Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Touch of Art: Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies

This week at Champlain College Lennoxville saw its first ever motorcycle art exhibit. The event featured various artistic pieces that my students had to create as part of a special project for my course titled Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies. The exhibit was held between Monday, April 18 to Thursday, April 21, 2016.

For the many who have a passion for motorcycles and the cultures surrounding them, an event like this proved to be too good to pass up. Whilst for the rest of the community this was a unique opportunity to gain insight into a world that exists mainly in media as stereotypes and sensationalized imagery. Students were encouraged to think outside the box and create something that spoke not only to their own personal interests but equally, to the social history of motorcycling culture. Having already completed a research paper on a motorcycle of their choice, students also spent time discussing their motorcycles with their classmates prior to the exhibition. What follows are pictures of each students artistic piece with a short description. At the end there are also pictures of the event live.

The Yamaha S1

By William Salvail

Here stands in front of you a customized version of the Yamaha SECA II, made in 1993, which I renamed S1. I could keep the same name because it was, in fact, a completely new motorcycle. Its design, and the circumstances around which the bike was modified, contributed to making this unique motorcycle. A motorcycle always have a name that relies to its history, features or design, so I had to find a new name for my motorcycle. Because I work on it with my dad, who shared his passion of motorcycles with me, the name had to be linked to him, too. That's why there is an '' S'', and not a ''W'' : We share the same last name, but not the first name so I thought it would be a little bit selfish to name it the Yamaha W1.  About 6 months ago, my uncle gave me the Yamaha SECA II, and bought himself a new motorcycle. However, it was ugly. It has the classic mid 90's look, and I didn't like its big racing fairing. 

So I started working on it to make it beautiful. The first thing I had to do was to remove the front fairing and all part that I wanted to paint. Then, I had those parts sandblasted, and I started painting. I know it sounds like an easy thing to do, but painting was one of the most difficult part of the project. I had some trouble with the air gun, but I finally managed to get an acceptable, but not flawless, result. Then, of course, I had to redo the entire electric system, due to the fact that I had changed the speedometer and tachometer. This part was truly a pain. I had to get help from my father and grandfather in order to complete it. The design of the motorcycle was inspired by the Ducati Monster. I wanted my motorcycle to have stripes, just like the Monster. After a couple of days, and a lot of time spent in the garage, I had the Yamaha S1, which is going to be my bike for the next 5 years.  


            • Original Yamaha SECA II
            • Head light 
            • Paint, clear coat, primer 
            • Steel 
            • Speedometer, tachometer 
            • Pinstripe tape 
            • Gas pipes and air pipes

Ghostrider’s Retirement 

By Dave L. Lauzon  

I came up with this visual representation of a Ghost Rider, which, in the motorcycle world, represents a rider who rides without fear and without any regard for safety, other people’s lives, or laws. I was inspired to put molten candles all around the helmet to symbolize a key personality trait of a Ghost rider: Hot-headedness. Due to the fact that Ghost rider bears the name of a dead entity, I chose to make his body a skeleton to not only depict his identity, but also to help accentuate the fact that most of the Ghost Riders either end up dead or are said to be dead inside, since they share no real lively emotions or fears. The motorcycle jacket adorns a badge of a squid on it. In rider’s terms, a squid is said to be an inexperienced rider who wears no protection because he deems himself invincible, and is far too confident in their skills, often riding a bike with too much power and modifications. As such with Ghost Riders, they are the exact definition of a squid, albeit with a bit more skill, and thus should be identified in this way. This further juxtaposes the poorly fitted helmet and jacket which has zero padding; an accident would be fatal. Being that most Ghost riders die prematurely due to disastrous accidents, it could be said that they “hang up their jackets early,” so it’s fitting that the piece be supported by a coat stand.


