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Oil in the Blood (2019)

Oil in the Blood (2019)

‘Oil in the Blood’ is a documentary feature film on the contemporary custom motorcycle culture. It’s not a film about motorcycles, it’s a film about motorcycle people.

The philosophy of individualism is embedded in motorcycling. The desire to be different, unique, is at the root of the motorcyclist’s imagination. Modifying, customizing, changing bikes is at the very heart of the biker.

The new wave custom scene as it is today, is a thriving subculture sitting on the edge of the mainstream motorcycle world, where individuals and groups of friends are busily chopping and building bikes in their sheds and kitchens; where single- proprietor micro- businesses are creating bespoke motorcycles for fuel hungry customers. Old forgotten motorcycles and models are being brought back to life – unfashionable, ugly ducklings turned into often preening peacocks. Old skills that were once disappearing are being learnt and mastered by a new generation, where the pride comes from graft and not purchasing power.

Since the earliest days of motorcycling bikers have tinkered, modified, improved and bastardised their machines. Motorcycles were born in the sheds of maverick engineers. It’s in the very DNA of motorcycling.

Custom genres have developed through the decades, from the post war GIs civilianising their wartime steeds – bobbers; 50s ton up boys stripping their bikes to the bare minimum to go faster – cafe racers; 60s bike gangs chopping up their old Harleys – choppers; street bikes being adapted for the off road – scramblers; stock bikes being purposed for the dirt oval – trackers; two-strokes being tuned to within a carb jet of a seizure – crotch rockets. This current scene is where all these subcultures collide, the common ground where these specific genres meet and meld.

The scene is a paradox where analogue values are promoted through the digital world. A movement that harks back to old school values only made possible through the online portal of social media. A truly international movement where a builder is Tasmania can be exchange ideas with an engineer in Finland, being inspired by a bike in Argentina, creating a truly global community driven by the internet, a world curated by bloggers and website hosts.

Motorcycling has witnessed a revitalisation, some would say a rebirth, through this burgeoning culture. Young people are engaging with motorcycling once again. There has been a massive influx of women into motorcycling. New wave custom culture is a very modern phenomenon, a new generation with new values, thankfully free of the old tribalism and misogyny that plagued previous generations.

Standards of design and engineering continue to surge forward, with better and bolder bikes being created as builders continue to hone their skills and push forward their imaginative boundaries. The manufacturers have engaged with builders, facilitated and collaborated on projects, and helped individual builders direct and fine-tune their small businesses.

We’ve witnessed a revitalisation of the motorbike. The motorcycling industry has finally started listening to bikers, and the wider motorcycle culture is benefiting. Motorbikes have become cool again.

‘Oil In The Blood’ has filmed at all the major international contemporary custom motorcycle shows, shot modified Harley Davidsons in the Sahara, flat track racing in dusty bowls and indoor arenas, ice racing in Wisconsin and in the Alps, the American Wall of Death in the Texas sun. The film shows dozens of cool custom bikes being ridden through the urban streets, the twisting mountain roads, through the rolling green countryside and the scorched flat plains.

The film contains over two hundred interviews with bike builders, riders, journalists, artists and racers, the very heartbeat of this culture, communing with like-minded souls in Britain, Europe, Japan, Australia, The Far East, Africa and the US. ‘Oil In The Blood’ makes sense of this anarchic and seductive culture, where dreams are played out on two wheels.

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Genre: Documentary

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Quality: HD

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