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Matt’s Garage Company Bobber

Posted on September 23, 2011 by Andrew in Bobber. 20 comments

Show ponies. Trailer queens. Museum pieces. Forms over function. Style over substance. Fashion accessories. All show, no go. Collectables. Garage fillers. Props. Just for looks. Whatever you want to call them, you’d be hard-pressed not to admit that quite a few custom bikes aren’t really used as actual transport. Whether it be the bank-breaking paint jobs, the lose-your-mind loudness of the pipes, or the whole “it doesn’t matter – I’ll fix that after the photo shoot” attitude, there’s plenty of customs out there that can’t really cut it out in the big, bad world of, well, the world. But here’s one that fits into that pigeonhole like a tractor fits into your pants. What you are looking at in these here digital-type photographs is a custom that has been ridden day in and day out to the point that it fits Matt, it’s owner, like a pair of custom-made leather riding gloves. We’re guessing that’s more than most of us could say about our own bikes, and we think that most of them would be a touch less bespoke than this little gem. Ladies and gentlemen, pop it into top gear and relax those arms as we take a nice, long ride with Mr. Musial and his Garage Company bobber.

Not exactly what you’d call a “sporty” riding position

“I had been hanging around Yoshi’s shop, The Garage Company, where he has always had a plethora of English and Italian café racers for sale and on display for a year (I’ve always ridden Trumpet’s). It took me a awhile before I wandered into the back shop where I discovered that Yoshi had a few stripped down bobbers in the works. I started talking to him about building me one of them and he let me know that there were three of his bobbers on display in the Von Dutch store on Melrose. I had a look-see and fell in love with them immediately and only had to decide which one of these beauties I wanted/could afford.”

Matt’s “Long Way Down on Bobbers” project didn’t get off to a good start

“I was tempted to build my own bike but the problem was that I didn’t have cash and the loan sharks won’t give you money for anything without a VIN number so I went the loan route. Yoshi has these two techs – Kyo and Suguru who are really cool guys from Japan and really went the extra mile to customize the bike for me.”

“My helmet? I left it over there”

“The tank is a custom Garage Company piece. It’s 1.5 gallons only, hence the Bud shot. The engine is a 1980 Harley Davidson 80ci Shovelhead. When anyone asks me about the motor, I tell them its a Shovelhead Bowling Ball motor. I’ve been riding it now for 7 years including two “El Diablo” runs and several out of state trips. I since moved to Austin, Texas and now spend most of my time with European bike owners so am still riding quite a bit but have also commissioned a 79′ BMW Cafe bike to be built by Bill Twitchel at Revival. The BMW will be a nice change for out of state trips.”


“even though the rear wheel locked up,
the front end dragged me to a safe stop”

“The bike handles very well when you are going over 15 miles an hour due to the rake. Funny though – the rear tire swallowed the fender on three occasions and even though the rear wheel locked up, the front end dragged me through to a safe stop! I’ve welded a healthier mount since the last time. I was attracted to this bike due to the fact that the seat sits so low to the ground – it feels like your doing an ass skid the whole time! I wouldn’t change a single thing on this bike except for an oil cooler for the hot Texas summers.”

Either that’s petrol in a beer bottle, or Bud have upped their alcohol content lately

We can’t help but think that in the end, the riding is what it’s all about. It’s obvious that most of us spend more than a token amount of time on the computer each day – no prizes for guessing that we ourselves are amongst the worst offenders. But you can bet your bottom dollar that when your family are standing around your “final” bed and the holy man is preparing to do what he’s been trained to do, you won’t be regretting the fact that you didn’t post enough witty comments on Pipeburn. But we’ll forgive you if you can’t help yourself just once more time. Off you go, then.

  • Kenoath

    YEA BUDDY! that's awesome

  • @ Kenoath – So you like it just a little better than the Peugeot, then? 😉

  • Kenoath

    I love how the start of this post pretty much shits on the Peugeot for being a half assed show bike built buy a hipster.

  • @Kenoath – Either that, or you're reading between the lines just a little…

  • Gloo

    Common as coyote crap in these parts. Nice rendition of the breed though.

    I fear the whole ~cafe scene~ over here in the mighty mighty usa is going to do the same thing to that genre that it did to the HD bobber. Tame it and lame it.

    Just another blonde with big tits.

  • revdub

    Sweet bobber. I'd ride it every day too.

  • John Wayne Gacy

    I'll ride a blonde with big tits any day!

  • Charlie

    John Wayne Gacy, all my internets to you.

    I'm trying to work out where he carries the bud bottle on his daily rides, if it requires filling that frequently. Painting the blue battery box black or coating it in tin would complete the bike for me, not that I wouldn't exchange mine for it any day.

  • GuitarSlinger

    Looks to me like Yoshi has a fair amount of influence from Shinya Kimura , especially from his ZERO days .

    No complaints though .

  • jack

    i would get some major back problems if i was in that riding position all day on that thing, but i still think this build is terrific.

  • scoot

    Snore !!!

  • Kenoath

    @Andrew well you need to see some shit bikes sometimes to make the awesome ones stand out more aye?

    @Scoot can you not comprehend the madness that is the suicide shifter, tiny fuel tank and fully custom seating position because you ride scooters?

  • Gloo

    'Tis a sad day when we find ourselves praising somebody for actually RIDING the motorcycle they built. What a concept!

  • Nice lines!

    any news on the Imaginary Garage – 2011 Kawasaki W800?

  • Shinya Kimura says you need to see a bike being ridden to see how it looks. Not sure this one looks good with the rider's he
    a foot taller than the mechanics that built the bike?

  • scoot

    Kenoath……I CAN appreciate the madness of items you mention on the bike, but it's a so over done look, hence the snore comment.
    As for being inspired by the bikes being displayed in the Von Dutch store on Melrose…….Jeeez, what a "sell out" concept store, Mr Kenneth Howard should be laughing from the grave !!
    Yes, I used to ride Vespas for 25 years, anything wrong with that ?? Now it's only East Germany's finest that grace my garage….familiar with the history of Walter Kaaden ??

  • What I like about this Bobber is that it doesn't have the typical Bobber "look". This one is low, long,rugged and its not afraid to get dirty or be ridden hard!

  • "What I like about this Bobber is that it doesn't have the typical Bobber "look".

    The reason for this is that it isn't really a bobber–it's a "Samurai Chopper." A style originally credited to Shinya Kimura.

  • Oh no, not the 'what's a real bobber' issue! This is a Samurai Chopper as the above poster says, it is styled after traditional bobbers though, a stripped down bare bones bike. This is a very nice example, Garage Company builds quality bikes…..just look at the Knuckle Chop Kiyo built for Born Free 3. It looks like the drive belt's busted in the sandhill pic.

  • Samurai Chopper style bikes could be said to refer to a number of different period styles of custom bikes,both earlier and later than the classic bobber of the immediate Post -WWII era in the USA. The very low stance of these machines, highly raked out springer, the low bars don't look a helluva lot like anything you see in the pictures from the Hollister disturbances etc. i.e bikes that take their styling cues from the dirt track racers of the day..And at t the GarageComnpany site compare this one with Kiyo's Knuck for example…