unfortunate consequence for poor riders such as Hector Martinez, Zack Shlief, Robert Hammond, and Randy George Scott, to name a few.

Hector thought it’d be a great idea to shut down the freeway with 300 or so of his moto buddies, do a bunch of stunts and then propose to his girlfriend. Had no one ever posted anything, it might have been a once-in-a-lifetime, gotten-away-with-it experience. The drivers stuck behind the cacophony of roaring engines and blinding smoke would have been irritated and called the police, but Hector and his fiancé could have been able to make a break for it. Alas, the spectacle was too grandiose not to share, and the video of the event quickly went viral. Not only was Hector arrested, but three of his buddies were too. In the LA Times article, it states, “This event received media attention by way of the Internet, television, various newspapers and radio stations all over the country,” the CHP said. “After a thorough investigation, four of the main individuals involved in this incident were identified.” In essence, Hector’s proposal landed him with the old ball and chain, both inside and outside of jail.

Which brings us to Zack Shlief. Zack was supposedly a Marin County Sheriff’s Officer, along with being a member of Bay Area Super Moto or BASM. During one of their many rides through the streets of the city, Zack was filmed with doing wheelies on public streets. But after an ambitious journalist located a photo of Zack standing next to a squad car, the media rained down on him hard, causing him to lose his job. Was it fair that he was targeted because he was supposedly betraying his creed to uphold the law? Or did non-riders find the perfect scapegoat to make a point for concerns of safety? Luckily, Zack only last his job. Still, for many of us, with bills to pay and a reputation that has to last us to retirement, that can be as bad as a jail sentence.

Unfortunately for Randy George Scott, a joy ride on his mother’s motorcycle cost his mom about $1500 and it cost Randy a warrant for his arrest, all because of an incriminating video he posted which depicts him riding in excess of 100 mph (supposedly near 200 mph, but you know how the media exaggerates). Had he never posted anything, he would have been like many of us who open up the throttle for just a minute when we think no one’s looking, back off, park the bike in the garage and forget it ever happened. Sorry Randy.

Last but not least, Robert Hammond from the UK landed himself in prison after cops pulled him over and pulled the memory card from his camera. His footage didn’t even make it online before he got arrested for doing wheelies and exceeding the speed limit. That almost seems like getting arrested for a lewd and lascivious act in public without ever even taking your clothes off. And for god sakes, the guy’s 60 and in my experience, those seasoned gentlemen from the UK are better riders than most of us here in the states. But put a couple of cars in his path, and suddenly he’s public enemy #1.

It seems a bit ridiculous to me to pack our already crowded jail cells with guys who like to speed and do wheelies. It almost seems by bikers incriminating themselves with their videos, they’re also handing their hard earned money over to the local court system, money that could have been used on bike parts. Bummer.

The point is for the 30% of riders that love to ride and share, there’s the 70% of the non-riding population who are annoyed with their behavior. People are fed up and the young guys who maintain a reckless riding style have ruined it for the rest of us. Now, law enforcement is doing all they can to stop it. Can you really blame them? The evidence is right there on YouTube and if police ignored it, they wouldn’t be doing their job, would they? They might even be saving motorcyclists from themselves by putting hazardous behavior in check early on. But it blows me away that some guys haven’t learned their lesson. Come on! You should know better by now!

I’m not saying not to ride fast or do stunts. By all means, please. I know it’s what I live for. I’m not saying you can’t come up with wild and crazy plans to propose to your girlfriend or boyfriend. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t film your rides. A camera can help you just as much as it can hurt you.

What I am saying is for god sakes, if you’re going to do any of the above, do it away from the general public and if you do, resist the urge to post it.

Icon Team Merc Jacket: So good, it makes you wanna pet it.


The Icon Team Merc jacket is so kick ass, I feel like I could sucker punch Rousey and live to tell someone about it.

The Icon Team Merc jacket is so kick ass, I feel like I could sucker punch Rousey and live to tell someone about it.

Hi guys,

This is Rachael––the not-very-famous mind behind MotoInked.com––here.

Granted, I’ve been kind of inactive lately; but today, the stars aligned so that I had a day off and optimally prime (like that?) weather that left no excuse for dusting off my FZ-07. Being that it has been a little cold these past few months, I’ve parked my bike for lack of having the proper gear, and, for lack of well, motivation.

The Nylon feels like a wet suit, only I don't surf. Sharks can have the water. I'll stick to the streets where it's safe.

The Nylon feels like a wet suit, only I don’t surf. Sharks can have the water. I’ll stick to the streets where it’s safe.

Let’s be straight.

I’m a sloth, but I’m still a rider. I’m older, but I still crave two wheels like Donald Trump craves air time. You can’t shut up a purring cross-plane kitten for too long because she stares you down like the cage-converted, traitorous homebody that you are. But parking a bike is like leaving a worn out concubine in the closet. May not use her anymore, but you still have to feed her, get my meaning?

Right now, I’m so completely stoked about the new Icon Team Merc Jacket I got from Chaparral Motorsports. Note: My parents purchased my first helmet––a retro-hail to the 80’s-Bieffe––from Chaparral when I was just an accident-prone eight years old. So yeah, visiting Chaparral is like visiting home. And bonus! This totally rad chick rider saw me browsing and I found out she rides a Suzuki GSX-R600 (hey, I used to have one of those!).

I told her what I was looking for and she deftly led me over to the Icon Team Merc jacket. She was on it. If sales were the Olympics, I’d given her a gold medal.

I needed a jacket that was warm, and waterproof, yet light and curvy-girl friendly. Everybody knows if you’re fluffy and you ride, the battle to find gear is like trying to stuff Caitlyn Jenner back in a man suit – grunts, moans and sucker punches included. Assist at your own risk. God bless the sales girl for letting me rolley-polley in and out of a few jackets before saying something.

So when I tried on the Icon Merc jacket, the softshell chassis with Nylon Reinforcement Panels really impressed me. It was so soft, I wanted to be left alone so I could rub my face on it. But I digress.

I couldn’t believe how well it fit and how light it is! Holy crap! Finally, I found a jacket that was made for riding, not just standing in front of the mirror and taking selfies. Though I’m not knocking you for flaunting it if you have it. Get it girl!

