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V Force Customs Bike Week Interview

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Many people recognize the faces of Vinnie DiMartino and Cody Connelly. They just happened to work for a little company called Orange County Choppers at one time, and they got plenty of face time on the popular show American Chopper. But what many people still don't realize is, they didn't just drop off the face of the earth. Contrarily, the duo is doing quite well since they left the OCC garage back in August of 2007. Vinnie and Cody struck out on their own, forming a new custom motorcycle shop in Rock Tavern, NY, called V Force Customs. They debuted their first build, V Force 1, in Daytona last year and are back again with one of their latest projects, the V Force Deuce. Motorcycle USA got a chance to do a quick interview with Vinnie and learn more about the new enterprise.

Vinnie DiMartino  l  and Cody Connelly  r   mug for the camera with Motorcycle USA s Cruiser Editor  Bryan Harley.
Vinnie DiMartino (l) and Cody Connelly (r) are the custom builders known better as V Force Customs.
Motorcycle USA: So how does it feel to work for yourself these days?

Vinnie: It's very good. It's got its plus and minuses, but I would never go back to the way it was before.

Motorcycle USA: What was it like trying to work with the cameras on you all the time? Were you ever afraid of screwing something because the cameras were on you?

Vinnie: You get used to it. I established a pretty good relationship with some of the crew. After a couple of years filming we had become pretty good friends. And even if you did screw something up, it was OK. Even if they put it on TV, that's human nature. You learn from your mistakes.

Motorcycle USA: What would you do if a TV producer came in offering big money and wanted to film V Force?

Vinnie: We actually already have a production company out of Florida and are working on something now. We don't have a network yet, but there's talks going on. It won't be focused on the same type of drama but will be more tech-oriented.

Motorcycle USA: What was the biggest challenge starting your own company?

Vinnie: Actually, just doing it. It was a big step. It was something I wanted to do for a long time,  but I'm not a risk taker. I've got a family to feed.

A V Force Customs creation  courtesy of the hard working Vinnie DiMartino and Cody Connelly.
V Force Customs had this motorcycle on hand for us to check out and have their current project, the V Force Deuce, on display at Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona.
Motorcycle USA: What are you working on now?

Vinnie: We're working on two bikes, actually. The V Force Deuce, which is our own bike that we are going to use as a marketing tool to show what we can do. It's about 70% complete but gets put on the back burner if another project comes up. The other is a custom build for Geese Chasers, a company who breeds dogs that professionally chase off geese. It's a pro-street bike.  

Motorcycle USA: I know because of the economy, high-end motorcycles aren't in great demand right now. How have you guys been getting by?

Vinnie: From what we've seen, production bikes aren't in high demand, but we're still getting orders for customs. We also have a full machine shop and do production parts.

Motorcycle USA: What's in the near future for V Force?

Vinnie: To keep doing what we're doing. That includes a TV show that will hopefully air around mid-summer, as well as doing an instructional 'How-To' DVD set.
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Jason H. -vin n cody  August 20, 2010 02:25 PM
Im sure you dont read these but Im glad you guys are doing it on your own. Now make this work bro!!! Everyone at Occ is likable and talented but Sr was just in the right place at the right time. He is unappreciative and selfish unlike the rest of you, and thats whats gonna help you succeed! Good luck!
Drag Line -you still in business?  July 20, 2010 11:58 AM
How are sales going? Hiring? Are you letting people go? I heard you were in trouble financially.
henry pridding -little big man  May 18, 2010 11:59 AM
hi vin and cody it is may18 2010.i sent a few words in 09.i said i donot need to say good luck and i was wright.you 2 guys have all you need to do the job.luck does not come in to it.your going to be big.v customs will go on and on.the skil is in the hands and head as well.it is great to see 2 good guys doing so good.so just keep doing what you guys do best bikes.as we say in manchester england nice one.from a true manchester guy.may the great spirts be you 2guys allways.
henry pridding -little big man  April 26, 2010 09:24 AM
vin cody did drop a line to you guys before . i did not wish you good luck as i said at the time you guys donot need it and you have gon on and on just keep on going for it .what is stoping you guys geting biger than you know who . as an old grandad watching bikes beeing bilt is so good for me. i get shows long after the americans. americans can put a bike together ther licke works of art so vin cody god bless from little big man i would ask a faver if i could have a dreem come true i would wear a tshirt xl with pride
RON ALEXANDER -YOU MAN!!!!!  March 27, 2010 12:45 PM
Paula from Australia -great move  February 19, 2010 07:42 PM
I'm so pleased to see that you guys aren't overshadowed by the overbearing people you used to work for. Cause we all know who has the talent. Cheers
Viper -TVShows  February 15, 2010 03:07 PM
Hey vince, Cody good luck guys if your doing a show please lets see some bike building and less of the drama we always have to see in OCC.
Dirk da German -Go ahead, V-Force  February 4, 2010 09:41 AM
As a great OCC-Fan I was shocked about the 6th series: in Germany I didn´t see even the 5th^^. What a shock when Vinnie left and,of course, Cody too. Saw some episodes tonight and I can say, it´s a good example for people who became famous but forget the real important things just for fame. Don´t do the same crap like sen or jun., stay on earth and do, what you can do best: build bikes!
Cruz -If You Need A Hand  January 25, 2010 07:43 PM

