BETWEEN TWO DESIGNS: <b>THE ONE MOTO SHOW 2020</b>

BETWEEN TWO DESIGNS: THE ONE MOTO SHOW 2020

At the heart of the custom scene is the One Moto Show. Where expression, engineering, and a love of the original all come to play. Together.
03-18-2020
Urban

Article

Written by:

JOONIL PARK

REV’IT!’s Brand Relations Manager USA

Joonil Park

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TWO DESIGNERS, ONE SHOW

After eleven years of upping the ante, the level of creativity, skill, and eye for design shown at the One Moto Show is undeniable. While custom culture could never lose respect for the wealth of experience needed to have an elemental sense for lines and forms or to beautifully shape sheet metal on an English wheel, builders with a trained eye and backgrounds in design are becoming more prevalent and admired.

Counted among these highly-respected designers are two bike builders and known REV’IT! collaborators: Scott Kolb of Kolb Machine in upstate New York, and David Mucci of Moto Mucci in Portland. We sat down with them over the One Show weekend for insights into their creations and creative processes.

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David Mucci - KTM Tracker

Dave Mucci

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Thank you for sitting with us amidst a hectic One Show weekend! Your submissions for this year are amazing works of design and engineering - please tell us about them.

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Scott Kolb [SK]: My airhead racer is a ground-up build using a 1976 BMW R90/6 engine in homage to the great Battle of the Twins road racers at Daytona. It weighs 310 lbs. (140kg) and makes just over 80bhp, and was built to measure for a client in New York City. He’s 6’4” (193cm) and 240 lbs. (109kg).

David Mucci [DM]: My project is built off a 2014 KTM 300 XC-W Six Days, also coincidentally for a commission in New York. It is a road-legal, high-performance, two-stroke street tracker with hand-shaped aluminum bodywork.

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Scott Kolb - BMW Racer

Scott Kolb

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New Yorkers do have great taste. Do you sometimes have to say no to clients for commission builds? Are there things you just won’t do?

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DM: When potential clients and I part ways, it's usually for one of two reasons: either their budget doesn't match the amount of work they want done or they're looking for me to replicate someone else’s work. I have a degree in design and got into building bikes as a hands-on creative outlet. Copying someone else's vision or even building the same bike twice just doesn't interest me.

SK: A bike has to be made to perform. It has to have a purpose, like: we’re going to make it so we can go quicker around a track than everyone else.

Featured

Scott Kolb - 1
David Mucci - 1

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It’s pretty clear that both of your projects took a tremendous amount of thought and skill. Where and how did you develop your skills and process?

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DM: Growing up with an art teacher mom and a DIY dad meant I was always drawing and building things. I carried those two passions forward through life and ended up getting a design degree from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. That's where I developed my foundation in Industrial and Transportation design, learning the fundamentals of the design process, vehicle proportions, and CAD modeling (Computer Aided Design).

About 10 years ago, I started directing my attention toward the motorcycle industry. I never had any formal mechanical training. Since I got my first car, I've been educating myself via repair manuals, books, YouTube, and working alongside people who know more than me. After school, my design skillset was way ahead of my fabrication abilities so I've spent the last decade trying to learn at least a few new processes with every bike build.

SK: I always had an aptitude and desire for assembling models as a kid, but never excelled in a scholastic environment. However, a great high school shop teacher did help me onto the right path, but I basically failed at everything else in school.

I tried to continue my studies but eventually quit college and pursued architecture modeling, which led me to pursue industrial design and engineering. I was lucky enough to have architect and industrial designer, John Milich, mentor me in Brooklyn, and lead me into the professional field I would enter: prototyping services for architects, engineers, and inventors.

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What were some of your early creative influences?

SK: Actually, I gained inspiration and creative sensibilities while studying fine art in college; French painter, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as architecture like I.M. Pei and obviously, John Milich.

DM: Sometimes I feel like I draw influences from all over; something direct - like an OEM concept vehicle design I admire, or maybe something subtle like noticing some minor surfacing detailing on a power tool. I gather inspiration from everything from bicycle componentry to rocket ship designs.

Pei

Louvre Architect I.M. Pei (Getty Images)

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ANY NON-MOTORCYCLE ARTISTS OR DESIGNERS YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?

SK: Yes, constantly. I still try to visit fine art museums regularly to maintain a constant state of inspiration.

DM: I’m a big admirer of Daniel Simon’s work. Among other things his book, Cosmic Motors, which is a collection of his highly polished renderings of futurist transportation and racing designs. Almost like Syd Mead, Bladerunner-style, concept art made real, or “made rendered” rather.

