It’s one of the most fascinating custom motorcycles we’ve seen.
Some of the best things in life come from places you expect the least. This is the case of "El Lunes," a custom motorcycle, built by Dorin Racz, in Eastern Europe. We asked him to tell his custom story.
Dorin lives in a small city in Romania and has been around bikes since forever. He grew in his dad's garage, looking, learning and "tinkering since the first years of his life," as he likes to say. The passion for motorcycles started when his old man gave him his bike to play with it, and Dorin began chopping it to create a better one.
Our protagonist had the opportunity of a simpler path in life, but, being a rebel, he created his own way by following his burning passion. He dropped out of Technical school as he wasn't learning anything new apart from what his dad already taught him. Later, Dorin took a tinsmithing class to learn how to shape the metal. He was only replacing car panels, so he quit fast. Then, he took some welding and painting classes and in 2010 he left for Spain to work with a friend in a car shop. After some time spent in Spain, he asked himself "is this really what I want to do?", and as a result, he came back to Romania to pursue his motorcycle customizing passion.
He thinks that nowadays builders can find lots of sources for inspiration. Back then, 20 years ago, the Internet was in its infancy. When he started molding and shaping steel he used only his imagination. The passion grew, along with his metal shaping skills. A few years ago, he began to take part in local Romanian custom motorcycle contests and win trophies. After winning most of the local contests, he thought "go big or go home!" when he heard about one of the greatest European bike shows, in Hungary. It was the perfect shot for him to try to reach a new level. Dorin competed with his remarkable custom motorcycle called "El Lunes" and won the 2nd place "Best in Show" and "Best Hand Made" category.
You'd think that he would be pleased, but he was aiming higher. His next goal was to compete in AMD World Championship. This time it was "go BIGGER or go home!". So he quickly sent several photos of "El Lunes" to AMD organizers along with the registration form, and after a few hours, he received the approval. He was the only competitor from Romania, and it was the first ever when Romanian flag was on the AMD participation list. He loaded "El Lunes" in the trailer and went ahead to Köln (Cologne), Germany.
When he arrived there, Dorin Racz was amazed to find the best custom builders in the world, all of them in the same building, at the same time. It was like a dream that became true, he belonged there, even though he did not have a fancy trailer or a big truck with the company logo on it as other participants. But they all had the same passion that brought them together from different corners of the world. On October 9th, when they announced the first ten ranked builders for the "Free Style" category, Dorin thought he stood no chance. But when the announcer got to the 6th place, Dorin couldn't believe that he heard his name. It was an incredible performance considering that he was seen as an underdog by the more experienced participants.
The story of "El Lunes" starts in 2014 when a client contacted Dorin Racz to create for him a motorcycle with cursive and round lines. The bike builder replied to the customer on a Monday, and the mail date was set in Spanish. The client thought that "El Lunes" (Monday in Spanish) was the name that Dorin is going to give to the build and it stayed like that. The platform for this custom project was a 2002 Harley Davidson Sportster 883, one of the most used platforms for custom motorcycles.
Not even one part of the factory bike was left in stock shape. The narrow white rims and the curvy stance remind of the board trackers from the beginning of the 20th century. The front end suspension is an inverted springer fork. The creator says that there is no other like this one in the world.
Everything on this bike was hand-made. The frame, the original oil tank that also acts like as a fender for the rear wheel and feeds the engine with oil through the copper lines. The gas tank was also hand built (no surprise here) by Dorin. The attention to details is stunning. Check out the copper-plated rim spokes, copper oil lines, brass plugs for the fuel tank and oil tank. The crazy Marrakesh brown paint catches the eye. The push-rods covers were zinc plated. If you look at the rear wheel, you'll notice that there is no braking system. That's because the brake rotor and caliper were attached to the engine front sprocket. What is more jaw-dropping is the fact that "El Lunes" is a real hand-crafted bike. It was built only by hand, a grinder, a welding torch, a lot of passion and effort.
Another important fact about "El Lunes" is that for the AMD Championship each manufacturer had to prove with a 60-second video that their product works. For "El Lunes" it was pretty simple. That's because the owner of this bike changed the brake pads twice as he is riding this bike to the job on a daily basis. After all, what's the purpose of a motorcycle? It's nice to have it displayed, but ideally, you have to ride it. If you want to see other amazing custom bikes built by Dorin, you can check his blog: Anarchy Custom
Photo credits to Onno Wieringa (www.madnessphotogaphy.eu) and