It’s all about Fun and Friends….We just wanted to design a dream motorcycle meet up that was for us and our friends. We are three friends : Sean Dunlap , Sean Westlake and Todd Werny who have been riding and skating and wrenching together since the 90s . Dunlap is a graphic designer , Westlake owns the local Moto –Bar “The fusebox” and I operate “Space Oddity “ a Vintage Furniture store and T-shirt shop. We are all original founders of the Cretins MC an American Café racer club since 1992. We are basically Café racer / ratbike guys. But, today almost nine years later , Backfire encompasses a much broader spectrum of sub-generas . After spending a couple of decades promoting and advocating and organizing on behalf of our overlooked and under-acknowledged genera of motorcycles , we wanted to design our own event that focused on what we loved and enjoyed about the Northwest motorcycle culture. This event would in essence be a response to years of attending bike events where we never felt at home. We wanted Backfire Moto to be casual and focused on hanging out and socializing with people who had the same interests. No commercialism/vendors or glorifying of “showbikes” and “celebrity builders” . The Northwest has a giant advanced DIY alternative motorcycle culture that just needed a meet-up to pull it all together . We aimed to provide that DIY mecca.
Backfire is an easy routine, no big deal. Once a month you hop on your bike after work and meet up with a few other friends on bikes along the way. You notice that there are more motorcycles than usual in the city today and then you realize that they all seem to be heading to the same place. Backfiremoto, an underground meet up of hundreds of bikes in an industrial oasis just outside the city . Starting up in Spring , Backfire happens every third Wednesday at 4 pm ( rain or shine) and goes till the last bike rolls back out into the night . It happens on the corner of 17th Ave. NW and Leary Ave NW in Ballard which is in an industrial / Maritime zone which is also a concentration of dozens of bars and restaurants. As you take the corner your world is transformed into a motorcycle dreamscape. We blast Punk Rock into the crowd of greasy shop talking zombies as they hang out smoking cigars, drinking beer and exchanging important gas soaked information. Hundreds of bikes line the streets for blocks. Cafe Racers , Rat bikes , bobbers, brat bikes and any kind of vintage bike that you can imagine as well as modified mopeds, and vintage scooters . We started the night to provide a meet up for exactly those kinds of bikes. Over the past 8 years we have grown to the point of seeing Backfire become more than just an alternative to the generic Harley Culture that pervaded the media almost a decade ago. Then, We woke up one morning and noticed that the DIY , alternative bikes we had been advocating and promoting for over two decades had become commonplace in the NW! Café racers were everywhere! We are happy to see the impact that Backfire has had on creating so many new friendships and off shoots to the scene. It is fun to watch the scene grow and develop. Major motorcycle companies are popping out retro bikes that are tempting to even die hard vintage guys like us. It is definitely changing the face of the scene for sure. But , we plan to stick to our roots and to keep the event as people like it…simple , DIY , Free and fun. We may tweak the event a bit to spice it up from time to time but don’t expect much change in the future. It’s all about the great people who show up each month to share their knowledge and show off the bikes that they love. Thanks for 8 Great years! Come visit us at the DJ / Info. T-shirt booth and say “Hi”!!!!