Daniel Simon Cosmic Motors

Cosmic Motors by Daniel Simon (danielsimon.com)

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Are you active in any other design-centric interests, pursuits, or hobbies?

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SK: My business revolves around architectural and industrial design fabrication and prototyping so that keeps me very engaged, but I’ve recently taken up guitar. Moving my hands and fingers in a new way, to trigger my brain into working differently and spark something in a tactile sense. That’s also, not to mention, the sheer beauty of the instrument. I’ve seen some that are hundreds of years old, with timeless designs and think to myself, “Now, that is design. I can definitely step it up.”

DM: My training started in automotive design, and I’ve never stopped working on cars. I have a 1975 BMW 2002 I’m perpetually restoring. My day job also keeps me sharp; I do mostly contracted design work and design consulting for the power tools industry, home appliances, consumer electronics, and product designs.

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Scott Kolb & David Mucci

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And after all that experience and training, do you still consider yourself a designer first and foremost?

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DM: With all the things, I try to push myself to adapt and learn, I still consider myself a designer first and foremost. Although, every build I try to add at least one new major skillset; for the KTM’s aluminum bodywork, I took a metal shaping class with Christian Sosa. I destroyed 8-9 versions before I got the end result you see on the bike now. For my current Ducati project, I’m trying new bodywork forming processes using silicone molds.

SK: I hate to put a label on it, but 99% of what we do at Kolb Machine with motorcycles is performance driven, and always working toward making it work better. Designer and engineer sure, but looking back and admiring the SR71 Blackbird built at the Lockheed Martin ‘Skunk Works,’ if someone from that era referred to me as a prototyper...I’d be honored.

Highlights

Scott Kolb - 2

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Regardless of where you are at your process, be it at concepting, drafting, or in your maker/shop stage, what is your favorite tool at your disposal?

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DM: On the digital side, I’ve got a tablet that’s my go-to for everything, as I can both sketch and do CAD renderings with it. In the shop, I’ve got a new mandible-style sander attachment for my grinder that’s made my life easier - literally has saved me hours and sweat and elbow grease.

SK: I would say my most “valued” tool - in that sense - is my Bridgeport manual mill as I had to do without one for about a decade and I missed it terribly. And now I can’t imagine not using it. In the early creative stages, without sounding too egomaniacal or contrived, I’d say a simple pencil is critical for me as it is not only versatile but also where all my designs begin.

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David Mucci – 2

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How big of a part does technology play in your work? How do you view new design aids/software/emerging tech?

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SK: There are those that push against new technology now, as they always have in some sense. I don’t think there’s art lost in using technology as it develops. In fact, I feel it’s an integral part of growing as a designer, engineer, and creator. A parallel can be made to the relatively recent popularization of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, as it has actually existed in stereolithography since the 1980s. I worked with it in the mid 90s, and even then, it allowed for prototyping very complex parts that were very difficult to machine traditionally. Even with CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining, which is commonplace now, but at its advent the old guard pushed back - a computer programed to whittle out of metal or wood. They’d say “the art of machining is dying.” As I see it, adapt or die - art is in constant evolution.

DM: Big at this point. Lately, with this KTM project and my current Ducati build, I’ve been jumping into CAD to flesh out my sketches and create a ‘build sheet’ for myself before making any material parts. Additive manufacturing is also something I’m integrating more and more.

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David Mucci – 3

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What has been the most difficult part of this new build?

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DM: The bodywork on the KTM was definitely the hardest. I ambitiously sketched out the body before I fully learned to shape metal. I made and scrapped 8-9 iterations before arriving at the one on the bike. It took a long time and was a bit agonizing, but it was a goal I set for myself and was super gratifying in the end.

SKSame here, it was the bodywork. I can make a chassis all day - this is the 22nd frame I’ve built. Fifteen of those were production items, where I designed it and did a run or built for others on an existing design. Fabricating technical forms don’t intimidate me, what does is bodywork - the shapes and look of the object is what gets judged the hardest by the masses. Only the true maniacs and esoterics comment to me about the chassis design, the bodywork gets ruthlessly scrutinized by everyone. In a way, it is in the choices that a designer must be bravest and boldest - I do not envy those that design OEM vehicles for a living, it must be immensely stressful.

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One Moto Show - 1

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What is your favorite part of the One Show as a builder? And as a rider/enthusiast? How many times have you attended?

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DM: I moved to Portland three years ago, prior to that, I was still driving out here from Chicago 40+ hours to haul bikes. And while there’s now so many great shows, the One Show has still been the original grassroots show. I wouldn’t give up the connections and friends here for anything in the five years I’ve been coming.

