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Tamara Bell

Inside the workshop of a model-turned-motorbike-riding entrepreneur

Tamara Bell is making a case for a return to retro bike culture

Since it was founded in 1956, iconic eyewear brand Carrera has always focused on living life on the edge – it literally takes its name from one of the most dangerous road races in history. To champion this spirit, they are launching a new series, titled #DriveYourStory, showcasing six boundary-pushing individuals who challenge society’s ideas of normality. Undisputed free spirits, they push themselves and those around them to achieve what they want to.  

The first chapter features motorcyclist Tamara Bell, a former model and entrepreneur who, aside from starting her own clothing label in 2015, works on Assembly London, a custom motorcycle show.

If you hadn’t already guessed, Tamara likes bikes. Aged three, she asked for a motorcycle for Christmas, and while she might not have gotten what she wanted then, she did eventually manage it. She started riding as a teenager – without the knowledge or approval of her parents – mainly hitting the streets of London at night, seeing where the road took her.

Since the first taste of her own personal brand of freedom, Bell has learnt not just how to be a better rider, she also knows how to maintain and build her own bikes, finding peace in the old school mechanical nature of engines. Her first bike, a matte black Yamaha SR125, left her with a love for older bikes, the romance and nostalgia of bikes from the 60s and 70s, and the culture that comes with them – learning how they work and how to maintain them due to their inclination to break more frequently. To Tamara, the process of working on a bike, meticulously checking every detail and being able to maintain it on a long journey is the ultimate reward.

We caught up with Bell in her East London workshop as she prepared herself and her bike for an afternoon ride. Watch the video – directed by Jess Kohl — below to see what happened.

Following Bell, five more groundbreaking individuals will be sharing their stories, so watch this space. Find out more about Carrera’s #DriveYourStory campaign here.