Two of my boy cousins took me out on a trip to Los Angeles area this past weekend to check out some bike shops. I wasn’t sure if I should take my invitation as a compliment of being the cool cousin or worry about being way too much of “one of dudes” ..Hopefully is the latter.. Anywaaaaays.. My cousins have always been into motorcycles, any type, actually pretty much whatever has a motor that will get out of control and dangerous. And myself, having a twin brother, always got to tag along with the boys and learned to not worry of potentially loosing my life to one of their stunts (thanks for the life lesson kids). So, we drove off from San Diego on Saturday with the sole mission of visiting bike shops and stores and nothing else. I can’t say I get excited about motorcycles, I would love for my boyfriend to have one but me… not so much, but I have to say this was a really fun experience. We drove by a couple of custom building shops and bike stores and the roadtrip itself is always fun but it was unexpectedly interesting, bike building is really an art, the amount of man hours and design that goes into each bike is just crazy. You see the end result and it looks amazing, but if you are able to talk to whomever built it or if you get to be a part of the process you would understand how much more valuable the bike is by all the time and passion invested in the project.
1. Roland Sands Design
Our first stop was Roland Sands Design in Long Beach, CA. Roland Sands is the 1998 AMA 250GP National Champion road racer, an award-winning designer for Performance Machine who recently opened his own shop, which is his actual workshop and storefront for motorcyles, parts and apparel. “Our inspiration comes from a high performance background that blends the love of two wheels with the desire to create unique products. We live the two wheeled life and our crew is a diverse collection of road racers, off-road, dirt track, supermoto and custom bike builders and riders. ” Click on the link above to check out more about the shop and the company.
They have the coolest shop ever!! Check out the pics above.. Though they have not been open for long they have already expanded the shop and have plans for further expansion. We were lucky enough to bump into Andy, who is part of the RSD team and is the coolest guy who was so nice to give us a quick tour of the shop thanks to my bike building cousins 😉 If I ever did get into bikes this would be the place to go, awesome shop, amazing people, quality product. You can also check out an interview with Roland Sands to get a feel of his designs and inspiration below or you can check out Bikers Build off Season 3 episode 4 on Discovery Channel to see the team in action.
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2. Deus Ex Machina
Deus Ex Machina is an australian company that now has flagships in Australia, Los Angeles, Indonesia and Italy focusing not only on custom motorcyles but the culture of riding as a whole, -“doing something is more fun than just owning something. Deus ex Machina is a step bigger than a brand: it’s a culture”. By bringing their designs not only to bikes but surfboards, clothing, film and even cafes. The shop in Venice Beach is amaaaAAzing, it’s one of those stores that you literally want to buy everything (I even wanted to by a motorcycle imagine that). Wether you are into it or not please do check out this place, they have a cool cafe and great products. To read more about the store follow link above.
It is harder to get into the workshop because of liability and what not but you might get lucky enough to get to visit one of their workshops, when builders are in action! If not there is always a little window you can peak through to check out their work area.
Check out the store if you can though, you’ll like it!