Come find us at Arizona Bike Week. We have Legend techs and staff there to talk suspension and answer all of your questions.
Our team will be at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale April 6th-April 10th. To stay updated be sure to follow our instagram and Facebook for Legend exclusives, where we are located, and updates throughout the week!
We are excited to see you all and talk suspension!
‘Nitro Circus’ star, ex-motorcycle racer team up to open creative business campus in Zaferia
A gearhead and an adrenaline junkie meet at a trade show. There is no punchline.
Andy Bell and Roland Sands hit it off immediately nearly 20 years ago and have been friends ever since. The two went on to create separate businesses—Roland Sands Design and Sweatpants Media—and, after years of operating out of their respective headquarters, have come together to create a joint home base in Long Beach’s Zaferia neighborhood.
The companies together purchased a multi-building property at 1365 Obispo Ave. with a vision for a creative campus. Along with their firms, the graphics company Spin Imaging and Moxi Roller Skates also will call the campus home in a building separate from Sands’ and Bell’s space.
“We just wanted like-minded but different companies here to fuel a vibe of people that are stoked and doing rad stuff,” Bell said.
“People we can hang out with,” Sands added. “Fabrication, 3D fabrication, film, photography, graphics, printing—it’s all here. Almost any project is possible here, and that’s a pretty special thing.”
The friends almost missed out on the space, Sands said. The building was listed in 2018, but he was not in a position to take on the project by himself—and Bell was not ready to jump into such a massive undertaking. But when another buyer went into escrow on the site, the pair said they instantly knew they made a mistake.
“This place was built in the ’40s, and it’s gorgeous,” Sands said.
After months in escrow, the deal fell through, and Bell and Sands pounced. They bought the property for about $3 million in July 2019.
The Roland Sands Design custom motorcycle shop inside the company’s new Long Beach headquarters
The tenant had a few months left on their lease, so the roughly $2.5 million buildout did not get underway until just before the pandemic, which slowed progress on the rehab. But after nearly two years, the companies are celebrating their grand opening Saturday.
The space features a retail store (open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), a screening theater, 3D and other fabrication facilities, a wood-working space, a motorcycle garage, design rooms and a slew of offices. It also includes a bar, a two-chair barbershop for special events for clients that could also be utilized by a tattoo artist, and dozens of motorcycles and helmets on display.
A third building is currently set up as a jam space for musician friends of Bell and Sands. The room has a stage and is full of vintage and modern musical equipment. The two said they have toyed with the idea of turning it into a legitimate music venue, but that won’t happen until well into the future, if at all.
Bell and Sands each had a career riding motorcycles—the latter racing on the roads of the U.S., the former flying through the air in freestyle motocross—before they met each other in the early 2000s at a motorcycle trade show in Indianapolis.
Sands, a Long Beach native, grew up around motorcycles.
“I was fully immersed in the culture because my dad was in the motorcycle industry,” Sands said, adding that he would work in his dad’s shop as a kid.
In 2005, after a racing career that included winning the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250cc Grand Prix Championship, Sands turned his success—and name—into a brand. The firm specializes in creating custom bikes and parts (some of which are 3D-printed). The company has grown to include a clothing and apparel line as well as a racing team.
Bell, meanwhile, was not so much into the technical side of the sport.
“I’m more of an adrenaline junkie,” Bell said, sitting in his new office complete with a beer tap. “I never liked building and working on the s—, I liked riding and jumping them.”
After his professional freestyle motocross career, Bell went on to become a stuntman, appearing on numerous TV shows and films, including “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” and “Jackass 3D.” Most notably, Bell starred in the “Nitro Circus” films and MTV series alongside Travis Pastrana and a host of other extreme-sport athletes.
Bell founded Sweatpants Media in 2012.
“I needed a change from getting hurt for a living and all the crap we used to do,” Bell said. “I didn’t know anything about production, but I’d been around it as talent. I’ve never owned a real business before and a decade later, here we are.”
Today, Sweatpants has numerous high-end clients, including Toyota, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lexus and Japanese powertool manufacturer Makita. With over 15 million views on YouTube, Sweatpants’ “The Pitch” for Toyota was the most widely viewed commercial in the U.S. in the third quarter, Bell said.
“The Pitch” – 2022 Toyota GR Supra Commercial by Sweatpants Media (15 million+ views since June 2021)
Bell and Sands try to utilize each other and their respective businesses as much as possible. The companies have teamed up on projects, including creating a custom bike for BMW with an accompanying video. After the premiere, the pair and their wives rode BMW bikes around Italy’s Lake Como.
On another project, Sweatpants flew three Toyota trucks into Vietnam and then drove them across the country. Sands and Bell were two of the three drivers who made the trek.
“We don’t like to fake s—,” Bell said. “Instead of pretending we were in Vietnam and pretending we flew trucks under helicopters, we actually did it. There is a tinge of adventure in everything we do.”
“We like to combine work and play,” Sands added.
Sands convinced Bell to move into a house around the corner from his on Naples Island in 2010. The best friends were neighbors for years before Sands moved to Park Estates.
