HARDRIDER MOTORCYCLE MAGAZINE

Crafts grows, I need to take all that in and re- construct it into a cohesive ‘look,’ which to me has always been a main guideline for constructing a brand. Wrenchmonkees: We are constantly working on our style, trying to refine our simplicity and designs. Our biggest influence is all kinds of bike builds out there. We love to work out new solutions and ideas, but we also ‘borrow’ design and fabrication solutions that others have spent time developing. It’s difficult to pinpoint what inspires us, everything from nature to man-made designs are inspiring! The ‘Gorilla Punch’ custom motorcycle by WrenchmonkeesFull Size And of course we would love to mention all the idols we have, but the list is long and our tastes are wide: from Valtoron in Spain, Death Spray Customs in the UK and Hidemo in Japan, to Brawny Built in the USA. Is there a motorcycle you wouldn’t dare customize? Or is anything fair game? Stulberg: I’d say most everything is fair game that has been mass produced. I wouldn’t want to disrespect a fine bespoke machine built by anyone and cut it up to suit my tastes, I’d rather start over with my own design that might be ‘inspired by’ instead of ‘taken from’. I would NEVER touch a Moto Guzzi V8 or other storied racing bike—they were made as the manufacturer/builder intended, and to change them in any way is to remove the story that goes along with their racing lineage. Having said all that, I’d REALLY like to take on a Ducati Apollo custom job. Wrenchmonkees: Everything is fair game, no doubt, but there are bikes we wouldn’t mess with to the same extent than we usually do, simply because they are too complicated or pure masterpieces in our minds! Who wouldn’t love to own a factory Ducati 1199 Superleggera? Yeh: It’s all about ability and possibilities—when I see a bike I see the potential of the bike, but it has to go back to the mechanical. Nowadays all performance bikes are built to such a high standard with all the electronics and finest details, if the technology and mechanical aspect is not an issue I think anything is fair game—there’s no bike too cool to custom. Pollock: I’d take a saw to just about anything, although just this year I’ve had to say “no” to two requests. When you transition into building bikes as a business, if something looks like it’s gonna be a ‘time vampire’, it’s best to just say “no” and walk away. People usually come to me having seen what I’ve done in the past, so I don’t get requests for choppers or brat bikes. That said, I’m doing my first bobber and it’s really fun. Won’t be the garden variety though—a little more high tech. The ‘Punisher’ custom by Richard Pollock of Mule MotorcyclesFull Size Hageman: There is absolutely no motorcycle I wouldn’t touch. I do think though, that rare vintage survivors should be left as such. I only modify or alter bikes that are either plentiful or un- restorable. Rogers: We’ve already faced that kind of scenario, we recently completed a ’76 BMW R90S. It’s an iconic machine and Kev and I both felt that chopping it about would be the wrong thing to do. We didn’t even need to have the conversation. Instead, the bike was given a subtle cosmetic overhaul but with significant engine and brake modifications within, we call it a resto-custom. There are different approaches for different machines—we won’t be making a Desmo flat tracker any time soon, but we would give one a makeover that emphasized its existing beauty. What’s the most expensive lesson you’ve ever had to learn? Wrenchmonkees: Plenty of lessons to choose from (see our answer to question #1), but one big lesson is that you should always match your expectations with the client’s, and make sure they know what extent of

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