Wanderlust and contentment seldom go hand-in-hand, however in some way Yve Assad manages to exude each qualities in ample measure. She wears the mantle of latest mom with a reserved pleasure that speaks volumes of how head over heels in love she is along with her household, even when she is slightly drained. Yet when the dialog turns to bikes, journey, and the sentimental connection to her 1976 BMW R 90/6, one other particular a part of her soul bubbles to the floor.
It’s proper there in Assad’s pictures. Her work covers myriad genres, but there’s a typical thread woven by way of all of it: all the things she captures is imbued with a way of journey, a refined urgency that compels you to transcend the following horizon.
Assad’s propensity for storytelling by way of pictures is so deeply ingrained that it’s unsure whether or not it’s deliberate or computerized. She credit her upbringing. A baby of a army father, Assad, who now resides in Nashville, was born in Monterey, California, however moved to Georgia on the age of three.
Her dad had a Nikon digicam and would shoot with slide movie, and he had an previous Land Cruiser. Frequent street journeys and weekly slideshows have been a staple within the Assad family, and even when Yve was too younger to recollect a few of these journeys, she relived them again and again by way of her father’s images.
“Seeing those pictures of the West definitely informed my wanderlust, and my desire to travel and see exciting new places,” she says, “because it was so different-looking to what we had in the Southeast. I had always wanted to drive since I was five years old. I begged to drive. I loved being in the car.”
“And so travel has definitely been a big muse for my photography. Even with commercial projects I like to incorporate some travel aspect, or the idea of being on the road.”
By across the eleventh grade, Assad had casually began choosing up her father’s digicam and taking images. By the time college rolled round, her long-standing plan to review chemistry gave option to a photojournalism main. Then she found the immersive documentary work of Danny Lyon, and his groundbreaking 1968 e book, The Bikeriders.
“When I saw Danny Lyon’s work for the first time, it was so impactful because it was just a different subculture than I’ve ever seen before,” Assad explains. “Motorcycles were a part of my life growing up, but when I saw that, I was just magnetized to it. I did my senior project in photojournalism school on biker culture, and I didn’t even ride at that time.”
From that root, Assad’s path to motorcycling was set. Years later she met her husband, a motorcyclist and MotoGP fanatic, who took her to the Indy Mile and the MotoGP race at Indianapolis. A few years down the road, Assad was dwelling in Chicago and taking pictures flat observe racing regularly, whereas additionally rising bored with using on the again of her accomplice’s bike. So she bought her motorbike license and went on the hunt for a experience of her personal.
A go to to the International Design Museum in Munich years prior had planted a seed in Assad’s coronary heart. The museum had a lot of Twenties BMWs on show on the time, and the classic R 47 had stopped her lifeless in her tracks.
She’d felt a pull in the direction of classic BMW boxers ever since. So when it got here time to get her personal bike, she was predisposed to Bavarian steel. But her accomplice was means forward of her.
“When Will, my husband, proposed to me, he actually proposed to me with a 1976 BMW R 90/6,” she tells us. “That was my engagement ring. He was working at Motoworks in Chicago, and I had seen this R 90/6 there. It was in impeccable shape—but they said that it had sold, and I was so bummed. It turned out Will had bought it to propose to me.”
That the R 90 is principally a two-wheeled engagement ring is one motive that Assad can by no means half with it. The different is that she’s created so many recollections on it, that it’s grow to be part of her, even incomes the nickname ‘The Frau.’
Even although she’s added a second motorbike to her storage since — one which’s newer, sooner, and extra polished—the R 90 is her previous trustworthy. It’s the one which’ll by no means let her down, and the one that also offers her goosebumps each time she thinks about using it.
Since getting the R 90, Assad has traveled far and extensive on it, together with a 5,000-mile journey from Nashville to Novia Scotia. “Literally, the only thing that broke on that trip was the speedometer,” she laughs. “It’s like a Led Zeppelin album—it’s just good the way it is. You don’t have to do anything to it. One volume, done, just put gas in it and you go. It’s ready.”
“I’ve felt on occasion like, oh, it’d be so cool to have this other bike, or maybe put a different seat on it, or maybe even repaint the tank, or whatever. But the imperfections are perfect on it. I love that there is a tiny little scratch from my jacket, and I know exactly when that happened. It happened on my trip to Nova Scotia.”
“One of my taillights has always been at 70 degrees, and I’ve tried taping it, I’ve tried to do all the band-aid things to fix it. But it’s cute to me. It tells a story, and I feel like I can share that with my daughter and it’ll be special.”
“If you repaint something or if you redo something, you’re getting rid of all of those stories. The patina speaks.”
Telling tales will all the time be central to Assad’s life, whether or not it’s the motorbike she will by no means half with, or the images that she takes. She’s a conduit, immersing herself somewhere else and with totally different individuals, absorbing the second, and transferring it into imagery to share with others.
Like her motorbike, her photos inform tales. And just like the a number of battle scars her previous BMW boxer wears, the patina in her images speaks.
Storied: 100 Years of BMW Motorcycling is a three-part video collection and restricted version print piece by The Simple Machine, created with assist from BMW Motorrad USA | Video directed and edited by Roberto Serrini | Additional photos by Yve Assad and Heidi Ross