Maurice Van Den Tillaard Interview


If there's a photographer who carries the mantle "chopperazzi" with pride, it's Holland's Maurice Van Den Tillaard. Like so many other two-wheeled believers from his generation, Maurice found his inspiration in BMX and on the pages of many, many magazines. His lifelong passion for cars and motorcycles also helped him build a foundation for a rewarding second career behind the lens of a camera.

We say "second career" because Maurice has a day job that would probably satisfy even the most anally fixated fab freak: this Flying Dutchman is a fighter-jet mechanic for the Dutch military.

Recent bails and even bigger bills have forced Maurice to liquidate the choppers in his stable for now, but he's still neck deep in a variety of two-wheeled scenes. Like many of us, Maurice cut his teeth in BMX, then progressed to a higher level on MTB's. In his spare time, Maurice always played with cars and bikes. These passions spilled into a variety of photographic pursuits. During one of Maurice's trips to California, choppers caught his eye and the affable Nederlander dug in with cameras and wrenches blazing.

Maurice's personal motorcycles and the photographs he's created of other machines have been featured in some of the same chopper 'zines that captured his imagination in the early days. After honing his craft with bikes in dusty alleys and parking lots, Maurice jumped into the high-stakes game of action photography. Free-wheeling Dutchman photos have graced the pages of automotive and motorcycle periodicals across the world, and today, a small selection of his favorite photos grace this ChopCult "21" interview.

Name: Maurice van den Tillaard
Age: 36
Business name: DutchmanPhotos
Town: Gemert, The Netherlands, Europe
Coworkers: None

Name: Maurice van den Tillaard

Age: 36

Business name: Dutchman Photos

Home: Gemert, The Netherlands

Co-workers: None


Broken wrist in 2010

Clipped wing, 2010


Riding buddies: Local boys Robin, Marc, and Robert when I was still on the motorcycle. When it comes to bicycles there’s a ton of people I ride with. Michael van der Lee is a ruler to spent a day with on the bicycle

First time on two wheels: When I was 3 years old I learned to ride a bicycle. Later on around age 12 I started riding my neighbour’s RM80. That thing was nuts!

First hand-built motorcycle: 1970 Triumph Bonneville chopper which I built together with my dad and my friend Robin

Earliest two-wheeled adventure: That would be riding my pink GT Pro Performer to, and at, the 1988 Fat Jam in Aarle-Rixtel, Holland. Motorcycle wise, I’d say riding the ’91 GSX-R 750 to the Dutch TT



Bautista at the Estoril Moto GP in 2010

Suzuki GP racer Alvaro Bautista, Estoril MotoGP, 2010


Most recent two-wheeled adventure: Breaking my wrist in Chamonix, France, on some wicked downhill trail on the outskirts of the Mont Blanc was a pretty crazy adventure

Current stable of bikes and projects: Sad to admit it but at the moment I don’t own any motorcycles at all. There’s a ton of bicycle stuff in my garage, though: a '70s Motobecane city bike, a 2008 Merlin titanium road bike, a ’97 Samson NJS Keirin bike, an RIH track bike that was ridden by the ’92 Olympic team, an old Andy Gilmour pursuit bike that I recently restored, a ’95 S&M Challenger, a Schwinn Blue Falcon, a Trek 8500 MTB, a very rare Brian Rourke TT bike of which only 6 or 7 were built, and my ’95 GT Zaskar which I almost finished rebuilding. My downhill bike was sold a little while ago. The photography deal is eating up most of my time lately and I can’t keep up with everything, that’s one of the reasons why I got rid of my motorcycles. Rebuilding old bicycles is cheaper, easier, and less time-consuming than building motorcycles


Chase Stopnik, Newport Beach, 2011

Chase Stopnik, Newport Beach, CA, 2011


Tool you wish you had but don't: A more creative mind

Tool you have but wish you didn't: Two: the lawnmower and the vacuum. I hate those things!

Heaven on Earth: Some people might think I sound like an ass for saying it, but it’s probably Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, because pretty much everything that's always had my deepest, lifelong interest can be found there in its best and most intense forms


Death Squad, Oceanside, 2011

Death Squad, Oceanside, CA, 2011


Proudest moment: I don’t really have any proud moments. Nothing comes to mind

Darkest secret: No dark secrets to be found here mate—I can’t keep my mouth shut

Deepest fear: Losing a close family member


in Afghanistan-2

Van Den Tillaard in Afghanistan


Biggest regret: I’m bummed about selling my Subaru WRX 3 years ago, but not much else

Reason for being: Trying to live it 110% at all times


My second Triumph we built

Maurice's second Triumph


If I lost my right arm: Shit, I would need to get one of those fake rubber arms or a chrome hook, like a pirate. I saw an Italian guy who had one in Baldwin Park last year and he scared the hell outta me

Thanks: My girlfriend Floortje for letting me do what I do, and to my friends in Europe and Stateside. And of course, mom and dad