You could always hire JR ....
little big man -v customs  January 21, 2010 12:48 PM
vinnie an cody great too see you guys going for it idonot need to wish you look you guys have all it takes to the job so from an old grandad keep on doing what you do best from manchester england
sololobo -congradulations  January 5, 2010 04:56 PM
Hey you two, more power to you! You'll do fine without the A holes that made all the money at the other shop. Just don't stoop so low as to make those dumb ass tonka truck tanks that jr. used to throw at those theme bikes. Every one looked the same except a couple doo dads and those hideous tanks. I hope to see way more of you in the future. Good Luck guys,
kiwi-cuz-phil -holy sheep crap  December 14, 2009 09:08 AM
occ watt no vin no cody . I stopped buyin the dvds when vinny left just not the same good one guys all the best always a fan from new zealand
SKS1929 -relationship  December 10, 2009 07:25 PM
Vinnie, do you still have any relationship with Mikey or Jr.
vtac -vinnie  December 3, 2009 06:57 PM
vinnie dont let the m...y word f things up and go bad , you have a talent stay cool
Jim Dardeen -Vinny & Cody  October 30, 2009 08:05 AM
You two are great.You guys made people watch OCC every week not Paul Sr.Best of luck with you new business.
da grouch -occ choppers  October 23, 2009 11:50 AM
what a bunch of idiots paul sr needs handle bars up the side of his head go vinnie cody
jim warren -great job fellas  October 22, 2009 09:08 PM
i am glad to see you two back in it. i watched occ and man is it imploding! money cant buy you everything. stay focused i hope you get what ever you want. good luck to you and cody. you two made the show! good luck and god bless
kathie-v force fan -vinnie  October 19, 2009 07:05 PM

n.y.jim -remember  October 18, 2009 07:16 PM
when you work as a family you forget about family you can't go back when its gone keep the peace in later years it becomes very important
chuck -good move  October 13, 2009 02:08 PM
two thumbs up guys. everything comes to an end. just stay grounded and u will be fine. f those fools for not paying and walking on every one . p.s half those bikes suck anyway many probs. peace

Jerry L -good luck  October 12, 2009 01:26 PM
Vinny and coty
glad to see you guys are making a go of it.
Vinny you are one of the most talented mechanics and fabricators i have ever met ,coty you got big shoes to fill
usman butt -good luck  October 7, 2009 08:48 AM
nice to see you doing great jobs keep up the good work and good luck for the future.
eoin and mark ireland -happness  September 10, 2009 02:43 AM
hi guys great to see your still doing what u do best.can't wait to see your ideas since they were dismissed at occ,best of luck for the furture,you've a lot of fans here in ireland,top of the morning to ya
eoin and mark ireland -happness  September 10, 2009 02:41 AM
hi guys great to see your still doing what u do best.can't wait to see your ideas since they were dismissed at occ,best of luck for the furture,you've a lot of fans here in ireland,top of the morning to ya
Maurice NZ -WOW  September 10, 2009 02:08 AM
Vinnie and Cody, . . You left Rick there all by Himself the poor bastard . . Save Rick from that Dry Drunk Paul Sr the arsehole
JonC UK -why they left  August 24, 2009 02:13 PM
did you see the episode? Mikey's new house, complete with pool - what did he do to earn that? I would have left too, Vinnie was the backbone and the show is barely watchable without him
Now Snr has managed to alienate Jnr too, can't be long before the bank comes calling.
Discovery channel -V FORCE  August 12, 2009 07:54 PM
go vin and cody, paul sr, said that everybody is replacebal, thats the proof of having too much money, arrongant bastard , he forgets who put occ in the top.
Hope v force give u all sucess and a lot of great bikes.

