The 2018 GEICO Hot Bike Tour starts in a little over a month and we thought we’d profile each of the invited builders as we lead up to the big event. Our first victim is Bryan Schimke of TPJ Customs.
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What’s your favorite type of bike?
Something that can get abused and go long distance. Something you can just ride and have a good time on.
What are you currently building?
For the tour, a scrambler-style Sportster you can mash highway miles on too. Fits having fun on.
The one bike you wish you’d never sold?
The bike I did for my buddy, Mark. It’s the one I’d want back. It was my bike from the tour three years ago. Orange tank, new-age chopper. My favorite Softail frame I’ve ever done. Just an awesome bike to ride.
What was your first bike?
What is your all-time favorite bike?
That’s a tie between that blue bike Leonor we did and Mable, the little Buell I did that looks raw. They’re just total opposites that are so much fun to ride.
Why did you choose to work in the motorcycle industry?
Because I was an idiot and didn’t like money (laughs). From being a kid and seeing motorcycles, I loved them. I remember going through Sturgis at age 13 and seeing them. I took my dirt bike apart so much that I could do it comfortably, then friends asked me to do the same for them, and eventually I started doing it for money.
What do you think the future of the motorcycle industry is?
I hope it goes back to what it was 10 years ago when there were more respected craftsman making bikes by hand. There’s value in that service. That’s why I’m excited to see Cole Foster on the list for this year’s Hot Bike Tour. He’s the reason I started doing what I do.
What inspires you?
Attention to detail, craftsmanship, and cleanliness. Whatever genre I’m building in, I want to take the extra time to make it look simple, also.
For info on the 2018 Hot Bike Tour, click here.