The Team Merc jacket gives me some wiggle room while providing that comfy-cozy feeling that makes me actually want to leave the house and ride all day. And I love that the jacket is waterproof! If I got caught in a downpour (that’s California for a few drops of rain), I won’t get damp. Wearing this jacket makes me amazed at how far motorcycle gear has come in the 15+ years I’ve been riding and it makes me happy that I finally got off my butt and on my bike.

Icon has always been one of my favorite brands and they’ve never let me down when it comes to fit, comfort and function. Hats off to you folks! Keep that awesome swag coming!

Now if we could only get past the pink-thing, we’d be set.

Meet 5E11EVEN: Maker of the Moto Self Portraits

Eddie B. himself (edited of course)

Eddie B. himself (edited of course)

Photographer Eddie B., a.k.a. 5e11even, is the modern marvel of the moto-self-portrait. His portraits create a masterful, digitally refined union of rider and machine. Every portrait is the perfect blend of bike life and imagination, with sci-fi inspired graphics and color that keeps the eyes wondering through the photo. His portraits are so attention grabbing, they’re accumulating more likes on Instagram than twenty-something college girls. So who is the guy behind 5e11even media? Read on to find out.

MI: Tell us about yourself.

nikkizx6r-1511: My name is Eddie B. I’m from Honolulu, Hawaii. As a digital media specialist, I have experience with web design/development, graphic/print design, photography and videography. I have been in the industry for about 10 years now, sampling each part of the digital media spectrum. I started as a web design intern at a local design studio and since then, I’ve branched into many different creative avenues, including marketing.

MI: Cool. How long have you been riding motorcycles?

rc8-guy-vanquished511: I started riding 2 years ago on a 2012 Ninja 250. Then I moved up to a 2013 Ninja 650 and am now riding a 2014 Ninja ZX-6R. Even though I haven’t been riding a while, the bike life has been a pretty awesome experience. I’ve met a lot of people because of riding and my edits.

MI: When did you start doing digital art?

511: My digital art and photography has an interesting story. After doing web development for a good seven years, my workplace needed help with content creation for marketing. I’d been shooting casually for a good three years, but not really taking it seriously (it was just a hobby) and I did a lot of car shoots for the local car scene. Since I knew how to use a DSLR, they appointed me to create content, which was mostly studio photography for products and the artwork we create.

ej-zx6rMI: Your photos are pretty amazing. What kind of camera do you use?

511: I currently shoot with a Nikon D750.

MI: What it’s like being a photographer?

511: At first I hated it because I wanted to be a web developer and not a photographer. But after doing it for a while, I kinda started to like it, as photography can be technical. I’ve found inspiration in photographers like Von Wong and Zach Arias. I learned more techniques through SLR Lounge, F-Stoppers and a bunch of YouTube channels. Now I’m shooting bikes since I’m part of the bike scene.

couplezx6rMI: Right on. How did you develop the the moto-self-portrait?

511: I am currently a college student taking college classes part-time online. I just started to dabble in Photoshop and having been playing around with photos I’ve taken. I already had the graphic design experience so I started playing with edits. I learned double exposure photography trying to combine my bike and myself. I totally failed at that and thought, “Screw it, I am gonna fake it in Photoshop!” So I did and it totally evolved from being monochrome to full color with effects. I do other edit styles as well, but it’s the portraits that have made me known.

floyed-IGMI: Sweet. Where do you get your inspiration?

511: There are a few inspirations for my graphic design/art background such as Abduzeedo, Hydro74, NoPattern and Red Spade come to the top of my head right now. Because of Instagram, I am constantly finding inspiration everywhere!

To have your own portrait made, click here for instructions.


Christin “Oki” Voros Tells All about Racing, GirlClutch and Her Tattoos

IMG_0229She’s a tattooed, half-Okinawan riding bad ass who rules the streets of Oceanside aboard her 2008 Honda CBR600RR. She’s also road raced at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway with CVMA racing and took home some pretty admirable finishes before retiring. But Christin Voros, a.k.a. Oki, is known for more than just her racing. She’s a YouTube vlogger that goes by the name OkiHondaGirl, a cross fit junkie saved by God and an advocate for women riders through her organization called GirlClutch.

Oki started GirlClutch–which is a woman rider organization dedicated to bringing women riders together to have fun and raise money for various charities–back in 2010. After a brief hiatus (due to the racing of course) she is revamping GirlClutch to continue her passion for uniting women riders through their love of two wheels. She also has some amazing ink. We caught up with her and she told us a little about why she rides and the stories behind her tattoos.

IMG_0222MI: When did you start riding and why?

CV: I took the MSF Basic Riders Course in 2006 but didn’t get to start riding consistently until 2008. I was riding pillion with my boyfriend-at-the-time and enjoying it, when I started noticing girls riding their own bikes and thought they looked amazingly cool. For some reason, I had never considered that I could be riding my own bike instead of sitting on the back. I somehow got talked into doing my first track day in 2009. I decided to make my bike full-race/track and I raced in the Femmewalla and Amateur Middleweight classes with CVMA from September 2011 until I retired in April 2014 (I got second in the Femmewalla class championships in 2011 and finished top 10 amateur in 2013, dropping about 40 seconds on my lap times). After retirement, I eventually converted my bike back to street-legal with the help of Armando Obregon at AR Motorsports in Temecula, and started going on joy-rides again in May 2015.

Photo by Tony Mino.

Photo by Tony Mino. As featured in SportbikesIncmag.com

MI: What do you love about riding?

CV: There’s freedom in it. I compare it to how a dog feels when he sticks his head out the window, or maybe a jet fighter.

MI: I’ve heard you were quite the prolific YouTube Vlogger.

CV: I’m slowly trying to get back into vlogging haha…It’s kind of hard for me to come up with content because 1) I’m a fair-weather rider (I don’t wanna ride if it’s too hot or cold!) 2) I’m not really the type of person to put my business or opinions out there (unless asked) and 3) I ride around the same places, so content is kind of hard to come up with. Maybe it’ll be an excuse to tow my bike out somewhere and come up with some moto-adventures.

Christin racing at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway as an amateur.

Christin racing at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway as an amateur.

MI: So what’s GirlClutch about anyway?

CV: A community of women riders passionate about all types of motorcycles, who meet every month to ride, empower and support one another.

