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AMA Champion Roland Sands and Nitro Circus star Andy Bell team up

By General Posts

Roland Sands, left, Andy Bell and Erik Bond inside the joint headquarters of Roland Sands Design and Sweatpants Media

from https://lbbusinessjournal.com/ by Brandon Richardson

‘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

Roland Sands’ Harley Davidson 883 Sportster

By General Posts

by Silvian Secara from https://www.autoevolution.com

One thing’s for sure; the pros over at Roland Sands Design a no strangers to the two-wheeler realm. Besides crafting some seriously rad custom motorcycles, the California-based company also specializes in designing casual apparel and riding gear, as well as manufacturing aftermarket modules that’ll have your machine looking the part.

In the past, we’ve examined an array of ambitious exploits from RSD, such as a feral BMW R18 behemoth and one gorgeous MV Agusta Dragster 800RR, to name a couple. Let me tell you, there’s no shortage of breathtaking goodness in their spectacular portfolio. As you browse through, you’ll run into virtually countless awe-inspiring works of two-wheeled art that guarantee to soothe each and every last corner of your moto-loving soul.

As such, it goes without saying these folks aren’t playing around. RSD’s outstanding ventures earned them a reputation as a force to be reckoned with, an accomplishment that led to a great deal of successful (and often unexpected) collaborations. For a clear demonstration of their abilities, let’s take a closer look at one such exploit, shall we?

The project in question was commissioned by none other than Technics, a revered producer of audio equipment. They requested that Roland Sands converts Harley Davidson’s ferocious 883 Sportster into a tribute to their iconic DJing gadgets. While that may sound a little odd to some, the team gladly accepted.

To give you a better idea as to how far their undertaking has come, we’ll start by reminding ourselves of the donor’s main characteristics. The 883 Sportster is powered by a brutal Evolution V-twin engine, with two valves per cylinder and a humungous displacement of 883cc. At 6,000 rpm, this nasty piece of air-cooled machinery is capable of generating up to 51 hp, along with 54 pound-feet (73 Nm) of feral torque output at approximately 3,750 revs. The leviathan’s force travels to a belt final drive by means of a five-speed gearbox.

Suspension duties are handled by a pair of 39 mm (1.54 inches) telescopic forks up front, joined by fully-adjustable dual shocks on the opposite end. Braking power is supplied by a 300 mm (11.81 inches) disc and a two-piston caliper at the front, coupled with a 260 mm (10.24 inches) rotor and a two-piston caliper at the rear.

When one such monstrosity landed on RSD’s doorstep, the crew kicked things off by selecting several components from their own inventory to replace the stock units. These include a malicious two-into-one exhaust system, new foot pegs and a set of clip-on handlebars, besides fresh lighting kits on both ends.

To go the extra mile, they fabricated a slim custom fuel tank and upholstered a neat saddle that keeps things looking classy. Additionally, the moto wizards drew inspiration from Technics’ turntable layout to create a couple of juicy wheel covers, which complement the chosen theme.

The finishing touches consisted of installing top-grade Champion Deluxe tires from Firestone and longer shock absorbers to alter the bike’s stance. Last but not least, the 883 Sportster received an elegant black paintwork, accompanied by silver accents.

Right, now that we’ve wrapped his up, I’ll be heading to Roland Sands Design’s Instagram and Facebook profiles to drool over the remainder of their unique creatures. I’d strongly encourage that you do the same!