1971 DKW 125GS

The 1971 DKW 125GS is a street-legal dirt bike made of nearly entirely after-market parts with a 125cc engine. Modified with directionals, tail lights and a head lamp to make it street legal, this dirt bike is a noisy, rumbling presence on New York City's streets. With a top speed of only 65 MPH this old dirt bike won't be outracing sports cars any time soon, but in the congested traffic of New York City its small size and maneuverability as well as its intention for off-road use allows it to get places most cars and motorcycles could not, like the Ruins of Midtown.


For years this dirt bike sat rusting outside of the Lighthouse on Staten Island, partially swallowed by an area of tall saltgrass. Even after Brian Fulk began the orphanage that operated there, the old and non-functional bike was a wayward piece of trash, destined to be thrown out. When it came time for then Lighthouse volunteer Colette Nichols to round up scrap and garbage outside of the Lighthouse during a clean-up effort, she found herself drawn to this battered old vehicle.

Showing an interest in not just junking the bike, Colette was given permission by Brian to try fixing it up herself as something of a life-lesson about the value of seemingly worthless things. With a helping hand from Brian, Colette spent the better part of an entire summer in 2009 salvaging new parts from junkyards across New Jersey and New York and when the repairs became both too complicated for her and Brian, she turned to finding aid outside of her comfort zone.

Anarchy Customs was a location in the Rookery Colette had seen in passing, though never once imagined she'd ever be in on her own. Here she requested help on fixing the dirt bike, but instead found a tutor willing to teach her the ins and outs of mechanical repair in Devi Ezell. Taught both how to maintain and repair the dirt bike as well as how to ride the old clunker in the rough terrain of Staten Island, Devi was instrumental in the final steps Colette took to getting the bike up and running and making it a trustworthy means of transportation.

The 1971 DKW was Colette's main method of transportation up and down every end of New York City and New Jersey in her work for the Alley Cat Courier Service and her transporter job for the Ferrymen.

In 2011 she rode her DKW to upstate New York in an ill-fated attempt to rescue her father. It has not been seen since.

1971 DKW 125GS

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