"I'd been working on those wheels for like a year. Actually the entire bike has been a very long process."
"I'd been working on those wheels for like a year. Actually the entire bike has been a ver
Let your emotions inspire you, not ruin you. This was one of the first thoughts that came to my mind as I was listening to TJ Carlini of Carlini Designs tell me the story of how his bike "Pure Evil" came to be.
We've all been in bad places in our lives emotionally, whether it was the loss of a loved one, getting fired, or the break up of a relationship. For some people negative emotions can get the better of them and drag them down. For others, they are able to channel negative emotions into positive constructive energy and actions, which can then become a turning point in their lives.
With a father who was highly recognized as one of the prominent bike builders dating back to the late '60s, years of experience helping with the family custom parts business, and influences from personal connections from names like Willie G., Jesse James, and Arlen Ness, TJ knew early on he wanted to create his own mark on the industry he grew up in and loved but just needed the right motivation to help set his path in motion. Then several years back, while working through a bad spot in his young life, TJ used the raw emotions he was experiencing to not only help him get through his struggle but help him find himself as a motorcycle designer and further define his personal style.
With just the right lighting you get of glimpse of the name TJ came up with for his emotional inspiration. Notice how the white gold under the red pin striping helps it light up like an LED strip?
With just the right lighting you get of glimpse of the name TJ came up with for his emotio
Here is an edited version of our hour-long interview with TJ.
HB: The bike started out as a Deuce right? Did you buy it brand new?
TJ: Yeah, brand new. I bought it from Glendale H-D.
HB: When did you decide to start customizing it to where it is now?
TJ: It started...well, let me back up a bit. I had to find my style first. When I bought the bike back in '02,I was going to do a few things to it and add to my parts line. I just had a lot of distractions. My marriage was falling apart and it was taking up all my time. I was really mad, frustrated, and it was a big nightmare. I had a lot of aggression built up and I just channeled all of it. I got into the gym and started training with MMA fighters and focusing on my designs. All of that aggression, all that bad stuff in my personal life helped me hone my style. It's like I had writer's block when I bought the bike and didn't know where I wanted to go in terms of style. The only thing I was 100 percent sure of was I wanted to be true to myself and be original. I can't stand being copied. I was reading HOT BIKE and all the other bike magazines, I went over to Jesse's [James] place and picked his brain, but I'd say my biggest influence was just living in my dad's garage. I spent so much time with him, you can see a lot of his influences in the bike, but it's definitely me. That's the whole reason I did this. I needed my own original thumbprint. I didn't want to rest on the laurels of my dad. When I'm done with motorcycles and the industry I want to leave my own unique scar on the face of it. That's so important to me. It's more important than the money, than anything. To be true. That's why I'm in this. I love motorcycles and it's a true representation of my own unique style and it tells the story of my influences, between the fighting, the surfing, and my dad growing up. There's been a lot of big names come through my garage. Willie G., Arlen [Ness], Jesse, they have all helped me hone who I am.