MI: What are some things in the works for GirlClutch?

CV: We’re planning to have charity or fundraising rides every quarter to benefit charities ranging from the homeless, U.S. Veterans, animal shelters, women’s health…you name it. GirlClutch is giving back to the community. I’d love to be able to make a huge impact on the lives of those who need help. But it takes help, volunteers and teamwork! “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

You may recognize this photo as a viral Facebook and Instagram sensation which features none other than, you guessed it, Christin Voros and Kimiko Donahue.

You may recognize this photo as a viral Facebook and Instagram sensation which features none other than, you guessed it, Christin Voros and Kimiko Donahue.

MI: What other organizations are you involved in?

CV: Right now, just GirlClutch. I also attend Femmewalla, an all-girl track day at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, benefitting The Unforgettables Foundation, every year. But there is definitely room for growth. 😉

MI: How many tattoos do you have? 

CV: I think 14, if you count my sleeve by its individual pieces, 6 if you count my sleeve as one tattoo. I have gotten work done at Body Temple and About Face (both of which are in Oceanside), Chris at Absolute Tattoo in Claremont (though he’s not there anymore), Robia at Two Faced Tattoo in Fallbrook, Gary at Ace Tattoo in Ocean Beach, and Arnie at Electric Tiger Tattoo in North Park, who has tattooed the most real estate on me.

MI: Which one is your favorite tattoo? 

CV: As most of my tattoos have meaning and a story behind them, it’s hard to pick between my Okinawan folk dancer tattoo and my Phoenix; both are on the outside of my sleeve. The Okinawan folk dancer represents the fact that I’m half-Okinawan and there is something special about Okinawa that makes me feel real strong emotions and homesickness. I think the culture and history is beautiful. I have the Phoenix because it represents the beauty, strength, passion and delicacy of Jesus’s love for me, as well as my own resurrection out of depression and thoughts of suicide.

MI: Have any ideas in mind for future tattoos? 

CV: I follow an artist on IG out of Austin, TX, by the name of Andrés Acosta (@acostattoo) I would LOVE to get a motorcycle/rose hybrid tattoo by him. It’s on my bucket list 😉

 Most Recent GirlClutch Ride Footage

What is GirlClutch?

One of Oki’s Races at Chuck

MotoInked Highlight Reel: Ink and Iron Long Beach

This year, we attended the last Ink and Iron event at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Next year the event will be moving to the LA area and it will be bigger and better than ever before.

More than 200 tattoo artists attended the 2015 event and about 50 bands played on three stages including Pennywise and Killswitch Engage. The event featured burlesque and pole dancers, the Kustom Culture art gallery curated by Sullen Industries, tattoos and tattoo contests, custom cars and bikes, and much more. It was an amazing event. Please check out Skin Deep UK magazine for tattoo event coverage.

Tattooed Rock Bands of the Moto-ing Generation X

You can’t deny that music has taken its place amongst the riding population as a necessity for a good riding day. We pinch in our ear buds, start the bike and take off, often times with no destination. But freeway miles could be interminable without the aid of good tunes. The other day, on my way home from work, I switched my Pandora to Limp Bizkit, and it took me back to my high school and college days when my youth was fraught with opportunity, drama and a lot of motorcycling memories with friends who have either moved on, passed away or quit riding all together.

It amazes me how music has the power to pull you backward in time to one particular moment so you can recall every detail as long as you hear the lyrics on the radio. And then, just like magic, it stops as the song drops off the playlist comes back again. Here are some of the bands that got my blood pumping then and whose music still has the power to make me chant along at the top of my lungs like no one is listening.

Limp Bizkit


Limp Bizkit is not just a band, but a family of tattoo lovers and artists. Tattoos are a staple to this band’s style. Formerly a tattoo artist, charismatic Fred Durst has always known how to get a crowd riled up with his appearance and outlandish style. He has multiple tattoos that have gained him recognition over the years. Guitarist, Wes Borland, is also an artist who designed many tattoos for Limp Bizkit’s drummer, John Otto.



The rock band, Korn, has played at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on more than one occasion in 2009 and 2013, showing their true dedication to the biker culture. Johnathan Davis’s tattoos are controversial and have had people talking for years. Reginald Arvizu, who plays bass for Korn, is also fully tattooed. But judging on their following and the powerful nature of their music, they can say what they like, whether through ink or verse.



I’ve always admired this band for being down to earth. If you’ve ever seen MTV’s cribs back in the day, they walked through the house of P.O.D., which was a modest pad in San Diego. You’d think they were just the boys next door who played music once in a while. Whoda thunk they were grammy award nominees? Band members Sonny Sandoval, Marcos Curiel, Traa Daniels and Wuv Bernardo are all tattooed, humble and true to faith, which explains they’re so incredibly likable. They’re still going strong too. Their new album, Awakening, drops on August 21, 2015.

Papa Roach


Papa Roach recently released a music video for the song “Face Everything and Rise” for their new album “F.E.A.R.” This video featured some fully tattooed motocross riders doing some pretty cool stuff. On the band’s website, their homepage features one of these MadMax-clad riders on their homepage. The band is also fully tattooed, but it’s their style and sound that’s addictive.

LinKin Park


Linkin Park has always been one of my favorite bands. Pretty much any song they’ve ever made is worthy of a replay. I especially like how band member, Mike Shinoda, a.k.a. Fort Minor, hand painted and signed a custom Honda Fury, to promote his Glorious Excess (Dies) art show at the Japanese American Art Museum in 2009.

All Eyes on Josh Payne

Tattoo Artist Josh Payne

Tattoo Artist Josh Payne. Photo by Tavares Shirley.

If you don’t know who Josh Payne is, you’re missing out. His colorful and outlandish tattoo work is taking the industry by storm and we were lucky enough to run into him at the Ink and Iron show in Long Beach, CA.

Josh a veteran tattoo artist and owner of Ascend Gallery in Cortland, NY. He purchased his first tattoo equipment when he was just 16 years old and began tattooing in his mother’s kitchen. “I started as wrong as you possibly could,” he says. “I fixed a lot of shit as I got older.” Now, 13 years later, Josh has made quite a name for himself as a tattoo artist and his work has been turning heads on Instagram so fast; he’s been causing an online whiplash.

