By Mark Dubbs
Roland Sands is the name known around the world for dominating custom motorcycle culture. From his design laboratory in Southern California, the Roland Sands Design team is blurring the lines that separate motorcycle classifications with innovations that blend a variety of styles. When Sands gets his hands on a bike, he transforms it into a masterpiece of performance art. Whether you're into street, dirt, or touring, you have probably heard about the quality of Roland Sands Design aftermarket parts for customizing your motorcycle. From parts to riding gear, if it's stamped with the RSD logo then you know it has been engineered with game-changing ingenuity.
Roland Sands grew up around the motorcycle industry in Long Beach, California hanging out in the Performance Machine shop. He was gifted an RM 50 dirt bike for his 5th birthday. Despite a broken bone right out of the gate, he fell in love with the sport. Sands’ need for speed led him to an award winning professional racing career where he set multiple track records. In 1998 he was crowned the American Motorcyclist Association 250 GP Champion. After nearly a decade of racing and thirty two broken bones, Sands retired from racing and began focusing on custom motorcycle designs.
In 2005, Roland Sands competed against Arlen Ness on Discovery Channel's, “Biker Build-Off.” He impressed fans with his build of, "The Glory Stomper." That year, Sands' success and popularity for custom designs prompted him to found his company Roland Sands Design. The company specializes in quality performance aftermarket motorcycle parts, riding gear and apparel, and building custom motorcycles.
Sands attributes the success of the company to the diversity of his team. His crew is made up of industry experts with backgrounds in road racing, off road, dirt, supermoto, and custom bike building. The mix of influences from choppers to sport bikes gives the team a unique edge in high performance designs.
Roland Sands Design produces parts, wheels, and seats for Harley-Davidson, BMW, Indian, and Triumph motorcycles.
"We want to keep expanding into new segments. The Harley-Davidson V-Twin parts have been such a staple, and that customer loves to customize. But, there are other brands and bikes that are really hip to design and create something new as well. BMW, Yamaha, Indian, Triumph, and Ducati are all brands that are jumping on the custom train. Diversity is a solid direction to move towards. Combining bikes and cultures in ways that may not be normal creates new trends and styles. It's what I really enjoy about life in general. In music, food, art, and architecture styles collide taking the best from each variation to create something truly unique."
RSD has partnered with multiple major clients to build a variety of custom motorcycles.
RSD's designs are leading the culture of riding trends with leather jackets, riding gear, and apparel for men and women. The RSD line of Bell helmets took style to the next level with styles such as the Bell Bullitt RSD Viva helmet.
Roland Sands continues to influence racing culture as one of the pioneers of Hooligan Racing: the racing of heavy, street legal bikes on flat tracks. Roland Sands Design partners with Indian Motorcycle to present RSD Super Hooligan Races at multiple venues including Sturgis, the Lost Highway Show in Southern California, Superprestigio of the America’s in Las Vegas, Bike Week in Daytona, The One Show in Portland, Mama Tried in Milwaukee, The Handbuilt Show in Austin, and more.
"I love riding more than building bikes. It's why I started building bikes in the first place. And I love all styles of riding from off road to road racing and touring. So anything we can do that can inspire people to build bikes to ride is epic. Super Hooligan is doing that."- Roland Sands