Our kind of Tea Party

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Saturday night, Southern California’s custom bike scene descended on Costa Mesa like poor, ignorant white people rushing to be exploited by rich politicians. 200 bikes and some 600 motorcycle enthusiasts, industry vets and fashion savvy hipsters from San Diego to Los Angeles joined some of bike building’s heavyweights at COMUNE Clothing’s 2nd Annual Karlson Tea Party. Cole Foster, Ian Barry, Trevelen Rabanal, Kiyo, Kutty Notebloom and John Edwards were not only talking about the bikes they brought, but were checking out bikes as they rode in and lined both sides of the entrance two rows deep.

Photos: Jason Lee Parry/Sean Rosenthal/Mike Quinones

“As the spotlight on motorcycle culture fades in and out over the years, these builders have stayed true to their lifelong passion. COMUNE and these builders share the common philosophy of classic simplicity, creativity and deep admiration for the smallest of details,” said COMUNE founder and life long motorcyclist, Frank Delgadillo.

Most of the COMUNE crew ride and have built this detail oriented aesthetic into both their work with the brand and into their bikes. The Tea Party looked much like their headquarters on a normal design day, only with tacos and more people, the bikes, art and PBR seems to be there regardless.

Most of the 200 bikes showed up with 20 to early 30-year-olds in black leather jackets and cuffed raw or black denim wearing three-quarter flaked helmets. Those who didn’t ride stalked the rows of bikes to find something they could picture themselves on. Bobbers were the most represented, with cafés, scramblers and even a few bubble racers in the mix. Some bikes had museum quality finishing, with painted frames and engraved filigree engine casings. Other bikes walked the delicate line of beater with rust, hand painted tanks, brass metal work and Mad Max-rough finishes.


  • T Diver

    I am not sure I’m hipster enough but the event looks cool. (At least the chicks are hot.) When is the next one?

    • Penectomy

      Not everyone in these photos should be classified as ‘hipster’

      Most of the girls for sure look nothing like my description of a hipster (at least the kind most rag on).
      Pic 3 = Hipster
      Pic 4 = Not a Hipster
      Pic 5 = Not a Hipster
      Pic 7 = Not a Hipster
      Pic 8 = Hipsters
      Pic 10 = 1 Hipster, 1 not
      Pic 11 = Not at all Hipsterish
      Pic 12 = Guy is a hipster, girl is not.
      Pic 13 = Yes, and notice the ugly girl.
      Pic 14 = Not hipsters
      Pic 22 = Hipsters
      Pic 24 = Total Hispters

      Anyway, the bikes look cool. Surprised Wes has held back his disgust for such bikes. I even saw a HD t-shirt in there – the horror (maybe it was ironic).

      • amsterdam

        You’re a scary fukker, dude.

      • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget


        I still don’t even have a clue what a hipster is.

        They have beards…?

  • JB

    I can’t wait for the “hipster” scene to be over with!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Oh stop. I’ve had it with people berating “hipsters.”

      I’m young, do creative things and possess the ability to sleep with attractive women. That makes me a hipster. What the fuck is the problem with any of that?

      I’m sorry if you’re old, boring and ugly, but instead of complaining about people having a better time than you, go on a diet, move to a city and get laid.

      • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

        The correct label for the type of person many people call “hipsters” is, in fact, douche-bag. And, in case you didn’t know, the tightness of your jeans and eclecticness of your record collection has little, or nothing, to do with your relative level of douchebaggery.

        Everything about that event looks like a good time. That Harley race bike (#23) is an absolute beauty. Never seen anything like it!

        • John

          Actually, that’s the first word that popped to mind to me too.

          I know one of those guys. A complete classless ahole, but he thinks he’s cooler than heck with his punky surf hair and weird chin hair thing. Flaming California liberal too.

      • http://bigassmessage.com/39b51 vic

        according to the bible/websters that is E.D. “Hipsters” are elusive creatures who will never admit to being hipsters

        thus Wes you are not a hipster.plus you have a brain

      • Penectomy

        Wait – So you can rag on anyone that rides bikes like those pictured (cruisers, form over function, etc) yet we cant poke fun at hipsters?

