On our recent Lost On Purpose Tour I met a bunch of incredibly inspiring and talented people, one of which I wanted to talk more about, Carl Bjorkland and his brand Super Rat. Super Rat is a custom, collaboration between two brothers, Carl and Mark Bjorkland, influenced and developed by their love of skateboarding, custom bikes, custom cars and “anything old school, fast and hand-built” when they were growing up. After years of working on their own one-off custom projects the Bjorkland brothers decided to bite the bullet and dive head-first into the world of custom motorcycles, and so Super Rat was born.
After building show-winning motorcycles and being featured in loads of magazines Super Rat honed their ideas and found their calling by building one-off custom projects that not only push the limits of performance and speed, the bikes they hand-craft look damn good too. Which brings me nicely onto their film, Out Of Nothing.
Released back in 2015 I heard about the film from Ant Partridge, then after meeting Carl at The One Moto Show in Portland I wanted to watch it and talk about it on here – spread the word. Out Of Nothing is an inspiring account of Mark and Carl’s journey as they team up with buddies Jason Omer, Bill Woods and head to Bonneville Salt Flats to have a crack at some land speed records. Super Rat build four bikes as a team and head to Utah to take part in the Motorcycle Land Speed Trials where they race them individually.
Bonneville is the history of speed records, the people at the salt flats are enthusiasts, they’re not in it for fame or fortune – they go there to conquer the flats and quench their thirst for speed and the Super Rat race team embody this mentality.
Not only is this story motivating in itself, the documentary in its entirety is a goose bump inducing visual marvel. It’s shot so beautifully; the combination of aesthetics, music and passion is inspiring on another level. Evoking a deep emotion only felt and appreciated by true petrol heads/gear heads, we identify with the story, the reasons behind it and the need to do it. Watching Out Of Nothing also makes you realise that other people have that same determination and “f*cking everything else” attitude. That conflict between having to pay your bills – thus conforming the required amount – and the impulse to spend every penny you don’t have to build your two or four-wheeled dream.
One of many admirable elements to this is the fact that Carl, Mark, Jason and Bill build something out of nothing. They don’t have huge budgets, they all have day jobs to fund their projects and use each other’s skills and resources as a race team to collectively build their creations. The results are bikes that become an extension of their maker; you can look at each bike and get a good idea of the personality behind it.
I truly loved this film, it does a wonderful job of illustrating the magic of Bonneville itself and the community of people who go there. These folks have a different outlook, striving for the exceptional and never settling for average day-to-day life. Making a difference and leaving a mark. The camaraderie, dedication, encouragement and passion they all share brings them together. The fact they go back and take part in this incredible adventure every year really says something about the place, they say they get salt fever and I can easily believe that.
I smiled the whole way through this and personally felt hugely inspired by Out Of Nothing. When you hit a wall, stress gets to you or life simply throws more crap at you – just walk it off and plough on. After building their bikes The Super Rat team only had enough money to physically get them to Bonneville – figuring out the rest once they got there. This attitude represents a greater ethos, if you’re a motorhead, a speed freak, a custom hoon, whatever you’d like to call yourself – then you’ll get it. This film made me want to go to Bonneville, to further challenge myself and push some boundaries, run with an idea we’ve had for a little while and make it happen. So thank you Carl for leaving such an impression when we met in Portland and for creating Out Of Nothing with your friends. I look forward to seeing you all on the salt and experiencing it for myself, I can’t wait to become part of this.
You can see the trailer for Out Of Nothing on the Super Rat site and you can download the film on Amazon – do it! I also highly recommend you follow Carl on Instagram, his videos and build updates are very entertaining.
Screen shots taken from Out Of Nothing, directed by Chad DeRosa.