HB: Was there ever a customer request that you refused to meet or were hesitant to incorporate into a bike.
RS: I don't build bikes that don't work. Nothing more than a 240 rear tire. Nothing with stupid geometry or anything unsafe. So yes, I've had to say no a few times.
HB: What's wrong with the custom motorcycle industry these days? What's right?
RS: I think we are kind of back to square one. The age of decadence has come and gone. We are back to garage-built obtainable custom bikes. You can't depend upon a bunch of random millionaires to keep the motorcycle industry on its feet. Good products at fair prices and tons of creativity are what will pull us through. I'm loving the little triumphs, CBs, and café racers people are building; cheap, fun, and easy to build. What's better than that?
HB: You've raced, built, jumped, and designed motorcycles. Is there anything you haven't done on or with a motorcycle that you still want to do?
RS: I did a backflip so that about sealed the deal. I'm good. No more broken bones for me thanks.
While the finned Nostalgia covers have been part of he RSD line for a while, the popular Contrast Cut finish has now been incorporated into the top of the fins.
While the finned Nostalgia covers have been part of he RSD line for a while, the popular C
HB: If you had to ride only one motorcycle for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
RS: Probably a Ducati Multistrada. Dirt, SuperMoto, RoadRace, Touring...it confuses me how they did so much with one machine, but that thing kicks ass. Aesthetically it's OK, but it's all about the riding.
HB: The internet has become a safe haven for people to anonymously talk shit. What do you have to say to people who make comments on blogs or message boards that RSD is only successful because of PM?
RS: Yea that's funny. While people are busy talking shit, I'm head-down designing and building. I would say my parents and the team at PM have played a major part in my success. I would also say I've played a large part in the success of PM. I've designed roughly 90 percent of that catalog and spent a large part of my working career pioneering metal cutting design within the walls of PM. In the end, success is the best revenge so I just use the hate as fuel to create.
HB: With your racing background, one would think most of your Harley builds would be based on maybe Sportys or Dynas. But many of your bikes have been based on Softails. Why?
RS: It's been a pretty marketable bike as far as creating aftermarket parts, so we've paid a lot of attention to it. We're really breaking into doing more for the Dynas and Sportys now with some more affordable steel products and more variety, rather than just billet stuff.
HB: Describe your style in three words.
RS: Aggressive, clean, functional.
HB: You recently moved RSD into a new building. What do you see in the future for RSD?
RS: I have an amazing team of people here at the shop, so as a crew we are really capable of anything. We're doing a bunch of new products for new models, an apparel line, helmets, kind of everything that encompasses the motorcycle life as well as some things that don't. A new retail store will be in place by the first of the year, so we invite everyone to come out and check out the products, bikes, and apparel.
HB: What are you working on now?
RS: A high-performance Dyna, a KTM 530 Moto Café Racer, a Ducati Café Racer, a Super Moto Bike for Ben Spies, some furniture. I can't really talk about the other stuff but there's some cool shit coming.