One of the most colorful guy to work on custom bikes, as well as we see antics working inside his own home-garage, Jonathan Van Haute aka Fart Monkeez Garage blissfully shares how well his life had manifested a passion for two wheels, particular to a motorbike that was given to him by his father. Evidently, he do chooses to work on mechanics and electricals, than working on the custom aesthetics and fabrication.
A Gift, A Deeper Passion
It was just a simple online conversation, us asking about a custom bike built by Jonathan, turned out to be one of the best stories we’ve heard in a while. As much as we love to ride out, there is no other better feeling to ride all day with a loved one. It can be anyone. But in this narrative, it’s about a connection of a father and a son.
A tell-all for everything of who he is, how he has been a part of the Philippine Custom Motorcycle Scene, and still continues up to date, helping people out, spending all day breaking and making engines, and works as if the motorcycle will talk back. Counting sleep and planting seeds, life should be good for this guy, and everything falls well into place, every time he’s faced to work on something. It’s a deeper connection and all of this were born out of a passion for the two wheels.
This 1983 Honda Shadow 500cc was his father’s bike. He shared how he and his father go out to ride all day as they were building up their farm. The year was 2010 and it was a happy year for them. Sunny sky or rainy days, they do not care, they ride ’til they drop and it was all good.
But then, recently, his father had a retinal detachment in one eye and had to be operated. It became hard for his father to ride, yet he still can, Jonathan is worried for the hazards that may occur.
“..Actually, walang kaso sa kanya, medyo nag-iba yung depth perception niya pero kaya parin magmotor. Pero syempre, nagwoworry ako palagi kasi di ko alam gagawin kung mapaano sya…”
One day while Jonathan was busy working on one of his bikes, his father approached him with a subtle thought in mind. His father wanted him to inherit his beloved bike.
“..sinabi nya na kunin ko na daw motor nya. Ako na daw bahala kung anong gusto kong gawin dun..”
He shared how much he truly values this motorbike, like a sword inherited from a king to a prince. All the good memories imbued and it clouds by the way you would look at it. It was more than just a bike, but all the journeys, time spent and experiences they shared through it. Nothing could replace all of it.
“..Di ko alam pare kung ilang beses magbabago itsura ng motor na yun pare, pero ang alam ko, as long as I live, hinding hindi ko pababayaan yung motor na yun..”
This photo below taken in 1978, of his parents on a Yamaha RS. Also told us how close his heart is to this type of bike. It was one of his dreams to have one.
“..nung nagkaroon na ako ng malay dito sa mundong ito pare, pinalilibutan na ako ng mga RS100 na motor! Nag simula sa trike na pambata na yung pedal e nasa harap na gulong papunta sa play bike at binubuo ko, at hanggang nung nagkaroon na ako ng sarili kong pera pare para makabili ng sarili kong motor…”
He was born with two set of wheels, might have been destined to inspire everyone around him, just like how he was filled in with passion passed on to him. Even shared that when his brother was being born, his parents used a tricycle going to the hospital.
It just proves how much motorcycles could slap anyone with such impact on people’s lives. It may just be a mode of transport for some, but not all could understand how the experiences, journeys all within it, is much more of a delicate experience that could affect our connections with people. The invisible cord that links every single rider can be noticed through stories shared by ways of why we ride. There are compelling reasons, regardless of what, it wouldn’t even matter, as long as you ride.
Jonathan Van Haute is Fart Monkeez Garage
Words by Maki Aganon