When we saw Josh at the show, he was tattooing a fantastical mad-eyed eagle on an eager client in the bowels of the Queen Mary. Despite the stuffy atmosphere, incessant questions and passing eyes, Josh was completely down-to-earth and approachable with a boisterous, infectious laugh. His carefree, go-getter personality makes sense since he’s a rider too. Josh owns a 1979 Harley Sportster, which has been transformed into an original bobber. Just like his tattoos, his motorcycle is a work of art. He may have sacrificed form for aesthetics though, as he says the bike is “back breaking” if ridden too long. “I pretty much just ride it around town, here and there. It’s a bar hopper,” he jokes.

Josh doesn't do small, simple pieces. He does big, colorful work that makes a statement. Josh did this piece at the Ink and Iron show in Long Beach, CA.

Josh doesn’t do small, simple pieces. He does big, colorful work that makes a statement. Josh did this piece at the Ink and Iron show in Long Beach, CA. Photo by Tavares Shirley.

Of course, anyone who can rump around town on a kidney-killer is bound to be brave. It’s this bravado that makes tattoo conventions fun for Josh, rather than daunting. “I love tattooing at conventions,” he says. “There’s something about being out here in the spotlight that I enjoy. It’s stupid fun getting to meet all the people that look up to you and know your work. Four or five years ago, I was that guy, getting meet the other dudes they I looked up to. It’s crazy and surreal that people know who I am.”

But conventions are not all fun and games for Josh. He averages 15-16 hour days at conventions, especially at Ink and Iron, since he was booked solid, mostly because of his presence on Instagram. “Instagram has been amazing for this industry,” he admits. His client for Sunday at the show was a kid who actually had one of Josh’s earlier tattoos and this tattoo was one of Josh’s viral sensations.

Josh's 1979 bobber.

Josh’s 1979 bobber.

For Josh, it has been a backward, humbling spiral. The more experience he gets, the more the pressure mounts. “Everybody gives me these rave reviews, saying that they love my work, and I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing yet,” he says. “I feel like the more people that know who I am, the more scared I am that I need to work harder.”

Josh is one of those good-neighbor-type guys that is super easy to be around. That, paired with his artistic ability, makes him the ideal artist if you’re interested in getting some more complicated, bigger pieces of body art done. If you’re going to spend hours with an artist, you want to know they care and are as passionate about your tattoo as you are.

Josh is quite an inspiration because he doesn’t believe in coasting a short distance on natural ability, but rather throttling forward with a passion and desire to be better at his craft. “I feel like every day I just want to be better than I was yesterday,” he says. “I feel like I’m starting to figure out what I’m doing and just scratching my potential, so I’m excited to see what the next few years bring.”

Inspiration is Everywhere, says Sara Ray

Sara Ray (left) with a friend.

As soon as I met Sara Ray I knew she was a “no nonsense” type of woman. The kind you can’t get much bull shit past. And if you try, she’s likely to call you on it. I’ve always admired strong women like her and I knew I liked her immediately.

From the moment she said she believed women should ride, just not in their underwear, Sara made it obvious she has something to say. It seems the old school values of the rip roaring ride ‘or’ die ladies of past might be clashing with the selfie-obsessed, instantly gratifying Instagrammers of late. The ironic thing is, when it comes to tattoos and promoting art, you really can’t have one without the other.

Is she juggling? Or reaching?

Is she juggling? Or reaching?

Sara Ray has managed to find a balance between the two through her art. Her work reminds me of what would happen if zombies, vampires and Elvira clashed with the 70’s tide of easy rider culture. Throw in some guitars and paint brushes and that about sums up Sara’s style. Mind you, she will probably disagree with me, but that’s the beauty of art. The onlooker can draw the conclusion after the artist has drawn the picture. In fact, Sara’s work has made such a statement, it was featured in 2014 at the exclusive Art of the Motorcycle exhibition at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, where the history of motorcycle and the cultures it inspired was on display.

Sara showcased many of her paintings at the Ink and Iron show in Long Beach this year. One in particular got my attention. The painting depicted a woman in an old-school bomber-type helmet with arms fluttering around her, as if she were reaching for or possibly tossing aside motorcycle parts while balancing on a fender in black, spiked boots. Ironically, this painting almost seems a perfect portrayal how a woman who rides struggles between beauty and badassery, a battle that is challenging but fun.

Motorcycle gas tank painted by Sara Ray, also featured in the Art of the Motorcycle display in Glendale.

Motorcycle gas tank painted by Sara Ray, also featured in the Art of the Motorcycle display in Glendale.

After meeting Sara and catching a glimpse of her art, I began perusing the inter webs for her work. I found she does much more than just paint. She’s been tattooing for at least 18 years and doing art for even longer. She also paints motorcycles, the likes of which, have seen the glossy pages of magazines.

She told me she finds “inspiration everywhere,” as she has been coast to coast promoting tattooed motorcycling culture. Originally from Hermosa Beach, CA, she’s now set up roots in Chicago, IL where she tattoos at Maximum Tattoo studio.

What I love most about Sara, however, is she is not just an artist, but a rider. She owns a Honda CB350 that she doesn’t get to ride much anymore but by the tone of her voice, this is regrettable.

If you’re ever in Chicago, stop by and see Sara Ray. She might beat you to the punch (possibly literally if you’re not polite) by participating in a tattoo convention near you, but if you’re in the windy city, her wit and talent are well worth the visit.

You can also find Sara on Instagram and Facebook. Buy her art on Etsy or visit her website here.

Creepy or Not?: The Skin Book

Some might argue this is a downright creepy. A book of synthetic flesh for fledgling tattoo artists to practice on? Who even thought of this idea? And is it even really a new concept?

Still, I would much rather have a tattoo artist take a piece off Buffalo Bill’s scrap pile than ink their damage on someone’s skin forever. Davinci didn’t paint his first pieces of art work on the Sistine Chapel walls. He had some practice along the way. I wouldn’t knock tattoo artists for trying out the controversial Skin Book. Still, they may not even get the chance.

The Skin Book, created by Tattoo Art magazine, hasn’t yet become available to the mass market. And there’s still the question of where all this artificial skin is coming from? Regardless, the proverbial semi-living sketch pad could mean the difference between a career in a tattoo shop and a box of abandoned tattoo machines in the trash. I’d say keep your mind open to anterior means of betterment and save yourself the humiliation of losing all your friends due to shabby ink work.

