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Wrenchmonkees :: Damn, These Danes Can Design

By September 3, 2013Interviews, Motorcycles

Hailing from Copenhagen, the Wrenchmonkees are one of the most influential custom motorcycle builders around. I caught up with co-founder Nicholas Bech to discuss their design philosophy, and to find out what drives these Danes to create some of the most ruggedly-handsome bikes on the planet. (Yes, I used handsome and bikes in the same sentence).

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“We don’t want to do the same bike twice. And that’s mainly just because we want to keep ourselves active with the design and aspects of doing these bikes, and trying to figure out what kinds of bikes people are riding in different styles.”
– nicholas bech

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the Wrenchmonkees?
Per and I started together with a third party in 2008 after doing bikes with each other for like 10 years. We’d done mostly old bikes, but more modern bikes like off-roaders we transformed into, and we starting building race bikes and Kawasaki 7X7s and 750s into street-fighters. But we got kind of bored…it was too futuristic. So eventually we started thinking, what can we do if we just want to build bikes and we don’t have a big budget, what kind of bikes? And we discussed it a lot. We tried bikes that were really cheap, even bikes that people didn’t consider a nice bike. The first challenge we put up was to make three nice bikes out of three ordinary bikes that nobody really cares about. We got them really cheap and started converting those, and one step led to the other, and we went to a bike show here in Denmark and the response was very positive. And we said, ok, let’s keep up and gave it a year. If nothing happened or we didn’t have any interest, we would just go back to doing it for fun. But eventually the bikes were sold, and we got more and more interest from people and from media, and the English magazine Bike Performance, they came and did an interview and did some photo shooting the whole weekend. And yeah, things just evolved pretty quick. So it wasn’t really like a big plan, it was just us doing what we wanted to do. And within a year-and-a-half, Per and I worked full-time with the company.

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How did the Yamaha project (Monkeefist) come about?
Yamaha wrote us an email. Well, the Yamaha European headquarters have a guy who’s pretty active about trying to get involved with the whole scene of these Japanese custom bikes. It started with an experiment with Roland Sands, Ludovic Lazareth and Marcus Walz. monkee-fist-front I think it just evolved quicker than they expected, and the publicity was good. So, well, basically they just needed to find someone else to do the same, and I think they’re trying to have many others to do it in the coming years. So, Yamaha contacted us and asked if we would like to try out with this. And we had to think about it, because we knew it was going to be stressful, but it was also very fun just to dig into a brand new bike. So we took the challenge.

What were the main challenges in this build, and was it harder than doing an older bike?
All the electricity, and all the EFI, all the fuel injection systems, all the sensors that you have on a new bike, we had to figure out how to remove all of these. That was some of the biggest challenges. And then again, you know, we had to keep some of the modern technology to make it a modern bike. So they put on a lot of plastic to cover a lot of brackets and small sensors and small electric engines that controls everything. We had to plan out how to make these small things mechanically beautiful. So that was some of the challenges we found. But basically the bike is the same as, you know, we’ve done a lot of Kawasaki Z1000s, and basically it’s the same kind of bike, the same frame, the same engine. So it’s just trying to clean up everything and make it more mechanically and less plastic.

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How much time do you think you spent on the Monkeefist?
We’ve discussed it, and I think that including, you know, solid work and the CNC milling, we used around, and then again most of it is prototyping, I think we spent around 450 hours, something like that.

Oh, wow. That’s a shit load of hours.
Yeah. [Laughing]

 

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So now that you’ve done this, are you thinking you might do some parts for Yamaha? Is that sort of where this might go?
The thing is that we’re going to try to – right now we’re looking for some partners in the parts industry. We have some meetings, and the plan is to get the stuff we did for this Yamaha into maybe into production, and that’s the engine covers, what else, the seat cover, the headlight, the handlebar, and foot pegs. We made brand new controls for that as well, foot controls. So that’s basically some of the bigger parts that we want to put into production. But it’s, you know – we want this one to have all the parts we wanted, the European, the German …and it’s a process that we have to go through if we want to sell this as legal parts.

