The Bravest. My Absolute Custom Vintage Bike.

I officially launched this Blog October 5th, my birthday (I believe in symbols when giving birth to new projects). At this date, I wrote 142 posts, blogging anywhere, anytime I can. Only 3 posts were related to me, my bikes or my parts. And it’s fine this way. But I warn you. This is the 4th one and I have no shame talking about one of my new customs. The one I call my absolute custom vintage bike. Of course, I am proud of all the bikes I have dreamed and built. But this one called “The Bravest” has many characteristics which make it very special to me, and I hope to you. First, it was commissioned to benefit the IAFF (International Firefighters Association) Burn Foundation. How many times in his professional life a custom builder can do what he loves and at the same time benefit a great human cause. Second, this new vintage bike has, evidently, a fire truck theme. Do you remember the surge of adrenalin we all felt as kids when a big red fire engine roared down the street? Third, this bike is partially built using authentic firefighter apparatus from the mid 40’s that I had to discover, win in auctions (what a pain), and fit on the bike without making it look gaudy. Since all my bikes are commissioned, they leave the shop as soon as they are road tested. And I always miss them so much. It’s when I see them again ridden by my clients or featured in magazines that I get an objective view of my work. I just looked at “The Bravest” featured on the cover and as the centerfold of the Jan/Feb issue of . Builders don’t look at their bikes the same way readers see them. I can look at each part of my bikes and remember the frustration, the struggle and the joy it was to succeed its fabrication. I can look at each curve, at each detail and remember the hesitation, the doubt and the final certitude that it was absolutely right. I can look at each intricate detail of the paint job and congratulate myself for convincing the client that I was right before he knew I was. I remember each night after everybody is gone when alone at the shop I decide to be my worst critic and promise to myself that I will not go back home until I find at least 2 new ideas to feed the work of my collaborators in the morning. All people belonging to my industry know what I mean. To all custom motorcycle fans reading this Blog, I want to reiterate that custom builders have an extremely challenging job on each one-off bike they conceive, and at the same time absolutely and sincerely love what they do. But can you spend a little bit more time looking at each square each of the bikes you see in the streets or in magazines? Can you guess how it was done, how difficult it was to do it and how many times it had to be redone to look perfect to your eyes? If all of you have this mental approach it will make you enjoy even more the custom work done on your own bikes. It will also make all of us, clients and builders, a stronger community to share and perpetuate the same passion. You can see a slide show of 28 large pictures of “The Bravest” by going to my                            

4 Responses to “The Bravest. My Absolute Custom Vintage Bike.”

  1. 1 Mona Dec 13th, 2006 at 7:24 pm


    Your passion certainly shows through on this gorgeous work of art!

  2. 2 Mike Odom Dec 13th, 2006 at 8:42 pm

    Absolutely breath taking! A striking creation Cyril.
    And the post to introduce the machine is in touch with the very essence of what it takes to create. I am sure that each step of the build was a challenge. Guessing, but am I wrong that the extinguisher was one of the toughest?

  3. 3 Patumwan Dec 13th, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    Mike. Everything was tough. Design, fabrication & paint… About the extinguisher, it was used in the mid 40’s to extinguish electrical fires & when I won it in auction, it still contained its original content. Something smelling like strong ammonia. We had to flush it and let it vent during 3 days before we could work with it to fabricate a cradle welded to the frame to hold it without risk of vibrations. The piece is gorgeous, in chrome with brass inlays inside the text engraving.

  4. 4 Steve Broyles Sr Dec 13th, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    as allways the life in your motorcycle shows its artist

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