Speedway Girls! Shake, Shake Ya Rump!

Speedway sidecar racing is quite a bit more popular in Australia than it is here. But one thing the Aussie’s don’t have are some seriously crazy, fast ladies. Here in the USA, these girls are taking the Speedway circuit by storm. Team Syck Bubblegum racing has competed in more than 80 heats, taking 6th in points last year. This year, they’re getting faster and last weekend in Perris, competed in the main event. And it’s not just them. Ashley Gibbons is now riding with Jeff Rowe on Team Superbeast and Michelle Ducky Sanches is competing with TRod aboard a Harley-powered sidecar. Want to find out more about this year’s schedule? Wanna see some grit-your-teeth, edge-of-your seat sidecar action? Keep up with race news here.

First of its kind: The Recidivist by Game Over Cycles

Cheyenne Bike - The Recidivist (11)

Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

Whoever thought turbulence could spawn an artistic creation that is not only the first of it’s kind, but most likely the most influential piece of artwork in the motorcycle world? Airbrushing takes time and effort, creating an end product that is usually worth applause and appreciation. But the problem is, it’s just not authentic. When it comes to tattoos, we couldn’t possibly add the same weight to our stories with the stick-on type tattoos you buy in a vending machine. We save our pennies and grit our teeth to get the real deal, the body art that we can brag took hours of pain to accomplish. This makes for a much better and more powerful story. This is how the Cheyenne bike, The Recidivist, the world’s first tattooed custom motorcycle, was born.

The Twin Cam 96'' engine is mostly stock, except for the fine exterior details, which have been customized by Game Over Cycles. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

The Twin Cam 96” engine is mostly stock, except for the fine exterior details, which have been customized by Game Over Cycles. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

The Inspiration

Inspired by art of tattoos, the Recidivist is a motorcycle that is unique in that the tattoo art was not created with a typical airbrush, but rather tattooed directly to light-colored, cowhide leather, similar to the color of human skin. This skin was then branded directly onto the bike’s tires, tank, seat, rear fender, lamp and other smaller elements. Kult Motor DRP produced the leather itself and the leather was specifically tested with a process of special impregnation that would work well for the tattooing.

Stanislaw Myskowski, the founder of Game Over Cycles or GOC, is the originator of The Recidivist Project. He joined ranks with world famous brand, Cheyenne Professional Tattoo Equipment, to create the epitome of artistic visions on two wheels. Cheyenne would allow GOC to reach out to more people

Notice the reverse butterfly knife-levers? Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is  Miss Piggy

Notice the reverse butterfly knife-levers? Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is Miss Piggy

with the Recidivist project, as Cheyenne is one of the largest tattoo equipment brands in the world. Cheyenne also provided the inspiration to make the customized parts on the bike distinctive. “To emphasize the tattoo theme in the motorcycle, we used real Cheyenne tattoo machines and modified other parts to make them look like Cheyenne brand tattoo machines,” Stanislaw says.

By definition, a recidivist is a person who continues to commit crimes even after being caught and punished, i.e. a habitual criminal. This is where the story of this motorcycle’s ink begins. The designs come together in an artistic vision that references tattooed motorcyclists living a turbulent lifestyle in post war era America. They were active members of the community, yet their lives teetered on the edge of the law. All the

The front end was designed to resemble a Cheyenne tattoo machine. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is  Miss Piggy

The front end was designed to resemble a Cheyenne tattoo machine. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is Miss Piggy

tattoos on this motorcycle are based on a person who spent time in prison, but believed in having a strong character, freedom and individuality. “Of course we do not support or appreciate breaking the law at all,” Stanislaw says. “It’s an artists theme, which allowed us to implement all the visual and technical ideas we wanted to create in this machine.”

Stanislaw came up with the idea to create a motorcycle covered with real tattoos about ten years ago. “I have tattoos and I love motorcycles,” he says. “I consider them both a way to express my own feelings or character. In this project, we wanted to create a motorcycle that would be a combination of the automotive world and the world of tattoos, to express their respective characteristics, not only in the construction, but also in aesthetics. We also wanted this machine to combine modernity with tradition. On one hand, we built a motorcycle based on the most traditional motorcycle brand in the world, the Harley-Davidson – on the other we integrated the mechanisms of tattoo machines to become integral and fully functional elements of the motorcycle’s construction.”

The Bike

Brass knuckle dusters make the Recidivist an ass kicker. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is  Miss Piggy

Brass knuckle dusters make the Recidivist an ass kicker. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is Miss Piggy

The constructors at GOC began the project with a stock Harley Davidson softtail motorcycle complete with a Twin Cam 96’’ engine. They chose an American-made bike because America is where the custom bike culture was born, thus enabling GOC to pay homage to where it all began.

After fabrication of custom parts by GOC constructors was complete, only the frame and the engine remained in their original condition. All other components were custom fabricated by GOC to include the following: Frame made of C-bars (modified from HD Softail the frame), rear swingarm made of C-bars, front suspension with shock absorbers, steering wheel with shift paddles and handles, brake pump, foot control, rear wing, fuel tank, seat with mounting, engine covers along with engine barrels, air filter and front and rear lamps.

All parts fabricated by GOC were designed to resemble the traditional elements of tattoo machines, while remaining fully functional parts of the motorcycle. For example, if you take a look at the exhaust pipe, you’ll see it looks like a Cheyenne brand tattoo machine and when the bike is started up, the tattoo needles move like the tattoo needles of a real tattoo machine!

These firestone tires have more ink than I have. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is  Kinga Majchrowska

These firestone tires have more ink than I have. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski, Model is Kinga Majchrowska

To conjure your inner demolitionist, you can also use what appears to be a bomb detonator lever to start the bike. And if you’ve ever been a bar brawl, you’ll recognize that the rear light indicators look like brass knuckle dusters and the front brake calipers will remind you of handcuffs. At your fingertips, you’ll notice the front clutch and brake handles are formed in the shape of butterfly knives, in the reverse form and the brake pump lever is shaped like a section sign.

And if you love old school style, the bike is equipped with a traditional suicide shifter, where the rider has to remove one hand from the handlebar to switch gears.