And you’ve been getting good response from the results as well around the world…
Yeah, we do. We get a lot of emailing right now. Because Yamaha had told people [laughing] that we were going to put this into production, and we would like to do it, but you know, it’s a lot of money and we have to use a lot of time. It’s really time-consuming, and right now we just have to work on the bikes that we’re doing in the garage because we have to pay for bills. We have a lot of projects coming up that we need to focus on at the same time.

What are the good and bad things of owning your own business?
[Laughing] Oh, shit. Well, the good thing is you are your own boss. I actually never tried anything else. So for me, it’s really natural. But the good thing is that you do this for whatever keeps you going. It’s the passion, it’s the fun. You go to bed with a smile, and wake up next morning and thinking about getting back to work. So that’s the really short version of it. It can of course be very stressful…but I think it’s basically just a thing you can do whenever you want to, and try to evolve your personality as well in this company, and seeing it evolve into something you like. That’s what keeps us going.

NICHOLAS BECH

NICHOLAS BECH

You’re a graphic designer and photographer as well. How does your aesthetic transfer over to bike building?
I don’t know, I think it’s just my nature. I think it’s all the influence that comes from our surroundings and the things we’ve done, and the things I’ve done in the past. My personal interest also, together with Per’s, and all the guys helping out here, all our interests influencing the bikes and the things we do. So it’s become like, a part of us. If I had to do all of this myself it would probably look different. So it’s a mix, it’s like a good dish. You put different ingredients into it and it comes out.

So speaking of ingredients, what is a good ingredient when it comes to sizing up a bike that comes into the shop for the first time?
Actually, the thing is we generally take out all the ingredients we don’t like, and then we figure out what to replace using wheels, and that’s basically how we do every time. When a client comes in, we don’t have a plan. Normally we talk about what the client likes, what kind of wheel sizes. We try to figure out in our minds what would be a good combination to give this bike. So the bikes are always just evolving in the workshop. We don’t have a plan from the beginning. We have some hints from the client, and that’s it.

How do you work that out with a client, like this is what I want, this is perhaps what we can’t do? How do you come to an agreement?
Of course there are some height issues – how tall are you, where are you going to drive the bike? Are you going to drive it in Africa, are you going to drive it in Rome, or whatever? What’s your height? What’s your weight? Are you going to have a person or is it going to be a solo bike? You know, we discuss that with the client and if they have any special issues they want, any demands, and we try to evolve from that. But basically we tell people that we want oversight in 80% of the project. They have to look in our portfolio and see if they like what we do, and they will get a special bike.

So now that you’re known and people come to you, is it easier to tell your story of what your bikes are about?
Well, yeah, basically, most of our clients come to us because they’ve seen our bikes and they just want our vision. And also, I think it’s also maybe it’s just spread – that we’re just going to do what we like. I think people see that as a surprise…as a part of the whole…ordering a bike here…the whole excitement of waiting for this bike, that you actually don’t really know what it’s going to end up looking like. So that’s part of the game for some people.

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Have you shipped any bikes to the United States?
No, not in the States. I think the bikes, compared to our salary here, in Denmark it’s too high compared to the United States. So we haven’t actually sold anything to the States. I think most of the time, when people ask they come back and say it’s a bit too expensive, and also the fact that it’s very difficult to get an old used bike in the United States, to get them through pollution control. So I think that maybe with the Yamaha project, it could be possible to do something, but the old bikes, it’s very, very difficult.

But most parts of the rest of the world, we’ve sold bikes mostly in Europe, but also to Africa – Senegal, and Mauritania, and Dubai, and actually right now we’re building one for a guy in East Timor. So, it’s spreading around. We have a lot of people asking from South Africa, and then all the way up north to Finland.

So Wrenchmonkees is worldwide now.
Yeah, yeah. 80-85% of our bikes goes out of Denmark.