            • Skeleton Halloween decoration
            • Motorcycle jacket costume 
            • Laminate wood slabs (for the squid) 
            • Red & White spray paint 
            • Wooden coat hanger 
            • Motorcycle helmet 
            • Candles 
            • Zip-ties

My Championship Trophy

By Liam Pankovitch

The inspiration behind this piece of art is one of the main trophies that the annual winner of the World Superbike Championships receives as an honour and showcase of his excellence. While I must give credit to this trophy for my main inspiration behind this project, I also have added several features to “make it my own”, while attempting to showcase creativity and originality. What I have done for this project is that I have de-constructed a soda can into several dozen pieces, all of different shapes and sizes, and re-constructed them into my own personal motorcycle. While this material was used as an element of creativity, the color red was used because it represents the 1994 Ducati 916, a bike that I have been studying throughout this semester and have learned a lot about. As was mentioned previously, this sculpture was made to honour the trophy of the World Superbike Championships, but this idea only came to mind because of a racing legend Carl Fogarty. Carl, otherwise known as “Foggy”, has won this championship a total of four times, and has done so on top of a Ducati 916 for every single one of these wins. It is for these reasons that I have decided to pay homage to a racing star and a trophy with an illustrious past by creating a piece of art that, as much as possible, represents me and the world of motorcycle racing.   


            • Hot glue Gun 
            • Can of Coca-Cola 
            • Small piece of wood for base 
            • White Paint
            • Aluminium Tape 
            • Metal Wire


By Salma Flores-Desrochers  

British military motorcycles, the culture surrounding them, and their history primarily inspired Familia. I learned a lot about what motorcycles can provide, but especially, the strong brotherhood that unite motorcyclists. Hundreds of motorcycle groups exist to promote themselves in their own way and one thing is sure, it’s that they all share the same valour: brotherhood. This concept started during WWI and WWII when some soldiers were trained to use the motorcycle as their tool of transportation. Those soldiers, furthermore, have built a sense of brotherhood, because they were only trained to use bikes and they all have defended their nation on motorcycles. Appeared after the women's rights movement where women fought to obtain their right of riding a bike. This movement was a way of brotherhood because all women were assembled to change the culture that promoted only men to ride a motorcycle. Succeeding the birth and rise of 1% groups that is a really strong sense of brotherhood. This 1% of all motorcycles’ groups represents the wrong perception that society has about bikers because in reality, motorcyclists ride by passion and for the love of bikes. There are other groups among the 99% remaining that are there to help the society. Brotherhood is now part of motorcycle’s culture and it is this sense of familia that inspired me to do this painting. Ideas and advice of my family helped me to improve my art project and this is another reason of why I chose this title for my painting. 


            • Canvas 
            • Aluminum 
            • Oil painting  
            • Little pieces of rubber to make the wheels 
            • Motorcycles’ images for the background 
            • Washer 

Radio Bike

By: William Breton  

My art piece is a motorcycle build of mainly radio pieces. While constructing this art project I wanted to add most detail possible to make it look realistic. At first it was supposing to have a more sportive look, just like the newest Ducati superbikes, for example the Ducati 1299 Panigale. The idea of my project was try and show what a Ducati superbike inside looks like, because today they hide the machine with plastic for air resistant’s purpose and style. What inspired me to create this art piece in this particular way because Ducati Company first was into radio. After it’s reconstruction due to the destruction from the World War II, the Ducati family decided to turn towards designing and constructing motorcycles.


            • Radio Parts 
            • Rollerblade wheels  
            • Small light bulb

Rider’s Flame 

By Christophe Boulay

My inspiration to create a candleholder comes from one of my favorite quotes: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” - Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling, 2004). Some people find their life very dark, and their happiness can be reached through certain hobbies or activities. For some, this “light” is riding a motorcycle. On the chandelier you can see symbols that are related to motorcycling, like the skull, the wings and the biker cross. A skull on a motorcycle has a different meaning for every biker, some see it as a “bravado” against Death, some see it as an acknowledgment of their mortality and vulnerability. The wings represent the speed and the rush of adrenaline one feels when riding a motorcycle. The Biker Cross is a symbol representing the military “heritage” of the motorcycling culture, since it is derived of the military decoration, the Iron Cross. 

