Each and every custom motorcycle, restomod, race bike, and OEM release that we love has one thing in common—someone designed it. Whether it’s a highly experienced industrial designer penning a new motorcycle for a major brand, or a master of metalwork bringing their vision to life with their hands, every two-wheeled marvel was born from someone’s creative mind.
But what makes them tick? What are their influences? And what is the secret sauce that makes their work so flavorful? These questions are examined with scrutiny and an open mind, in a new online channel, TopID-Hub.
Short for ‘Top Industrial Designers Hub,’ TopID-Hub is a new subscription-based video channel that profiles top industrial designers in the moto and auto industries, and custom motorcycle builders, by pitching an array of key questions at them and packaging their responses into 25-minute-long episodes. Four years in the making, it’s the brainchild of Paulo Rosas—an accomplished vehicle graphics and moto gear designer, and motorsports marketing creative, in his own right.
Most custom motorcycle aficionados know Paulo as the founder of the stylish leather motorcycle gear brand, Pagnol Motor. But he’s also the creative force behind Speed Machines Design—a marketing and design studio with an illustrious client list that includes MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 racing teams, Alpinestars, Scorpion, Polaris, Indian Motorcycles, Triumph, Walt Siegl, Roland Sands Design and more.
“The beautiful and striking bikes and cars we see here on Bike EXIF, or on the street and at shows, are really a byproduct of somebody’s experienced and talented mind,” says Paulo. “It’s about their mindset, mentality, vision, and creative process that they have developed over years and years of experience.”
“So what if we could extract, dissect, and tastefully package that elusive intangible value that a top-tier creative mind has… and get them paid?”
The idea of TopID-Hub wasn’t just inspired by Paulo’s love for design (and motorcycles), but also by his perspective on the imbalance present in the business side of the custom scene. “At bike shows, not only do the ‘artists’ not get paid, but they have to pay to travel to the show, find a hotel, and feed themselves, often on the premise that they are getting exposure,” he laments. “This might be true for up-and-coming custom builders—but definitely not for big-name workshops, whose work is what attracts visitors to the show in the first place.”
As for the content itself, Paulo cites the popular Netflix series, Chef’s Table, as loose inspiration for TopID-Hub. Each episode focuses on a different top-tier creative, pitching the same set of questions at them—often with wildly different answers. It’s about asking the right questions to get the right answers, and then presenting them in an accessible way.
TopID-Hub’s first two episodes are ready to go, with enough footage in store for eleven more episodes already shot. The list of guests is illustrious—ranging from Bike EXIF alumni to designers at major motorcycle and automotive companies.
The first episode profiles the incredibly talented Hugo Eccles from Untitled Motorcycles, and the second the equally talented Michael LaFountain, better known as Raccia Motorcycles. Other custom motorcycle builders include Huge Moto’s Bill Webb and Ad-Hoc’s David Gonzalez.
On the OEM side, Paulo speaks to top motorcycle and automotive designers Rich Christoph, Bjorn Shuster, and Ian Dunn, and clay modeler Richard Mitchell. He also ropes in David Mata, the man behind Dave Design—a Spanish studio that designs helmet graphics for the likes of Marc Marquez and Carlos Sainz—and Greg Tada—a senior designer working for Aprilia under Miguel Galluzzi. There’s an episode dedicated to Paulo’s own journey and insights as well.
With each episode, Paulo and his guests explore concepts like where creativity comes from, how much of a difference a formal education makes, and how to make the jump from having an imagination to tapping into it to create something tangible. They talk about the importance of mentorship and breakthrough moments in their careers and share their views on electric mobility. It’s these topics that excite Paulo—and TopID-Hub is his way of sharing that enthusiasm and knowledge.
“Do they all have the same processes? Nope,” he tells us. “Some do, but most don’t so far. They are all very curious as to what the others answered—so this is a great learning experience not just for viewers, but for these personalities as well. After all, one can never stop learning.”
“The amount of content out there today with little to no substance is huge—your time is not. So choose wisely.”
Subscriptions for TopID-Hub are now open, with a special introductory price of $50 a year. The first two episodes and an introductory video are available now, and two more episodes will drop each month.
If that sounds like your cup of café au lait, we’d suggest jumping to it before that price goes up. And if you’re stuck for last-minute Christmas gift ideas, TopID-Hub offers gift subscriptions too.
Produced in partnership with TopID-Hub | Instagram | Opening image by Aaron Brimhall
If you are a top tier moto or auto designer, or custom builder, and like to be considered for this project, contact Paulo via the TopID-Hub website.