See How the Masters Design Custom Motorcycles

Look inside The Build, a new book about the minds and metal of moto geniuses.

bySean Evans|
Motorcycles photo

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Whether you’re creating a beautiful bobber or clean café racer from salvaged parts—or simply appreciate the resulting efforts from those who do—you'll salivate over The Build, coming out in June. This 192-page book is an exploration of how bespoke moto creations come into being, from concept to kickstart and an engaging read enhanced by stunning photography.

The words come from Robert Hoekman Jr., a contributing editor for renowned motorcycle mag Iron and Air. Hoekman tapped five American master builders to elucidate the processes, theories, disciplines and secrets necessary to produce a unique bike. That quintet includes John Ryland (Classified Moto), Alan Stulberg (Revival Cycles), Jared Johnson (Holiday Customs), Jarrod DelPrado (DP Customs), and Max Hazan (Hazan Motorworks). Hoekman weaves their thoughts and wisdom into a book that serves as both motorcycle porn and a schematic for building a breathtaking custom bike.

Octane Press

The preamble includes some education for the uninitiated, explaining the various styles and why “individualism trumps trend," or why you'd want to purchase from a moto master as opposed to a “mass-ufacturer.” For the fledgling custom bike fan, “all you can really do is point at one and say you either like it or not,” Hoekman explains. “A goal for The Build was to help people identify the specifics, putting the right language around it and get them to understand what they’re looking at.”

That’s not to say knowledgeable enthusiasts will find the project cursory. Hoekman gets his subjects to dive deep into the design process and explain the details that set their wares apart from the herds of established suppliers. The tenets of bike design are broken down smartly into simple chapters. For example, “The Bones” includes helpful tips on selecting the perfect donor bike and how to strip it. “Planning” helps readers understand differences between the bone line and the foundation line, how to approach rake and visual weight, and cut-off points. “Details” gets into tires, shocks and whether to buy or build necessary parts. Further chapters deal with engine, performance, painting and whether to chrome or not. No aspect is overlooked.

But enough about the writing. Let’s get to the visual feast of shimmering metal. Ready?

Bike by David Browning, E3 Motorcycles, Octane Press
Bike by Jarrod DelPrado, DP Customs, Octane Press
Octane Press
Bike by Jared Johnson, Holiday , Octane Press
Bike by Max Hazan, Hazan Motorworks, Octane Press
Octane Press
Bike by John Ryland, Classified Moto, Octane Press
Bike by Jared Johnson, Holiday, Octane Press
Octane Press
Bike by Max Hazan, Hazan Motorworks, Octane Press
Bike by Jarrod DelPrado, DP Customs, Octane Press
Bike by John Ryland, Classified Moto, Octane Press
Octane Press