Starting today we introduce our new Moto Profile segment to the journal. The idea is to do a little questionnaire with the people that inspire us when it comes to motorcycles and the whole lifestyle that surrounds it.
– Who are you, and what’s your background?
My name is Arjan van den Boom, engineer & owner/founder at Ironwood Custom Motorcycles.
Born in the south of the Netherlands, raised in Amsterdam. I started wrenching and modifying scooters & mopeds at age of 15 and cars followed shortly.
Got my bike license for a decade now and drove several Japanese super sports in those past years. Knee downs became the new standard. On the road and tracks as well. After some nearly fatal accidents and broken bones I decided to set sail in 2012 for different directions ’’return of the cafe-racer’’.
The rise of the custom motorcycle culture was born in Europe that year and I liked it from the start. The bikes, the art, fashion and lifestyle.
My first project completed in 2013 was an authentic 1979 Honda CB550. I turned this one to brat style in my living room with parts from Dime City Cycles. Still seeing this bike getting shared on Social nowadays.
Working in the automotive for the past 8 years at Dutch bicycle company ’’VANMOOF’’ and now as a project leader for a big OEM turbocharger manufacturer was not satisfyingly enough. Running meetings and Telco’s with Asia/USA and sitting behind my laptop screen all day is not very challenging. My head got stimulated but my hands were tight (and itching)…
I needed to set free my creativity so I’ve cutted hours at my day job to do what I love to do. Overhaul, restore, customize and rebuild vintage motorcycles.
– Where are you right now? Set the scene for us…
Between follower and trend setter. Think I’m making bikes which are sizzling hot at the moment. Create mainstream look and still give it a small touch of Ironwood. With the fast growing 40K fan base on Instagram I think it’s safe to say I’m in the top five in our scene in the Netherlands, especially with BMW’s.
I’m not the biggest or even the best but I’m always trying to stay ahead of the game and make cool pieces of art. The Dutch scene is still expanding its territory each year so I just adapt and keep on modifying or rebuilding customer and own design builds.
– What was your first bike?
Before my first project bike, a 1978 CB550 I had following motorcycles: 1994 Honda CBR 600, 2008 Yamaha R6, 2008 Yamaha R1.
– You obviously have a passion for the classics. What’s the attraction..?
Old & vintage, character, gasoline smell and the possibility to be restored/overhauled or customized.
– What inspires you?
Every form of creativity around me! My family, other builders, designers, visit other countries, peanut butter and etc.
I like to blend different styles & looks together. Use different materials and create deviating solutions.
To do, to make, to adjust something with your hands is the coolest thing to do. To see people do the same thing all around the globe is really awesome. To talk with a random builder or motor enthusiast from Africa, Thailand or Mexico, share same interests and think alike is something magical!
– What’s your favorite built so far?
Hard to choose between a few builds based on style, appearance and drivability. Think I go for one of my latest, the 86 BMW R80 ’’The Renegade’’.
– What’s your best memory on a motorcycle?
My first knee down with 100 MPH on the Nurburgring circuit some years ago.
– What bike are you riding on a daily base?
Any head-turning BMW R-series build in my shop will do, whatever is available.
– What’s your favorite route for a mind-clearing drive?
This used to be the Eifel area in Germany till I had a nearly fatal crash 2 years ago. I hardly have time to drive because of workload at the shop so just taking any bike anywhere put’s a smile on my face.
– What’s up next, build-wise?
I have 7 commission projects waiting in line and a cue of yet another 4 bikes. This keeps me occupied till Christmas. All builds will be different brands and styles so we don’t get bored. Some will be insanely cool other just minor modifications.
Pictures taken by the ever so talented Jackson Kunis
Interviewed by Jack Lacanau