Contributors Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles, Alan Stulberg of Revival Cycles and Greg Hageman of Hageman Motorcycles. Also Tim Rogers of Spirit of the Seventies in the UK, Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts in Taiwan, and the legendary Wrenchmonkees crew in Copenhagen: Nicholas Bech and Per Nielsen. What advice would you give to anyone considering a career as a custom motorcycle builder? Pollock: Like anything else, start with the basics by working on bikes at a shop. It’s tough to start out just “building custom bikes” when the basic engineering, parts location, tuning—not to mention making a bike ridable and safe—is where a bike build really should start. Web Surfer by Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles.Full Size It’s much more romantic to call yourself a custom motorcycle builder than a mechanic, but don’t skip over the basics—there’s a huge time investment up front that you need to be willing to make. Also, the current design trend of just removing parts, wrapping the pipes and painting everything flat black is kind of a cheat. Designing parts that have to function and actually be installed back ONTO the bike. That’s what separates the men from the boys. Hageman: My advice for new builders: as long as you have the passion, and understand it’s no easy road, you can do it. I’ve been building for years and still just get by. There are so many other things to do to achieve success besides just building bikes— promotion is huge and media coverage is a must to survive. Rogers: I’ll never forget a successful photographer preaching a dispiriting sermon to us at art college back in the 90s. “Look around, most of you won’t make it,” was the upbeat message. If you’ve got time on your side, a desire to learn, an aptitude, and most importantly, passion, you have every chance of having a fulfilling career. Spirit of the Seventies ‘S7’ custom motorcycleFull Size If you want to work with others find the best, be proactive, be polite, and be persistent. If you already have a successful career, a young family and a fat mortgage, stay where you are and commission a bike from the guys who need your business! Yeh: Stay hungry, keep studying, stay up to date, and know what’s happening and what today’s standard of quality and technology is, so that you know where you stand. Also understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses—make the most of your strengths and figure out how to hide your weaknesses. Stulberg: Even though I ultimately committed to taking this hobby/ passion seriously and not going back to a ‘real’ job, I can’t say it was a pondered decision between some other direction and THIS. For me (and Stefan, my partner in Revival), it was simply an inevitability that we accepted as something we had to try. Nobody knew, especially us, that we’d actually end