Idle tinkering turns to passion for racers

RIDE: Nick Holden of Mister Whistler Custom Cycles. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

RIDE: Nick Holden of Mister Whistler Custom Cycles. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Mister Whistler Custom Cycles started out of a mutual passion for motorcycles shared between Nick Holden and Shaugh Macintosh.

They started tinkering with pre-1980 Japanese and British motorcycles in 2012.

"We mainly work with Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki models," Mr Holden said.

"They are called cafe racers, or brats."

They became familiar with a company named Deus Ex Machina in New South Wales who were doing something similar to what interested them, with inspiration coming also from a Vimeo clip titled Cafe Cowboy which tells the story of Californian bike builder Dustin Knott.

Mr Holden said he liked the appeal of older bikes as opposed to ones made in the present day.

"I suppose with the older motorcycles, there was no plastic," he said.

"It is all leather or steel.

"They were better made and sturdier back then.

"They also looked a lot better.

"Aesthetically they can look pretty great if you do it right."

At this stage Mr Holden and Mr Macintosh fix up the bikes in their spare time as they both work in other industries.

"We have done five or six bikes from scratch and we sell them all over that state," Mr Holden said.

"We also take on small alterations to bikes.

"I am an electrician and work full-time.

"I would love to fix up bikes full-time, though."

Mr Holden said he had an interest in all the elements of a motorbike, though he only does a small amount of the mechanics on the bikes.

"I do more the painting and electrics and Shaugh does the engine work," he said.

Mr Holden said the culture of upgrading old motorcycles was becoming more popular in Bendigo.

"It's a popular, at the moment, to renovate cafe racers," he said.

"It is a great scene to be a part of because a lot of bike builders around the state share their ideas with each other.

"There are five of us in Bendigo who ride together. We just enjoy tinkering and riding the state, cafe to cafe.

"We aren't just building the bikes; we are riding them too.

"That is why it is so enjoyable."

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