<b>Analog Motorcycles</b> And The Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Analog Motorcycles And The Quail Motorcycle Gathering

A famed Chicago bike builder recounts his surprising and enlightening experiences at the most prestigious custom motorcycle event in America.
11-23-2018
Urban

Article

Tony Prust
#REVITRIDER

Building custom motorcycles and parts since 2008.

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Tony Prust

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Winning at Quail

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A stalwart of the American custom motorcycle community and an industry respected REV’IT! collaborator, Tony Prust, shares his experiences at the distinguished, annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, California.

As owner, operator, and chief bike builder at Analog Motorcycles in Chicago, IL, Tony had the unique privilege of winning at Quail once during his first time there in 2015, and again earlier this year.

We sat down with Tony to dig deeper into his world and his successes. Here’s what he has to say…

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Analog Motorcycles - Triumph
Analog Motorcycles - Indian Continetal Scout
Analog Motorcycles - Triumph detail
Analog Motorcycles - Ducati build

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First, tell us a bit about Analog’s custom bikes.

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Tony Prust: I think I would consider our style of build a modern interpretation. We like make fully functioning pieces of modern art. Sometimes we use older engines and platforms, and sometimes we use modern machines and technology. The end result, either way, is simple by design. The name Analog came from a classic version of audio, so we try and translate this into to a cleaner form of motorcycle build. This requires a lot of work to achieve that sleek aesthetic and the high level of fit and finish we are known for.

We always strive for function first, with form being an extremely close second, and we try to never sacrifice function in our designs. We found that the customer is more prone to ride their machine if it has all the features of more modern machines; proper lights and signals, good brakes and a good suspension. So, we try to improve upon machines from their original state whenever possible.

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Analog Motorcycles - Ducati full image

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What is The Quail Motorcycle Gathering to you?

Quail, to me, is the most influential moto event in the US for customs and restorations. Putting all the machines on the golf greens out in Carmel makes for a beautiful backdrop. All the judges and spectators are there because they really appreciate the true essence of the motorcycle. They understand form and function, and the line between - we as builders - try to balance. I am not a big fan of "competition" shows, but I feel that Quail is the exception because of how the event is structured.

Like many of my colleagues, I grew up building Tamiya models and obsessing over every frame of the vehicle designs of the Star Wars movie franchise. It wasn't until Art Center that I realized I could make a decent living out of my nerdy compulsions.

How did you first hear about Quail?

When I first got into the custom builds, The Quail had just started. For the first couple of years, I was not even aware they had a custom class. When the latest generation of bike builders started to shape the current scene.

I would notice Quail winners like Shinya Kimura and Ian Berry of Falcon Motorcycles get recognized. I knew it was where you needed to go if you wanted that level of recognition.

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What were your impressions of the event before you went?

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The Quail brings out a who's-who in top-level, hand-built machines. If you are building at that level, and you want to stack up against others in the same category, then you need to go. There are builders that show up at Quail that are not on social media and don't do this for the notoriety.

They tinker, they build in their garage and produce masterpieces. Just people, not companies, no limelight, but top-notch builders. You only really see them all at Quail.

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KTM front picture

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What were your expectations going into it, if any? Were you surprised to win an award in your freshman outing?

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I had no idea what to expect. We built a bike with a 1949 Indian Scout parallel-twin engine we named the Continental Scout. It was a pinnacle build for Analog Motorcycles, and we were extremely proud of how it turned out. We also brought a 1976 BMW R90/6 we had just finished before the event. We wanted to go and see how we stacked up. I was so proud of what we accomplished, and figured at the very least, we could find some inspiration at the show, and possibly find a buyer for our bikes. When we saw that a note was placed on the Indian to bring it to the stage we were stoked.

We really didn't know what it actually meant; we thought we were getting an honorable mention or something. As the ceremony began we realized they were presenting awards! Eventually, the anticipation and confusion wore off while we were waiting to go on stage, and when they finally announced that Analog Motorcycles won best Custom Modified I was completely stunned. I couldn't believe it. Years of watching builders I look up to take home that award, and then our first year out and winning it was an incredible feeling.

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Rev'it! Gloves
Rev'it! Shoes
Rev'it! jacket

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How was your experience at Quail this year different from the first? Were you still surprised to win an award?

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This year was different for us. Recently I have made it a personal point to improve my skill set as a builder. We were extremely proud of the Indian; I designed all the body work and made all the bucks for the aluminum to be shaped, but I hired a local shop to actually form the panels. Although we physically built the bike and designed everything on it, I can never take full ownership of the work. I set out to make sure the next build I take to Quail would be different, and that I can say I built it all, including the metal shaping.

I honed my skills for the next few years. A lot of practice and a few classes helped, but the best learning experience was with mentoring under Devlin Hunt. He wasn't doing any of the work on our bikes, but looked at how he'd approach the MotoIII project himself and then would make me do it myself. Devlin was an immense help, and a pleasure to work with and learn from. He taught himself metal shaping and was a bit of a renaissance man. Devlin unexpectedly passed away in February of 2017. It hit me hard. I set the MotoIII aside, and went back to customer projects and growing the parts line of Analog. I knew I wanted to finish the project for myself and to honor Devlin, so I jumped back into it in January of 2018, with my sights dead set on returning to Quail.

While there, I realized the level of work had leapt ahead. We brought the MotoIII, as well as the KTM Archduke and the Ducati Cucciolo Matto to the 2018 show. All three bikes showed very well and adorned a lot of attention. I started seeing ribbons landing on bikes but didn't see any on ours.

I was a little bummed out, until at the last minute we got a ribbon on the MotoIII. I rushed the bike to the staging area but noticed we weren’t in the typical Class Awards, so I once again assumed it was just an honorable mention. After some more anticipation we found out that it had won the "Design & Style" award presented by Arch Motorcycles.

This was an honor the engineers and designers at Arch sponsored, and were able to pick from any of the 380+ machines on the lawn that day. This one was huge for me, as not only was it all my design, but I can say I shaped all the bodywork with my own hands and honored my mentor. Again, I was blown away and humbled by the enthusiasts, aficionados and industry peers at Quail. I can’t wait until next year!

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Ducati - stear
Analog motorcycles - Ducati - Winner at Quail
Ducati - tank
Ducati - rear

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