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“You don’t have to be worried about scratching your bike. You don’t have to be worried about it if gets, you know, dirty. Actually ride it, that’s what it’s made for. We love to make it look differently, but you should also be able to ride it. That’s what it’s all about in the end.”

 

What’s the motorcycle scene like in Copenhagen?
It’s evolving. You know, when you say “custom bikes,” anybody here in Denmark, it’s Harley Davidson, you know, that’s “custom bike.” Until we started presented something else. But basically that’s been custom bikes in Denmark. And then we have a big scene in commuters. But you can actually only ride for, if you’re hardcore you ride for five months of the year. It’s getting too cold, and the traffic here, especially here in Copenhagen, when it’s cold and it’s slippery outside, it’s dangerous to drive bikes with the cars in the streets at the same time. So the scene here is very, you know, commuter bikes. And then we have the big scene here in Copenhagen which is evolving around us as a – it’s pretty small, so all the bikers, all the young bikers, and all the bikers that have a lot style like we do, like part of a big friends group, you know. We more or less learn to know each other, one by one. So it’s not really big, but it’s evolving.

Overall, what is the detail that you spend, or you feel that you spend the most time on your bikes, refining and defining?
I don’t know if there’s one specific detail. I think, most of the time it’s trying to get the engine working as good as possible within the budget we’re given, and then getting the whole look, the lines of the bike to look right. So we use a lot of energy trying to figure out the tire size, wheel size, what the suspension we need to put on the bike. Well, refining, I don’t know. It’s difficult to say because mostly it just evolves with the bikes. So I think we used to use a lot of energy on renovating carburetors. But we’ve come to the conclusion that we really don’t want to be in the mode of just having to reshape the carburetors of most of the bikes because they’re worn down. So we used to use a lot of energy in refining carburetors, but that’s also in the past. I think it’s overall design issues and figuring out how to make this as ride-able within the demands, it’s like say, what kind of tires does the client want.

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So as far as the ride, is there a certain thing that you’re looking for in the ride of a Wrenchmonkee, or does it still come down to talking to the customer, what they sort of want from the bike?
I think it’s that we have certain ideas that we’re trying to – I have ideas, Per has ideas, and we get inputs from all kinds of places. We’re just evolving with things we want to try, things we want to solve. So I think it’s not, I think it’s just a constant evolving for us.

You just keep working on it.
We don’t want to do the same bike twice. And that’s mainly just because we want to keep ourselves active with the design and aspects of doing these bikes, and trying to figure out what kinds of bikes people are riding in different styles. So we made an off-roader out of a sportster, and it was pretty fun to ride. From the beginning, we didn’t have any expectations about the bike, and when it came to our garage it was a stand-out, sharper kind of bike. And it was much more fun, even though we didn’t do anything about the engine, we left the engine as it was. And it was much more fun to ride when it went out because of the whole precision. Everything was more aggressive when it came, and that made the whole feeling. It’s also about feelings, like the newer Yamaha, the whole engine is rubber-mounted and you can’t actually feel the bike. You can’t feel the engine running when you sit on the bike. And we discussed it, and we didn’t have time to do it, but we talked about removing all the rubber mounting and doing some solid mounts, just to actually feel the bike, to give it a more old-school feeling that you were riding this beast. So that’s the stuff we’re talking about sometimes that it would be fun to – it’s always about, you know, jumping onto this animal and feel you are riding the bike.

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So, what bike do you have and ride?
I have a Honda CB750, I actually can’t remember the number. I think we called it Monkee 44.

 

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Did the bike choose you, or did you choose the bike?
Actually, a combination. It was an old guy. I sold all my bikes last year and I didn’t have any bikes. And an old guy came to the shop and, you know, he had a sad story and he just wanted to sell his bikes. I ended up buying his bike really cheap and started renovating that, but it was just to get it rideable. But this year we went to a trip through Europe, and just for the fun of it, I spent the last month before we left, I spent a lot of time, I just wanted to do something that was – I didn’t want to put a lot of money into the parts, but I spent a lot of time building it. So I kind of chose it, and it also kind of chose me. It was a coincidence, and also the way I built it, it was a coincidence because mainly it was just parts we had lying around. So it had to built cheap and also show some of the stuff I like. It was a fun process. It actually went from one thing to another thing, to a third thing. So I used a lot of time to make it look like that.