The Twin Cam 96’’ engine is relatively untouched with the exception of the engine covers, engine barrels, clutch cover and air filter; which were all made by GOC. Connecting chassis to pavement are tattooed Firestone tires.

The detail in the seat alone could have you staring a lot longer than would be polite. Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

The detail in the seat alone could have you staring a lot longer than would be polite.
Photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

The Tattoos and the Artists who Inked Them

The retro-style of the bike’s tattoos were inspired by and rooted in the motorcycle community; some are fact, some are fiction. The placement of tattoos was planned from the beginning and none of the tattoos are random. The ink on this motorcycle covers the entire spectrum of the Recidivist’s lifetime to include arrest warrants, guns, cigar, shattered bottle of Vodka, knives, razors and scenes from the times of prohibition. On the headlamp of the motorcycle, a moth is tattooed as “it is always attracted to light.”

Cheyenne Bike - The Recidivist (29) - Premiere in LondonAdditionally, if you glance at the bike’s front end, you’ll notice a story is displayed in chronological order on the motorcycle’s front wheel – first a bank robbery, then the arrest, then the police putting the perpetrator behind bars, then a visit from a loved one, then the escape attempt and so on, with the only visible color being the card elements on the wheels. You can also find tattoos on parts that aren’t immediately visible such as inside or at the bottom of the motorcycle’s components or the internal sides of the cut-in-half fuel tank.

Cheyenne Bike - The Recidivist (22)Two artists from Polish tattoo studios did the Recidivist’s tattoos: Tomasz Lech from The Individuum and Krzysztof Królak from Steel Will Tattoo Factory.

“The decisive issue for selecting those two artists was the fact that I knew them personally and I knew their creative possibilities, which allowed me to place my trust and confidence in them,” Stanislaw says. He also mentioned that another advantage of having Krzysztof and Tomasz participate in the Recidivist project was that they both run their own studios in the same city located a short distance from GOC. “Because the bike was built and tattooed at the same time, it was very important to have frequent consultations and transport of respective elements,” he says.

Most of the tattoos are black and grey with the 'card' elements being color.

Most of the tattoos are black and grey with the ‘card’ elements being color.

The tattooing took place during the last two months of construction, with the final tattoo being completed at the bike’s unveiling at the London Tattoo Convention 2014. Both artists put many hours in the Recidivist’s tattoos, with the final tattoo consuming nearly 40 hours of their time.

Construction of the Recidivist motorcycle took approximately five months and was unveiled to the world on September 27, 2014 at the London International Tattoo Convention. Since then, the bike has won the “Best Paint/Airbrush” award at Custombike-Show in Germany in December 2014.

Cheyenne Bike - The Recidivist (24)You’ll most likely see GOC and the Recidivist at shows and competitions in the future, specifically the Polish Championships in April 2015 in Poznan, Poland. If you love motorcycles and you love ink, the Recidivist is a must-see.

About Game Over Cycles

Game Over Cycles is a Polish company that has been creating custom motorcycles since 2012. Before the Cheyenne Bike The Recidivist, the company was most renowned for creating the Behemoth Bike. This bike is a custom motorcycle inspired by and developed in collaboration with the global Polish icon of metal music, Behemoth, particularly the band’s leader, Adam “Nergal” Darski.


Cheyenne Bike - The Recidivist (30) - Premiere in London


Why You Hatin’ On Iggy?

I'm stoked I found this inked picture of Iggy on a motorcycle! Rad!

I’m stoked I found this inked picture of Iggy on a motorcycle! Rad!

She’s the newest thing to hit the rap scene. A white girl with a practiced rap style. Or so they say. Does she write her own lyrics? Did you she go too far with the ‘Pussy’ video? Or has she broken through boundaries by proving that rap is an art that can be driven by talent regardless of gender and race.

Now matter what you think of Iggy or how she got to where she is, you have to go back to her roots to truly appreciate what she’s done in the music business. I myself am no artist, but I do love music – and I mean ALL music – and though Iggy may have crossed some lines that I myself never would, I still appreciate her success and her music for what it is. We all have our skeletons, our short cuts, our little black deeds that we’ve done to get ahead, so you can’t possibly judge or hate on Iggy for her past because you’d just be spitting on the mirror.

10974329_796437500445877_232701760332754553_oMy point being, if you’re a sixteen-year-old female that has traveled to a completely foreign country thousands of miles and more than a dozen flight hours away from home, and then less than a decade later, you’re a millionaire with boundless success whose music can be heard almost everywhere, I think that’s something to be admired and respected. Yes, I’m a fan. I’m a fan of any woman who immigrates to this country on her own and creates a world of success for herself. Take my friend Issey (no play on Iggy I swear) for example who came here from Thailand not even knowing our language, to a place where she had no family, and while in this country, she began road racing and is now representing Ducati in her home country of Thailand. Or take any of the women who came here with nothing to their name or no family nearby to support them and yet they open their own restaurants, salons or become successful music artists. These women take a leap, alone, and make it despite all odds, proving all wrong and beating Murphy’s Law to a pulp until they can’t remember when a bad day was even an excuse.

I applaud Iggy for her success and I love her music. I never get sick of songs like ‘Fancy,’ ‘Beg for it’ or ‘Murda Business’ (which I’m peeved I can’t get on iTunes by the way). Although I’ve reached near-annoyance with ‘Black Widow,’ I’m still not sick of Iggy and I don’t think I ever will be.

I’m pretty impressed with Iggy Azalea and what’s she accomplished, mostly because of what she stands for. If you have a dream and you have the drive, there’s a no reason why you can’t be successful, no matter the obstacle, no matter the distance you have to travel to get there. And in a world where persecution, judgment and negativity run rampant, I’d say Iggy is a positive breath of fresh air.


Zack Haley: Love at First Poke

10690189_1537671176516813_8354426432068164831_nYou might have seen this fully tattooed wheelie fiend on Instagram or Facebook. He’s got more than 550 hours invested in his tattoos and he’s a year deep into the stunt life. Meet Zack Haley. He’s a 29-year-old tattoo artist from Burleson Texas and he’s been tattooing professionally for two years. You can find him in person at Knuckle Up Tattoo in Forth Worth, TX. And here’s the kicker. His wrap sheet got him into tattooing. “I got in some trouble around 21 and did six years in prison,” he says, “I was young and dumb, but I drew all day, everyday, in there.” It wasn’t long before Zack’s talent was noticed and soon, people were becoming interested in his art. By the time he did his first tattoo, “it was love at first poke,” he says.

