Meet Michael – the brains behind D’Amico Motorcycles and the first guy to road-test our new men’s Ducati and Goodyear tees. To say Michael is passionate about motorbikes is an understatement, so when thinking of who best to take our new men’s tees for a spin, we simply couldn’t go past him!
Tell us about your personal style…
I’m a t-shirt and jeans sort of guy, definitely into graphic tees. I gravitate towards anything with wheels. If I have to dress it up (emphasis on the ‘have to’) I’ll add a leather jacket and boots. I really like the slim tapered jean look mostly because they’re comfortable to ride in but I think they suit my height and body shape too.
What sparked your love of motorcycles? How does riding make you feel?
My dad is an engineer and for as long as I can remember, we’ve been building or fixing something in the garage together. As I got older we tinkered with billy carts and restored old bicycles I found on the street.
My friends and I have always been interested in cars but after watching a show called Great Biker Build Off, I became fascinated with building bikes from scratch in a workshop. I’d like to think that moment of curiosity is where it all began. For me, riding is a great escape. When I’m on a bike I’m not thinking about anything except the road in front of me. I’m in the moment.
Talk us through the story of D’Amico Motorcycles…
I started D’Amico Motorcycles a couple years ago after a trip to Italy. During that trip, I decided to take a chance and create a business in the motorcycle industry. The real challenge was coming up with a way to be different to the thousands of other brands I already admire.
If you know bike owners, you’ll know they don’t leave their bikes stock for very long. A motorcycle is personal, it’s a reflection of its owner. So why should their gear be any different? During train rides from city to city in Italy I started sketching the first collection of motorcycle accessories that could be customised to each individual owner.
I also do a couple of what I call ‘bike ‘rebuilds’ a year. No one really has the money for a one-of-a-kind custom build from scratch. Instead it’s a lot more practical to take an existing bike, redesign it and rebuild it. We offer a design service where we take your current bike and talk to you about how you would like to change it. For example, it might be getting a new gas tank or changing the seat style to a scrambler or café racer style. We draw it up for you and present you with the concept of what your motorcycle could become.
What does an average day look like for you? Or perhaps weekend?
I’m always looking for ways to get a better product. I try to come up with fresh ideas and to not be lead or influenced too much by what others are doing. So, research and development is a big part of the business. I have just released a new riding mask after months of work. I am also currently working on a café racer build and in-between all of this, I’m still working on new bike re-designs for clients.
When the weekend comes I love taking the bikes out. It doesn’t matter where we are going, I just love commuting there on a motorcycle. I’ll often head to a friend’s place, café, bike meet or head out into the countryside with my wife riding on the back with me.
What is it you love about designing bikes and handcrafting your very own motorcycle gear?
I come from an Industrial Design background, so for me, sketching and designing products has always been something that I enjoy. Being able to mix my two passions together is always fun. I love taking a stock standard bike that no one else would take a second glance at and turning it into a talking piece. Transforming it into something that puts a smile on a person’s face. For me it’s all about the reactions and accomplishment of creating something that has the power to affect someone.
It’s the same with the riding gear. Recently I was asked to design a pair of riding gloves for a war veteran who loves riding. I laser engraved his military squadrons logo onto the back of the glove and dyed them the same colour as his motorcycle seat. When we unveiled the gloves to this man, he was speechless. All he could manage to do was hug us. That for me is why I wanted to start this business and what its really all about.