Style Rider focuses on the intersection of motorcycle culture and individual style. Here we speak to Bangladeshi born, now Brisbane-based photographer Adnan about his passion for British styled bikes, 1980s helmets and riding in Australia.
Adnan’s style is heavily influenced by his love of all things British motorcycling. This means cafe racers, worn in leather jackets, motorcycle t-shirts, jeans and boots. It is in the combination of a vintage 1980s helmet, Seiko watch from his father, polished boots and sharp gloves that elevate this outfit beyond the standard biker fare.
Name: My full name is pretty hectic. Just call me Adnan.
Residence: Born in Bangladesh, living in Brisbane.
Today’s ride: 2016 Royal Enfield Continental GT 535. It is full of 1960s vibes apart from its EFI system. The bike is pretty stock, although I have plans to do a few things in future to increase the performance. It is my first British styled bike on Aussie soil, but not the last one.
Describe your style: I opt for simplicity and comfort. Just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans work best for me. Today I’m wearing a BSA T-shirt (the very first step of thousands towards owning a BSA motorcycle someday), a pair of made in Bangladesh Levi’s, a faded DILLIGAF leather jacket, DriRider Legend boots, gloves from Brisbane-based Kelpi Custom Moto, and a ‘barn find’ Arai helmet made in 1980; the year I was born.
Favourite items: My collection of helmets and gloves. I like to wear different helmets and gloves to suit different motorcycles. The Bell Bullitt and the Arai go with my GT 535 while an open face with bubble visor goes better with my Royal Enfield Bullet 500. The watch I am wearing is a 1985 Seiko 5 Automatic. It belonged to my father and came from an era when people didn’t wear smart watches.
Next purchase: I like big singles (engines). I wouldn’t complain if I had a Yamaha SR500 or XT500 in my stable. They are both timeless rides and I have been looking for one from exactly 1980. Life is simple being ‘single’ but twin is sometimes better. I’d also like to have a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 to sit beside my singles.
Style inspiration: Minimalistic, simple style is where I find comfort.
Best local ride: The off-road track in D’Aguilar National Park in Mount Mee section. I rode my Bullet 500 with road tyres without dropping the bike. It was a great experience for me in spite of other riders commenting “Mate, you’ve got the wrong bike for these roads”.
Best distant ride: A round trip, Brisbane-Sydney-Brisbane in August last year. I took the New England Highway down, rendezvoused with my friend in Tamworth, camped there beside our Royal Enfield Bullets, and then headed to Sydney via the Thunderbolts Way.
Tip for stylish motorcycling: Ride tastefully.
Next motorcycle trip: The list isn’t long, but the trips are. In Australia, I want to go to Uluru riding my Bullet 500. Outside of Australia, the historic Grand Trunk Road, which starts from Teknaf, Bangladesh and ends in Kabul, Afghanistan. I took a few attempts to do the Grand Trunk Road in the past, but the political situation between India and Pakistan had different plans for me. I would like to go back and complete it.
Why do I like riding? Probably it is genetic. My father was a motorcyclist, but not a die-hard one. It all started when I was conducting photography-related research on family albums. Seeing photos of my Dad and his friends and their motorcycles piqued my interest.
I started liking motorcycles, but not necessarily riding because of the traffic situation in Bangladesh. It is a different story in Australia. I never felt so connected to the land until I rode to Sydney. Every day, I like riding more and more as it connects me not only to the land, but also to some crazy, amazing human beings.