Style Rider focuses on the intersection of motorcycle culture and individual style. Here we speak to Rusty Rhinos Club founder Thomas Condon about his passion for vintage 2-strokes, cowboy boots and riding with his family.
Name: Thomas ‘Tommy’ Condon
Residence: Sydney, Australia
Today’s ride: This is my 1975 Yamaha YB100. Besides bringing her back to life as a barn find in Orbost Victoria, the only customisation is the motocross bars we put on the bike to match those it had on when we found her. Other than that, it is completely original with Original and New/Old stock parts found.
Describe your style: I am a bit of a mixed breed when it comes to style, one day I’ll be enjoying my cowboy boots—Botas y Botines bought at the Sabotage Swap Meet—and Stetson hat, other days Converse shoes and a trucker cap. My favourite style is derived from the 60s and 70s motorcycle scene with its mix of 60s Harley biker gang culture and 70s Steve McQueen vibe.
Favourite Items: Would have to be my Filthy Leather Berrima Winter Gloves in Tan, DMD Black helmet with Sparkles and vintage Waiden Miller leather jacket.
Next Purchase: Probably another 2-stroke.
Style inspiration: Mostly it depends on what style of bike I’m on and where I’m riding to. I will change my vibe according to the situation. If I’m heading down the coast on the cruiser, I will be in my cowboy boots and leather jacket, however, the vintage 2-Stroke riding is usually whatever is most comfortable as I will often be on the ground trying to change spark plugs or fixing something that has gone wrong; but that’s all the fun of it all.
Best Local Ride: Has to be starting off in the Inner West at a coffee shop like The Brews Brothers and going for a 2-stroke burn out to Bondi Beach.
Best Distance ride: I grew up riding through the “Nasho” (The Royal National Park) to Stanwell tops. It has to be the best ride for Sydney locals as it isn’t to far to the twisties and you can easily do it on a nice Sunday Morning. And the view is amazing.
Tip for Stylish motorcycling: I think as you get older you truly start to find your style through various culture influences like music, movies, and racing. The best tip is to find what you like and other people who like it as well.
Tip for best looking safe riding gear: Instagram is an awesome place to find motorcycle gear that you are interested in. A lot of the new brands I find on Instagram I wear all the time like my Filthy leather gloves and DMD helmet. Leather is always a safe bet for looking cool and staying safe.
Next Motorcycle Trip: My next local trip will be with our 2-stroke club the Rusty Rhinos. We have a 2-stroke ride coming up that will be heading to @willietheboatman brewery. My next long trip will be heading to Chopped Festival in Victoria.
Why do you like riding? I grew up riding from a young age with my dad and brothers and now at 31 I still ride weekly with them. I love the culture, the freedom, and the history motorcycle riding has. I find choosing what motorcycle you ride is a statement of who you are and what your about.
Why I love vintage 2-strokes? I went to the Burt Munro festival in New Zealand with My Dad and Brother just before Covid-19 hit in 2020. We were hiring motorcycles and riding from Christchurch down to Invercargill where the festival takes place. The night before we left for our trip an old friend of my Dad’s took us to a groovy bar called Smash Palace. It’s a Motorcycle bar in the middle of Christchurch which has a big bus planted in an open area that has been fitted out as a bar. After having a few beers and enjoying the cold Christchurch air, the awesome sound of a 2-stroke suddenly started up behind me. Smash Palace is outside and allows bikes to ride into the beer garden so we got to see this fantastic 2-stroke smoke it’s way through the motorcyclists and rip up the road. My Dad’s friend explained to me that these small 100-125cc 2-strokes have a massive cult following in New Zealand and ever since that night I have been obsessed with 2-strokes. As soon as I got home to Sydney I searched high and low for my first 2-stroke and eventually found this little YB100 located in Victoria, and the rest is history I guess.