Motorcycles are a lifestyle. That lifestyle comes issued with a community of talented and genuine people. Many of those people have built a business from their passion, just as we have, and by sharing these interviews we hope to connect you and help support local.
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You may have noticed some incredibly good looking lads in our recent videos, well to your surprise you might like to know they're not actually professional models, they are in fact professional mechanics & fabricators.
Let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourselves:
Chris: I'm Chris from Bendigo. I've spent the past 25 years working as a qualified
Mechanical Engineer. I have utilised my skill set to focus on my passion for going fast & getting loose ha!
Tom: I'm Tom from NZ. I'm a Chartered Accountant. My whole life has centered around being in the garage & workshops. After a few years living in Melbourne, I needed to get back to where I belong, so here we are.
Leo: I’m Leo from Melbourne. I'm a motorcycle research specialist for a tech company. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was seven. Vintage & custom bikes are my passion, as well as two tone brown El Camino’s.
Chris, Tom & Leo.
Let's start with the serious stuff. Which Spice Girl would you be & why?
Leo: According to an online survey, I'm Ginger Spice.
Chris: Scary Spice, attitude.
Tom: Probably Posh, 'cause I'm a moody bitch.
What’s Hellraiser Garage all about and where did the idea for the workshop originate?
Tom: Hellraiser started as a passing conversation on a trip back from the Gold Coast to pick up the El Camino. We went from shooting shit to a full workshop in less than two months. Hellraiser is a custom shop & motorcycles are our passion, but we push our fabrication game across multiple industries.
Do you have any exciting projects that you're working on?
Leo: The Triumph motorcycles are my favourite as I love them & Tom’s big twin chopper. The shop El Camino is another project I'm excited about, we’re about to start a big tidy up on it so it should be a lot more fun to fool around in.
The Goldwing cafe racer build
Chris: We are about to start work on our land speed bike to take down to Lake Gairdner and a hardtail twin cam chopper. Both will be full ground up builds, made in house.
Tom: My personal favourites are two Triumph choppers and a Goldwing cafe racer that have been keeping us pretty busy.
Above: Triumph chopper build, progress shot.
Below: The end result.
If you were given $6k what bike would you buy?
Leo: 60’s Triumph Bonneville. So much love for them, there's nothing quite like a bike with soul, especially if it was only $6k so it's gonna be crusty.
Chris: Early 90’s Monster. I remember when they came out, they just looked so mean compared to everything else.
Tom: Late 90’’s Ducati 900SS. They make for really cool trackers when you chop them up.
If you were given $20k what bike would you buy?
Leo: A nice Panhead or Gene Shovel
Chris: Knucklehead. Just because.
Tom: S&S crate motor & build the rest.
Where did your love of motorcycles come from?
Leo: My neighbour who was older than me showed me old Crusty Demons tapes, I would get out on my dirt bike & ride round the property from sun up to sun down. Couldn't separate me from them since.
Chris: Seeing a Harley poster somewhere when I was a kid. It would have been 1984 when the Heritage Softail came out.
Tom: Being super young & riding on the back of my Dad’s XR200. That sticks with you & never goes away. That & early Crusty Demons tapes haha.
Throttle therapy starting young (Tom)
Who are the shop dogs and what are their roles at Hellraiser?
Chris: The Staffy is my dog Macey. She is in charge of keeping out the local hoodlums.
Tom: The ratdog is my Italian Greyhound, Ducati. He’s about as clingy as a dog can get & is generally responsible for trying to sit on people’s laps while they are working.
What advice can you give to someone looking at buying their first bike?
Leo: Start with something upright with modern suspension & brakes. Riding something old or too sporty will teach you bad habits that will follow you to other bikes.
Chris: Buy the bike with the best brakes.
Tom: Don’t discount road legal dirt bikes. Spending some time riding off road speeds your skill set up way quicker than road riding.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to customise their bike but have no idea where to start?
Chris: Get it mechanically sound first. We often have projects come in half way started & find they have a whole raft of issues hiding inside. Finding those things down the track just blows out your budget & kills the fun.
Leo: For style; compile pictures of your bike that other people have modified. You will quickly understand what mods fit your taste & budget. Don’t be afraid to just make what you think is cool.
Tom's daily ride: 650 Suzuki Boulevard - before/after.
What do each of you specialise in?
Leo: Mechanical & Custom build design.
'68 Triumph chopper built by Leo.
Chris: Fabrication, machining & tuning engines. It’s not hard work when you love it.
Tom: Mechanical & fabrication. When people walk in, I am usually wearing my welding helmet or annoying the neighbours with the grinder.
Who gets to choose the shop music?
Chris: Anything heavy. Definitely not Spice Girls.
Tom: Whoever gets their phone to pair to the bluetooth first. If it’s me, everyone is getting something like Knocked Loose, Parkway, Joyner Lucas, Down or Yelawolf.
Leo: Anything lighter after Tom puts Crowbar’s full discography on for a full day.
How has COVID-19 affected your business? What can we do as a community to help support Hellraiser?
Tom: So far, we have been really lucky to rely on a solid backlog of work to keep us busy. Our doors are currently shut to the public while COVID-19 is around. We are doing bike pick ups/drop offs, so people don’t even need to see us if they don’t want. If you want to help, keep riding!
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Check out our Hellraiser showreel
Look good as hell and shop the shoot here.
If you'd like some work done on your machine, get in touch with the links below: