Style Rider aims to document the world’s most stylish motorcycle riders, be they riders of classic, custom or cafe racer steeds. Focused on the intersection of motorcycle culture with individual style, here we speak to Michael Carn about his passion for English clothes and Italian motorcycles.
Name: Michael Carn
Residence: Darlinghurst, Sydney
Occupation: Freelance creative in film and television.
Today’s ride: 2007 Ducati Sports Classic 1000 customised with new pipes, clutch cover and open air filter. This bike is a special edition, number 56. It is 1 of 100 made by Ducati for the North American market.
Describe your style: English clothes (waxed cotton jacket from Vintage Speedwear) mixed with Italian bikes. My look has changed over the years. Currently, I am taking a fancy to Ripples shoes combined with stovepipe jeans. Growing up in Adelaide in the 1970s and 80s, this was the ‘bogans’ uniform. I’ve come back to these as they fit with the look of the first bike I loved and later bought, a 1978 Ducati 750 Sport. There is also a need to balance style with the reality that you may come off your motorcycle. Blundstone workboots are great as they have steel caps and shock-resistant elastic sides and I never ride without gloves.
Favourite item: Ducati Sports Classic 1000.
Next purchase: 1973 Osso six-day trials bike. I’m revisiting my childhood passion for dirt bike riding.
Style inspiration: Evel Knievel. I had a doll as a child and tried to replicate his jumps on my bicycle. I also used to set my tyres on fire and ride down the street. It was all about the visual impact.
Best local ride: The Hawkesbury area north of Sydney via the Old Pacific Highway to Wiseman’s Ferry, then onto the Old Northern Road and back to the city. Unusually for most bikers, I also like to ride the freeway on my Ducati and often head to the Blue Mountains. This bike was born to fly, and there is something about going straight and fast.
Best distance ride: Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand. I take the western coastal road on the way down and the eastern coastal road on the way up. There is a lot of great riding in this part of the world.
Tip for stylish motorcycle riding: I like to choose my clothes and helmet to match the style of bike. It’s all part of the aesthetic and should be in harmony.
Next motorcycle trip: Ride my 1978 Harley Davidson XLCR cafe racer to Tasmania and travel the entire island. I have made custom panniers, will load my swag and solar kit as the Harley’s battery requires a lot of juice.
Why do you like riding? It’s a feeling. The sense of freedom I get from being out in the open, not encased in a car. It is also about being in harmony with the bike. It makes you feel like you can do anything.