This “heritage” comes from the American soldiers that invented the Bobber and the Chopper motorcycle. The color of the paint (Metallic rust) is a subtle way of pointing out that motorcycles have been around for a long time. The last symbol, the dragon, is not a symbol related to motorcycles, directly. It is a metaphor of my perception of bikers; if we look at the archaic and stereotypical way in which people view dragons, we can see that dragons are depicted as bloodthirsty and greedy beasts. But if we look at more recent artworks (more specifically: books), dragons are viewed, sometimes, as something more than beasts, they can think, they’re intelligent, they have a notion of what is right and wrong; they are just like any human and they have the ability to choose because they are conscious beings. I view bikers in a similar fashion; there is the stereotype of the dangerous bikers, but not all of them are “mean”, some of them are just normal people that just happen to like motorcycles. Liking motorcycles is not a reason to fear them, because who they are isn’t limited to motorcycling and motorcycling isn’t bad or good, it’s an activity, a hobby, a stress-reliever for some and anything can come out of it, not just negative things. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. 


            • Rear sprocket 
            • Piece of a bearing 
            • Piece of a camshaft 
            • Rocker arm 
            • Oil pan 
            • Spray paint 
            • Candle 
            • Tattoo paper 
            • Epsom salt

Motorcycle Dreamcatcher 

By Gabriel Wapachee  

When B.A.C.A (Bikers Against Child Abuse) came to the school as guest speakers, they mentioned that at anytime in they would show up to the kid’s house. B.A.C.A shared multiple stories where kids would call late in the nights because they could not sleep and B.A.C.A would show up. They also mentioned that these types of call happen quite often. This project is supposed to represent certain aspects of my culture and the biker’s culture. The dream catcher, put short, is a web that lets only the good dreams pass through the holes and catches the bad dreams. It is made from a motorcycle wheel and leather to represent the biker side. This idea came to me from B.A.C.A’s presentation and is a tool that would hopefully help them to reduce some of their late night calls.


            • Scooter wheel
            • Leather strips
            • Lock nuts
            • Screw eyes

The Core of Motorcycling

By Mikael Wheeler & Jordan Simard

The Suzuki Hayabusa and the Honda Goldwing might seem like two very distinct motorcycles at first, however they share much more similarities than one may think. They have a common aspect to their riding experience that could potentially merge both in the same category of motorcycles, the sport-touring. The root of a well-built motorcycle revolves around the seat, it is crucial for it to be exceptionally well adapted to the motorcycle. Whether your bike is the most appealing of all, in the end this truly means nothing if you can’t ride for more than 30 minutes without your butt aching. We have decided to build a motorcycle seat to symbolize the comfort our motorcycles provide to the riders. 

Furthermore, each motorcycle touches upon the idea of touring, hypothetically completing each other into the perfect mix of a sports-touring motorcycle. Which is mainly why we have decided to construct a motorcycle seat as a goal of embodying the comfort of the ‘Busa’ as well as the Goldwing.   


            • Artificial Leather 
            • Wood 
            • High Density Foam 
            • Stapler/Staples 
            • Harley Davidson Patch 
            • Artificial leather strip 
            • Cotton layer

1963 Moto Guzzi V7 and the 1957 Moto Guzzi V8 Motosaic

By Laurent Compagna & Gabriel Dulac

We wanted to create this piece of art to show how motorcycles are present in video games. In this instance, we used the game Grand Theft Auto 5 and the Rockstar Editor, which allowed us to take pictures of the motorcycles in action by changing the angle of the camera. The way we positioned GTA 5 characters on their bike shows how motorcycles bring freedom to an individual. Moreover, we customized each motorcycle that we wanted to display. At the end, we decided to use those pictures to create two mosaics showing the Moto Guzzi V7 and V8. Our inspiration for our work came from our passion for video games, which is an art that brings people to reproduce several elements of real life. Also, the Moto Guzzi V8 is a model that we got to know in another class project.


