Sportsbikes Inc Mag - RSD Ducati
Roland Sands’ name is as synonymous to the custom motorcycle scene as sticky black rubber marks on the baking asphalt at Daytona or the unique blu-golding of titanium when TIG welded.
Being a National Championship holding racer having 10 AMA 250GP wins to his name, Roland is no stranger to motorcycles that push the envelope of speed. Both on the track and off. Perhaps it was the unique combination of being steeped in the worlds of both racing and custom motorcycles (care of his fathers legacy, Performance Machine) that afforded Roland a unique perspective allowing him to create truly fast performance based motorcycles that posses equally matched aesthetic and design principles. Whatever the catalyst, no one can argue that as a custom motorcycle builder, his finished works border the line of perfection as it pertains to balancing form and function.
Recently, while in California I got to stop by the RSD garage and catch a glimpse of Roland’s new project build, the Ducati Panigale. (possibly the epitome of performance in it’s stock trim IMO) The bike wasn’t finished yet, but even laying in pieces you could see the cohesive design elements playing off one another. Brushed finished, raw materials coated in clear, there they were all working in harmony. In my mind I could see the finished bike before me and as expected, it was stunning.
Wrangling Roland for an interview is a race all in itself. After observing a series of important business meetings with everyone from the Major of Long Beach to the President of MAG, it was finally my turn and though we’ve been friends for a long time now, I think of him as more like an older brother before a respected builder. It wasn't until I was asked to do this interview and started researching Roland's history that I realized how much he had accomplished in a short amount of time. I suddenly found myself pretty impressed at the company I keep. That's the thing about Roland, he has a way of being relatable to just about anyone and just like the bikes he builds, anyone can see themselves riding them. The Panigale is no different.
It was time to get the story…