The annexation of the most vibrant motorcycle sub-culture in decades didn’t take long.
Danish crew the Wrenchmonkees began to get noticed back in 2008, maybe the tail-end of 2007, but 2008 really. That, as far as I’m concerned, is Year Zero for the garage-built bike scene, as espoused by websites like Bike Exif and The Bike Shed – both launched after the Monkees started swinging.
To re-cap, the Danes modified cheap, old Japanese bikes using an open-mindedness of influences few had thought to mash together. Then they rode in the kind of streetwear that hadn’t been linked with sportsbikes. Crucially, because two of the original three Monkees were photographers, they shot their bikes in such a way that when put up on blogger, or the then infant tumblr, these modified bikes caught the eyes of a thousand disaffected motorcyclists. People, like me, who were desperately waiting for a two-wheeled counter-culture that didn’t have to involve American V-twins, Italian scooters or joining a club. Proper culture with art and photography and cross-pollination.