Empty LA: the ideal riding environment

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There’s something magical about LA and these photos by Matt Logue perfectly capture what that is: the place without the people. Shorn of Christian Audigier and AMG Mercedes wearing 22″ rimz, the city of angels is actually a beautiful place and, thanks to more square miles of road per capita than any other city on earth (we made that up) it’s a city that’s ideal for two-wheeled exploitation. We’re having a hard time choosing what kind of bike we’d pick to tear all this up, but we’re leaning towards a big supermoto like the KTM 990 Supermoto R, it’d give us enough pace to feel dangerous on the straights and still leave skid marks in the corners, at least in our dreams.

Matt Logue Photography

  • bzr

    Eerie. Did the apocalypse just happen? Can I run around there with a shotgun, looking for zombies?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Only if I can come with you.

  • robotribe

    You get closest to those conditions Christmas Day. It’s pretty amazing, especially the 110 between Pasadena and Downtown (aka “The 3-lane Super Slalom of So. Cal.”). Still, I’ve never seen it like that. The closest to apocalyptic-like conditions were smoke plumes rising across the city during the 1992 riots.

    Oh, and the ideal bike for those conditions would be my Triumph Street Triple. FTW.

    • s0crates82

      Yes, yes, and no.

      My 03 Fz1 is more better-er. est. than your (gorgeous) british bike.

  • s0crates82

    also, rent omega man, with charlton heston, with more empty LA visuals. it’s a crap movie, but an empty downtown is worth seeing. (keep a weather eye in the beginning, just after the credits) to see the freeway traffic on the 10 in the distance.

    pure 70′s cheese.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Omega Man is an excellent movie, it’s got Charlton Heston sexing a black chick with an afro, plenty of gunfire and zombies/vampires. What more do you want from a movie?

  • http://motarded.blogspot.com Troy Smith

    I would imagine he took several exposures and mixed them together in order to get ‘empty’ frames.

  • Matt

    If LA looked like that then I’d only ride my bicycle. The most fun part of riding a motorcycle here is weaving through traffic, splitting lanes, and doing everything it is that people in cars wished that they were doing.
    I know that I’m betraying myself as not-a-true-motorcyclist here, but the horrendous sprawl and oppressive freeway system are the only reason I even have a bike. I was a “bicycles only; I fought in your oil war and I don’t want any fucking part of it anymore” type of guy until last year. Now I’m complacent in my gas consumption (with a healthy dose of self loathing and guilt) and I dream of a these pictures being reality.

  • http://www.xborgforum.de Eric H.

    Wait – does this mean the Americans are gone? All of them…??? XD

    Does this mean we Europeans can now stroll into Wisconsin and re-start the Buell factory up without Hardly-Dangerous MoCo marketing turds trying to stop us…??? ;-)

    Best regards,

    Eric H.

  • RiderP5

    I work nights, so while commuting to work is a rush of lane splitting mayhem, my 4am commutes home are a wonderful playground of freeways nearly as empty as this. Beautiful contrast. Nothing more surreal than blasting down the 101 at speed with six lanes all to yourself and no one in sight for miles ahead…

  • Mitch

    LA is actually not an ideal riding environment, what with the heavy traffic load and earth shifting causing the roads to resemble more closely earthen paths that happen to be paved. The number of asphalt seams, potholes and general lumpiness suck a lot of joy out of any stretch of road.

    On the other hand, were Mullholand Drive perfectly smooth, LA Fire and Rescue would be peeling supercars off the side of the mountain daily.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Mitch, with all due respect, stop your spoiled SOCAL whining. You think LA roads are bad then come ride the BQE from Queens to the Verrazano bridge. Or the FDR from start to finish.

      I promise you will never complain again.

  • chuluun

    Nice pics. If you like this kind of thing be sure to check out Masakata Nakano’s “Tokyo Nobody” too.

  • Bronson

    These pictures will fuel my dreams of inner city supermoto hooliganism for a long time to come. Thanks!

    P.S. +1 for Omega Man. Cool flick!

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Hey guys, yeah, I just got back from Thanksgiving with the folks out in bum-fuck nowhere. yeah, just checking my blogs…. HOLY SHIT!!!ONE!! WHAT HAPPENED TO LA??????? ZOMBIE/ROBOT/VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE???? !!!!! AH GAWD

    Oh, its just an assortment of photos by Matt Lounge? Oh, thats cool. Yeah, i need to change my slacks.

  • Carlos

    Wait. But no designer to the douchebags? What are all the hot chicks to do? Who will they spend time with? Where did all the ‘bags go? Did they finally convert into mindless zombies? One can only hope the find enough grey goose and red bull to satisfy their hunger….

  • http://vodkabuzz.com Robert

    If there’s no one in LA, you might like to have an off road bike as well. There are lots of hiking canyons with great views of the city that are prohibited to motor vehicle traffic, and I found out the hard way (in a sports car) that a large portion of Mulholland Highway+Drive is unpaved and prohibited to motor vehicles. There is a hell of a lot of fun to be had on the roads, but there’s a lot of fun to be had off the roads, too. I’d go for the Buell Ulysses on those.

    • s0crates82

      yeah, mulholland has three sections. the one with the most traffic is probably the one that stretches from the 101 to the 405 which is patches on top of patches interspersed with potholes, then there’s the gravel fire-road section that goes from just past the 405 to topanga canyon, then there’s the really twisty and reasonably well paved section that goes from topanga canyon to PCH.

      also, grant, c’mon. there are bad roads all over, no-one is saying that NY and NJ don’t have ‘em, but the reality is california has 8 of the 20 urban areas with the worst road conditions in the US.

      here, i’ll show my work: http://www.tripnet.org/national.htm (rough roads ahead report, PDF, may 2009)

  • Mike

    Wow, great photography. I wonder if he waited until the right moment to take the shot or carefully ‘shopped the life out. The website doesn’t say much.

    I suppose a last-gen Kawi Versys would be an ideal choice – no one would be around to snicker at it or think “wow, that bike is ugly.” Kidding aside, there are so many things to do in an abandoned city. I, for one, would find the steepest, most dangerous hill in LA, don full gear, and get on a bicycle to see if I could make it to the end without losing control or some component failing. Rinse, lather, repeat with a Razor Scooter. Then, if I’m still alive, roller skates.

  • meatspin

    LA isnt all that. Last time I was there it seemed like a dirty, dusty city. I didnt like the architecture all that much either. I guess you’d call it that modern style that made it look as if most of the buildings were built in the 60s-70s. It made me feel ill.

    watch Night of the Comet if you can.


    • Matt

      Seen it; awesome.

      “Daddy would have gotten us Uzis.”

  • Emmet

    how was this done? did he take a thousand pictures from a single reference and photoshopped it together?

  • Hiwatt Scott

    Really long exposures with pinhole size apertures might produce this effect,too, but anything moving slow or partially static(clouds,trees,etc.) might cause problems. Maybe a combo of long exposures AND photoshop? Love it regardless.

  • Woody

    I’m guessing he took pictures on a really uncrowded day (thanksgiving?) and photoshopped multiple exposures together to make things look abandoned. A really long exposure would work until someone drives by with lights on or stops at a light, so that’s pretty unlikely.

  • Sean Smith

    I’m late to the party on this one, but I can say without a doubt that a sportbike is what you want for LA hooning. Set up the suspension a little on the soft side to deal with the crappy pavement, and you’ll be in heaven. To get a taste of what it’s like, I recommend taking a ride down the 110 at 3 in the morning. Most nights, it’s entirely unpatrolled.