The face of motorcycling is changing. The culture of motorcycling is shifting around a community that embraces a heritage of unknown origins. But these origins are only unknown because the archives where they exist have never been digitized.
British Customs, a lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts, has been bridging the past with the present by seeking out the people who made motorcycling what it is, and sharing it with today’s riders. British Customs has been interviewing these figures, digitizing their archives, and reaching out to their networks to follow every possible link in the tapestry of the history of motorcycling.
Bud Ekins (L), seen here racing with Steve McQueen, is the latest motorcycle pioneer to be honored in British Customs’ Legend Series.
British Customs has been uploading these pieces to their blog where they are establishing an authoritative database documenting the development of motorcycling, covering the racers, races, machines, tuners, events, personalities, designers, and more that collectively created motorcycling as it is now known and loved.
British Customs is calling this the Legends Series.
To help riders get their own piece of history, British Customs has released multiple custom tribute motorcycles built in collaboration with some of these legends, as well as numerous other parts designed in conjunction with them. These include the Triumphant built with Eddie Mulder, The Sonny Nutter Tribute built with Sonny Nutter, the BC X Mule Motorcycles Tracker Classic built with Richard Pollock, the Spirit of Gyronaut built with the heirs of the original Gyronaut X-1 Team, Drag Pipes, Slash Cut TT Exhaust, the Pro Builder Series Mule Motorcycles parts, the Stainless Steel Collection, and more.
British Customs has continued to develop their growing archive by adding a highly researched and connected piece on Bud Ekins to their blog.
Bud Ekins was one of the most accomplished off-road racers ever, a stuntman who performed the most iconic motorcycle stunts in cinema, and owned one of the largest motorcycle collections in the world.
Ekins was a pioneer in off-road racing, and was highly successful in the local, professional, and international racing circuits. In 1962, Ekins started his career as an in-demand Hollywood stuntman by performing the most iconic motorcycle stunt in film when his friend Steve McQueen asked him to perform the impossible motorcycle jump in The Great Escape. After retiring in the ‘90s, Ekins opened a vintage motorcycle shop in Hollywood and grew one of the largest, curated, and most respected motorcycle collections in the world.
The motorcycles used by racers and stuntmen alike, such as Ekins, were all common street motorcycles that had only been stripped down and modified for whatever purposes the rider wanted. In step with this, British Customs has published multiple style guides on how to customize any Triumph Modern Classic including the iconic Bonneville, Thruxton, and Scrambler in a number of retro styled motorcycles. These styles include trackers, cafe racers, dirt bikes, bobbers, desert sleds, resto-mods, and more.
Each week, British Customs will publish at least two more pieces on their blog to further add to their archives documenting the racers, events, machines, designers, personalities, and many others who created the heritage of motorcycling.
About British Customs:
British Customs is a Southern California-based lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts. They are known for making the highest quality factory-spec bolt-on parts that only require common tools and minimal technical knowledge to install. With any of their parts upgrades, the average rider can completely customize his or her motorcycle in a weekend.