Different Bore, Different Stroke – Meet Chris Gibbany

Chris Gibbany from Harrison, AR. Look at those nails!

Chris Gibbany from Harrison, AR. Look at those nails!

I love people who are different. I’ll forget a conversation with a normal person almost immediately after it happens. But when I meet people who are quirky, awkward, outwardly and uncomfortably jovial or even eccentric, you can bet I’ll never forget them for the rest of my life.

When I got this email from Chris Gibbany, I admit my initial reaction was a mix between bewilderment and utter fascination. I’m bewildered because I’m amazed people like her still exist and I’m fascinated because secretly (shhhh…don’t tell), I’d do anything to be just as zany and awesomely unique as she is.

People like Chris are exactly what draw me to the world of motorcycling and the realm of tattoos. Finally, I have a melting pot of culture I can finally fit into. We can be as crazy as we want to be, free as we want to be. We can ride how we want to ride and represent ourselves, our families and our lives in our ink. 

Chris is uninhibited in her way living, bound by nothing other than a love for tattoos and bikes. Read on to find out more about this rumbling Goddess and Mistress of the Woods. Born of a different bore and a different stroke, this push-rod-powered phenom lives a simple life hunting and building bikes with her husband, and get this – raising 25 hedgehogs. No, I’m not kidding.

Chris, an avid hunter, shows off her tattoos.

Chris, an avid hunter, shows off her tattoos.

“My name is Chris Gibbany and I live in Harrison, Arkansas.  I LOVE motorcycles and tattoos- so much that I am doing a sleeve totally related to bikes and motors. All my tattoos are motor-related. I love Chevys and have a 1978 Z-28 that I used to drag race and have owned over 20 years.  I also have a 1981 Corvette (represented in ink through the flags on my back) which I have owned 13+ years and was/is my “daily” driver when I need to go somewhere or I can’t ride a bike.

I presently have four motorcycles – a Yamaha TW enduro (which is for sale to buy more Harley parts) and three Harleys including a 1981 Ironhead, a 1956 Panhead and a 1939 Knucklehead.  My husband Gabe and I built my 1981 Ironhead after I designed it and we are almost finished with my 1956 model that I am building to combine the new with the old.  The 1939 is a project for next year.  I have been riding since I was 16 and have been riding Harleys for about five years now. I started on a 1970 right-hand shift Ironhead!
The sleeve I am working on right now features my 1956 Panhead motor and under it is a semi-portrait of it’s front end profile.  All of my black and gray work is done by my artist, Dessa Blackthorn from Tattooz by Sassy out of Mountain Home, Arkansas.  I have won several contests with the piston tattoo she did on my shoulder. My husband and I are both gearheads. He has several old Harleys as well as some really old trucks.
Chris's custom Panhead

Chris’s custom Panhead

We are super frugal and make a modest income. We put everything we have into our passion.  We don’t have children, television, a dishwasher, a microwave, etc.  We line dry clothes and I shop once a month for food and essentials spending just $100 a month for the both of us.  The only meat we eat is what we kill as we are both avid hunters and fishermen.  We are fixing to raise chickens as well.

Things you may not know about me?:
I was an extreme couponer for five years before it became the “norm” and I have been asked to be on two television series- one for couponing and the other because I raise hedgehogs and have 25+ of them.
We live a REALLY different life than most people but are passionate about our bikes and our ink!”
Some Riding Shots of Chris on her Harley creations:
Tattoo by Dessa Blackthorn from Tattooz by Sassy out of Mountain Home, Arkansas

Tattoo by Dessa Blackthorn from Tattooz by Sassy out of Mountain Home, Arkansas



Neophyte Tattoos a.k.a. Sara Sabbah (Ohlin’s shock artist)

Ohlin's monoshock leg tattoo by Neophyte Tattoos of Vicious Tattoo Gallery in Montrel, Quebec, Canada.

Ohlin’s monoshock leg tattoo by Neophyte Tattoos of Vicious Tattoo Gallery in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

She’s a 21-year-old rider and tattoo artist from Montreal, Canada, who is the genius behind the Ohlin’s monoshock tattoo that has recently gone viral. Sara, a.k.a. Neo may not be the action hero from the Matrix, but she rides and that’s all that matters. She began her journey to the two wheeled realm on a cruiser, but now she owns a 2006 Suzuki SV650S. She’s been riding for roughly three years and loves to travel on her bike. “I just throw some saddlebags on and disappear for a day or two,” she says. We were able to get in touch with Neo and find out a little about her, her ink work and the Ohlin’s shock tattoo.

MI: How long have you been tattooing?

Neo: I became an apprentice at the age of 15, so I’ve been tattooing professionally for about four-five years. It’s the only job I’ve ever done.

MI: How did you get into tattooing?

Neo: Well, when I was in high school we had this special program where we would intern at our dream job for credits. I used it as an opportunity to get as much school in as I could while I pursued my apprenticeship. I went out and found it myself. I had this little sketchbook full of scratchy art work and…well, potential. I stuck my foot in all the doors until someone gave me a chance. It was a hell of a bumpy road but I was lucky and got in. 