Big Josi Jar Scotland -Time for change Occ out V Force in!  August 12, 2009 01:15 AM
Ok Vinnie and Cody left OCC iTs No big deal That's life!
Well done to you Cody for having the balls to sort out crazy Snr
by getting your bike back {Result!} ! The Discovery Channel should get there act together and give the V Force a show of bike building without all the crap that OCC has to offer. OCC were good in there day but it's time to move on and get back to what we want to see Bike Building.

Paul SR -V Force Who  August 10, 2009 05:24 PM
These two kids have alot to learn . And respect is one.
Occ fan -Cody  August 10, 2009 05:18 PM
We sent you to school . we trained you . we gave both of you many perks . You stole cody . No Respect .You are users and looooossssers.
geo -life goes on  July 26, 2009 08:41 PM
somtimes when our careers are going no where fast we all got to make chances
george -cool beans  July 26, 2009 08:38 PM
glad see u guys back on wat there doing 2 mikey sux
ed welsman jr -Vinniee!  July 26, 2009 08:13 PM
Good luck guys, all the best occ shows involved Vinnie, the guy was the best mechanic and the nicest guy on the show, plus his daughter,, man she was adorable! I wanted to have kids after watching her.
Eric "J" -Paul Jr.  July 21, 2009 08:04 AM
Vinne do you or Cody have any contact with Paul Jr. Or Mikey??
Best of luck with the new business & tv show hope it airs soon
stonecold -Cody ain't squat  July 20, 2009 06:17 PM
Vinnie rocked but Cody wouldn't be squat without Paul Sr and the Orange County Chopper bunch. He's an ungrateful punk for suing for "his" bike back.
jimih -whatever  July 20, 2009 06:11 PM
I'm glad for vinnie but I hope those two remember who they got their start from. It's always harder to run your own business than anyone can guess. Paul Senior, hang in there, you started it all.
Jimmy -New venture  July 18, 2009 09:19 AM
Vinnie and Cody have more maturity than all 3 Tuetels. They'll do fine. The reason they left OCC is because they want to build bikes, not act like 10 year olds on camera.
irish paddy -v force  July 16, 2009 05:55 PM
up vinny and cody yee were the best in the occ shows big pint of guiness if ye are in the old country rock on irish paddy
Patrick -Vinny - OCC  June 16, 2009 09:57 PM
Let's Face it, the epeople that bash OCC or Vinny for leaving remind me of when I was a kid and nobody liked Michael Jackson but he still sold 25 million Thriller Albums. There is an audience for almost anyone that can attract the right crowd. I still like OCC and wish Vinny well but totally people don't understand OCC is not just about the bikes. It about working together as a team as a father and son and the emotions of just making a living doing what you love. I don't care where you are at in life, if you work with people you can relate to some of the OCC shows.
steffen -occ  June 11, 2009 05:43 AM
Orange county choppers www.chopper-apparel.de
Orange County Choppers -OCC Fan  June 11, 2009 05:42 AM
thanks for information great site
Charley -What happened?  May 30, 2009 11:38 PM
What's with all the quitters in this country? All this talk about the Great Depression II! Vinnie was the backbone of production. Ego prevailed and he started getting left out more and more. With American courage, he started a new venture and he will succeed. Sure times are tough, but so are SOME people. The rest of you wimps can cry in your cornflakes and develop a spine. Good luck to Vinnie and Cody. Jr can go for a long ride in his Mercedes. Please, we all need more Hollywood types.
Chuck Meyer - V Force Triumphs  May 23, 2009 05:26 AM
Vinnie and Cody, never give up no matter how hard it gets and stay tuned in on what ever your future holds. Don't let the money change you like it did at OCC. Stay cool and focused and remember your workers that might become friends as what happened at OCC. But the money made a big change on them. You can see it from watching the 1st season when the spider bike was made and SR said, Jr and Vennie will bring OCC to a whole new level which happened, but without Vennie being included. It shows in later seasons/episodes.Hope to see the both of U on the Discovery Channel or Vinnie & Cody Bike Show in the near future. Best of all worlds to you Vennie and Cody. God Bless
MattyMerthyr -All the Best  May 23, 2009 04:35 AM