Duane Peters, just gotten 50, 2011

Duane Peters' 50th birthday gig, 2011


Jeffrey Herlings, Belgium, 2010

Jeffrey Herlings, Belgium, 2011


My garage built Panhead

Maurice's panhead


On the local track back in '08 or something-1

Maurice airing out his MTB on home turf, 2008 (Limpe Iven photo)


On the way to Bottrop Germany-1

Riding to Bottrop, Germany (Limpe Iven photo)


Sal's 356, Whittier, 2011

Sal's Porsche 356, Whittier, CA, 2011


Melissa Buhl, Austria, 2011

DH MTB racer Melissa Buhl in Austria, 2011


Mark Drews, Sunset Beach, 2011

Mark Drews in Sunset Beach, 2011


Riding downhill in France in '09-2

The Flying Dutchman on French DH trails, 2009


Tommy Hahn, Corona, 2011

Tommy Hahn in Corona, CA, 2011


Shooting with Brandon Holstein-1

Maurice on location with Brandon Holstein, 2011


With Max Schaaf in the Oakland Hills in '05

Max Schaaf and Maurice riding the hills above Oakland, CA, 2005

Comment with Facebook


Comment with Chopcult (16)

Commented on 9-23-2011 At 09:51 am

Too bad he still needs a day job :-(

Commented on 9-23-2011 At 12:17 pm

great pics and nice to meet ya brother!

Commented on 9-23-2011 At 01:34 pm

awesome photos, i really like the death squad picture

Commented on 9-23-2011 At 05:37 pm

Some amazing photography. It's really pretty sad that someone with that sort of ability has to work a "real" job, too.

And, if you haven't seen that Panhead, it's a stunning piece of machinery. I've stalked it for years now.

Commented on 9-24-2011 At 12:28 am

Sweet photos for sure, thanks!!

Commented on 9-24-2011 At 05:38 am

The first guy I remember who was documenting the traditional chopper 'scene'... years ago before anyone else; his website was a big influence back in the day.

But can't believe you don't have a motorcycle Maurice!

Commented on 9-24-2011 At 09:48 am

I'll be the unpopular guy and say I'm not really impressed. Anyone with a Rebel can take those pics. But if you came from bmx and wear the right clothes and know the right people you can make a name in the modern world of choppers. I'm not knocking Maurice here just the cliquey world that is making stars because they run out of people to talk about.

Commented on 9-25-2011 At 10:32 am

Sweet.. good stuffs

Commented on 9-25-2011 At 11:37 am

Earthbender, if you know anyone from the cliquey world of Internet experts who will agree to be interviewed and photographed by you for ChopCult, please submit a feature. I'll pay you $150 for anything we publish. I earned exactly zero for this story, and I chose to write about Maurice because I know and respect him. Making disparaging comments about either Maurice or myself simply because we rode BMX bikes in the 1980's seems petty and inconsequential in the greater subtext, which as Guy from GK illuminated includes the fact that Maurice was a pioneer in the new chopper media.

Sorry your cynicism and my nepotism clouded this fact.

Commented on 9-25-2011 At 04:26 pm

I dig it. And not everyone with a Rebel can do that- composition and choice of subject matter, the average dude (like me) with a good camera still can't produce that.
Thanks for the Story Halwade; the depth of the story and photographs spans continents.

Commented on 9-25-2011 At 07:07 pm

Halwade, like I said, I knew my comment would be unpopular and I'm surprised I didn't get slammed for them. I just showed my wife what I wrote and she looked at me like I am some kind of dick. What I should have written was " the pics dont appeal to me and I'm a jealous asshole." When you are laid off and sitting at home you have a lot of time to invent reasons why your life sucks and everyone's life should suck too. So to Maurice I offer my most sincere apology. However, I had no idea you road bmx bikes in the 80's. My comment about "the scene" was, yes, inconsequential but had nothing to do with you.As far as I know, you own or run or work for Biltwell. I could be wrong about that too. I was not trying to link Chopcult to my perception of the chopper culture as a media form. There is a time and a place for this discussion and you are right, Maurice should not have suffered from my foul mood. I know when I'm wrong and I will take this one on the chin.

Commented on 9-25-2011 At 07:51 pm


Commented on 9-25-2011 At 09:55 pm

i'm a d-bag that lives in a double-wide but I think ain't nothing cooler than a pic of someone havin' fun...why the fuck u think pornography is so popular?

Dutchman=heavy, HEAVY ruler
Halwade=unmatched wordsmith and cocksparrer
Earthbender=a real man for 1. speaking his mind and 2. coming back to admit error


Commented on 9-25-2011 At 11:12 pm

I have always been highly impressed with Duchman's photos and know just how hard it is to get them. I've tried and failed with my Rebel..............but Dutchman can school me with a Iphone.....

Commented on 9-26-2011 At 06:55 pm

it makes me proud to see some one from my little country having such an impact on the cult!

maurice: je moet nu toch echt wel weer een motor op de kop tikken!

Commented on 9-30-2011 At 07:00 am

Public opinion will be positive or the beatings will continue.

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