Being a motorcycle shop owner and builder is most often a stressful balancing act between deadlines, bills and trying to keep customers happy. One of the benefits, however, is getting the opportunity to travel to motorcycle shows around the world and meet other motorcycle builders who share the same maddening passion as me. It somehow grounds me and makes me feel slightly more normal.
In 2010, I met Danny from Hardnine Choppers in Las Vegas, Nevada as we were both invited builders for the Artistry In Iron motorcycle show. We shared a similar passion for motorcycles and very easily formed a good friendship. Over the last few years we kept in contact and ended up at many of the same motorcycle shows, our favorite being the Moto Bike Expo in Verona, Italy. It was there that we came up with the idea to build a bike together.
Collaborating on a bike build was something I had never done before. Ever since opening my shop in Los Angeles, California, I have always worked alone. It’s hard to find someone who shares the same standards and work ethic that I hold myself to. I found it easier to work by myself and this way if I screwed up, I only had myself to blame.
As Danny and I discussed the idea more, it became a challenge that started to grow on me. The deal was sealed once we convinced our mutual friend and painter Buck, from Buckwild Brand, to join the build. I knew that working with these two amazingly talented guys could only produce something incredible.
Honestly, I was a bit nervous about the design of the bike. Danny and myself have very unique but different styles. There was a lot of compromise and give and take. I’m used to my method and he’s used to his method. It’s not that one’s idea is better or worse than the other, it’s the difficulty of collaborating so that both of our styles are visible in the bike. We both put in a lot of hard working hours and Danny flew back and forth from Switzerland numerous times to build the bike at my shop in Los Angeles. Even with the difficulties, this was by far the most fun I have had building a bike. Danny and I share a very strong work ethic but more importantly we share a great sense of humor. We had so much fun talking smack and making fun of each other that it made the build easy and pleasant.
Once the mock up of the bike was complete, we sat down with Buck to discuss the paint. We knew we wanted a paint scheme that stood out and was unique, but at the same time we wanted Buck’s design style to shine through as well, after all, this was a collaboration of the three of us. It was no surprise at all when we saw the amazing paint job that Buck laid down. The guy is a true artist to the full extent and he put the icing on the cake with his sensational paint.
It’s hard to believe that less than a year ago this collaborative build was just an idea betwix a few friends. The end product turned out more fantastic than any of us dreamed it could. I feel lucky to have worked alongside such talented guys and I feel honored to call them great friends. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.