How many bikes have you owned in your lifetime, do you think?
Not much. I think around six bikes, something like that.

And of all those bikes, what was your favorite bike?
Well, all of that depends, but just for riding around, just for the fun in the city, which is mostly what we do know, I have a Kawasaki KLR 600, which was an off-roader. And I changed the wheels, and that was a pretty easy bike just to ride around, and that was fun. But then also again I also had a Sportster, a ’58 Sportster, which is really funny because it’s difficult and different to ride it. It had its own life, so you had to treat it well, otherwise it wouldn’t ride you around. So I’m not really, you know, I don’t have favorite bikes. It’s more, you know, I ride them, and then I want to try something else. And that’s also part of, you know, doing this whole business. It’s that we get to try a lot of stuff that we wanted to do, we get to try bikes that we wanted to build, and also see if it works the way we want it to work. It’s not always about the bike. But I would definitely say the Kawasaki off-roader was the best bike just for overall purpose. Yeah…it was really good. So I would pick different bikes for different things. If I wanted to go on a trip, I would pick one kind of bike, and if I wanted to drive fast, I would pick another kind of bike.

The Honda I have right now, which I rode all the way down through Europe, it was fun. It was really a good bike to ride. Even though a lot of people had written us and told me you cannot ride a bike like that for that far. But it was really easy, and I was surprised as well. But I just had to try it, and it worked out well.

“In the beginning we spent 200% more hours than we got paid for, and over the years we’ve figured out how to, you know, evolve with the technique that we’re using. And now it’s more like, it’s part of us. We can’t do this without each other. It’s like we’ve become one, Per and I, with the bikes.”
– nicholas

Are there any new bikes that you would try, if it landed on your doorstep? Is there anything out there nowadays that you would want to ride?
[Laughing] Well, there’s many bikes, but some of the bikes I’m thinking about, it’s not the style of bike that we usually do here. But I think it would be fun to have a Ducati, one of the bigger bikes, the super-bikes. Or I would love to…

Would you keep it as is, or what would you do to a Ducati if it landed on your doorstep?
You know, I would keep it as it is.

Hmm, interesting…you wouldn’t change a thing?
I think something like the 999. I would keep it as it is because I love the, you know, they made it with a purpose, and I think they solved that very well. It’s a well-designed bike, and it has a nice – everything is great about it. And that’s, the reason I say this, is because that’s a bike I’m never going to own, because in Denmark it’s really expensive to buy a bike like that. But I also would love to own like a big Super Glide Harley Davidson, something like that, just for the fun of it. I would love to own an old Knucklehead. I would love to own – yeah, I had a Kawasaki Z1000, I would love to have one of those again. But if we’re talking about the new bikes, I would definitely say something like a really sporty, well-designed sports bike.

Of the guys that you do know out there in your community of custom bike-builders, be it in Europe or in the U.S., who do you sort of look at and say, wow, these guys are doing it right?
All kinds, actually. I think Japanese companies like Hidemo. They have a good mixture of the clean lines, and they only do Harley Davidson, but I also think that they have…not a traditional Harley Davidson look. I think there’s a Spanish company, Cream Motorcycles. I think they’ve evolved into something interesting, because they’re very clean and very polished, and I think they have some very good ideas. Also Classified Moto, and you know, El Solitario from Spain.

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El Solitario produce some really epic bikes. What I really find interesting about El Solitario is that they get on their bikes and ride them hard…and they don’t worry so much if something’s perfect. I think that’s what I appreciate most about your aesthetic as well…a certain perfection about imperfection.
Yeah. Yeah, we use a lot of energy on that.