            • Mosaically
            • Glossy poster paper
            • 24 motorcycle designs created via Grand Theft Auto

BMW Belly Shove

By Anne-Catherine Prevost

The title of my painting has been chosen for the reason that it is a slang use for the aggressive riding posture common to sport bikes that positions the motorcycle riders’ stomach over the tank. I chose to paint a sport bike because, they are viewed differently from an average motorcycle. Sports bikes are viewed in a more positive way from society instead of the normal stereotypes we associate to normal motorcycles and bikers (all MC and gangs, dangerous, rebellious, 1%ers).  The superbikes are mostly appreciated by the population because it is used for superbike racing wish is an extreme sport watched throughout the world. I chose this particular superbike, the BMW S1000RR model, because of its speed. It can go faster than a Lamborghini Aventador and its new technological advancements makes the BMW more stable when riding and easier to maneuver, contributing to the worldwide racing community. My steps for this painting was taking a picture of a BMW motorcycle, making multiples sketches, and finally drawing a simple pale sketch on the canvas before applying the paint. A lot of thick painting was applied over the course of several days to let the layers of paint dry. Once dry, two layers of varnish were then applied. The final result makes me very proud of my hard work. I never thought I would end up with a painting that would look as good as this. I truly think that I have outdone myself. Every day, for the past two weeks, I have been working on this painting for several days & I am very pleased with the result.


            • 36’ x 24’ cotton duck canvas 
            • acrylic on canvas  
            • Varnish 

The Viking Motorcycle

By Jessie Herring

This artwork is based on the Triumph 5T Speed Twin Motorcycles design and the beautiful aesthetics of the bike.  What inspired me to come up with this beautiful design for  the motorcycle was that I wanted it to fit a theme that felt very post-apocalyptic. However I wanted it to be apart of my identity, so that’s why the motorcycle has horns. The reason horns is because it represents my family’s heritage of being from Denmark which was the main land where the Vikings were located. I want the viewers to look at my design of this Triumph and believe that this machine is a very dangerous and sexy. My re-design of the triumph is very unique, and it’s a one of a kind motorcycle that you will find nowhere else.


      • Digital art printed on 11” x 17” photo gloss paper encased in frame

The American Hero

By William Valade Lavallee

My inspiration comes from the signification of Harley-Davidson Company in United States. I decided to make the logo of HD because of its implication in World War II. When the soldiers came back from war, they were using Harley-Davidson bikes and they customized their bikes. This is exactly what I decided to do for this piece of art. I customized the logo of Harley-Davidson to give him a look that defines me. A man that loves to build things and that likes precision in his work.  The piece is mostly made of wood because it was rough and hard for soldier when they came back from this terrible experience and the HD logo is made of screws because their motorcycle helped them to repair their self.


            • Wood 
            • White screws

Mosaic - Ducati’s Story

By Alex Neault

My final project is a poster of a Ducati monster 1200s 2014 with pictures integrated that match with the poster. The art type is like a mosaic, which is a photo bomb of many pictures that form one picture. My inspiration come from a project that my grandmother did years ago. She painted a mosaic and it attracted me so I tried to do it again on a computer. My project is directly related with the course because most of the course was not about how fast a motorcycle can go but mostly about the history behind a motorcycle. Such as, why various groups used that motorcycle or why this motorcycle had an important role in that company. We can find the three Ducati’s brother when they started the company and the same three brother’s years later reproducing the same photo. After this, we can find one of the oldest owner of Ducati, which was Texas Pacific group. Also, there is the picture of the actual owner of Ducati, which is Audi (owned by Volkswagen). The two others logo on the picture are Ducati’s actual logo and the logo of the International motorcycle show in Cologne. This show is very important because they presented their most important bike in the history of the company, the Ducati monster 900 1993. 


