Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

Roland Sands Technics Sporty

Monday, February 4, 2013
The Technics inspired Sportster came to life after Andy Bell  left  and Roland Sands  right  concocted a way to echo the Panasonic brand.
The Technics inspired Sportster came to life after Andy Bell (left) and Roland Sands (right) concocted a way to echo the Panasonic brand.
Whether he’s building a bike for Mickey Rourke, modding a Bonneville T100 for the Tony Hawk Foundation or reworking a WR450 into a Supermoto beast for Ben Spies, Roland Sands puts his stamp on every project to come out of the shop. And no, I’m not talking merely of the RSD logo; there’s a touch of grace in the way he handles the lines of an exhaust pipe or cuts the tail of a Sportster, a seamless blending of 21st century industrial design with nostalgic elements that make riders, old and young, feel as if they were living in the proverbial “good ol’ days.” One of the recent builds to come from the RSD shop in Southern California serves as a prime example of this union and, as always, it’s a beautiful piece of machinery.

The Technics Sporty was born of the partnership between Panasonic and its hugely popular Technics brand, the RSD crew and Nitro Circus madman Andy Bell. Mix in a Harley Sportster 883 and what you get is a seriously bad-ass looking bike that takes its cues from Technics’ DH1-1200 Headphones and the iconic SL-1200MK2 Professional turntables.

There’s no shortage of examples of how motorcycles and music intersect, but this design moves away somewhat from the tried-and-true rock-n-roll stereotype surrounding bikers. While the turntables certainly allude to the days of vinyl, they also suggest a connection to the prevalence of DJs scratching in rap and hip-hop as well as to the continued growth of electronica of all types. Builds like the Technics Sporty certainly don’t signal the end of raked-out choppers and head-banging rock-n-roll, but they do indicate a broadening influence in the world of customs.

Sands added this Cafe-style tail  which will be available to purchacse for your own build from RSD soon.
It was really based on the subtle black and silver color pallet and gloss textured finishes  said Sands about how he remained true to Panasonics Technics brand when building the bike.
"It was really based on the subtle black and silver color pallet and gloss/textured finishes," said Sands about how he remained true to Panasonic's Technics brand when building the bike.
I had the chance to chat with Sands about the build, and according to the man himself it was Bell who made the connection with Panasonic. The electronics brand was looking for a new way to advertise its Technics products, and after Bell and Sands got to brainstorming they thought, what better way to step outside the box than to build a bike based on DJ equipment and develop an original song along the way.

“Bell is one of my best friends and he had a relationship with Panasonic,” said Sands. “We ended up linking with Tom who runs Technics at Panasonic and he was looking for ideas. Bell and I drank a couple beers and came up with the concept.”

Part of Sands’ M.O. is to build “fun functional bikes” that aren’t “crazy or over the top.” With the Technics Sporty, he also wanted to show how different a Sportster could look without having to do an excess of modifications. The wheels were one of the biggest exceptions, one-off pieces fabricated specifically for the project. Other than those, Sands chopped the tail and developed a Carbon Slant 2-into-1 exhaust pipe, both of which will be available to buy from RSD soon. He bolted-on a host of RSD parts, including grips, footpegs, fork preload adjusters and handlebar risers, just to name a few.

In terms of a ride, the Technics Sporty comes with some vintage-looking Firestones that perform well-enough, according to Sands, but it was built for a rider about his size, 5’8”, so Bell, at 6’1” was a little cramped during the video shoot, though it was so much fun that there were no complaints.

The ultimate goal was to echo the Technics brand and in terms of developing a fun, sporty bike with just the right amount of attitude, we’d say he hit the mark.

“It was really based on the subtle black and silver color pallet and the gloss/textured finishes,” said Sands. “We also used a couple key design cues like the speed dots on the wheels that echo the headphones and originally the turntables. It’s cool, when you spin the wheel it actually reverses the pattern just like on the turn tables. You can see it in the video at the beginning.”

Make sure to check out the video below to see Bell at the helm of a Technics turntable and hear the original song, all while Sands pieces the ride together.

RSD Technics Sporty Photo Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
Cruiser Custom Motorcycles Features
VDB Moto Harley Sportster Scrambler H-1
VDB Moto takes the path less traveled by converting a 1999 Sportster 1200 into a Harley Sportster Scrambler H-1 which debuted at Austin's Handbuilt Show.
Magics Custom Cycle 2013 Sportster 48
Magic's Custom Cycle won our 'Editor's Choice' award at the Seattle Ultimate Builder for their 2013 Sportster 48 that became Brad Hall's 'Psycho Addiction.'
AFT Customs CB836 Honda Streetfighter
AFT Customs took a CB750 and transformed it into this wicked Honda Streetfighter, bumping up performance with a Wiseco big bore kit and the front end off an R1 superbike.

Login or sign up to comment.

bikerrandy   February 5, 2013 08:39 PM
This is all about image, not practicality/use. Typical from a "designer". If you ever ride a bike like this hope there are no side winds. If there are you will be blown all over the place !
sololobo   February 5, 2013 03:36 PM
Love the video. Very original, even the music. Tells the story like it is, and what it's about. Who is this amazing director that put this piece together? Bravo! About the bike, very original as well. Roland you and your design team must definitely be on the same very fresh wavelength. I HAVE to have one of those amazing air cleaner units. I love the way it is shaped like nothing that's come before. I hope I find it in your catalog or I'm going to be a very unhappy ol man.
Superbikemike   February 5, 2013 01:03 AM
cool exercise in styling.... but the ergo's..... get real!!!