SK: This is my first time. My favorite part as a builder is that the show was willing to have me there. It was really nice to be acknowledged and I was super eager to get it out here. As an attendee, my favorite part is that not only does it have a race attached to it, but for the first time this year, it was held in the same building. And even more impressively, there were bikes in the custom show that were raced on the track the same day. That’s incredibly unique and I would come back again and again.

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Scott Kolb – Barber Vintage

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Any interesting riding you’ve done recently? Anything cool coming up?

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SK: Most of the riding I do is performance driven: we ride on the ice, we race land speed at Bonneville, we do road racing at the Barber Vintage Festival, and the common theme is we are constantly improving and tuning our machines, as well as ourselves. Our next road race is an AHRMA event at NJMP, running a Kramer Supermono, and then some land speed racing at Bonneville in August with our ‘125cc partial streamliner.’

DM: I recently did a tour with my girlfriend and a few other friends from San Francisco down to Los Angeles via Big Sur. I've been wanting to ride that area for years. Right now Kara (my girlfriend) and I are talking about doing some off road trails from Portland to Tahoe this summer. I want to do more trail riding now that we're in the PNW.

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Scott Kolb – Monocoque Streamliner

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Where else can we see your work? What are you working on next?

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DM: I’ve been diving deeper into my current project bike lately, a custom Ducati SportClassic GT1000. For this build, I’m experimenting with new methods of creating bodywork by using a high-density foam plug and silicone mold technique. The full unveil will be at the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Austin, TX, April 3-5th. I like sharing the step-by-step process that goes into my work on Instagram at @motomucci so, that's the best way to see what I'm up to.

SK: What I’m most excited about is a carbon fiber monocoque streamliner we’re developing using a 125cc two-stroke ex Gran Prix engine with 55hp, which should take us to well over 200mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I think that will make for an excellent REV’IT! story too!

Highlights

One Moto Show - 2

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THE REV’IT! ONE SHOW RECAP

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REV'IT! Booth

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REV’IT! TAILORED TECHNOLOGY DESIGN PHILOSOPHY

To be respected under scrutiny, the modern custom bike must have exceptional aesthetics and design, but also perform at a top level. This union of form and function aligns directly with the Tailored Technology Design Philosophy found in our Urban collection.

Whether you ride a discretely modded city scrambler, a highly customized café racer, a blacked-out urban performance commuter, or any ride in between, our garments integrate performance and protection with a high level of function and design.

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HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
CULTURAL PHENOMENON

In 2009, in the quiet town of Tillamook on the Oregon coast, Thor Drake threw a local, one-day bike show with his friends in an unheated, abandoned warehouse. What began as an underground gathering has grown into a massive cultural celebration.Here you’ll find the best in unique, rare, and elite customs that motorcycling has to offer. Now in its first year at a colossal new venue in the heart of Portland - this is the 2020 One Moto Show..

Over the past 11 years, the One Moto Show has gone from a fairly simple display of motorcycles into a robust program full of music, art, food, and racing. Notoriety from bike builders and industry tastemakers from around the world, coupled with year upon year of growth and hard work by Drake and his team from See See Motor Coffee, has culminated in a 2020 event of unseen scale.

Thor Drake

Thor Drake (r)

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STRENGTH IN THE NUMBERS

Style is subjective, but the numbers don’t lie: nearly 200,000 square feet of venue space in Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 150 builders showing over 200 rolling works of art, nearly 100 vendors and sponsors, 4 concerts, 2 tattoo booths, 15 flat track races classes held in-house with USD10,000 in prizes on the line and 1 custom Triumph giveaway prize.

All this was coupled with the countless craftsman, artists, musicians, and food and drink. This, plus the thousands in attendance over the weekend, made this year's One Moto Show the biggest custom bike show the US Pacific Northwest, if not the world, has ever seen.

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One Moto Show - 3
One Moto Show - 4
One Moto Show - 5
One Moto Show - 6

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AT ITS CORE

While the show has grown massively in both size and recognition, at the center of the One Moto Show is still the culture of custom motorcycles on display. Once a year in Portland, this platform brings together pristine vintage machines from rare collections, tough-as-nails bobbers, outrageous choppers, dragsters, land speed record-breakers, bespoke high-performance sport builds, unique dirt track racers, and more from the world over.

While these styles vary wildly, there’s been one common element at its center developing over the years: these builders are stepping up their game. We look to Scott Kolb, David Mucci, along with their fellow designers and builders to push the boundaries even further as we move forward into the future of custom motorcycles.

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One Moto Show - 7