Meet Mr. Tyler Malinky of Lowbrow Customs. Tyler has been kind enough to donate the gas tanks that are painted for the Babes Ride Out Artist Series Raffle giveaways every year. We are so thankful for his support!
Where do you live?
I live in the country 30 miles south of Cleveland, Ohio in a town called Hinckley. Lowbrow is a quick 15 minutes away down some two-lane country roads.
Where are you from?
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and have lived in northeast Ohio my whole life. Not what I really expected as I have always expected to move out of state, even since I was a kid, but Ohio provides the perfect home base and allows us to travel extensively, all while keeping my daughter Darly in the mix with our friends and family which is most important.
How long ago did you start Lowbrow?
I started Lowbrow Customs 11 years ago, in 2004, out of a spare bedroom in my house. It was a slow progression from bedroom to basement to garage to a proper building. I have been self employed since age 19 when I started a sign company, which overlapped Lowbrow Customs by almost 5 years, when I made a 100% full-time go of it. I love my job, I wake up (almost) every day excited to do what I do. Some advice to anyone who hates their job: quit right now. Do something that excites you, your life can be completely different two days from now. You only go around once, you have to tear it up.
Why did you start Lowbrow?
While working on my Triumph in my driveway, reading up on how to rebuild the motor and all about choppers on the Yahoo Triumph Choppers message board and such, I realized there was not a reliable place to order parts, chopper magazines, shirts, or anything else to do with the scene. I am a computer, business, and general nerd that has a penchant for motorcycles, so I had the skills to turn a hobby into my business. Pepper in a bit of OCD and some relentlessness, many thousands of hours of work, a decade, and viola, overnight success.
What does Lowbrow have in the works?
In this last year we have launched a completely new website, hired a few new people, and will be moving into a new building by the end of the year. It seems like we are in a constant state of flux, always, which is exciting. A steady stream of motorcycle parts is always in the works, from napkin drawings to CAD to rapid prototypes, tooling samples, and finally the finished product. We have several gas tanks that will be released by the end of the year, some full exhaust systems for Sportsters, and many other parts that we find fill the needs of motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere.
What kind of bike do you ride?
Luckily, my occupation helps justify the litany of motorcycles I have; it at least gives me a decent excuse. My ’75 H-D Shovelhead chopper is one of my favorites, it is bright purple and hard to miss, and really fast and nimble. My stock ’69 H-D FLH bagger is a crusty original that also holds a special place in my heart, my girlfriend Julia and I rode it down on the El Diablo Run this year and it didn’t miss a beat. The first Harley I ever owned is a ’59 Panhead chopper which I still have and will probably never get rid of, and I have my world record holding 1950’s Triumph land speed race bikes, a dual engine Triumph named Double Vision and a single engine Triumph that goes by the moniker Poison Ivy. I have raced at Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats every year since 2010, but this year it looks like it may not happen as two events have already been canceled and my last chance will be in September, if the salt dries up enough to have a safe and suitable course.
When did you start riding?
I bought a 1970 Triumph when I was 18 years old. I learned to ride by bump starting it down my driveway into traffic and just figuring it out. Before that I had ridden quads and 3 wheelers and mini bikes with my friend Gabe, my brother Kyle and I never had any motorized vehicles of our own as kids as our mom was totally worried that we would get hurt. So perhaps it is thanks to her that we both ended up in the motorcycle industry. Over the years I went from stock bike to choppers to vintage bikes to racing and now I love all aspects of motorcycling.
Best moto trip you have ever been on?
It seems like the best trip is always the most recent one. We just got back a few days ago from a trip to the Bruce Peninsula in Canada, right where Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay meet. Four days of rambling motorcycle rides, swimming in crystal clear, cold water, exploring caves and hanging out with good friends around a camp fire can’t be beat. The El Diablo Run is always on this list as well, I have done the EDR four times now, and will continue to do so until the Biltwell guys stop doing it. I only blew up on bike (’59 Pan) but successfully completed it the other three trips, on a ’74 Honda CB750 chopper, a ’75 H-D chopper, and a ’69 H-D stocker respectively.
How did you hear about Babes Ride Out? What did you think when you first heard about it?
I heard about Babes Ride Out early on, being friends with Ashmore, as well as the love of her life, the mustachioed Mike D and the rest of the Biltwell crew. I could immediately see the appeal for women, an event that focused on riding but without the overshadowing of the heavily male subculture that surrounds motorcycles and choppers. The last few years especially women have really started to come into the scene, but the wild success of Babes Ride Out really shows how ripe our subculture was to have an event for women riders by women riders.
What makes you interested in supporting Babes Ride Out?
Women riders are a small but growing part of our subculture, and we are glad to support any events that help nurture the scene, keep people riding, camping, having events and parties and chopper shows. Giving people a place to gather, a place to ride, is something worthy of support.