Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Supernationals: Rafik Kaissi

A featured builder for the show was Rafik Kaissi, a Texas based motorcycle builder who has been shaking things up for a few years now. I first became aware of Kaissi when his 'chain bike' hit magazines and websites about five years ago. Since then he's clearly been letting his imagination run wild and putting his impressive fabrication skills to good use. I had the opportunity to speak to Kaissi about some of his creations and techniques, I found him to be very friendly and enthusiastic about his work, and was happy to have met him.

 There was a large and pressing crowd around the area, which made it difficult to get good camera angles. The bikes are also incredibly detailed, I tried to capture as much as possible but there is definitely missing information.

The Chain Bike

The antique fire extinguisher on the floor is actually the fuel tank, worn on the back while riding.

Nearby was this interesting bike with an off-center in-frame fuel tank, the seating area defies definition.

Also on display was this tube-framed trike.

Very cool pulley-and-wire suspension system.

Kaissi and his lovely companion visible in the background.

Finally this bitchin', out-there creation, with one of the most unique suspensions I've ever seen.

Notice the single coil-over shock.

Notice the ring around the engine.

Notice that the front wheel is attached to the outside of the ring, the rear wheel to the inside.

The whole bike flexes at the middle to absorb bumps in the road.
I found both the man and his creations inspirational, he's definitely pushing the envelope of avant garde motorcycles, and I genuinely appreciate that he took the time to show his work speak to his fans on a personal level.

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