            • Photoshop 
            • Glazed paper

The Dreamer

By Cortland Thomas-Beaton

My special project I chose to do was a sculpture of the 1942 Harley Davidson XA 750 motorcycle. I chose to recreate this bike using clay due to how you can basically do whatever you want with it. I named my sculpture the Dreamer, due to how this bike had potential and basically a dream to be used in war, but it never got its chance, so seeing the XA 750 in war was basically a dream that never came true. I think my project represents the history of the motorcycles used in world war two, and how these motorcycles had such a large impact on the war by transporting soldiers around Europe. I chose to make a sculpture replica of the XA 750 model because I wrote a mid term paper on it, and it really interested me knowing that there were only approximately 1,000 ever produced due to it being too expensive to continue to produce. Also, my great grandfather served in the military during world war two, and that influenced my interest in this era motorcycle.


            • Self-Hardening Clay
            • Paint

The God of Speed

By Antoine Noël

For Sale! Contact Me!
I created this piece in memory of the legendary Herbert James « Burt » Munro and for all the speed junkies on Earth. Munro, also known as The world's fastest Indian, is known for breaking the record for the fastest speed on a motorcycle under-1,000 cc, at the age of 68, on 26 August 1967. He lived is life as an “offering to the god of speed”. Every time he would destroy a piece of his motorcycle while racing or cruising he would place it on a shelf with this quote graved on the side of shelf. This is why I choose to create the god of speed himself out of old motorcycle pieces.


            • 2004 Honda Shadow Exhaust system
            • 2004 Honda Shadow Gas tank
            • 2004 Honda Shadow Seat
            • 2004 Honda Shadow Mirrors
            • Saddlebag
            • Steel beams
            • Car rim


By Pierre-Alexandre Morin

Trikes were a big part of kid’s culture a few years ago. Almost every kid had a big wheel and was drifting a hill near his home. Motorized drift trikes like mine represent a part of this culture for adults. With it they can revive the fun of their childhood. This trike can also be related to the 70’s and 80’s were almost every kid had a minibike or a motorized scooter. They were seen as a toy and I want my trike to be the same .This part of culture has disappeared with the years and we now rarely see a kid on that kind of toy. Most of the 70’s generation remembers that part of their childhood with nostalgia. The first time I saw a drift trike, I was amazed and I started to draw my own version. I needed to find parts and it took a while but I managed to really start the project when I began Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies and learned that I would have to have to undertake a special project pertaining motorcycles. To me this project will never be totally done and I enjoyed that. The same thing applies when you have a project bike, you can always find something new to do with it. It can be performance or cosmetic orientated but we always find something to make our project unique and a reflection of our personality.


            • Custom front fork 
            • Custom steel tube frame 
            • Zero lite front wheel 
            • ¾’’ x 36’' Powerfist shaft  
            • 13’x6’ Powerfist wheels 
            • ¾’’ Powerfist pillow block  
            • Supercycle brake cable 
            • Supercycle brake 
            • Supercycle brake lever 
            • Powerfist 2’’ hubs 
            • Powerfist 1 1/8’’ hubs 
            • Custom adaptor hubs  
            • 48 teeth Powerfist sprocket 
            • 11 teeth Hilliard centrifugal clutch 
            • 196cc Champion engine
            • Yellow spray paint


By Alexandre Audet  

I created this sculpture because it reflects the rawness that riders feel when they ride their bikes. It demonstrates that a bike doesn’t need to be pretty and curvy. For a rider, the only thing that matters is the fact that they can ride freely on a two wheeled machine no matter what it looks like. The origin of this bike name is from the use of scrap metals to build it. I decided to use scrap metal because it demonstrates the term of 1 percenters which is that all bikers are part of mean gangs and break the law. The rust and dirt on the metal represents 1 percenters because not only does the rust and dirt make up approximately 1 percent of the metal but it is the only part of the metal that you see yet by seeing only this part, we think the whole thing is the same. 

