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.