I first traveled to Bali, Indonesia in November 2018. Before this, I lived in Australia for two years and decided to break up the long flight on my way back “home” to England. I’d heard many good things about Bali in the past so I booked a flight and decided to just see what happens.
Whilst I was in a taxi from the airport, I unexpectedly saw a few custom bike garages along the way and asked the driver if they liked bikes here. He enthusiastically replied “motorbike? Ooooh, Bali loves moto!” – from this point, I knew it was going to be a good trip.
Over the coming days, I saw this for myself. I live in a place called ‘Canggu’ in the south of the island, which is one of the hotspots for tourists and working travelers, so of course, this is where all of the action is concentrated. I’d easily see around 10-15 custom-built japstyle/cafe racer-styled bikes blasting around the streets each day, which you’d never get back home. I then decided I needed to get amongst the scene and that’s when I reached out to Dirk, the owner of ‘Malamadre Motorcycles’.
MM is a custom bike fabricator in the center of Canggu. I had seen them on Instagram and Facebook in the past but seeing the bikes in the showroom, in person, was a whole different story. We got talking and Dirk gave me an insight into what he does.
He’s 41 years old, from Bilbao. He quit his job as an engineer in Spain and decided to come to Bali and pursue his passion for building custom motorcycles. Opening Malamadre, in 2015, Dirk quickly became very well known and his brand has been growing ever since. MM has built and customized over 70 bikes and has sent bikes around the globe, including New York, Amsterdam, Australia, Singapore, Ireland, and several other countries. The MM bikes are mostly 250cc Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki builds as this is all you need for the roads of Bali. They have done some other bikes, up to 1100cc though.
I fell in love with the place and asked if I could cover some of their social media content during my month here. During this month, I rode around the whole of Bali and saw just how big the bike culture is here.
It’s like never-ending networking! Once you start to know better local people and brands, you find yourself to be exposed to new exciting opportunities. After having now lived in Bali for 3 months, I’ve become quite well known amongst the motorcycle community and am often invited to ride with various other stores as well. I did work with Treasure Garage, Studio Motor, and a couple of others. Together with Studio Motor, we did an adventurous campaign in the mountains because they are not only custom motorcycle workshops but also do tours of Indonesia. What can I say, I had an unforgettable experience and met some awesome photographers and local riders!