The Speed Merchant’s Brandon Holstein evolved a 2017 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S into this road-ripping performance custom for the 2018 Hot Bike Tour. Piggyback shocks, his own air cleaner, and Screamin’ Eagle parts are just some of the upgrades he gave it.
A long, long time ago in a land not far away at all (Huntington Beach, California), I met a chap who went by the nickname of Brawny. To this day, I still don’t have a clue how Brandon Holstein, from The Speed Merchant, earned that nickname. He damn sure didn’t look like the Paul Bunyan doppelgänger from the paper towel roll. And he wasn’t some roided-out doucher toting a gallon jug of electrolytes in between sets at the gym. He was just a dude. A dude who worked at Todd’s Cycle part-time while trying to get his own gig, The Speed Merchant, off the ground. Todd spoke highly of Brawny. Which says a lot because Todd doesn’t say that much. One day I was at Todd’s shop and Brawny was machining something in the back. Todd called me over to meet him. I said “hey,” when Todd introduced us. Then he said “hey” back. And that was pretty much that.
A year or two later, The Speed Merchant logo was popping up all over the place. And then The Speed Merchant began making these rad little preload adjusters for 39mm fork tubes and my tracker Sporty project was definitely in need of a set. I called up Brandon and headed over to the shop to see what he’d been building, and I knew after that visit that Brandon was a talented builder. He was very meticulous. Almost to a fault. The good ones always are. They don’t pay attention to time. Only the work. It’s all in the work. And this was something I’d seen in very select talents. He had it.
And Brawny knew it too. He took that drive and vision and hasn’t looked back since, building several top-notch bikes over the years that you’ve seen here in Hot Bike, and plenty of other places too. Which was why he was a no-brainer to be a choice for the 2018 Hot Bike Tour.
The interesting thing about Brandon’s entry, a 2017 Dyna Low Rider S, was that it was completely different from the style we’re used to seeing roll out of TSM’s four walls. But what intrigued us the most was it was some insight into Brandon’s versatility. He can’t be beholden to one particular style of motorcycle. What he can be holdin’ is the handlebar (tightly) on this awesome performance bike as it tears off the line at a stoplight.