El Solitario is very honored to present you this new and exciting idea coming from the antipodes by a guy we secretly admired. When we received the first news that our friend Matt Darwon aka: “Matt Machine” from Australia was starting a new magazine we were certain that the final package would be something out of the box. Matt was a succesful architect until he became frustrated with the infinite contratints & forced conditions you need to observe when dealing with this building apparatus. So when opportunity showed he moved away from the city and started doing what he loved most… You bet… Motorcycles!@#$ Matt is now a talented builder, passionate engineer and has been mastering the classic and custom motorcycle for many years. The long hours spent in his garage wrenching motors have given him the ability to carefully fall for the smallest details, hunting the beauty in them. This is probably where the idea to start a new kind of magazine came from. This new mag would insist in focusing on just one bike per issue and that would be the formula. This Issue, No.1 one will talk about the iconic 900SS Ducati. And the texts by Paul D’Orleans is also another reason to not miss this opportunity.

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In Matt’s own words:

Hey, I’m not really sure where the whole “machine files” thing will eventually go, but I suppose, if I write a little piece about where it has come from, and a bit about where I hope it will go, it might give me a better idea of what I should be working towards and focusing on, as well as giving you some background on the matter.

I suppose, my love of machinery, and in particular motorcycles and cars started when I was very young spending time with my father, our relatives, and our friends in garages listening to these men talk about cars and motorcycles and trucks and working on these vehicles and using their tools to do it.
I bought my first car when I was very young. 13. From that time on I had a thirst for knowledge of how to do work to this car. How to do mechanical things, how to do stuff concerning bodywork, and generally how to do anything that would save me having to get someone else to do something that would cost me money. Money I didn’t have.
When I bought my first motorbike when I was 18, a 45ci Harley Davidson that was in pieces, I started this learning process all over again. 25 years later I’m still learning, still with a thirst for knowledge. About 5 years ago, I started a blog about what I was doing in my shed, what I was trying to learn about and over the years I had hundreds of responses to my work, to questions I posed, and it became clear and obvious to me that the nuances, the intricate details of being involved in the rebuilding/modification of old machinery were slowly getting harder to seek out. What I began to fear was that the knowledge would be lost. The knowledge that time with the machine, whatever that machine is, can give, and more importantly the knowledge that has been passed between man to man, father to son, master to apprentice.

I’ve owned many vehicles in my life. I’ve tried to always do right by the vehicle during the time it was in my possession. In a custodian sort of way I suppose. I don’t necessarily think every vehicle should be restored to its original specifications, I think that a custom vehicle can be just as important a vehicle as a concourse restoration or a vehicle in completely original condition.
When I say important, I mean as a marker, as a reflection of life, and trends, and techniques and ultimately of the world at any particular time.

The world moves so quickly these days. New advances in technology every minute of every day. The modern world is mostly centered around feeding our brains with snippets or small parts of what is supposedly important in the hope that we can grasp enough of the parts to make up the whole. Where I think this may be true for certain aspects of the modern world, I don’t think it holds true for the understanding of machinery, especially the techniques used to build and maintain machinery, and I am 100% sure that it does not satisfy the curiosity of many people who really want to delve into the intricacies of building or using machines.

So, The Machine Files is a reaction to this world of fast processing, of getting the answers to every question by simply typing the question in a search engine, and is more about reversing this so that our attention is dedicated to a single item or machine, so that we stop and really dedicate ourselves to understanding and learning.

I have started this website and the first issue 001 very simply, somewhat understated and basic in format, to allow room to move and shift, and really organically grow the product with each issue. I’m hoping we will very quickly be able to go into limited edition print copies and that we can very soon include video documentation as a supplement to the online and printed material.
If you would like to contact me to discuss anything or make a suggestion or even to put forward a motorcycle you feel is appropriate as a feature please email
Thanks for your time.
Matt Machine

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