We think that the whole piece of metal is rusted and isn’t good anymore. But the truth is the metal can still be used as long as you take off the rust. The same works with the 1 percenters, we take them out of the biker world and bikers are regarded as nice people. This is what people think of bikers. Despite popular opinion, not all bikers are part of biker gang and act like what really is only a tiny portion of the world of bikers. This sculpture was also created to resemble the Yamaha YA-1. The first race bike the Yamaha Motor Company ever made. This bike is what made Yamaha one of the most successful motorcycle companies in the world.


            • Brakes
            • Metal pipes
            • Metal slap
            • Cable Seat


By Joanie L’Heureux  

Stanley is an art piece that is inspired by a motorcycle made of cans that I on found Google. The photo attract me as soon as I saw it but I did not want to copy it and I also wanted to add a personal touch to it. Since my little brother always have good ideas when it comes to build things, I asked him if he could help me do something that have the same style than the picture. The hardest part was probably to keep the motorcycle 100% recyclable and add my touch at the same time. The motorcycle was done but I felt like it was not properly finished. Then I thought of the old toys my brother used to play with and use them as a last touch. When I did the art pieces, I wanted to show the environmental side of motorcycle. I wanted to express that motorcycle are nicer for environment than cars. For example, you can have an electric motorcycle that will reduces CO2 and noxious fumes emissions. It will also be cheaper than a normal motorcycle since you are saving money on gas. This will also help to keep oil reserves. By using recyclable materials to make the piece of art, I display the ecologic side of electric motorcycles since motorcycle are not always seen properly. I also wanted to show the economic side of electric motorcycle. This piece of art is a way to demonstrate a good side of the motorcycle.


            • Plastic Handles
            • Plastic Lights
            • Plastic Muffler
            • Plastic Seat
            • Plastic Gas tank
            • Plastic Windshield 
            • Can Wheels 
            • Metal Fork
            • Metal Body 
            • Wood base

The Shining Motorcycles!

By Mohammed Adnane Ider

This fabrication it’s a scrap of motorcycles with some persons standing on it. This creation of this lamp made by motorcycles is for persons who venerates motorcycles, it could be deposited in any room, and it’s really useful, either as a lamp of desk or lamp for a nightstand. The lamp is made by a steel base and a central axe where we can find the light. From the base to the top the central axe there is a lot mini motorcycles that goes from a bunch to a little piece. This idea is done by an anonymous person on the website Pinterest. There is a lot of meaning for this creation, personally I look at the scrap of motorcycles as if it’s the origin of light, and without those motorcycles, the light will disappear. I had the idea of decorating a desk lamp or a nightstand lamp because I really like to recycle things I don’t need and make a piece of art from it.


            • Recycled lamp
            • Motorcycles figurines
            • Mini wheels
            • Riders and biker’s figurines
            • Hot glue
            • Cover paper decorations
            • Grey painting pump
            • A stencil with motorcycle decorations

The Recycled Pepsi Motorcycle
By Brendan Murphy

This art piece that I created, called the “Recycled Pepsi Motorcycle” is a motorcycle created with Pepsi cans. I got inspired to create this art piece because of global warming. I wanted to create a new type of metal to use on bikes that would be eco-friendly, which is the way to reduce global warming. The effects of global warming are causing dramatic climatic changes around the world and especially in the artic by melting the glaciers. So I wanted to demonstrate an Eco-friendly technology that the motorcycle culture/industry should adapt with recycled aluminum! I want to inspire companies to create new models of motorcycles that are electronic and use recycled aluminum to create their bikes. I represented the recycled aluminum with a Pepsi can because you are able to recycle them, so I use the cans to represent the recycling concept. If riders and the public get sold on this new kind of technology people will start to buy the bikes and the recycled bikes will contribute to reducing global warming around the world!


