With over hundred years of legacy behind them, motorcycles have left a century long trail of culture and lifestyle through the years and while the modern tech is moving towards supercharged and turbocharged and electric motorcycles, at the same time, classic and retro motorcycles are making a come back like never before. There are several custom bike builders around the world today building different styles like cafe-racers, bobbers, choppers, trackers, scramblers, etc. and each one of them is trying to carve a niche for this new motorcycling culture on the global map. One such custom motorcycle outfit is Fuel Bespoke Motorcycles (The same guys behind the Fuel Strada and Fuel Scram/7) from Barcelona, Spain. Kickstarted by Karles Vives, it’s not only custom motorcycles that they build at Fuel, but they build a lifestyle around it too. A complete 360-degree solution for the lovers of old-school motorcycling. At their shop in Barcelona, they don’t only work on crafting gorgeous looking custom motorcycles but also develop apparel and clothing that goes out to match your style of motorcycle.
And it doesn’t end there though. Every year, Fuel Motorcycles puts out an adventure ride called the Scram Africa – that takes the participants across the gorgeous landscapes of South Morocco over a span of twelve days conquering the African deserts. Now in its sixth iteration, this year’s Scram Africa was tailored towards the purists in the sense that only neo-retro or customised scrambler motorcycles were allowed to take part in. Other off-the-shelf adventure or touring or custom motorcycles were kept out of the ride to keep it devoted to the scrambler spirit of riding through varying terrain. And those twelve days sure offered plenty of changing terrains including some well-paved roads starting from Tangier before riding across Morocco towards the famed sand dunes of Marabout Sidi Naji before turning back and riding back via Merzouga and Fez and arriving back at Tangier to catch the ferry back to Barcelona.
In this year’s Scram Africa edition, the riders astride their respective scrambler motorcycles took on asphalt roads, broken tarmac, some tricky off-roads as well as deal with the loose sandy sections laden with fesh-fesh (fine sand known to get motorcycles lodged and sink in). Cloning the legendary Africa motorcycle exploration, Scram Africa repeats the adventure albeit in a more well-planned manner allowing the participants to truly enjoy the riding experience. Covering over 2400km, the ride witnesses changing weather conditions in Africa including sandstorms, heavy downpour or excessive heat in certain parts. With such trying and ever-changing weather conditions coupled with demanding terrains, the riders are in for real adventure on the Scram Africa.
There is a support vehicle and assistance team as well as a medical team to attend the participants if needed. Quoting a fee of 1950 Euros, it includes service backup, accommodation and food throughout the ride duration. Now that’s one the best ways to spend that money and to come back with an experience that very few can boast about. Like Karles says, while a few riders are already addicted to the ride and they return every year to take part in it, it’s easy to get hooked onto whether you are a newbie rider or an experienced hand.
While it certainly demands physical strength stretched over the ten days, eventually it becomes evident that mental strength and focus is what gets most riders safe and sound back to base. Much in accord with the scrambler culture, the idea is to have a road-going motorcycle turned into a scrambler and heading out to explore the unknown. Doing away with the idea of investing in a big adventure trailer or a specialised Enduro motorcycle. An idea that sets well with the scrambler lifestyle, the Scram Africa sees every participant struggle through different situations while bonding with fellow riders and helping each other out when times get tough on the road. Much in the spirit of motorcycling. Like they say, “In motorcycling, there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met, yet.”