In the late 2000’s as I was winding down my custom shop in Las Vegas pushing out dozens of one-off designs a year, Roland Sands was just getting going. Ending his tenure as lead designer at Performance Machine, he ventured out on his own to open Roland Sands Design.
In the early years of his business virtually all his creations were V-twin based but over the years he has mixed it up a lot, using various brands as the base bike. Models from BMW, Suzuki, Ducati, MV Augusta, and Triumph to name a few.
Not once did I have a customer come in with an idea for a custom or one-off using a metric bike, looking at what Roland is doing makes me a little jealous that I’m not still in the game!
His most recent creation is based on a KTM 790, not the first time he has used KTM as the foundation for a build. According to Roland, the customer loved the 790, but not the design, he wanted something a little more retro-looking but still keeping all the KTM magic and engineering.
Almost unrecognizable, the KTM 790 has lost all of its angles and familiar bodywork, the distinctive diamond headlight has gone, and the tank that KTM designed so well to keep the weight low hit the junk pile too.
The replacements were a Triumph headlight, a Suzuki GT750 tank with a lot of modification that is hidden (watch the video), a seat from a Husky, one small aluminum piece of bodywork to work as a heat shield around the Akropovic muffler and that’s about it.
Watch the video and chime in, love it or hate it, what would you have done differently if you had the time, skills, energy, and motivation to do the build yourself?
*feature image and video, Roland Sands