        The Hipsters most people don’t like are the over the top dildos that must make everything ‘ironic.’

        Wes, you may fancy yourself a hipster but from the photos of you on Google, you look nothing like a hipster. Your definition of hipster does not even make sense. It like how the Supreme Court defined porno “I know it when I see it”

        Hipsters are just conforming by thinking they are not conforming. MOST are complete possers. Some are genuine, but right now its the popular thing to be so many just follow the pack. Basically the yuppies of the new millennium.

        I dont mind them but they do have quite a few douche-tastic stereotypes associated with them. The PBR thing is lame. The ironic t-shirt thing is lame. The ugly glasses thing is lame. Tight jeans on guys is uber-lame.

        Hipsters dont get laid any more than any other social group and hipster chicks are more often Janeane Garofalo ugly rather than the super hot chicks pictured here.

        One last thing – Hipster dont like modern sport bikes so how could you be a hipster?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          You Googled photos of me? I’m perversely flattered.

      • amsterdam

        The slightly older hipster?
        (I’m old, do creative things and possess the ability to sleep with attractive women; and less attractive women, ah what the heck some ugly ones as well, but hey, they had great bodies!)

    • robotribe

      Kee-riste, man! Did you fight in the Korean War and call LBJ a liberal commie? You sound like my uncle, and I’m pushin’ 40! FYI: snarky comments about the way folks dress and their hairstyles firmly cements your status as “that old guy” from some other time other than now.

      • PCPaul

        Fuck! Check my pulse, I must be dead by now.

      • PCPaul

        Nice bikes though, and nice ladies too.

  • s0crates82

    ladies and gents, the new/old biker uniform:

    “Most of the 200 bikes showed up with 20 to early 30-year-olds in black leather jackets and cuffed raw or black denim wearing three-quarter flaked helmets.”

  • Glenngineer

    Only hipsters defend hipsters. Fuck PBR drinkers everywhere.

  • cityag

    I hope they raised enough money for those poor young women to get their necks fixed.

  • Ducaholic

    Wow, rough crowd. Keeping it real with the Gucci bags I see. With every crowd there is always the hanger-on contingency. I’m sure plenty of real bikers in there, but to me it looks like most children there are more interested in they way they look than their bikes. The photog also can make an image out of a scene (no criticism of Grant other than his bias towards “good looking” people, a trait found in every good photog).

    Every clique on the planet suffers the same fate, pretentiousness. It just seems so much easier to find it in hipsters.

    • Ducaholic

      BTW: Pic 23, not a hipster! Historically relevant bike and a Harley to boot!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Did you miss the Jason Lee Parry photo credit?

    • amsterdam

      Did I miss the Gucci bags?
      I did see a Louis Vuitton though!
      Oh I love HFL, now we’re talking handbags.

  • CG

    “poor, ignorant white people rushing to be exploited by rich politicians”. Hey, that’s me you are talking about, be nice. Some of the bikes are cool, at least different from the run of the mill chopper stuff that I thought was old and done with back in ’71. I have to admit a lot of those are things I couldn’t ride. I’ve seen the streets in LA (i.e. any urban area including the hipster paradise of Seattle), how do you ride a hard tail on those streets? Oh well, fashion is fashion.

  • mb

    Regardless of definitions some 200+ bikes showed up on a Saturday night to talk bikes. How many miles did you ride? These guys are a small niche of motorcyclist and PBR or not they brought bikes and respected builders to 600 people. 200 bikes showed up out of some 600 people… that is a strong ratio for a group often overlooked by brands.

    What did you do to spread motorcycling? Lane split at 120?

    There were flat track races down the street for you who don’t understand this group, but then again, there is another conversation about who goes to those…

  • John

    Well, I’m glad motorcycles can be a vapid excuse for a get together and a pop fashion trend.

  • NickK

    “Must not conform. Must not conform. Must not conform…. Oops.”

    Nice bikes, though.

  • pplassm

    Hi. My name is Pete, and I’m a Poser.

