Ever meet a person and immediately know they'll be in your life forever? That was my experience when I met David Roy from Voodoo Vintage. Even though we've never met face to face, there's a common bond between us. He's very friendly, funny, hard-working, and is a true craftsman who takes pride in his work. Realizing that ChopCult members, readers, and followers are looking for high quality, affordable, frames, and hardtails, David recently decided to take the plunge and begin advertising with ChopCult. Through additional cross-promotion and giveaways, we've watched Voodoo Vintage become the premier company for such goods. We appreciate David's help with this interview and wish him continued success with his brand.
Photography by Heath Braun
When did you open Voodoo Vintage? We established Voodoo Vintage in the fall of 2008 and operated from our two-car garage for the first couple years. I had a little 7" lathe, cutting torch, bench top drill press, MIG welder, and an assortment of power tools. Since Day-1, our priority has been the guy trying to build a custom bike for less than $4,000. That is "OUR CUSTOMER"!
How many years of experience do you have? It's hard to say. Eight years building motorcycle frames, but I utilize so many facets of fabrication and design that were picked up through years of various disciplines. Because we were dead-ass broke, my childhood fabrication career began at the age of 9 by building Star Wars spaceships out of cardboard for the two action figures I had acquired. Luckily, I grew up in a family of fabricators and have welded everything I can get my hands on since I was a child in Southwest Texas. I can't claim to be a master of any particular trade as I don't have any formal training at all. Thank God for the Internet and the old grumpy craftsman that doesn't mind sharing his knowledge with a young man!
How many employees do you have and what are their positions? Wayne Chilcott- Fabricator Jeremy Pacheco- Part Time Fabricator Zakia Benyoucef- Owner, Administrator David Roy- Owner, Fabricator, Broom Pusher
How many hardtails do you offer? We have 17 Hardtail models on the website, but we are constantly expanding our line and will soon be offering the Suzuki GS650, Harley Rubbermount Sportster, Harley Ironhead, Kawasaki KZ440 and K4, Honda 450 Rebel
What would be the biggest seller? Of the hardtails- Definitely the Mk21 for the Yamaha XS650, but the Mk33 for the Suzuki Savage is biting at it's heels!
How many frames do you offer? Currently, we offer 11 different production models although three of them are not shown on the website as of yet. Within the next couple months, we will be releasing two different vintage style loop-frame designs for the Harley Davidson Big Twin and will be distributed through Malibu Motorcycle Works out of California.
What frame is the most popular with your customers? For the Japanese- Mk6 For the Harley- Mk12
Is there a wait for frames and hardtails or do you have a stockpile to fill orders with? We sometimes carry hardtails in stock, but turn-around time is typically about three days. Our full frames definitely have a wait period with a minimum of six weeks depending on current workload. Some frames have taken longer simply due to custom details. One thing that sets us apart... We are one of a small few custom frame manufacturers that are willing to use the customers original neck tube in an effort to circumvent any titling issues!
What other services do you offer? We will fabricate just about anything from custom metal signs to iPhone stands! One of our flagship products is the VELOCITY front end, which is picking up popularity exponentially!
Most shops create a few products and just keep their inventory low. How do you handle creating so many products? We will fabricate batch runs of simple products such as our SNAIL CAM axle adjusters and our new Harley head tube inserts for the XS650. Most everything else is fabricated to order, but we do carry a hefty inventory of raw material!
How important is it to you for people to use Made in the USA products? I feel that the U.S. is experiencing a re-insurgence of pride in our craftsmanship and ingenuity. I'm very proud of everyone in this (bike culture) industry who struggles, not to get rich, but to live and work FREE of the corporate institution and offer products handcrafted from their very own blood, sweat, and imagination. Every purchase, whether it be from a domestic or overseas customer, contributes to these pioneers of small industry and further separates the quality between artisans and mass-production.
What type of music in on in the shop? Stones, ZZ Top, BB King, Bowie, Clapton, Johny Lee Hooker, and lots of AC/DC!
Watching you through social media, it seems like you hardly ever leave. What would you consider a perfect day away from the shop? A long winding bike ride with friends through the tree tunneled Texas Hill Country ending with a camp on the Guadalupe River. No alcohol for this Muslim, so an ice cold Big Red and jalapeno' cheeseburger grilled over a campfire. Finally, a cup of coffee, cigar, and the sound of the river as I sleep in my hammock. Damn you for asking! Ha ha ha!
Is there anyone you would like to thank? Besides the obvious- GOD! First, let me thank you Lisa and sites such as ChopCult who shine a light on us that would otherwise never be seen. Voodoo Vintage would not be possible without the love and support of my wife Zakia. Understanding why I typically get home around midnight EVERY NIGHT is something that most wives would not tolerate. She applauds my creativity. She pushes me to do better, to be more efficient and promotes a better work ethic. And God knows if she didn't manage the business side, we would tank in a matter of months! "THANK YOU, BABY!"
I'd also like to thank all my employees, past and present, for offering their best performance and sticking it out even though my crappy moods. And certainly not the least, all our valuable customers for standing by, being patient, and continuing their contribution to the industry as a whole. You guys are the "real" rock-stars!
Be sure to check out Voodoo Vintage's website and Chop Market for your fabrication needs. Also give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook for their ongoing support to our community and website!