It’s got to have some character…that just comes from the knowledge that you’ve got to have a little bit of wear and tear on stuff to make it look good.
Exactly, exactly. Yeah.

I feel like if I were to, scratch-up one of your bikes on a ride…that it would be perfectly ok. I could ride around with it and I wouldn’t have to worry too much about it. I’d bring it into the shop two weeks later and have you guys look at it.
That’s also some of our…what do you call it, philosophy. You don’t have to be worried about scratching your bike. You don’t have to be worried about it if gets, you know, dirty. Actually ride it, that’s what it’s made for. We love to make it look differently, but you should also be able to ride it. That’s what it’s all about in the end.

I read someplace that Shinya Kimura is an influence.
Well, actually I think that was one of the reasons why I basically myself got interested in old bikes, because I saw that they could become, like, even though you didn’t have a very well-proportioned bike, you could get it like a sculpture. I bought his book ten years ago, something like that, when I saw it in a custom show. I bought that book instantly, and I followed him in a sense. I think it’s art, his stuff is art, and it would be fun to do, but it’s, yeah – basically just for the art, I would love to do stuff like that one day. Also, it seems like he’s a very friendly guy, and he’s very passionate about what he does. It doesn’t seem like he’s in it for the money, it’s just because he loves doing what he’s doing. It seems more like, to me, a personal interest for him.

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So I don’t know if you knew this, but we have some questions from our Megadeluxe followers. So, Harsh from Mumbai, India asks, how has the Wrenchmonkees’ style of building bikes evolved over the years? Are the bikes an extension of your personality, or the motorcycle’s?
I think from the beginning it had to be an extension of our personality. It was like a combination of what we wanted to do. And most of the bikes are made with the same, as we just talked about, it’s made because we wanted to do it. And in the beginning we spent 200% more hours than we got paid for, and over the years we’ve figured out how to, you know, evolve with the technique that we’re using. And now it’s more like, it’s part of us. We can’t do this without each other. It’s like we’ve become one, Per and I, with the bikes. If something really, really has to be successful, we have some things that we have to go through with each other. But we also know, I know if I suggest this, I have to fight for it because that’s probably not what Per wants to do, but I have to tell him that this has to be on the bike because, you know, I have to be prepared. And that’s part of – it’s like a marriage. We have to discuss things, but we automatically already know what the other party is going to say about it. But we also respect the other because, you know, without the twists we won’t get the results done the right way.

“I wanted to do something that people can discuss, whether they like it or they hate it. I actually really don’t care, because it’s really more important that you don’t drown in the conformity.”

So how are you different from Per?
Per is much more technical than I am. Per is much more into solving technical problems, and figuring out how to do something different and trying out new stuff. Where I’m more naive on the technical, but I’m way more into the visual, and I’m trying more to be like…I wanted to do something that people can discuss, whether they like it or they hate it. I actually really don’t care, because it’s really more important that you don’t drown in the conformity.

So it’s all about not repeating yourself in some ways, and not repeating something that’s been done out there to the point where it’s a cliché.
Yeah.

Tony of Redmond, Washington asks – which build do you consider quintessential Wrenchmonkee?
I would say that it’s difficult because, you know, most of the bikes we made…we made it at a time that we thought it was the right thing to do for this bike. So it’s, I can’t really pick one out. I would say that a bike that we both kind of like, it’s more like the Kawasaki 750s, the 370s, those have been the bikes that we’ve loved the most because everything is like, especially there are so many possibilities with that bike. The engine is difficult but we worked out how to work with that and work with the calibration stuff. It’s a good overall bike. So I would go for like a model, saying that a Wrenchmonkee bike is really a Z750. But style-wise, you know, it’s difficult because we love so much, you know, so many different styles, and it’s always like a new canvas that you can try something new. We just have to, and it’s not because – the look of the bike is actually more or less always a coincidence. We have like a color scheme that we always like, and that’s very dark. And sometimes with a bit of color. So it’s not really difficult to, you know, we don’t focus on that too much. Sometimes we try to do something completely new, like a high-class tank. And we’ve done stuff sometimes just because we thought it looked, yeah, not right.

