Just before the turn of the year, we linked up with US custom bike builder Kevin Dunworth, formerly of Loaded Guns Customs but since 2017 now running Dunworth Machines, Maryland USA. We wanted to ask him if he'd build a custom bike for us to support our Mean Bird clothing brand in the USA.
This is a big deal for us. Anyone who's into motorcycles and custom bikes knows that Kevin Dunworth's a major player amongst the best shed builders and flat cap chop shop artisans in the world. He inhabits the top tier alongside the elite in the international custom building scene. His bikes have been regular exhibits at the world's leading custom bike shows - like the Handbuilt Show in Texas and Intermot in Cologne. They've also graced the front covers of leading bike publications, websites like Pipeburn, Bike Exif and Silodrome as well as been featured on US networked TV custom shows.
We wanted the bike to have a strong tracker feel and also have a vintage vibe as well so Kevin decided that the donor bike would be a Harley 883 Sportster.
Bill Gordon CEO of RT said - "we're stoked to have Kevin Dunworth building a custom bike to support our Mean Bird brand. Mean Bird celebrates the garage builders - the men and women who dedicate themselves to mastering all the skills involved in the craft of custom motorcycle building from design, machining and welding to possessing the necessary mechanical and engineering expertise to be able to do what they do. He's a super talented guy and his work is highly revered within the custom building fraternity."
Like many of the top builders, Dunworth has an interesting past. He was a ranked US mountain bike rider and a hot rod builder but over time, began to concentrate more on two wheels. He was bitten by the bike bug at an early age. His Dad was a motorcycle fanatic and used to fettle about with various bike projects so inevitably, he was a major influence on the young Kevin who would spend hours engrossed in his Dad's bike magazines. Sound familiar? It soon led to him being given a Suzuki RM80X by a mate's Dad who laid down a challenge: if the boys could return the bike to working condition, it was their's to keep. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In 2005, he established the Delaware based custom shop Loaded Guns Customs and achieved considerable notoriety but in 2017 decided to move on and opened Dunworth Machines in Ocean City, Maryland. His style's fairly eclectic: he doesn't just specialise in one or two styles of bike - like cafe racers, street trackers or choppers or baggers - and he mixes vintage with modern.
The bike's progressing well with Kevin working hard to meet the deadline. It's currently disassembled whilst he's prepping and finishing welding the petrol tank, swing arm and small mounts.
The Mean Bird takes shape at Dunworth Machines HQ
We'll keep you posted on how the Mean Bird is progressing so tune in again soon for an update. The bike will be unveiled during Daytona Bike Week - (6th-15th March) - venue and exact date to be released soon. We've got some potential plans for the machine but we're not revealing what these are just yet. We can confirm, however, that they definitely don't include entering the Daytona TT - round one of this year's American Flat Track season.
📷 Kevin Dunworth