Motorcycle USA’s Bryan Harley caught up with custom motorcycle builder and leather guru Paul Cox at Sturgis.
From riding the streets with Indian Larry to making sick leather seats for the likes of Jesse James, Exile Cycles, and Billy Lane, Paul Cox is an industrious entity in the motorcycle industry. From making one-off motorcycles to doing some of the most sought-after leather work around, Cox has forged a name for himself by being hands-on. If its got his name on it, you can be guaranteed that Cox himself is maintaining quality control. You don’t get other custom motorcycle builders as clients without being considered one of the best at what you do. Motorcycle USA ran into Cox at the 7th Annual Metzeler Custom Bike Show, where he was serving as one of the contest judges. Cox was cool enough to answer a few quick questions and give us a peek at his latest build.
Motorcycle USA: What have you been working on lately?
Paul Cox: I’ve got this S&S Panhead I’ve been working on that I debuted at Laconia. It’s got a 93 cubic-inch S&S, a VL Springer front fork, a Bare Knuckle Choppers oil tank and a 23 inch tall front wheel. It’s got a kick start that a friend made for me, and the frame, tank, fender, chain primary drive are all original work.
Motorcycle USA: Are you showing anything in Sturgis?
Paul Cox: Not this year, but I’ve got the bike that I had in the AMD World Championships at the Full Throttle. I’m set up over there with some of my work and other products I offer.
Motorcycle USA: So what compelled you to become a custom bike builder?
Here’s a peek at Paul Cox’s latest build with a 93 ci S&S Panhead, a 23-inch front wheel, kick start, a VL Springer front end, and Paul’s own frame, tank, and fender.
Paul Cox: Just every since I was little, I always made things for myself and others. It became a full-time thing. Friends would ask me to build them things, so it just kind of took off from there.
Motorcycle USA: Where’d you learn your mad leathermaking skills?
Paul Cox: I’m self-taught. It started by making things I needed for myself. If I needed to do something, I researched it and figured out how to do it.
Motorcycle USA: What’s in the future for Paul Cox Industries?
Paul Cox: I’ve got about four or five builds I’m working on. I’ve also got a couple of shows planned, about every other month or so. There’s also a new girder front end that I’m getting into production. Of course, I’m doing my custom leather work, and I’ve also been making custom knives.
Motorcycle USA: Any bikes catch your eye at today’s Metzeler Custom Bike Show?
Paul Cox: Todd’s bike stood out. (He’s referring to a bike built by Todd Silicato out of Huntington Beach, CA, which won Best in Show honors.)