Home / Custom Motorcycle Builder Interviews / machine-13 | garage builder and artist

machine-13 | garage builder and artist

This weekend i was browsing the blogs and came across a slick Honda Rebel brat bobber built by some dude named is Zack Taylor from Phoenix. I visited his site and shot him an email to see if he’s like to do a little profile here on bikerMetric. He replied within the hour and here is what you get:

bM: Please tell us about your art. What you paint, why you paint, how you learned, and stuff like that.

ZT: I have been drawing my whole life. Never took any classes in high school or college but started to consider art as a side of my profession after I got into tattooing and tattoo culture. I guess you could say much of my work is very “tattoo inspired.” I have always drawn and painted on my skate and surfboards, never really thinking much of it. As more people saw my work and thought it was cool I figured maybe I could make a little money doing this. Painting is a great way to relax. There are no rules or guidelines. I don’t really like having to follow any set plans in my life so art seems to work for me. Now that I have been painting a while I am taking a tattoo apprenticeship as well. Being heavily tattooed myself, it is just another great medium I want to work with and I figure if that is my natural style I should really put it to good use.

bM: You just built a killer little Honda Rebel 250cc chop. How did that come about and what was the most unique and/or difficult thing about the build?

ZT: I had a new Sporty that I had built and the thing was really fun at first, but then I saw so many people doing the same thing with theirs and I was not really into it any more. I wanted something that if it got damaged or even stolen I could walk away saying “well at least it was cheap.” I was living in Los Angeles at the time and wanted something that was really lightweight and super narrow to get through all of the traffic. I think that the super ugly look of the Honda Rebel was intriguing because it would be a challenge to make something cool out of it. When it was all said and done, the only thing I kept from the original bike was the frame and wheels, everything else from the handlebars back to the skate wheel tail light is one off. I drew a lot of my inspiration from what Japanese builders do with their bikes. You can see that those guys really have an eye for lines and building an overall look versus just tossing some **** together. I like seeing people’s reactions to my bike because most can never guess that it’s a Rebel. There is also something about riding around on a machine that weights less than 300lbs. It’s like a broomstick with a motor.

bM: How is metro PHX treating you?

ZT: I just moved back a week ago. I lived in LA for the last two years and it really sucked the soul out of me. There are just too many people, it is too expensive, and the most annoying part is searching for a nice smooth piece of asphalt to ride your bike on. It’s like trying to walk through the streets of Venice beach at night and not smell ****. Don’t get me wrong, Cali is pretty awesome and I will miss surfing with my buddies but for what I am trying to do Arizona is a much better fit for me. Another reason I came back is for the tattoo apprenticeship with my friend at his new shop Fat Zombie Tattoo down the street from me.

bM: Yeah. I did the LA thing years ago and know exactly what you mean. It works for some folks but I had to get out after a few years. Where do you go in Phoenix to hang out, drink beer, see music, and eat grub?

ZT: I am more of a lowbrow kind of guy and don’t see myself going out to a fancy club or bar. I end up standing there figuring out what to do with my hands. I am not really that much of a drinker, never have been. I strive to have a calm and relaxed sort of life. Riding, surfing, skating, building, drawing, hanging out with my girl and pup are my kind of things.

bM: Yes. I’m much more of the neighborhood dive bar type myself but hanging with the woman and the dog is always a nice thing to do. What plans do you have for your next motorbike?

ZT: For my next bike I would like to up the displacement a bit. I’ve had my eye on building a Suzuki S40. I like the idea of a lightweight single and have some killer thoughts on using a 1930’s chopped Model A Ford hot rod for inspiration. I would also love to build a Triumph America. I have yet to see anyone build something good out of that and it has so much potential. I may have to keep that one for myself to ride around. My goal with my little shop, Machine-13, was to be able to build bikes that anyone can afford to ride. They may not be hardtail Knuckleheads but they also don’t leak oil and you can afford to take your chick out to dinner on it.

bM: Exactly. Thanks for taking the time to tell our readers a bit about you and your stuff, Zack. I dig the “artist and garage bike builder” thing you’ve got going on while showing people that “you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have something unique.” That’s what bikerMetric is all about, man. Good luck.

Visit Zack’s site at Machine-13 here.

[NOTE: check out zack’s latest rebel brat here]

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  1. what was used for the rear fender and seat? i love the way it looks and i havent been able to find anything like it

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