A feature of ChopCult that we have always been proud of, but one that arose quite serendipitously, is our strong international following. I’ve approached, and been approached by, our members and followers from all over the globe, to feature their works of art. Over the next few months you will see motorcycles from Indonisia, Japan, France, Europe, and Spain, just to name a few. To kick things off, we have a feature on ChopCult member Marcos Vazquez, of Free Kustom Cycles, and his righteous chopper. Please take a moment to get to know Marcos.
“I opened Free Kustom Cycles in 2004 as a sales of accessories and clothing for the custom market, while I became Official Distributor of MOONEYES for Spain. Five years later, I changed the premises and expanded the business, opening a workshop. I work alone at the shop and garage with the help of my wife; I dedicate myself to customizing both HD and Japanese custom bikes. My favorite styles are choppers or bobbers, but I also do cafe racers and scramblers. In the end, I work on any projects on which I can express my creativity. It is not a very big workshop and we only have basic tools like they did back in the day, without big machines, which makes me feel more proud of my work when I finish every bike that goes through the workshop doors. It seems to resonate with customers, because thanks to your support I am one of the longest-lived businesses of this type in Spain. Always expanding my head, a year and a half ago, I decided to launch my own FUKC (Free-U-Kustom-Cycles) clothing line which has had an unimaginable support, selling more than 600 shirts throughout the world, and that next to our prisoner pants are the star products. Now I'm working to expand the collection, on things like a vest and our line of Springers Hairpins. Forks that will have a super narrow look in tribute to the choppers of the '60s. I think there are only two or three manufacturers of these around the world.
Marcos and Shige San, owner and operator of MOONEYES.
I love the MOONEYES brand, and love both its history and products. Opening the store gave me the opportunity to be the only Official Distributor in Spain and the ability to offer its extensive range of products for cars and motorcycles, and its large catalog of merch. In recent years, I have been invited to different international events, which I am very proud of. And it has also allowed me to be the only Spanish guest five years in a row, to attend as an Honored Guest from MOONEYES event in Japan, and to deliver a prize made with my hands, during the event. For me, MOONEYES is the best event of KUSTOM KULTURE in the world without any doubt. And past year was doubly important, since apart from returning as a guest and delivering another prize, was the official presentation of a book in which I have been working this last year together with Cyrill Arino, Filo Loco (Editor) and David Marvier (Photographer), and where we give a tribute to the history of MOONEYES and more especially to the 25 years of its event in Japan. This was an exclusive presentation for Japan, but the Official Presentation worldwide was this year in Paris, next to a photographic exhibition with the best 25th Anniversary photos. You can order your copy here. Thanks!
Steve Caballero rules!
And a little bit about this bike...
The story of this bike started almost 12 years ago when it was bought from Tony, an American guy who was in Valencia, Spain, working for a team in the World Sailing World Cup. The bike had already been customized to the Arlen Ness style, it was not my style, but I already had in mind what to change on it. After riding with my wife for several years, where we traveled almost all of Spain and part of Europe, I left her parked in my workshop waiting to start working on it, but life surprised us (not without effort and suffering) with our first daughter, and then with the second, and with all the work I had in my workshop making motorbikes for my clients, in the end I delayed on the long-term project. The great motivation and determination to start working on it was given to me by my brothers Mario and Vinzenz, two years ago in Japan, who told me: "You have to make a bike to present at our event, Art & Wheels in Switzerland!!". That was two years ago when they already had the full poster, but last year again in Japan, it was confirmed that with only four months to do it, cause I was going to be one of the constructors invited this year 2017. I had little time but the ideas were very clear, to make a sixties chopper but something different from what was already being done, so I got to work. I started by completely undressing the frame and removing all unnecessary supports to leave it as clean as possible. Once it was stripped and in iron, I dedicate to dress it little by little, with its EVO engine that is almost the only original part that is left, and a girder front end that was bought from a guy from the south of Spain and that I fell in love with...as that fork asked for more rake, we cut the pipe and we gave it 42º to have a positive footprint and give it that look that I was hoping for, thanks to the help of my friend Miquel from UNITAT METRICA, who also helped me in all lathing and with other work as well.
The amazing wheels with their round profile, came about after looking for something different and already having the front wheel of a Heritage which was transformed for a good friend, I only lacked the front tire, and in the end I found it in the USA, too. This was starting to look good!! I used the gas tank that i made some years ago for a friend of mine and who fit perfectly on the frame, a peanut gas tank that i tightened and welded with a frisco style. I made the sissybar as different as I could from stuff I had seen in thousands of photos (and I have not yet been able to find any of them, which makes me happy!). I made the exhaust too, cutting and welding an old muffler from a panhead and using the ripple bar from my brother Lucas from THE FACTORY METAL WORKS. Here I was helped by my great friend (and owner of the Heritage to whom he took the tire ...) Gabri, a great support and friend for many years.
After working on several details that are an important part of a project with products from MOONEYES, LOWBROW CUSTOMS, KUSTOM TECH, MINWARD CYCLES, TC DEATH CAT PARTS, HANDCRAFT CHOPPERS, etc ... I started working on the seat, where I made the seat pan with a hidden mounting system, and my friend and great leather artist, Ivan Bartolacci from CALAVERA LEATHER, was commissioned to upholster it with black patent leather and with a amazing design!
It was missing the most important part, the paint, and although it was already clear what color would be used, the design and finish was made by my brother from another mother, Kilian from PIC-ASTUDIO, who left me again amazed with the job he did on the bike!
Photos by Japo Santos
Owner: Marcos Vazquez
Shop: Free Kustom Cycles
Fabrication: Free Kustom Cycles
Build Time: 4 months
Engine Year/Type/Size: 1990/H-D Evo/80ci
Builder: Free Kustom Cycles
Cases: H-D Cylinders H-D
Rocker Boxes: H-D
Cam: Crane Cams
Carb: S&S Super E Shorty
Air Cleaner: Mooneyes
Exhaust: Made by FREE KUSTOM CYCLES modifying OEM Shark tails and using ripple pipes from The Factory Metal Works
Transmission Year/Type: 1990/H-D Evo
Gears: H-D Clutch H-D
Primary: Drive H-D
Frame: Year/Type 1990/H-D turned rigid
Rake: 42º Stretch Stock
Front End: Girder
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes
Builder /Size: H-D/21 in.
Builder/Size: H-D/16 in.
Tire/Size 5.00 x 16 TT Classic
Manufacturer: Kilian Ramirez
Colors: Kandy Blue
Painter: Kilian Ramirez Pic-Astudio
Graphics: Kilian Ramirez Pic-Astudio
Polishing: Pulido Metales Perez
Rear Fender: Free Kustom Cycles
Gas: Tank Chopped peanut gas tank
Handlebars: H-D Sportster Ironhead XL1000
Grips: Seven Sins Choppers
Hand Controls: Wannabe Choppers
Sissy Bar: Free Kustom Cycles
Seat: Ivan Bartolacci
I would like to thank all my friends who have helped me in the project, to my clients for all their support during these years, and especially and above all, to three people. My wife, Monica, for being my best support and allowing me to live and work on what I like, and for giving me two wonderful children! I love you!!! -Marcos
Free Kustom Cycles / Facebook / Instagram
Photos by Japo Santos / @japosantos