            • 2 Pepsi cans

Golf & Motorcycling

By Jakob Laplante

How two different things can have such a meaningful connection to one another. That is how I feel about this project; Golf & Motorcycles. If I were to ask someone to find connections between the two, that person would have a very tough time. The culture and social aspects of each are very different, but the way I see it, is somewhat like Death & Taxes. In the same way that Death & Taxes are both the only thing certain in this world, but both viewed as negative, Golf and Motorcycling are to me, the only things that calm me, but in this case, they are both viewed as positive. There aren’t many hobbies out there that you can do alone, and bring you such peace, yet get your blood pumping every now and then. Golf is all about the challenge, but if you’ve ever played Golf, you’ll always find a way to mysteriously find yourself looking at the various views the Golf course has to offer. Same to do with Motorcycling, Bikers get on their bike and in a way, become a part of the scenery. With the passion I have for both of these hobbies, I decided to combine different motorcycle pieces which I got off the Internet, to make it resemble a Golf club. The inspiration came from my passion for Golf, and also now, because of this course my deep love for the motorcycling world.


            • Motorcycle Chrome Rear-view Side Mirror (Club Face) 
            • Motorcycle Rubber Gel Hand Grips (Grip) 
            • Motorcycle Handlebar (Shaft)


By François-Xavier Ringuet

Motorcycling, as fun as it can be, is a dangerous lifestyle. Hundreds of people are dying every year from motorcycle accidents. Such a fact is also true for bicyclists. When an unfortunate accident involves the death of a cyclist, we can observe the “ghost bike” phenomena. The bike is painted all white with a message left on it, such as the name of the dead cyclist and the time of his birth and death. The most wonderful part is that people bring flowers to adorn the bicycle, just like on a grave. What is inspiring in this beautiful movement is that people are doing this voluntarily, showing that there is respect and brotherhood in the bicycle community all over the world. It reminds us also that bicycle is dangerous and to be careful for cyclists. “Bicianimita”, or ghost bike, is a tribute to the cyclist community. Its motorcycle shaped bicycle design is a reminder that motorcyclists are as much at risk as cyclist every time they ride. It is also a message to car drivers, called “cagers” in the motorcyclist community, to be careful for bikers, as a big part of the accidents involving motorcycles is caused by car drivers. 


      • Flowers: coffee filters, red colorant, water, floss 
      • How: Water was mixed to the colorant and absorbed by the coffee filters, twisted from the middle to make them look like flowers. Then the flowers got attached with floss. 
      • Bicycle: Chopper shaped bicycle, spray paint How: 
      • Every part of this bicycle was washed up before the painting. 
      • 8 minute drying spray paint

The Safety Coat Hanger

By Anthony Gosselin

The safety coat hanger was built by bolting bike handles with the frame of the tire. This is related to ATGATT “all the gear, all the time” which reminds the rider to wear pants, helmets and gloves. Motorcycle gear should be worn in all circumstances to reduce risk of major injuries. The words “safe rider” are keen in my work because to my eyes, whenever a biker goes for a ride, he puts his life in danger because anything could happen and he could lose control of the bike which would result in a big accident. The helmet sitting on top of the frame is a symbol of safeness because this item can save big head injuries and save lives.


            • Old bike handles 
            • Red Paint 
            • Open visor 
            • Helmet  
            • Bicycle Tire

The Predecessor

By Mehdi Amrani & Josh Bowker

The Predecessor is the frame of a pedal bike that has been reshaped into a sculpture/picture frame. The picture inside is a drawing of the Zundapp KS750, the inspiration for this project, in various situations. The pedal bike, which is an older 1970’s-era pedal bike, was stripped down, cleaned, and spray painted black in order to put less emphasis on the pedal bike and more on the picture it frames. It was made in a pedal bike frame instead of a full motorcycle frame to highlight the origin of the motorcycle. The paper that the drawing is on is a simple posterboard, which needed to be thick in order to stay in the frame and withstand any knocking around that could come from moving the piece. In order to stand up properly, the handlebars had to be welded into a different position and the front end had to be welded to prevent it from turning. These steps were taken in order to make sure that the bike could stand up properly, as it wouldn’t have been able to stand up otherwise.

