There are several other large scale moto websites around the globe, but only a few deliver the same level of passion for raw riding that you get from Orazio at RocketGarage. His long-time experience in the saddle and fortune of riding some of the best roads that Europe a has to offer has given him an authoritative voice that millions of moto lovers the world over tune into on a regular basis.
We sat down to chat with him about his experiences, his surroundings & his bikes.
The Interviews: RocketGarage
How long have you been riding?
I’ve now been riding for around 30 years, I’ve actually spent more of my life riding motorcycles than not. I got on my first vehicle with 2 wheels at age 14, it was a Piaggio scooter, a natural step for many young Italians of my generation. This vehicle has opened the roads of the world, giving me autonomy and the possibility of some small adventure.
What began your interest in motorcycles?
During my early years of riding my passion for motorcycles grew, and for the young ones that were interested in bikes, we spent a lot of time in the garage looking for more power from our small scooters. Races between friends was almost a daily routine and I immediately understood that the motorcycle gave freedom of movement and expression… Through customisation riders could express their personality, to differentiate themselves from the crowd and have a beautiful vehicle, and not just be the same as everyone else.
I later filled my garage with a Gilera RC 600, powerful bike but the motorcycle has not gained much popularity in the mainstream market, dispite remaining a very good vehicle for technology and performance.
Italy has some of the worlds most beautiful scenery and greatest roads, can you tell us a bit about the motorcycle scene and what it’s like to live and ride in such an amazing country?
We Italians are very lucky, thanks to the climate and Italy’s territory we can ride almost all year round. We have some of the most beautiful runs along the coast or we can go up to the amazing mountain peaks. Italy has a great history in motorsport and we live in this world with a lot of passion because the bike is something that you buy with your heart. Most of us hit the legal driving age, find a vehicle with 2 wheels, buy it and once you begin then the love for motorcycles is eternal. Even if you turn away from this world for a few years, people tend to return with greater passion than before.
In Italy, however, there are two broad categories of motorcyclists, those using a bike for urban mobility and escape the chaotic traffic of the cities and those who use motorcycles only for pleasure and leisure.
Now the world of special customs is small in Italy but it’s always growing, everyone wants to impress friends and have cafe racer.
You recently took a trip to Sydney, how did it compare to riding in Italy? Hopefully riding on the left wasn’t too strange for you?
My trip to Sydney was with Yamaha to try the new XJR 1300. It was something really exciting but at the same time it had me nervous, driving on the left it is different and requires a lot of extra concentration especially when you face the curves and intersections. Those big trucks that are in Australia are really dangerous too haha.
But once you’re on the bike and start running, everything becomes natural and the mind focuses on the road and you just start listening to the engine. Roads and landscapes are beautiful in Australia and I thank Yamaha for giving me the opportunity to know a experience a land so wonderful.
RocketGarage has been a booming success, congratulation on recently hitting the 150,000 fans mark on Facebook. Tell us a little about how it started.Yes, the Facebook page is getting some really impressive results that can involve up to 1,000,000 people. It is really a powerful tool but we must not forget that it is part of my blog. It’s the blog that was born first, in 2007. The RocketGarage stems from the desire to create a virtual space that could contain anything that makes my heart beat faster, and bring together my passions. Passions that start with 2 wheels but go 360 ° in any direction touching every aspect of the world of petrol engines.
Everything is accompanied by a soundtrack of good and healthy rock’n roll and the presence of beautiful pin up. This idea shapes the blog, among it’s pages you can find Cafe Racer and Specials of each genre and categories.
All objects that express style even when stationary but they show their soul as they are set into motion. The world of motorsport is not only made up of motorcycles and cars but also for the riders and drivers lifestyle, their clothing, their places of worship frequented by them and how they are inspired by the visual arts, film and music.
Here you will find inspiration for accessories, clothing or suggestions of some good books or movies that will make you spend a winter evening waiting for the good weather. Gasoline engines and passions… that’s what RocketGarage gives you, nothing more nothing less.
What are your 5 favourite custom motorcycles from 2015 so far?
That is really difficult to answer, haha! Here are some of my favourites because they are all Café Racer classic style with powerful engines and all built with extreme attention to detail.
BS4 Honda CBX 1000 by Bad Seeds Motorcycle
Street 750 Special by Silver Lake HARLEY-DAVIDSON
Norton Commando 750 ’68 by Fuller Moto
What do you ride?
Now I ride a Triumph Trident 750 1996, a bike that has accompanied me even on my wedding day. Eternally a work in progess, it has not been original since I bought it, after a week I immediately started to change parts to try to do it in my style. He has undergone several changes and each time I give it a different name “Triple Trouble” – “Rocket 3” – “Lupara Bianca” – “Stell Gate” – “Triskell”. Some of the upgrades are wheels, suspension, brakes, handlebars, controls, instrumentation, frame cut with new aluminium rear … the list is really long.
Along with this in my garage I also have a Yamaha TT600R that alternate between motard and enduro, a simple and easy to handle bike which I was also in rode in the Sahara Desert in 2010.
What is your dream bike?
The fastest and easiest answer is a cafe racer. A new Norton Domiracer.
A bike that the mere sight of brings you back in time to when in Rockers are races on the North Circular, starting from Ace Cafe London.
What can we expect to see coming from RocketGarage in the future?
Keep looking for beautiful motorbikes to spread the passion for custom motorcycles, those bikes that at a glance can give you feelings, and make it as professional & impartial as possible.
It’s been great talking to you as always mate, looking forward to riding with you next summer in Italy!
Check out more from Orazio over at RocketGarage