Monday, March 26, 2012

An Urban Oasis

During my trip to the big city, I paid a visit to Sixth Street Specials, likely the only motorcycle shop with it's overflowing levels of badass-ness within a few hundred miles. After reading up on the place in Sideburn #9, I figured there would be a crowd of NYC street shredders hanging outside some futuristicly remodeled storefront. Incorrect. We hoofed it about 45 minutes from the nearest subway stop to find a gray solid metal door sunken into a brick wall littered in irrelevant grafiti. It didn't feel right, but the numbers I vaguely remembered from my google search the day before matched up with those on the wall, so I figured that I may as well at least twist the knob and see how many unreported murder victims lay inside. To my relief, I had arrived at a super cool urban lair of old motorcycles, and though the presence of any dead bodies may still be debatable, I could tell from the smell alone that I was among a familiar crowd.

The lower level of the shop was only accessible through a small trap door in the corner, or a slightly less small trap door that went out to the street. It was stuffed to the ceiling with project bikes and spare parts waiting for a project bike to call them to action. Most of the bikes had flat track rubber and racing number plates mounted up, I liked it.

I sort of had to guide my own tour of the place, but my guess is that this shelf is a money maker in the vintage British bike world. does anybody want some head?


no shop could ever be considered awesome without a healthy(if not hefty) portion of crazy shit hanging on the walls. Sixth Street Specials certainly gets an A+ in that department.

Though the owner, Hugh, was not in for me to chat with during my visit, his employee Fumi and I spoke for quite sometime about racing and the many differences between the restricted and overcrowded cage of NYC compared to the quiet and open playground of Colorado. It was great to speak with a fellow racer amongst a massive city of people who are seemingly obsessed with waiting in lines, spending money, and screaming at foreign cab drivers. Fumi's chopper was bad to the bone and definitely the only custom built bike getting ridden to work on a rainy day in the city, bare metal finish and all. Fumi was also the nicest person I ran across in my 8 day excursion, likely because he was 100% Japanese and 0% American, what a surprise. Sixth Street Specials was definitely the highlight of my journey and I plan to return in the not so distant future. Thanks for letting me hang out Fumi!

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