Meet the Maker: The Man Who Creates Custom Motorcycles by Hand

Paul Cox makes four to six motorcycles a year based on very precise customer requirements—including individually tanned leather and hand-hammered tanks.

Add-ons include custom metal engraving, painted imagery, and one-of-a-kind leather details.

Add-ons include custom metal engraving, painted imagery, and one-of-a-kind leather details.

Photographer: Corey Olsen for Bloomberg Pursuits; Grooming: Colby Smith for Exclusive Artists Management using MAC Cosmetics and Oribe Hair Care

“When I was a kid, I started tinkering with motorcycles—painting the exteriors, fixing broken fenders—and I got a job at Psycho Cycles in New York City’s East Village in 1988. I began getting requests for one-off motorcycles and started my own business in 1991.

At my Brooklyn studio, I make everything by hand and don’t outsource any products. I hammer all my own sheet metals for gas tanks and fenders. I have a separate section for engine and transmission building, as well as a tannery for the leather seats. I make about four bikes a year. Each one can take 6 to 24 months to complete, and they’re tailored to the customers’ priorities. One person might want a high-performance engine and be less concerned about paint. Another will request a superflashy bike but may not care about going fast.”

From $60,000; paulcoxindustries.com

A selection of Cox's bespoke choppers. Clockwise from top left: Guillotine; N.Y.O.B.; Sword of Damocies; Damian
A selection of Cox's bespoke choppers. Clockwise from top left: Guillotine; N.Y.O.B.; Sword of Damocies; Damian
Photographer: (clockwise from top left) Ken Nagahara; Mark V; Steve Berner; Bryan Helm/All coutesy of Paul Cox Industries
Cox's Born Free 7 Build
Cox's Born Free 7 Build
Photographer: Bryan Helm/Couretsy of Paul Cox Industries
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