Frank Charriaut is a world class designer with experience at Guess, Quiksilver, Roxy, and Chanel. He’s also a former member of the Southsiders MC and founder of The Mot’Art Journal, a “tailored blog” that’s all about sharing his passions (frequently beautiful motorcycles) with the world.
I discovered Frank after he shared a Ducati 750GT I featured a while back. I found his musings very interesting and thought it’d be great to get more background on him. So I hit him with my usual questions – here’s what you should know about Frank!
How did you get started with motorcycles – how did you learn, and what was your first bike?
I started pretty late around 17 years old on a Suzuki 125cc. Before bikes it was surfing and only surfing which is a religion here in Biarritz. My first bike was a 1979 T140 Triumph Bonneville, I still have it.
What bikes do you currently own?
A Moto Guzzi V7 Speciale and a T140 Triumph Bonneville.
Assume for a moment that money is no object, and importation laws aren’t a problem. What’s the next bike you’d buy, and what would you do with it?
That is a tough question, I would probably re-buy my previous Norton Commando I sold a few years ago and keep it stock. The other one would be a 1200 HD to make a rally raid bike…an old Paris-Dakar race dream.
What’s the most memorable motorcycle trip you’ve ever taken?
Easy to remember, it was a trip with my old Bonnie from the south of France to Baleares Island (Spain). I remember this trip because the sun was so hot that I have to keep my leather jacket almost all the time.
Do you listen to music while riding? If no, why not? If yes, what are some of your favorite tunes when you’re on your bike?
I never listen to music when I’m riding because the only sound that I like while riding is the sound of the engine. If I did it would be a Ramones album for sure.
You have $25,000 to spend on anything in the world of motorcycles – 1 new bikes, several old bikes, track days, a trip, further developing your software, you name it. How do you spend it?
If I had $25.000 to spend, it would be on a motorcycle summer trip around Europe with great hotels and restaurants « Pit stops » with my wife even if she doesn’t like motorcycles…
What inspired you to start the Mot’Art Journal? What are you looking for when you feature an item?
After I left the Southsiders M.C., I wanted to make my own blog to share all what I like, not only bikes but Architecture, surfing, Africa, fashion etc…I like classic bikes but I don’t like to be stuck into vintage or any lifestyle mood. I love to mix passions and share with everyone. I only post on the Mot’Art Journal all what I love from all around the world and all the pictures that I receive every day in my emails. The main thing with the Mot’Art is Sharing.
You co-designed an incredible Triton that was featured by Chanel and made some waves on the internet about 5 years ago. Are there other motorcycle designs that will be coming from you in the future?
I was working as a designer for Chanel at that time so it was normal for me to propose them a motorcycle for the image.
This project made a lot of waves at this time but it was a cool and rad project. I’m actually working on a new bike, a Triumph T140 base with a friend of mine but it takes time and as everybody I don’t have enough time…it’s going to be a race bike, that’s all I can say. =)
What do you expect from the future of motorcycling, good or bad?
Unfortunately I don’t expect so much from the future of motorcycling as the laws are getting more and more strict everywhere. But the main problem is R&D within the main major companies. I know we can’t argue with the Design but let’s say that besides the V7 Guzzi or the R9T BMW, I don’t see so many good things to my eyes. Thank God the custom scene gets bigger and bigger in every country all over the world, it can help if they don’t lose the quality for the look.