Pistonhead KL is a group of bikers who happens to also like vintage fashion. They gather regularly for bike trips within Malaysia, sometimes crossing the borders to Thailand and Indonesia. While riding solo may be easier for controlling speed and focus, group riding definitely provides a different kind of enjoyment such as the great feeling of camaraderie. We spoke to the convoy to find out more:
Who is Pistonhead KL?
It started with a few of us – Gary Chew, Joseph One, Jun Chu, Chai Yee, and Mei Choi who are hair stylists and Jone Koh, a custom bike designer. Most of us came from the same hometown and we have the same interest in vintage fashion and bikes. During our off days, we plan for rides together either for a short food trip or a longer one to explore the city.
Eventually, more close friends joined the group like fashion photographer Chuan Looi and his wife Stella, fashion editor and stylist Ethan Chu, make-up artist and fashion designer Laine Wong, art director Look Chee Chung. Fashion influencer Cherrie Liong also joined us for our Bali trip in 2016.
Why vintage bikes?
The core group already has long-time interest in Japanese vintage bikes particularly the Yamaha SR edition. Perhaps our strong interest in Japanese fashion is the main reason. We really like the way they style their workwear and clothing back in the 90’s. We would get inspirations from Japanese magazines like BOON, Men’s Non-No by looking at the photos only since we don’t read Japanese. So it was only natural that we went for vintage bikes to go with our vintage looks. Haha!
The feeling of riding in a group is…
Freedom and the bonding of friendships. Group riding really bring friends closer as we have to always look out for one another on the road, aligning with the speed and making sure that everyone is safe. I think the best part is enjoying the sense of freedom, getting close to nature, and taking things slow to appreciate everything around us.
Bike is always perceived to be dangerous
Humans are dangerous. Haha! Yes, because it is humans who are in control of the vehicles. Speed control is important as too fast or too slow could be dangerous. We just have to ride safe, and enjoy the scenery. Going too fast defeats the purpose of exploration. We don’t race.
Which is the most memorable trip up to date?
It would be one to Chiang Mai then Pai. It was a 10-day journey on the bike going from village to village. Travelling through the mountains, we got to experience weather from four seasons – hot and cold, dry and wet. We stumbled upon scenery and places that you wouldn’t find on internet. We had our episodes of dramas along the way like getting lost with no phone signal, bikes broke down, and few of us got food poisoning. But we also had priceless moments like meeting strangers who made us hot tea and stopping by spontaneously to take social media-worthy photos.
So how did you guys pack for a trip like this?
Pack light as we are riding on bikes all the time. We brought along functional items like American vintage wear because the quality is able to withstand different weather. Other essentials are a jacket for protection, helmet, gloves, a comfy pair of boots and a watch to keep track of time while riding. The Bell & Ross vintage collection is perfect for us because of it’s style and functionality.
Any thoughts to share with the other riders?
Ride safe, enjoy the experience, and capture the moments with your eyes and heart. Switch off your engine to enjoy the sound of silence, connect with the nature and live in the moment.
Follow their journey @PistonheadKL
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BR123 Golden Heritage, 43mm , https://goo.gl/JXEE5X
BR123 Heritage, 41mm, https://goo.gl/NVGV1C
BR123 GMT 24H, 42mm, https://goo.gl/NMyHGf
Other BR Vintage watches, https://goo.gl/EkWjfX
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