I have watched OCC since day 1, must be about 5/6 years ago and it was plain to see that Vinny also played a abig ig part in the success of OCC. Im sure VForce Customs will be a success and it couldnt happen to a nicer guy a family man go for it Vinny! all the best From Merthyr Tydfil South Wales Britain
Dan -Bike building  May 22, 2009 04:59 PM
I hear everyone telling them that they wouldn't of became famous without OCC. No kidding, neither wood of Paul Sr. Paul Jr. and Mikey. If it wasn't for the Discovery channel. I'm sure that Vinnie and Cody will do just fine. Looking forward to their show in the mid summer. Dan
R.SLONE -GOOD LUCK GUYS  April 17, 2009 08:06 PM
Great to hear you guys are on your own now instead of making the Pauls rich.I dont see how you put up with that crazy bunch has long as you did. Cant wait until your show.
alan m. -Vinny can't take much more  April 17, 2009 12:23 PM
Between the on slaught of of many commercial's needed to fund Paul sr new livestyle (making furniture to relieve his stress) from firing Paul jr-----maybe 10 minutes of bike building and 10 minutes leading up to DOG WASHING IN JR NEW EXPENSIVE HOME. Vinny please take us back soon too BIKE BUILDING. I like my soap opras shown during the day!!! Old saying what goes around comes around. Remember some of today's best company's came from 1929 era------LEAN AND MEAN
Tom W -How Original  April 16, 2009 07:53 PM
A TV show about building bikes? I hope they realize that without OCC there would be no V-Force. I'm glad to see that Vin and Cody are doing well, but it sucks to see people ragging on American Chopper. They owe a certain amount of their own success to OCC. I guess Paul JR will be a V-Force member soon.
jim wright -new venture  March 29, 2009 03:24 AM
Great to see the guys out of that hellhole,no more threats from senior to take a day off,even though he and his two fat sons make the mess,im sure senior is raging but who cares ha ha great ,gud luck guys from bangor,co down,northern ireland.
Geoffrey Stevens -V Force  March 19, 2009 11:35 PM
Bill, I think you will find these guys started their shop 18 months, before the economic times hit hard. Good luck fella's, hope too see some great bikes produced.
big tam frae scotland -good luck  March 9, 2009 01:06 PM
well done for taking the jump into the unknown.i hope you make it. as others have commented OCC helped you with getting known but the arguing just wore too thin and the stupid antics (ie) the guitar being launched through the air and hitting rick in the face with glass from the window.people change and so do people. wishing you all the best from the centre of the universe
Chopper46 -Never forget  March 9, 2009 12:21 PM
It is good to see you guys having ago, not the best timing for sure but thems the breaks!! You will always have good an bad comments from people some are right some are wrong. For sure OCC has got old with all the arguing, an theme bikes aren't everyone's brew, but let's not forget how you got there! Best o luck ;-)
steve -v force  March 9, 2009 09:37 AM
Please don't follow the "Theme Bike" route guys.....that "stuff" they put together on OCC is crap....Why would you make a bike to look like a friggin fire truck!!!! or fighter plane!!!!!!!! or 57 chevy!!!!!!! If you keep away from "theme" stuff & spiders webs....you'll do all right..... good on ya for making a go of it guys......best of luck!!
Bill -Greed  March 5, 2009 11:06 PM
OCC expands into the greatest recession. Great call guys. How long before the forclosure?..And good luck to those two who walked away from a steady paycheck. I see beans and rice in your future.
Tim B -I Had No Idea  March 5, 2009 07:06 PM
I had no idea these two even left the show. Does anybody know why they left? Heck, I hardly knew that show was still on. It's not about the bikes anymore. OCC made Vinnie and Cody, though. That's especially true with Cody. He cut grass and they brought him in and turned him into a bike builder. Vinnie may have skills, but he would have never became famous without OCC. Good luck with V Force, but they couldn't have entered the market at any worse of a time in our lifetime!
Bruce Andrews -Tv Show  March 5, 2009 04:48 AM
Hey Vin and Cody, can't wait for your new tv show to start, American chopper just isn't the same with out you guys. It has actually become quite boring now and i hardly watch it any more but am now looking forward to your new show and hope that it will air in Australia to All the best Bruce Andrews