MI: Where do you derive inspiration for your work?

Neo: I get inspired by my clients, always. I ask them to bring reference images so that I can get into their heads, see what they want to see. I research a lot and always try to get a step ahead of myself with each piece.

MI: What challenges do you face as a female in a tattoo shop?

Neo: I faced the same challenges anyone else would. Each place has its own set of issues, regardless of gender. In Montreal, the female artists are rare so they are totally rocking the industry! After working in a couple of shops, I decided to open my own private studio so I could serve my clients in a more relaxed environment. It’s the best decision I ever made even though it’s a ton of work. It also permits me to travel a little more, which is perfect because I want to do some guest spots outside of Canada.

MI: How hard is it to do 3-D tattoos?

Neo: Each artist has their strength. I wouldn’t be able to put it on a scale of difficulty. It just takes time and patience on the artist’s part and the client’s.

MI: Tell me the story behind the Ohlin’s shock tattoo.

Neo: The client is a biker acquaintance of mine. I’m not sure what his meaning behind it was, but he asked me to do it at a bike night and my face lit up. I know he has a Yamaha but I’m not sure what model. All I know is that it’s fast, lol.

MI: Tell me about some of your tattoos.

Neo: I’ve got an entire leg of comic book characters partially done by Melissa Valiquette of Sin City MTL and a few other geeky things here and there.

MI: Do you think motorcycle riders are more likely to get tattooed?

Neo: I don’t think riding and tattoos come hand-in-hand unless you’re in some sort of biker gang, but I believe what connects a person to their tattoo is something that they are passionate about or something they find beautiful. Riding can be one of those things 🙂

MI: Tell us about how you got into riding motorcycles.

Neo: When I was in my early teens, I wanted to accomplish two things in my life: become a tattoo artist and ride a Harley. And I did it…well not the Harley part. My first bike was a custom and then I decided to go for something a little more maneuverable like the SV.

MI: What do you like most about riding?

Neo: I just love the freedom! Every destination becomes an adventure and it is just a wonderful lifestyle.

MI: What’s something you hope to do on a motorcycle someday?

Neo: Interesting question…I would say stunts, but my common sense disagrees.

Jerre Hui’s Photon Honda Streetfighter

Jerre Hui's Photon Honda

Jerre Hui’s Photon Honda

The “Photon Honda,” streetfighter built by Jerre Hui started it’s life as a CBR1000RR, but a stock sportbike simply wouldn’t do for Jerre and his sci-fi imagination. He based the look of the bike on the animated film “Astro Boy” and he drew inspiration for the paint scheme after seeing a race replica of the Maserati MC12.

Jerre built the bike on his own, doing all the mechanical and electrical work himself. The project took him just over a year and he completed the bike despite having two surgeries on his elbow and shoulder. He was also out of work for a time during the process, which put a pinch on him financially, but he stayed positive and continued to work on the bike regardless.

Jerre is thinking his next project will be to transform an every day cruiser into a radical drag style-bike that will be “super low with a fat tire.” He also wants to install a V-twin engine into the chassis from the either a V Rod or Road Star Warrior. He says, “Anything I can modify and take to the next level – whether it be on two wheels or four – will have an aggressive look. As long as I have the budget, I’ll do it.”

One of Jerre’s favorite quotes is “When you imagine it, you can achieve it! When you dream it, you can become it.” “Nothing is impossible,” he says. “As long as I have the ambition, then someday, I will reach that level.”

MI Bike of the Week: GizmotoHPM 2007 Suzuki GSXR-600 stunt custom

MI Model and Rider, Bunnie, aboard the 2007 Suzuki GSXR-600 Gizmoto Custom

Owned by Jod Dominguez, this bike is a conversation piece. With a paint job resembling a B-2 Spirit Bomber, it’s stealth look only adds to its bad ass persona. This stunt ready machine is equipped with all the necessary mods to rip up the stunt lot while still being a street legal ride.

Gizmo working on another custom, no doubt a pre-cursor to the B-2 look-a-like.

Built by Gizmo Sanchez of GizmotoHPM, a shop based in San Bernardino, this bike had me at ‘hello.’ This isn’t Gizmo’s first work of art. He’s been in business for four and a half years and has quite a few custom builds under his belt.

Who says motorcycles arn’t for kids? Who knows? Maybe this baby is the next Aaron Colton?

Take a look at this list of accoutrements to compile your grocery list of must-have mods for a stunt bum’s dream machine. Enjoy.

Photo by Maggie Maltbie.

Photo by Maggie Maltbie.

Impact Tech Crash Cage

Stunt Stay

Sub Cage

Round Bar

Brembo brakes

Front hand brake

Brembo dual reservoir

FI Clip Ons

Steel Braided Lines (front and rear)

Photo by Tavares Ashanti

I3 Dual Caliper Set Up

Grip Ace Hand Grips

Custom Cut Zero Gravity Windscreen

GPR Damper

CRG 2-Inch Mirror

HT Moto Stunt seats

Custom Dented Tank with Tank Grip

Jardine Slip On

Stunt driven sprocket kit (54R with a 520 chain)

RSC Easy Pull

Dual HID lights