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So looking through your portfolio, it’s really interesting to see that most of them are Japanese bikes. How many Japanese bikes can there possibly be in Denmark?
[Laughing] Because we pay a lot of taxes on bikes, on vehicles. We pay 180% on top of the factory price. So that’s why a lot of the old bikes have been kept alive for years and years and years, because people can’t afford to buy new bikes all the time. So, the whole motorcycle, what we call it, there are so many, so many Japanese bikes here because people kept them alive, and we have a lot of companies importing spare parts for these bikes. So it’s pretty easy here to maintain the old bikes. Of course, some of them, if they haven’t been a popular bike it can difficult to get the parts. But most of the bigger, popular bikes, it’s pretty easy to get the parts for them. But basically it’s because of the taxes, we pay too much taxes on bikes.

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When I see your all’s work, I’m always struck by the variation of your builds, occasionally you’ve done a Ducati, you’ve done a Harley, a BMW. Right now I’m looking at the Ducati #20…how did that bike come about?
Actually it was a friend of ours who had that bike, and he just didn’t want to ride it anymore. And he just said to us, well can you do something interesting with it? I’ll pay the parts, and let’s try to sell it afterwards. And like a lot of other times, we took the challenge, and just tried to figure out what to do with this big frame, and this big tank, to make it look something completely out of the normal Ducati universe. So yeah, that was how it started.

And the paint, I mean it’s, the paint job is really – was it red? What color was it when it was delivered to you?
Yeah, it was red.

So you stripped it all down, took it, and it looks like you painted the metal, or the frame itself, or did you do something else?
Everything is more or less painted. The frame, the engine colors, the tank. We cut down the tank to make it more flat, and everything got painted. And I can’t remember, I think we changed the trimmings for something else. Again, it was all about stripping it down. But due to the rules in Denmark, because the bike is a newer bike, we had to put the signals and a speedometer on it. So, it was also fun just to see how do we solve this problem. Because in Denmark, if the bike is before I think it’s 1996…it doesn’t need to have the signals and you don’t need to have the speedometer. So that’s also why some of the bikes we make here, it looks like they’re very stripped down, but actually it’s legal to do it like that.

GORILLA PUNCH  

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The first bike of yours that caught my attention was the Gorilla Punch. And I don’t know if you have a story about that, but it’s one of those bikes that I always see pop up again and again. It looks new, it looks classic. But it couldn’t have been that easy to go in and redo all of this…
It was the first challenge bike that we did for, we have here in Denmark, we have something called the Museum of Art and Technology, I think. They asked us to do a bike for a motorcycle exhibition that they were going to run for I think it was three months, telling about the evolution in bikes and engines, and they ended up with, you know, custom scene. So they also had at the show some very classic choppers. They wanted us to show what the huge custom bikes would look like. And actually it was the same, we started this company in January and in February they asked us. So they pretty quick to discover us, and we had like two and a half months to do it. So in the beginning the bike was more or less just a fun project, and it didn’t run in the beginning. We just found an old Honda and we had some parts, and everything evolved really quick. I had some ideas because I really loved the covers from the old Harley police motorcycles, and we had different kinds of parts we loved, and liked to put on a bike. And we just said, well let’s just try to figure out how to put all these parts together on one bike and make it something from the past and something from the future, and something that is possible to do here in Denmark.

So everything was kind of a coincidence, but also thought through. And when we got the bike back, we spent some time just trying to make it run. We didn’t even know if it was even going to be able to steer it with those wheels and the extended rear. We tested it and figured out it was ok to ride. So it was a coincidence but it was just a design studio that we accepted because somebody asked us to do it.