For the last 12 years, Los Alamitos was home to Sands’ business, but he said he has always wanted to open a space in his hometown, closer to where he lives. For nearly nine years, Sweatpants operated out of the historic Villa Riviera in Downtown. But the two are looking forward to the quasi-business merger.
“We’re stoked. It’s fun being best friends and business partners,” Bell said. “There’s a little bit of yelling and a lot of hugging; a lot of wanting to punch each other and then a lot of wanting to drink beers together.”
“Thankfully for us,” Sands added, “we want to drink with each other more than we want to fight.”
The Roland Sands Design retail space at the company’s new joint headquarters with Sweatpants Media
There are countless customized Harley-Davidson motorcycles out there, spread across almost a century and the many bike families the Milwaukee company has been making. But if there’s one bike that could probably be worthy of more exposure on the custom motorcycle scene, then that’s the Dyna.
Born in the 1990s as a new platform for the Evolution engine, the family was around for about two decades, being pushed aside in 2018 when the new line of Softails came onto the scene.
So yes, we’re talking about a rather new machine, and that could explain why shops are not all that crazy about it yet. Then again, the V-Rods are rather new as well, and we get plenty of those, especially from over in Europe, so who knows.
If there is one shop that likes Dynas more than others, that’s Bad Land. Coming from the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, Bad Land is one of the most active custom motorcycle garages on the market.
The Dyna you’re looking at now was shown back in 2019. It’s official name is Hermosa x dios, and it has nothing to do Spain. The name was probably chosen for impact, given how hermosa is Spanish for beautiful, and dios stands for god.
The bike is radically different from stock, and you get a sense of that as soon as it comes into view. There’s a huge 21-inch tire up front, wearing a slim tire, and a tiny-by-comparison 15-inch one at the rear, though wearing a massive 230 wide tire that makes all the difference between the two irrelevant.
Put together with the same attention to detail Bad Land has gotten us used to by now, the Dyna packs a wealth of other custom parts, including a new fork, headlight, front fender, fuel tank, rear fender, exhaust, swingarm, and seat, all created in the Japanese shop.
Bad Land does not say how much the Harley-Davidson Hermosa x dios cost to make.
Dark, custom two-wheeled machines shot in dark settings. This is how a Japanese shop by the name of Bad Land likes to play the game, and most of the time it nails the effect it goes for.
Bad Land is one of those garages that don’t like to fool around when it comes to its own interpretation of two-wheelers. Specializing in reinterpreting Harley-Davidson creations, the shop has been over the years responsible for making possibly hundreds of unique projects, some of which we’ve already featured.
The transformed Harley you’re looking at now is called Ise Dragon, and it follows in the footsteps of all other Bad Land builds with cold, dark looks, a polished appearance, and custom parts at times so extreme it is hard to find anywhere else – the wheels, for instance, are of the shop’s own design and both sized 18 inches, but the rear one looks so deep it kind of makes one afraid not to get lost in it – check photos for details.
Of all the builds of the Japanese we’ve featured so far, this one probably has the most Bad Land-made bits. Aside from the wheels, which are shod in Metzeler tires, the Japanese shop contributed pretty much everything, from the triple tree to the rear fender
Only the forward control unit and grips come from Performance Machine, and Ken’s Factory contributed the mirror and LED turn light.
We are not being told if the twin-cam engine of the motorcycle was tampered with in any way, except for the addition of a custom exhaust system.
The motorcycle was first shown in early 2020, and we have no idea what happened to it since. The radical design does however worth its time under the spotlight, and this is why we brought it before you today.
There was a time, not long ago, when Harley-Davidson wanted a piece of the muscle bike segment action, and gave birth to mighty V-twin racing street custom, or VRSC. The family was successful enough for a while, and Milwaukee made several versions of it, including the V-Rod, before discontinuing production.
The V-Rod would be the muscle Harley motorcycle that gave birth to the family and, after it died, became one of the favorite bikes to modify in the books of shops across the world. Europeans seem to have a special soft spot for the model, and some have dedicated entire lineups to this particular model.
Russia-based Box39 is one of those shops. Most recently, their passion for all things V-Rod comes down to the Giotto family of custom builds, but that passion had to start somewhere. Digging through their relatively short history (these guys have been around for about ten years), and through their past work, we’ve come across this here, unnamed and orange V-Rod that seems to one of their earlier such projects.
As far as custom builds are concerned, this particular one doesn’t really rock our world. We get the usual custom bits here and there, but other than that, nothing really catches the eye, not even the orange on the body, a color not unlike we’ve seen before. Until the said eye falls on the custom wheels on this thing.
Sized 21 inches front and 18 inches rear, the wheels, like many other fitted by Box39 on their builds, have been made to look this way in-house by the Russians themselves, with the shop bragging about being able to make unique such parts, “from the smallest to thirty-inch monster.“
And they kind of nailed it with these ones as, for what it’s worth, the wheels are what make this particular V-Rod noticeable in a world filled with similar builds.
Sadly, Box39 does not say how much a pair of such wheels cost to make.