Hard Rock special by Game Over Cycles
On October 21st, the Hard Rock Cafe in Krakow, Poland, will be unveiling one of its most unique exhibits. The world-renowned franchise will add a custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle to its collection of rock and roll artefacts. The cafe racer, developed by Polish custom bike company Game Over Cycles, will show just what happens when the motorcycle world and the music world collide.
Known for their groundbreaking ideas like the Recidivist, the GOC crew started out with a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 and built it up into a symbol of the rock and roll lifestyle. The rear swing-arm has been transformed into a guitar fret board, the battery box is shaped to look like a guitar amp. In fact, the bike is laden with custom parts that have been modified to represent instruments and music gear — but are also fully operational elements of the motorcycle. For example, the coil cover is in the shape of guitar, and its tremolo arm can be used to drop pressure and suck fuel into the carburettor. The only standard part in this bike is the Sportster 883 engine. And, aside from the leather seat, all the motorcycle’s parts were created in the GOC workshop specifically for this project.
Founder and owner of GOC, Stanisław Myszkowski, explains the concept of the motorcycle. “With every theme bike we make, we try to make it express the philosophy of our company. Detailed thoughts on concepts are as equal a part of the process as the precise execution of technical design. In creating the cafe racer, no detail was coincidental. The ideas for custom parts, their formation and their positioning all have a precise meaning within the concept of the bike. This requires creativity and unusual solutions, and the GOC team all played their part in making this unique bike a reality.”
The identity of Hard Rock Cafe can be found deep within the organs of the motorcycle. The gearshift, for example, is in the shape of a turntable’s arm — the bike shifts through gears in the same way a music fan switches through the tracks of their favourite records. And the bike’s wheels, blacked-out and etched with track names, spin like records on a turntable.
The exhaust system is designed like a saxophone, and these musical references go deep into the way the bike operates. Adjustable openings on the bike’s exhaust can adjust the sound of the bike, in the same way a musician adjusts the sounds of their sax. The bike’s air filter has been made in the shape of a classic vocal microphone. The air filter’s sponge interior allows adequate air flow – its design is informed by a microphone’s sponge filler which prevents external contamination and allows for greater clarity of recording.
References to the world of music are also present in other parts of the motorcycle. The leather seat has been engraved with notes from the chorus of the classic AC/DC song “Highway to Hell”. This artwork is a direct representation of the highways leading into the city of Sydney, AC/DC’s home town. The iconic 666 emblem, metaphorically emphasises the infernal imagery of the song.
Even the graphic design of the bike is unique and interwoven with symbolism. The graphics and painting by AEROGRAF Piotr Parczewski have an unusual, porous texture, giving the bike a tactile look, making you want to reach out and touch it. The gold flakes used for the Hard Rock Cafe logo evoke the US automotive industry’s “pinstriping” technique and are informed by the gilding of sacred structures.
But ultimately, the Hard Rock Cafe is a place to eat, drink, listen to music and rock out. And the GOC designers have created a bike perfectly suited to it’s environment. Indicators for measuring the speed and oil pressure imitate the dials of a coffee machine, while the infusion of the fuel tank looks and works like the closing of an old fashioned flask. Furthermore, the bike’s metallic parts are designed to compliment the famous ceiling at the Hard Rock Cafe in Krakow. Covered in drum cymbals, the ceiling reflects a golden light from their copper surfaces, and this is complimented directly by the metallic copper finish of the bike itself.
Finally, the GOC team have hidden subdued ambient bulbs in the bike’s lights to generate a cosy, ambient feel for the Hard Rock Cafe. Every part of this bike will contribute its own unique element of rock and roll energy to this world famous venue.
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