If you ever get the chance to see Zack in person, it will be obvious that he’s inked to his very core. His entire back, ribs, chest and left arm are completely tattooed, with more than 550 hours invested in all his ink. 20150221_190446Just his back piece alone put Zack on the table for more than 350 hours of “pain and torture.” Luke “Gage” Guyton from Waco, Texas, did most of Zack’s body art. “He’s awesome,” Zack says. “He can do literally anything.”

When it comes to riding, Zack is just as extreme in his passion for two wheels as he is for ink. He’s been riding motorcycles for three years and he’s been stunt riding since January 2014, but he makes wheelies look so easy, you’d think he’s been in the saddle for much longer. And get this, his biggest struggle is not developing the skill to maneuver the motorcycle like an extra limb, but rather it’s the mechanical aspect of it. “I didn’t have a father figure growing up and mom wasn’t out there in heels turning wrenches, so I never learned that in life.” Luckily Zack has good friends, namely Michael Crane of MC Customs, whom Zack says is “a genius with 636’s.” But it isn’t just the hours spent at the stunt lot that has Zack craving more two-wheeled seat time every hour of every day.

“What I like most about riding is the family stunters have,” he says. “They put me in their houses and feed me when I’m in town. They’re always there to give a hand.” He’s specifically grateful to the SupSluts Wheelies family in Houston, TX, who always offer shirts and help when needed. “They’re the best with hospitality and they have a huge ride every year that’s a blasty blast!”


Tattoo Inspired Moto Gear

From sprockets to skulls to filigree etched on jacket sleeves, it’s clear tattooed culture has finally inked is relevance in permanent fashion on this year’s moto gear.

You can find hints of the inked lifestyle just about everywhere now, but it can no longer be denied that tattooed culture has influenced the folks in those big marketing offices to the point where their ideas have been stenciled into the manufacturing presses and distributed like wild fire to the moto population. Take a look to see how tattoos and gear have finally made each other’s acquaintance while protecting the real tattoos underneath.

Speed and Strength
With their Wicked Garden and Moto Mercenary lines, SS Gear has figured out that just because some riders have tattoos, it doesn’t mean they have to risk their skin to show off ink.


Bell Artist Series Helmets

These three-quarter helmets boast pin striping and graphic art designs based on original old school concepts. These designs were inspired by the industry’s best custom painters and artists, including Roland Sands Design.


Ride Rich Clothing

You’ll love the shirts, sweaters, hoodies and bandanas from Ride Rich. Their swag encourages individualism just like tattoos encourage expression. Ride Rich clothing inspires people to ride for the love of it. It’s about riding apart from the crowd, being independent and displaying a passion for what you do no matter what the haters say. Ride because you love it. Be inked because you crave it. Be rich with what you have. Ride Rich.

Shoei Helmets

Check out the new Brigand TC-5 from Shoei. Just like the Phantasm design from the previous year, this design boasts a pirate skull with the detail and shading worthy of a tattoo artist’s applause. With this helmet, there’s a little Captain Jack in all of us.


Icon Airmada

Probably the most iconic of tattoo-inspired helmets, Icon is still the most creative when it comes to one-off helmet graphics. If you’re looking for a helmet that people will want to stare at, the Airmada has you covered, literally!


5th Gear Sprockets

Just like you can walk into a tattoo shop and request a specific tattoo design, so can you submit your design to 5th Gear and they will create a rear sprocket design that only you will have! Just ask Tony Carbajal!

Scorpion USA

Perhaps one of my favorite designs is the one used on the all new EXO410 Departed full-face street helmet. Complete with filigree and a full-size, intricately drawn monster girl, this is the epitome of tattoo inspired helmet art work.


Factory Effex Graphics

Who says your bike can’t be inked too? Factory Effex makes a full graphics kit from scratch resistant Ultracurve vinyl that features skulls with glowing eyes. There’s even ink bleeding back to the swingarm for a complete, finished look.


Biker’s Choice

Even the folks at the distributors know if you want people to order parts from you, you gotta have a killer ad campaign that is hard to look away from. So they enlisted alt models like Alloy Ash and others to put tattoos and pretty faces on the cover of every catalog nationwide.

Awesome 2014 Season for Syck Bubblegum

Syck Bubblegum at the start gate

Syck Bubblegum at the start gate

Heather's 9th place trophy

Heather’s 9th place trophy

Syck Bubblegum has had a second chance this 2014 season. At the start, the driver, Heather Rowe, ran into some issues with the ignition system on Bubblegum (the KZ1000) sidehack, but with help from fellow racers, she got Bubblegum running and was able to join up with Michelle “Ducky” Sanches for a second season.

So far, the twosome have competed in 13 nights of racing, which equals about 50 heats. Of those, their best finish was second place and they’re currently sixth in points overall for the season. The biggest race of the year – the Matherson Cup – is coming up this weekend at Costa Mesa Speedway, which is the main event for the sidecars. Both girls are anxious to show the boys what’s up. “It’s been a challenge to read the track as it goes away through the night,” Heather says. “My monkey – Michelle ‘Ducky’ Sanches is a tiny mite! Her finger tattoos read ‘pint’ and ‘size.’ I love that!”

The best part for Michelle is feeling like a hero to the younger generation who go to see the races. “It’s been pretty amazing being a female racer/monkey,” says Michelle. “I feel like a celebrity because all the little girls call my name and want autographs or pictures with me. It’s pretty RAD to say the least.”

Heather has also ridden three nights with another monkey, Heather Gledhill, and together they’ve been training to make Heather Rowe a better driver. “I click with her,” said Heather Rowe. “But we are all great friends and super happy.”

Click here to see the race schedule.


Video of Heather and Ducky

Video of Heather and Heather

Inked Bombshell: Combat Barbie Stunts

Alexis Rae a.k.a. Combat Barbie Stunts

Alexis Rae a.k.a. Combat Barbie Stunts

What happens when you mix a blonde bombshell with motorcycles and sick tattoos? You get Alexis Rae: an extremely feisty yet bad ass and beautiful stunt rider. Alexis is a 26-year-old motorcycle enthusiast from Bayport, NY who works at a motorcycle and ATV repair shop. But most people know her as “Combat Barbie,” a name she earned because of her boxing skills and trademark Barbie-long-blonde hair.

