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Ride, relax and recharge at Schmokin' – a quirky bespoke motorcycle cafe…

If you’ve ever driven down the Old Hume Highway you’ll have wound your way through the picturesque Southern Highlands Village of Berrima. A one-time contender to become Australia’s first inland city (Goulburn claimed that honour), Berrima has become a picture postcard destination that on weekends overflows with Sydneysiders seeking a day-trip fix of country life.

The Australian Alpaca Centre has, for years, been a fixture in the corner of the last building on the left as you exit Berrima to the south. Complete with a couple of corralled alpacas on weekends, it attracted crowds for years, but closed down a while back and the building remained empty. Like all such places, Berrima languished through the deepest Covid days and is only now emerging from its enforced idleness. Given the dire times I was surprised and delighted when recently driving through to find the alpaca shop reborn as Schmokin’ – a quirkily bespoke motorcycle shop and cafe.

Motorcycle lifestyle cafe first and bike shop second, Schmokin’ offers an eclectic range of motorcycles, clothing and e-bikes, in addition to excellent coffee and great food in a chilled and relaxing setting. While the Schmokin’ tagline is Confidence in Comfort, I believe its other motto of Ride, Relax and Recharge is closer to its philosophical core.

As bike shops go, Schmokin’s motorcycle range is pretty limited. Actually, it’s very limited: There’s only one brand – Mutt, which I doubt you’ve ever heard of – and only one bike, a 250 cc ‘scrambler’ in the Steve McQueen mould. Thankfully it comes in a variety of finishes around a common style and it’s really very cool. Made in Birmingham, Mutt design harks back to a simpler time ever though its single cylinder engine is fuel injected and it’s bikes are throughly modern. Built for fun the ‘little’ Mutt is intended to double as a daily rider and weekend dirt road/fire trail machine that’s not happy unless muddy and well used

Mutts are British 250cc scrambler-style bikes combining Steve McQueen cool and retro 60s English styling with modern engineering and come in a range of colours and finishes...

On the e-bike front Schmokin’ sells two brands: Vallkree from Byron Bay and Greasers from Perth. Both are retro-inspired, hand-made machines a million miles away from the Chinese e-bikes flooding the market and both perfectly fit the bespoke philosophy behind the shop.

Valkree and Greaser e-bikes are as individual as the Mutts they sit along side. Hand made in Australia, each is a work of craftsmanship in its own right.

Schmokin’ itself is the midlife crisis of escaped Sydney businessman Martyn Poytress. Swapping the rat-race for Highland’s life when Covid-19 broke out, Martyn originally hails from somewhere around Birmingham in the U.K. In a delicious twist of irony, he only discovered Mutt motorcycles in Sydney, even though he lived just down the road from the factory. However, it seems a match made in Heaven.

Softly-spoken and slightly-reserved Martyn is ably assisted by James, an outgoing and towering Highlands’ local who rides a custom cafe-racer built around an old Yamaha XS650 (the Japanese Bonneville). Together they preside over the bikes and a small range of top quality Clutch-brand riding gear while the cafe staff look after things culinary.

Motorbikes, flowers, lounges, great coffee and fab food help make Schmokin' unique...

Schmokinis open cafe hours from Thursday to Sunday and you can find them at shop 7-9, 1 Market Place, Berrima (opposite the park). Mutt, Vallkree and Greaser bikes are available for test rides and for those looking for something different, Martyn is putting together e-bike cycling packages taking in local wineries and restaurants, or with a picnic hamper. Check out the iMotorhome Magazine Youtube channel soon for a look around this unique establishment and be sure to stop by when in Berrima. It’s not your usual bike shop or cafe, it’s Schmokin’ – and that’s the attraction…

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