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The Build: How the Masters Design Custom Motorcycles Hardcover – June 1, 2016
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From design principles and online resources to tips for scoring the ideal donor bike and other important fundamentals, The Build can actually help get you started on your dream of creating a custom menace of your own. Or just enjoy it as a near-perfect piece of bike porn. --Maxim magazine, April 29, 2016
Whether you're creating a beautiful bobber or clean café racer from salvaged parts-or simply appreciate the resulting efforts from those who do-you'll salivate over The Build. --The Drive
The only advice you ever need to build a motorcycle. --Gear Patrol
About the Author
Robert Hoekman Jr is a columnist and contributing editor for the revered motorcycle culture and lifestyle magazine Iron & Air. He has authored several books and dozens of articles for a range of publications, including Fast Company magazine's Co.Design blog. He has spoken on design and other topics to packed rooms at events all over the world. Robert's talents for questioning and challenging conventional wisdom have earned him success in a myriad of professional interests, including design, writing, editing, design strategy consulting, and public speaking. He rode motorcycles exclusively for the first nine years he had a license (not bothering with a car until he was 26 years old), and has logged more miles on two wheels than on four. The 2012 Triumph Bonneville he rides today is his only vehicle. He has used it to straighten thousands of bent roads on the way to and through Arizona's quirky and eccentric towns and destinations. Robert lives in downtown Phoenix, Arizona with his partner Jodi and their two dogs, Max and Daisy.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'd say this book is more valuable to designers than mechanics, which is fine because that's what I got it for in the first place. Lots of great reference photos, anatomy explanation on various types of custom motorcycle builds, vocab layout and explanation, et cetera. I like the book.
With wonderfully shot photos and clean diagrams, Hoekman creates not only an easy but also enjoyable read. The context flows well from one to the next, starting off with features and moving in quick progression from "Step 1" to "finish". And although I mentioned that the book moves from step to step in a relatively short manner, Hoekman provides the perfect amount of guidance paired with insight. There are thoughts, concept reveals, and advice throughout each secation from each builder allowing both the audience to gain some backstage access as well as allowing a showcase for each builders' stories and growth.
Just like what I personally like to see when pouring over featured customs on Bike Exif and Pipeburn, there is something so damn sexy about no-nonsense yet powerful minimal bones and parts finished off with subtle style choices bringing out a mean machine that you don't quite know why but just can't look away from. (Think Auto Fabrica's ‘Type 7c’ Yamaha SR400 via Pipeburn or Dave Lehl's backyard Honda CB550 build via Bike Exif)
This book is great for a few different people. First and foremost it's the perfect book for someone who loves every detail about unique, custom, class motorcycles and has always toyed with the idea of trying to build their own. For them, this book will be the kind of motivational kick in the pants they might need to give them the confidence to take the plunge and go for it. The book does a great job of taking the reader through what would be involved in getting a project like that off the ground, but more importantly, it really gets into how you would need to mentally navigate a project like this for the first time - the mental struggles of self doubt, being overwhelmed, etc... and walks you through advice from some of the most important custom builders from around the country.
I think this would also be a good book for someone who's just really into motorcycle design and loves to talk about every single detail of a bike. I think we all know someone like that. The Build has a lot of great practical deconstruction of bike design and would make an awesome reference book for that person who's always trying to get everybody else into why bikes are awesome.
For me, it was a great read as a casual motorcycle enthusiast and a professional design specialist. I enjoyed reading the stories behind the various artists and how they approached the design process. The layout and presentation of the book is wonderful, and it makes a really attractive addition to my coffee table.