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Looking at the detail of your bikes…there’s really nothing shiny about your bikes, and yet they have a sheen to them. I think to myself: these guys really spend a lot of time deciding colors and texture.
We do. I think that’s a part of what makes us, us. We use a lot of energy on that. We kind of stick to it, even though we still think we evolve. So we always look back and do some of the things we’ve done before, try to keep some of that, and trying new things. But we really use a lot of energy on discussing this issue, you know, the lines, what to remove from the bike, what part is not necessary. For example, that Gorilla Punch, it usually runs with an oil tank, but we didn’t want to expose the oil tank. But we knew it had to be there, so we figured out how to build a new one that we put under the seat cover. And it was a lot of work, but we needed to do that just because we wanted to show the frame, show the lines of the bike without any parts. So always, on all the bikes we try to use a lot of energy on that specific.

Like deciding not to put on a speedometer…
Well, some people, they don’t really care about the speedometer. Some of the clients don’t feel the need to have it, because they’re not going to be riding fast anyway. And, yeah. So, it’s different – some people like it, some people don’t care about it, and because we didn’t have to put it on the bikes in Denmark, well, we found out that it also looks good on some bikes not to have it. But, it’s a choice that you can do, but as long as you ride responsibly, and the bikes we’re building, it’s not, you know, really rockets, all of them, so we figured out sometimes it’s not needed. But if you want it, it’s possible.

Another question from our viewers, Aad in The Hague: what criteria do you use when you decide to replace a part of the original bike? Like, an upside-down fork looks good but many bikes with original forks do not.
Sometimes it’s a question about, you know, upgrading the bike, upgrading with the parts we choose for it. And sometimes it’s design. But I think most of the time what we, for example, do an upside-down it’s because we maybe change the wheels, and to fit the wheel with the correct brakes or stuff like that, we need to change the front fork, or maybe the client has a specific wish for that because with the looks, and the – well, you know, it’s different because if you need to change the stance, it’s also possible to do that with another front fork. I would say most of the modern bikes, it doesn’t really matter, unless you’re really a performance kind of guy that really needs to lay all the way down to your knees. So sometimes it’s a defined choice, and sometimes it’s just to team up with the upgrading of the other things we do to the bike. It’s kind of like, a coincidence, that you know, one thing leads to the next.

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What inspires you nowadays out there that you think is being brought into your bikes?
Well, all kinds of stuff inspires us. Other bike builders, cars, you know, tools, architecture, design, clothing, you know, new stuff that we see. Like, for example, today we talked to a guy who works on doing knives. The way he works with metal is also very inspiring, and the techniques he uses is inspiring, and you know, it can be a picture, it can be – yeah, all kinds. For me personally, mostly it’s just like, visual stuff, that you see in books, that you see in old drawings, bike and car magazines, blogs. Whatever you see, you know, we have a big tradition of bicycling biking in Denmark, so there’s also a lot of inspiring bikes on the streets here. Materials, all kinds of surfaces.

Are cars big in Denmark, and is that something you look for as inspiration?
Yeah, I don’t think cars are as big as in the States. Again, we pay too much taxes, and you know, if people really want an expensive car, they don’t drive it that much.

So it’s really not big, but I think there is a lot of attention about it because that’s also aesthetic, and the influence of foreign car companies is big. So I definitely think that people think about it and talk about it. We have a big culture of vintage cars here because you don’t pay the same taxes on old cars that you do if you buy a brand new car. So, I think, and – the weather here, in winter time we put a lot of salt on the streets and that ruins the car, so people just want safe, and something that doesn’t rust right away. There is a lot of focus on the design things, you know. Denmark is very design, design, design. It’s like one of the biggest exports for us now. It’s, I think, it’s technology and design.

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Well Nicholas, thanks so much for your time, it was a pleasure speaking with you.
Well, have a nice day. And, well, when you come to Copenhagen, come visit.

I will definitely come visit, for sure. Thanks.
You’re welcome. Bye!

+ Source: Wrenchmonkees

 
 

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  • El Solitario

    So awesome!!!
    The true grandads of the current custom wave in Europe
    Respect!

    • megadeluxer

      El Solitario…much respect to you all. You’re leading that European wave as well.