But this girl is more than pretty nails and good looks. She’s an incredibly talented stunt rider who has showcased her freestyle ability for crowds all over the country. This chick knows handle a bike in ways most of us only dream of.

And guess what else? She’s covered in ink and every tattoo is a reflection of how this wild child lives life to the fullest. But hey, you don’t need me to tell you. Let’s hear it from her.

MI: When did you start riding?
CB: I started riding in 2009 but didn’t start stunt riding until 2011.

Alexis' back ink by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop in Medford, NY.

Alexis’ back ink by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop in Medford, NY.

MI: How did you get into stunt riding?
CB: I started as “the chick on the back,” which was cool for a lil’ while until I met a group of guys wheeling in the parking lot behind Home Depot. After that, I was hooked and wanted to learn. I bought a 2001 Honda F4i that I crashed many times, but after a while, I was up on one next to everyone else. Now I ride a 2003-2004 Kawasaki ZX-636 and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for my team (Lot Starz), friends and sponsors! Thank you!

MI: What happened to the F4i?
CB: I totaled the F4i in September 2013. It was the craziest thing. I was on my way to work one morning when a truck made a left turn in front of me and I T-boned the truck. I was just down the street from work and it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to hit the brakes. That was the end of the F4i.

MI: Ah bummer! Good thing you made it and now you have a bitchin’ Kawasaki 636 stunt bike. What modifications have you done to it?
CB: My 636 is all stunted out with a dented gas tank, 60-tooth 5th Gear custom rear sprocket, stunt cage, wheelie bar, rear hand brake setup, dirt bike handlebars and a stunt sub-cage. I recently got a StunterX steel frame too.

MI: What other bikes do you have?
CB: I also have a Honda CRF50F with an 88cc big-bore motor, front and rear stunt pegs, big bars, rear hand-brake, wheelie bar,

Alexis performing a spreader: a wheelie with both legs out to the side.

Alexis performing a spreader: a wheelie with both legs out to the side.

a 50 Stunt heel guard and a 5th Gear custom rear sprocket.

MI: Wow. That’s quite the set-up for both bikes. I’m sure having sponsors helps.
CB: Of course I gotta’ shout out to my sponsors:
K&N Filters

Dreamworx Cycles
5th Gear Sprockets
MSP Energy Drink

MI: What stunts do you like doing most?
CB: I really like performing spreaders and 50/50’s (a wheelie with one leg in front and one leg to the side). I’m a combo-type gal; I like to jump around the bike.

MI: Yeah, I’d probably fall off trying to do that. Speaking of falling – any tricks that were hard or scary to learn?
CB: The hardest trick to learn was highchair wheelies where you have both feet in front of you, pop the clutch and give it throttle. It really made me feel uncomfortable.

MI: Of course all that practice pays off! You get to perform in front of crowds!
CB: I do perform at shows and events up and down the east coast and I recently started performing out west. I just got back from Butte, Montana where I performed at Evel Knievel Days, which was one hell of an experience, especially since my team was there too! I’m looking forward to traveling around the world doing what I love and that’s to RIDE!

Combat Barbie, as featured in sportbikesincmag.com

Combat Barbie, as featured in sportbikesincmag.com

MI: Rad! But it’s mostly guys who do stunts, right? What is it like to be a female stunt rider?
CB: I feel that women get noticed more because there are so few of us. Stunt riding pushes me to be tougher and show others that a girl can be as strong as the guys when it comes to throwing a 400-pound motorcycle around. I don’t get to ride with other female stunt riders often because they live all over the country, but when we do get to ride together, we tear shit up!

MI: Have you made any media appearances?
CB: I was in the February 2012 issue of SportBikesIncMag. I was also in the newspaper in Bogota, Colombia, as they had their first annual stunt competition and I was a judge. My favorite media appearance was when I was on channel 12 news during a “lot bust” where 20 cop cars, news reporters and helicopters appeared at our stunt spot as the cops handed out trespassing tickets. They thought we were a “biker gang,” which we aren’t.

Alexis (on the bike) with another female stunt rider, Christina Billings. This photo went viral.

Alexis (on the bike) with another female stunt rider, Christina Billings. This photo went viral.

MI: Does crazy stuff like that always happen at the stunt spot?
CB: There is never a dull moment. Things happen all the time. From cops showing up and kicking us out to people having gnarly crashes.

combatbarbiestunts_6MI: Good times. Now on to the important part. Let’s talk about your tattoos.
CB: I have eight tattoos that are all in random, odd places: a Kaika’ana / Kaikaina on my left wrist, a star on my right wrist,  a pinup-biker girl with my name “Combat Barbie” on my upper arm which is soon to be a sleeve, the word “anarchy” inside my lip, the phrase Death By A Thousand Ki$$es on my right thigh, wings which take up most of my back, the phrase “Sporty Spice” on the bottom of my foot and a bandana with my brother’s name on the left side of my ribs.

MI: That’s quite the collection of ink. Who were the artists?
CB: Two out of eight tattoos – my back piece and thigh – were done by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop on 112 in Medford, NY. If you live on Long Island, I highly recommend Pepe! I got the other six tattoos when I was in high school at random tattoo shops and I don’t remember who did them. Let’s just say it was “one of those nights!”

Combat Barbie 50 StuntMI: Why are you drawn to tattoos?
CB: All of my tattoos either have a memory or reason behind them, except one. Tattoos give you freedom of speech. You only live once. I’ve seen some crazy, amazing tattoos, from big to small, to bright with eye catching color! I love how someone can make art out of their body.

MI: How do you respond to all the haters out there?
CB: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m not too worried about people who judge. I work at a motorcycle shop and ride street bikes. It’s my life style and who I am. If you don’t like it, sucks for you! 😉 I got better things to do like ride and get tatted!

MI: Any advice for new stunt riders?
CB: If you’re learning and practicing any trick – make sure you wear your gear! You can always fix your bike, but not yourself!

Photos courtesy of Combat Barbie