Perth, a city in Western Australia bears the dubious honour of being the most isolated city in the world. Bordered on the West by the ocean and every other direction by the red desert sands of Australia, its isolation has given rise to the not so endearing term of Dullsville and its inhabitants as sand gropers. A city built on and preoccupied by the resource industry booms, it has had to re-invent itself when the boom times came to an unforeseen and prolonged pause.
It was at this time of introspection and new horizons four years ago, that Billy and Silvie, a pair of Belgians looking for new adventures came across Perth and after working for a local motorcycle custom shop, saw the possibilities for growth of the scene. The sea and sunny climate helped also and hence, Rogue Motorcycles (https://roguemotorcycles.com.au/) came to be.
Much like the city that it calls home, Rogue has grown in leaps and bounds and due to its isolation, has had to learn to provide everything in-house, from welding and fabrication, CNC to one off carbon fibre parts, outsourcing is unnecessary.
Since starting four years ago, a steady stream of custom machines has left their shop, however it was their unique collaboration with artist Hans Bruechle, a street and skate inspired Triumph “SK8 or Die” Thruxton with a graffiti inspired paintjob and a skateboard deck living under the seat that recently made it into the 2018 BikeEXIF top 10 list (at number 3 no less!) and has put Rogue squarely as not only the best custom builder in WA, but unarguably thrusts them into the global spotlight.
Billy prefers to work with more modern platforms, citing all the advances that have gone into motorcycles over the last 20 years, particularly in the area or reliability. An older bike has nostalgia and arguably more classic lines, but in his opinion, if you want to ride a bike rather than just look at it (or becoming best friends with your mechanic) – newer is definitely better. Preferably something will a steel frame that can be modified to look older & classier, retaining the best of both worlds.
The scene in Perth is picking up due to two main demographics, the so called silver warriors, retired gents who seek to capture a sense of nostalgia, recapturing the wind in the hair days of their youth; and the young and fashionable. There is no denying that thanks to social media trends spread quickly, and custom bikes are one of those, the availability of inspiration across the internet only further fuelling their appeal.
The Rogue business plan is comprehensive, with custom bikes being backed up by a real cafe and a website that sells bike parts as well as being the West Australian distributor for Bitwell helmets. It comes as no surprise then that Billy and Silvie are looking at a new premises, one that allows them more space for more of what they do best and hopefully become a lively hub for the community.
No doubt with their track record Rogue will grow and their impact will be felt further than the city in which it is based.