  • pplassm

    We are all Posers.

  • pdub

    Not too concerned with whatever plumage or mating call gets one laid. If it’s working for ya, good for you. Only social comment I gotta say about this is PBR? My god, man. You know there are good beers that are actually cheap and widely available? The only explanation for the ubiquity of PBR among youngish social groups would have to be ignorance and social inclusiveness. It’s not unlike how the 90′s counterparts to these social groups would drink 40oz bottles of horrible gutter piss that was usually only sold and marketed in “certain” neighborhoods for social cred. Be a real rebel. Drink good beer.

  • telekom

    Firstly: cityag, thank you for “I hope they raised enough money for those poor young women to get their necks fixed.” I almost choked on my tongue laughing at that. :)

    If “hipster” is the term now used to describe these poor misguided folks, then allow me to unearth the earlier term “fashion victim”. “My fashion sense is so deprived that I look utterly shit wearing these clothes, however my self-belief deludes me to think I am utterly fucking cool”.

    I think what’s interesting about all this is that motorbikes and motorcycle culture does, as mentioned above, drift in and out of the mainstream fashion world. The world of motorbikes is so caught up with style and with developing a certain type of look to present it’s sub-cultures.

    A good example: We went on a bike trip in Holland with our friend, a non-biker. He didn’t have proper gear to wear, but owned a selection of motorbike-styled clothing ie leather biker jacket, boots, gloves which had no practical motorbike application whatsoever. He did look very cool though.

    Many of these hipsters photographed will fossilize their style just like hippies or rockers or mods or punks do. In 15 years time, they will have children, employment and a mortgage. And they will still have a shit haircut, terrible sweaters and shoes stolen from old men. Except, by that time they will be old men, and their shit hair, sweaters and shoes will be the EXACT thing that middle aged people ACTUALLY wear. :)

  • ernie

    smile…….you’re unique, just like everyone else. and wes, there are lots of old guys with old bikes who get laid on a pretty regular basis, same good lookin’ woman all the time but they’re not complaining; they do creative things (they just don’t involve hairstyles and accessories, or leather), don’t have a blackberry or similar device and they have no labels, sort of a generic brand i guess. and they leave masturbation of one’s ego to all the really cool people.

  • shaun

    I can’t believe some of you guys are getting upset about what us younguns’ are drinking. When I got out of the Army and moved back to SC, PBR was the cheapest shit to drink, so we drank it. Jobs were/are sorta tough to find, so a lot of my generation pinches pennies when drinking the sauce. Seriously, drinking cheap beer makes the good stuff even better.

    Guys and gals are gathering with bikes, having some beers, bullshitting, looking at art, probably listening to some decent tunes. What’s wrong with that? Kids these days my ass. haha

    Go polish your chrome and bitch about today, while we enjoy ourselves. Haters gon’ hate.

    • pdub

      Hate’s got nothing to do with pointing out the difference between shit and Shinola. It’s an observation that a single crap beer is so embraced by the posertariat for no other reason than it’s blue collar association of bygone decades. Why no special love for Oly, Schlitz, Rolling Rock, or Milwaukee’s Best? Can’t be a taste or price thing. Pretty much the same shit, same price, different can. Can’t be that it’s just the local swill as you only see it in as much abundance as in hipster enclaves. If it’s what’s at hand and does the job, no prob. If you actually like and prefer it, good one on you. When you see it in the hand of every pseudo roughneck in their cultivated authenticity while they’re tweeting into their iGadget it ain’t hate to point out the obvious. It’s some pretentious shit and seeing through it doesn’t make one bitter. It’s amusing.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Well hot damn.

    Fashion shows and tea parties… bring some of that stuff to Australia!! Once again I surprise myself. First it was fashion show, now I find myself wanting to go to tea parties. What is the world coming to?

    And those bobbers… I love those bobbers… something else I have never seen on the streets over here!

    Maybe I just gotta get out of this place.

  • brigand

    I have a beard but I’m old and fat. So now I’m just confused…

    Can’t we all just go back to hating squids?