2018 Hot Bike Tour Invited Builder Lock Baker

Eastern Fabrications heads west for the Hot Bike Tour

industrial-looking Dyna

This industrial-looking Dyna is a great example of Lock Baker's work.

Jason Lau

We’ve invited motorcycle makers near and far for the 2018 GEICO Hot Bike Tour, including that coast on the other side of the United States from us, with the killer pizza and all the Civil War reenactments. One of the shops on that East Coast is Eastern Fabrications, the eastern base of operations for bike builder Lock Baker (there’s also a West Coast shop in Los Angeles). He’ll be bringing his brand of creative work to the tour as he faces off against a strong field of competitors.

Name: Lock Baker
Shop: Eastern Fabrications
Website: easternfabrications.com
Social Media Handle: IG: @eastern_fabrications
Location: Branford, Connecticut; Los Angeles, California
Lock Baker welding

The artist at work.

Kimberly Mufferini

Describe yourself in three words?

Introverted. Gearhead. Craftsman.

Of the bikes you've made, which bike do you wish you’d kept?

Steel Butterfly. That’s the one with the white tank and fender; it was a cone Panhead. It was just one of those bikes I built that had more mass appeal. It went together really easily and handles incredibly well.

lock baker welding

The artist at work again, grinder version.

Kimberly Mufferini

What are you currently building?

I am building a bike around this experimental engine originally from Ultra Motorcycle Company. Back when they were in business, they were trying to develop their own engine with Ford expert Alan Root. It looks like an Evo but is a little different. I have a prototype of theirs; it’s the only one that ever got put together. I like bizarre engines. It’s a fairly simple rigid, traditional bike that has a1980s flair to it (like a chopper, not a pro street).

What was your first bike?

My first motorcycle was a Kawasaki KLX300. It was a street-legal dirt bike I got in 2001. Before that I was all mountain bikes.

lock baker smoky bike

Tonight’s forecast: widely scattered smoke.

Jason Lau

What is your all-time favorite bike?

That’s a toss up between Icarus and Red Asphalt. Icarus slightly beats out Red because I had more of a hand in designing the engine. The bike was super light and handles really well.

Why did you choose to work in the motorcycle industry?

I like making all sorts of things. I can see myself involved in creating all kinds of things. Bikes are the perfect size and have every type of craft in them: welding, casting, engineering, and more. They’re big enough to go as fast as you want but small enough that you can pull the motor out on your own. It’s the scale. They can take a couple years to make but not a decade. You get the maximum content in the right size package, and they’re very relatable, even to people who don’t ride. It’s easy to share your artwork in that way.

lock baker hammering

Whether you’re working on people or working on metal, when the hammers and torches come out, you know s—t is about to get real.

Ryan HK

What do you think the future of the motorcycle industry is?

I think it’s going to electric. I don’t know if that’s fortunate or unfortunate. I think that will be a huge portion of it. This could make people who build gas bikes more valuable due to specialization. There’ll be overlap for many years. Hopefully, it means the gas bikes are a tighter community that gets more respect.

What inspires you?

I’m always trying to build what I think will be a pure, easy-to-look-at machine but that’s not what comes out at the end (laughs). I put a lot on the outside of a bike and make it user friendly from a mechanic standpoint. That’s the goal going in but that’s not how that comes out. Full bodied but simple is what I like.