This art piece is inspired by the social history of two famous motorcycles built in the 1940s: the Zundapp KS601 and the Zundapp KS750. Both of these bikes are linked to Nazi Germany during World War II. The KS750 was used for military purposes and it included guns and massive weaponry and the KS601 was built to restart the motorcycle company’s business after their main factory was destroyed. The reason why we picked these motorcycles is because the German motorcycle company had been affiliated with the German military during both World Wars and the two motorcycles we picked were some of the company’s most famous models. These bikes were important because they both were very influential to European motorcycle culture during the 1940’s and 1950’s. With this in mind, it was important to find a piece that could highlight a more historical nature of motorcycle culture, to match the historical importance of the two bikes.


            • Pedal Bike
            • Black Spray Paint
            • Posterboard
            • Pipe/Hose Clamps

Giving An Old Bike a New Life

By Lou Bilodeau

This artwork was put together using parts from a 1949 650cc BSA a10 motorcycle. My goal when making this piece was to show how motorcycles can be part of everyone’s everyday lives. I have a passion for old motorcycles, but like many others, I don’t have the money to buy myself a motorcycle. Making these desk ornaments from motorcycles parts is my way of expressing my motorcycling identity. Ever since I was a kid, motorcycles have been a part of my life. My dad had a motorcycle until I was about nine years old and my uncle has always been a big fan of motorcycles and has owned several. 

No matter what is at the root of anyone’s love for motorcycle, there are several ways that someone can express that love without necessarily buying a motorcycle. One great thing about this project is that anyone willing to put in some effort can do this without spending lots of money on parts. My uncle had parts from his old BSA a10 motorcycle that were just waiting for someone to give them a new life, so that’s what I did. This art piece is a way of immortalizing the motorcycle and keeping its spirit alive even after most of its body had broken and failed it. Similar things have been done to many historically significant motorcycles in an attempt to immortalize or commemorate them. Whether a bike is displayed in a museum or whether it is repurposed for making a piece of art, it is still being remembered. This shows that motorcycles have a big impact on society. On top of that, motorcycle art pieces that are well executed are also very beautiful.


            • Clay
            • Watch (Stripped of its surroundings)
            • 1949 BSA a10 Piston
            • 1949 BSA a10 Motor Head
            • 1949 BSA a10 Metal Rods
            • 1949 BSA a10 Kick Stand
            • 1949 BSA a10 Small Gear

Motor Table

Jeremy Kapelanski-Lamoureux

I didn’t have a main idea about this project, at first I wanted to do a chest table with no legs but as the project went on I chose to do a table. This table has motorcycle parts that were involved in an accident. I took an old Harley Davidson tire. Also I took an old table for the base and found a glass to make the tabletop. My inspiration came on the go; I didn’t want to buy brand new pieces to make this art project because it would take the fun out of it.


            • 17 Inch Harley-Davidson Tire
            • 17 inch Harley-Davidson Rim
            • Harley-Davidson Disck Brake
            • Round Glass Table Top
            • Reconditioned Table

The Exhibit

Below are several pictures of the event itself including faculty, staff and students alike enjoying all that this exhibit had to offer.

Fabric Purchased From Coton Bouton
I am genuinely proud of every single student. I appreciate the time that everyone took in making this event special for the entire campus community. Thank you also to the powers that be at Champlain College for supporting this event and for allowing my students to park their motorcycles inside!

About The Artists

My students are presently studying at Champlain College Lennoxville located in Quebec, Canada. A Touch of Art: Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies was completed as part of a special project for Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies in the Department of Humanities.

Call For Submissions!

Would you like to be a Guest Contributor? The Wicked Academic is always looking for quality contributions to both the website and the academic online journal. For further information check out The Printing Press and FAQ section.


  1. Wow - That is freakin' cool! Fantastic work by all students. Amazing creativity and great efforts.

    I am truly impressed how every one of you have embraced this class and taking the time to learn the motorcycle culture. You guys rock hard!!


    CC Rider

  2. Amazing project, congrats to Mario & his students for their hard work and creativity!