While most modified motorbikes are adorned with tattoo motifs using an airbrush, The Recidivist is unique because its wheels, tank, seat and rear fender are completely covered in tattooed skin. This was achieved by engineering the bike with light colored leather similar to the color of human skin. Polish tattoo artists Tomasz Lech and Krzysztof Krolak then spent a whopping 250 hours inking the bike, using the tools of world-famous supplier Cheyenne Professional Tattoo Equipment. The project was commissioned by Game Over Cycles.
“This is by far the most complicated bike we’ve constructed so far,” the Polish company posted on their Facebook page. “To tattoo the bike is one thing, but to include the construction elements that draw from the look of tattoo machines and make them fully operational units was some challenge.” They also added that the theme of the Cheyenne Bike relates to the traditional relationship between motorbikes and tattoos.
“In the USA, bikers used to tattoo for personal reasons – to express their character and lifestyle – as well as their social attitude,” they explained. “The Cheyenne Bike as an artistic vision references those traditions and through its construction and decorations presents a story of a man with strong character – a person, who values individuality, personal expression and sense of freedom.”
They’ve also incorporated this theme into the core of the bike’s mechanics. “Bikers often tattooed using self-made machines and in reference to this, the bike’s front suspension has the look of a traditional coil tattoo machine,” they wrote. “The motorcycle’s construction will also include other elements that draw from the look of tattoo machines. All of these parts still being fully operational elements of bike’s construction, and the mechanisms of these elements will operate in the same way as they do in the original tattoo machines.”
Lech and Krolak, who played an equally important role in the The Recidivist’s creation, said that they are very pleased their work. “We are, both of us, very proud that we did it,” Lech said. “I usually prefer to get human skin, so it was a first time and probably last time on cow skin.”
“I like that it arouses emotions,” said Game Over Cycles owner Stanislaw Myszkowski. “Some people say it’s great, some don’t like it and others have even different opinions. It’s just a vehicle, a simple vehicle that is supposed to bring you from A to B, but it still rouses emotions. This is amazing.”
The unique motorcycle was displayed at Germany’s Custombike Show earlier this month. The show is one of the largest exhibitions of modified motorcycles in the world. The Recidivist was met with huge appreciation and it even won an award in the ‘Best Paint/Airbrush’ category.