MOON Space Agency Steve’s Malaysia Trip Report
June 23-25, 2012
Greetings! This is Steve from MOONEYES.
During the weekend of June 23-24, 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting Malaysia for the first time. A few weeks prior, Mooneyes owner Shige-san learned of a first-ever Kustom Kulture event taking place in Kuala Lumpur called Art of Speed. However, there was a conflict. He was already set that same weekend to attend a different event in Europe. Still interested in this historic event and not wanting to miss it, Shige-san summoned me for the journey. Of course, I was up for the task! My main objective was to meet up with MOONEYES Authorized Dealer Vicious Cycles from Singapore as they were guests of the event and check out the custom scene.
Arriving Saturday morning, June 23, I headed straight to the Art of Speed event location. It was held at PUBLIKA which is a shopping mall with artistic flare, galleries and all kinds of restaurants and bars. I arrived very early. Vicious Cycles had not arrived yet so I met up with the event organizer Asep Ahmad and his wife Deni. Asep gave me a tour and let me know the schedule for the next two days. After that, we went upstairs to eat breakfast at a local restaurant. Asep introduced me to Jappie from Singapore and his club members from Warpigs MC. Asep had to get back to setting up for the event so Jappie invited me to join them for breakfast. It was my first traditional Malaysian breakfast. It’s called Nasi Lemak and tastes really good too!
It turned out that Jappie is good friends with Vicious Cycles. Cool! Once we were done eating, we all went down to the Vicious Cycles booth and they were there setting up. I had emailed them a few times before so I finally met Matthew and Mervyn in person. I brought them an official MOONEYES Authorized Dealer banner and they were beyond thrilled! Immediately they all started figuring out the best place to hang the banner. Throughout the day, I would stop in at the booth and see how things were going. They were very busy all day. I walked around the event to observe. The event featured custom cars, bikes and bicycles. There were was a live music, a stunt show, b-boy competition and much more. It was a very organized and well rounded event with a lot of things happening all day. Fun for the entire family.
Vicious Cycles Bikes
FUN FOR EVERYONE
BIKES ON DISPLAY
The event officially started at 10AM but very casually. As the day progressed, the number of people increased. At one point during the day, there were hundreds of motorcycles lining the perimeter of the outer area of the event. There were a dozen cars on display at this event. Custom cars are rare in Malaysia so to see a hand full in one place is ultra rare. Custom bikes are very rare too. I found out a lot about the culture and custom scene here. It’s amazing that there are people that don’t get discouraged about customizing. That’s true custom spirit! Many of them look to Japan for inspiration as well. Japan’s custom scene is unique because they also possess this custom spirit. You can see that it’s a lifestyle here just like in Japan. There were many MOONEYES fans as well. During the event, people would see the banner and point to it saying, “Oh! MOONEYES!”
WHITE BOX GALLERY
Inside a gallery called White Box was the kustom art exhibit. There were several motorcycles on display, a photo and art gallery, custom airbrush gallery, custom paint exhibit, scale models and die casts, leather works, pinstriping and tattoo artists there. Each of them had scheduled demonstrations during the event to showcase their unique art and craft. Joop from Singapore makes leather accessories as well as hand-stamps leather hide. He has visited the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show (HCS) for the past two years and is planning for a third trip this year. Fahmi is a pinstriper and possibly the first professional pinstriper in the region. He is hoping to travel to Japan in December to take part in the Pinstripe Gathering at HCS2012. Jappie, from Warpigs MC, had a booth for his tattoo shop, Kustoms 7. He has been to Japan several times and hopes to visit Japan in December for HCS as well.
CARS ON DISPLAY
The first day of the event lasted until about 9PM. At the end, a bunch of bikes and the cars on display went for a night cruise into the city. There were several parties scheduled after the cruise. I wasn’t sure how long the cruise would last but some of the members from Warpigs MC that didn’t go on the cruise said to stick around.
Sure enough, they all came back and they invited me to go with them to Hard Rock Cafe (Kuala Lumpur) so I hopped in with them. We ended up staying until they closed, ate at a late night Malaysian style outdoors restaurant together and called it a night.
The second day of the event also started at 10AM. I arrived there on time but as someone said to me later, partying all night on the first day isn’t a good idea during a two-day event. Similar to the first day, everything gradually started flowing. As vendors started setting up, more and more people started flowing through. The second day I decided to spend the day at the Vicious Cycles booth. Again, they were busy all day with many people stopping by to check things out. Matthew, his wife Teresa and Mervyn make up the foundation of Vicious Cycles. Based in Singapore, they recently became an MOONEYES Authorized Dealer but have been around for many years offering services to the biker scene. Although it is very difficult to customize bikes in Singapore, there are a lot of riders there. There are also a lot of people that love MOONEYES so they stepped up and connected with MOON.
In the afternoon, Asep brought us to his shop located inside the mall. It’s called Switchblade and half of it is a diner and the other side is a boutique store. They carry a lot of custom lifestyle clothing and accessories. A lot of the items on display are his own personal collection.
The day really flew by and in the evening there was an awards presentation. It was based on people’s choice. Before the main awards, Asep presented appreciation awards to everyone that assisted with the event.
The second day ended earlier, at around 6PM. After the event was finished I had dinner with everyone at Vicious Cycles. We at a Fat Boys, a hamburger shop.
From there we had a few drinks at Hard Rock Cafe as they wanted to go and didn’t get there the night before. They were riding back to Singapore which takes about six hours on bike.
The custom scene in Malaysia and areas around the region is growing. There’s a strong presence of motorcycles and cars and the movement towards customizing is at a the point of being recognized. The event was a first step towards what will become the basis of kustom kulture there. Just like anywhere else in the world, if there’s a group of people that are into the custom scene, they will find a way to do it no matter the obstacles. That’s just how it works and Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and other areas have this same custom spirit in them as well.
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA PHOTOS
Last two shots. This old Toyota Celica was not part of the show! Nice!
Look closely at the photo of the taxi ride… in the shoulder lane!
I hope to return again soon! If you are ever in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia please be sure to visit PUBLIKA and stop by Switchblade. Of course, if you are in Singapore, you must drop in on Vicious Cycles! Thank you to everyone there for showing me around and taking care.
Thank you for reading.