“A motorcycle like this, it´s got a soul.”
At the beginning of this project, IPONE wanted to create a modern chopper, with a solid and defined look, a toy of freedom. Its initial proposition also intended to break the codes and allow to drive a Harley in a different way.
To do so, IPONE contacted EMD Workers, a workshop of young preparers southwest based who work the old way. They call themselves artisans.
A motorbike is a unique and personalized creation with a bodybuilder engine. They started with a modified Paughco frame and incorporated a Narrow Springer hairpin. The headlamp, the handlebars, the line, and the oil fork have been modified. Regarding decor the brand was inspired in the 70s to create a leopard print seat and a tank painted with a flaming, very typical of the customs.
This project enthused our two coaches during several months. Now let’s discover their exciting story.
THE EXCEPTIONAL STORY OF THE COACHES EDOUARD & BAPTISTE
EMD was created in 2016. Edouard is in charge of everything related to welding, the sheet metal work, in fact of the manufacture of everything that is made in a boiler shop. Baptiste is in charge of the mechanical and electrical part. Both have evaluated their life path to complement each other. We met them at their home in Hossegor.
What do you do at EMD?
We’re building some bikes. (laughs)
We make a bunch of Harleys, Triumphs, all those pieces that people don’t make anymore, we make them on demand. We are trying to highlight the "old school" side of the motorbikes. We work mainly with two-wheelers that the big classic firms no longer want because so many of these motorbikes are obsoletes. We rebuild them all!
Who are your customers ?
All of our customers are passionate motorbikes. Most of the time, they’re loaded guys, no need to hide it, who want to spice up their motos. Or they’re people who want their motorcycles to be a little bit custom, but pure, they don’t want to have the same motorbike as everyone else. In fact, the first wave that Harley had in the postwar period were produced by young people who modified their motos, who transformed them. That´s how customs first showed up.
More and more young people come to visit us. It’s no longer the dusty image of grandpa riding his fringed Harley at all. Today we have stylish guys who wear extraordinary motorbikes!
"Our profession does not pay much, but we have chosen freedom."
How did you get to Hossegor? What is your path ?
Edouard: It’s a beautiful story. Baptiste and I were neighbors when we were young, in '95, in Paris. We already had a small workshop in the garage where we built motorcycles. There was a time when we said: "Later we will make a motorcycle shop".
From there we did our best to master the process from A to Z, Baptiste studied at an engineering school (he was more talented than me in classes) and then worked at Renault in engine development. On my side, I spent a year with my colleagues in the boiler shop. Then I went to the United States for three years. When I came back, I worked with a great French coach for three more years.
Later, more than six years after I had changed, moved, all that, I called Baptiste who had just finished his engineering school. I thought he’d never would want to work on the motorbike again, get his hands dirty again. Finally, we met in Paris to share some beers and come up with a business plan to settle in Bordeaux. We started by setting up the shop at his mother’s, who lent us a small shop in Gard. I was in Nancy, he was in Biarritz, we met there. We started the company. On the occasion of an event in Hossegor, the Mot&art, to which we were invited, we went through a local rental and we said: here we settled! It was the best decision of our lives.
We practice a profession that doesn’t pay much. But every morning when you open the doors you see your partner. We have chosen freedom.
"If I have worn my hands it is not because I assemble the pieces, but because I beat with them the metal that leaves its traces."
What are your daily inspirations ?
Skate, BMX, graph, the whole street culture. That’s what made us vibrate in Paris. We wanted to have a staff that would allow us to continue with this lifestyle.
Are you also motorcyclists? How long have you been motorcyclists?
Baptiste: My father is a writer and philosopher, he works at the press, and my mother is a nursery landscaper, far away from the motorcycle world. At the age of 11 my parents brought me from a garage sale a Solex that didn´t work, but as I wanted this device to work, I immediately disassembled it completely to understand its operation.
Edouard: I really liked motorcycles, but I didn’t know how to do it, since nobody around me was a motorcyclist. Then I met Baptiste who was 14 at the time. He had cut a Solex engine with a sharpener to discover how it worked. We became friends at the time and started doing this 24 hours a day. We had cross-country motorbikes. The bond with IPONE comes from this passion. We used the IPONE Samurai.
Years later, IPONE proposes this project: the creation of a 70s Chopper. We loved the creative process. When we made it, we did it by putting our whole soul into it. You can make these motorcycles by opening a magazine and ordering the parts in the aftermarket. "If I have worn my hands it is not because I assemble the pieces, but because I beat with them the metal that leaves its traces. It is a craftsmanship. There’s a process, there’s a story.
Why working particularly with the Harleys?
Harley´s are not better than any other motorcycle, but they allow us more freedom. Likewise, Triumph´s, by the way. This fits better with our state of mind. We like the free side, the punk side. It’s rare for someone with a Kawasaki to come and order custom parts.
THE ROAD MOVIE
To enhance this unique and punk chopper, nothing better than a road movie in the Spanish desert.
What’s the synopsis? A group of 3 men ride their motorbikes when they see 2 women on the roadside standing by their motorcycles. The ride of the three friends will be transformed with what happened next. These women take them to an isolated bar, full of strange and mysterious characters. The two women have an idea in their heads, steal the custom motorcycle from the group leader. To do this, they encourage them to drink and enjoy in the bar before escaping with the motorbike in the dark of the night.
We’ll let you take part in the trip right here.