Game Over Cycles Builds “World's First Tattooed Motorcycle and Sidecar”

game over cycles builds worlds f
game over cycles builds worlds f
Game Over Cycles Stanislaw Myszkowski World's First Tattooed Motorcycle

Stanislaw Myszkowski of Game Over Cycles from Lubaczow, Poland, with “The Recidivist,” the first fully tattooed motorcycle/sidecar in the world.

Tattoo and motorcycle cultures are inextricably intertwined. Both provide an avenue for self-expression and are associated with rebellion. And while tattoo motifs are commonly found on motorcycles, Game Over Cycles (GOC) took it to another level with what they claim is the “World’s First Tattooed Motorcycle.”

Game Over Cycles accomplished this by wrapping both a motorcycle and sidecar in a light-colored cowhide leather, the leather having a tone similar to human skin. Covering the build with a textured surface allowed it to be tatted conventionally with a gun, not just sprayed or painted. Hailing from Lubaczow, Poland, Game Over Cycles enlisted the services of a pair of Polish tattooist for the artwork on the motorcycle, Tomasz Lech from Individuum Tatto and Krzysztof Królak of Rock n’ Roll Tattoo and Piercing Warszawa, while Artur Wiśniowski of Moto-Paint did the sidecar. And ink it they did. While at first glance it looks like a random collection of artwork, none of the tattoos are accidental as GOC states many of the themes are based on the “turbulent post-war era in America where many bikers led a life on the edge of the law.” On one side of the tank you’ve got pictures of Al Capone, Alcatraz and a Prohibition stamp. On the other half you’ll find Billy the Kid along with a replica of the work of Swiss artist H.R. Giger. Along with Giger, the dystopian-tinged artwork of Polish painter Zdzislaw Beksinski can also be found on Game Over Cycles’ creation. The pictures often tell a story like the ones found on the front wheel that show a bank robbery, police catching the culprit, the robber getting locked up, receiving a visit from a loved one then attempting an escape. The sidecar meanwhile is full of imagery from the history of Harley-Davidson.

The Recidivist by Game Over Cycles at the Rat's Hole Sturgis 2017

Classic biker and Harley-Davidson imagery with a Gigeresque feel cover the sidecar of Game Over Cycles’ “The Recidivist.” 

But the tribute to the art of tattooing doesn’t stop there as Game Over Cycles incorporated the theme into the build of the bike itself. According to GOC “Bikers often tattooed using self-made machines and in reference to this, the bike’s front suspension has the look of a traditional coil tattoo machine. The motorcycle’s construction also includes other elements that draw from the look of tattoo machines. All of these parts are fully operational elements of the bike’s construction, and the mechanisms of these elements operate in the same way as they do in the original tattoo machines. For example, the exhaust pipe looks exactly like a tattoo machine, including the tattooing needles which when you start the bike move exactly as they do when the tattoo machine applies ink under skin.”


While the artwork on the build Game Over Cycles calls “The Recidivist” is exemplary, the design of the bike and sidecar is noteworthy in its own right. While the motorcycle started as a 2014 Harley Softail, the only parts retained from the stock bike are its Twin Cam 96 engine and part of the frame. Even though they used a modern powerplant, GOC gave it the appearance of a carb-fed mill by hiding the electronics, cables, ECU and fuel pump. They also fashioned their own “engine barrels” to complete the illusion. The majority of the frame is made from industrial-strength I-beams that’ve been drilled out. Twin I-beams connected by round tubing split the tanks, the tubing running down the backbone appropriately vertebrae-like. Running through the left tank, a faux cell that houses the electronics, is the extended arm of the suicide shifter. There’s no visible wiring on the bars as everything runs internally and the levers are mounted reversely off the bar ends. Two small shocks that damp the front end are mounted on the homemade triple trees then hidden in the brackets that look like a coil tattoo machine. These brackets were CNCed parts then burned and treated to give them a weathered, patinaed look, the same process used on the primary and engine covers.

Game Over Cycles World's First Tattooed Motorcycle split tank

The backbone on the World’s First Tattooed Motorcycle is deliberately designed to look like a human spine.

World's First Tattooed Motorcycle tank artwork

The left tank houses electronics and is full of old school gangster tattoos, from Al Capone to Alcatraz to the Prohibition.

The gangster motif established in the tattoo work carries over to design elements in the motorcycle as well. The suicide shifter is a crow bar. The front brake calipers look like handcuffs. Brass knuckles house the brake light. The kick starter is in the shape of a bomb detonator while the clutch and brake levers are shaped like butterfly knife handles.

Game Over Cycles first introduced the tattooed motorcycle in 2014 but the new sidecar addition made its world debut at the 2017 Sturgis Rally. GOC entered it in the prestigious Rat’s Hole Custom Bike and Chopper Showwhere it took top honors in the “Most Unusual Class.” From there it was shuttled over to the Harley-Davidson Museum over Labor Day during the Milwaukee Rally. This time it won 1st place in the Pro Class in the museum’s custom bike show where COG had the honor of receiving the trophy from none other than Willie G. and Bill Davidson. The “World’s First Tattooed Motorcycle” is currently on display at the House of Harley-Davidson dealership in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, until the end of November. We saw it at the Rat’s Hole in Sturgis and highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance. Between the incredible artwork and all of the fine details that went into this unique build there’s a lot to appreciate.

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About Craig Ballantyne 24828 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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