Carlos Ormazabal in 2011 started the Foundry MC in Madrid, Spain with humble beginnings.
Let’s see what Carlos has to say about him in his own words.
For more than 19 years I worked for Nikon in Spain, the last years dedicated to the NPS or Nikon Professional Service.
Travel, international events such as Olympics and World Cups were my daily basis during those years. But my fondness for motorcycles goes back to my pre-adolescent days.
Like many others, at the age of 15 and growing up in a modest family, I saw motorcycles like the Cow Boys horses of the American western films: the saddle of the lonesome hero, the self-made man who can to face any challenge or danger.
Over time, I owned many of them: my first Vespino, with which I travelled everywhere (without a helmet, what a danger) and with which I ride many proximity trips around Barcelona.
After that, it came many more – Vespa Primavera, Cagiva Blues, BMW K75, Suzuki SV650, BMW R1150R, always with that naive individualistic spirit.
Today we have an opportunity to understand Foundry MC more closely as we talk with Carlos.
1.How did Foundry MC start?
Carlos: First, we were just a bunch of folks, and we spent time chopping their bikes at home. Then just chilling and driving them through Barcelona and surrounding areas to show them and enjoy them.
They were small cylinder engines, not the usual Harley Davidson Sportster, though we all love them. That was the seed of The Foundry MC. Later on, I took the name of the group to establish my workshop after leaving Barcelona and move to Madrid.
Still friends of some of that guys, and even sold some bikes to them. That was just before the boom of new cafe racer bikes, only when Wrenchmokees, El Solitario begin to cope with the motorcycle world and Pipeburn or BikeExif where just motorcycle blogs.
2.Do let us know about your current projects/work?.
Carlos: Currently, I run a small workshop and mostly building bikes for customers. Though I was initially thinking of making my bikes and sell them, currently I’m building bikes under customer’s requirements.
I add my experience and recommendations, but the final look is mostly what the customer wants.
I’m not focused in a particular style or type of bike, though I’m more know for my BMW K75/100 6V builds and Triumph Speedmaster/America too. Also, for the first time, I’m working in a show/prototype bike for another country that could be the model for a production bike.
3.What is the most challenging build/bike that you had to build to date?
Carlos: Undoubtedly, my Yamaha XJ600 Cafe Rafer. And it was because it was the first time I built a bike following a drawing, done by Nuno Capello. Actual bikes and illustrations are not the same, and it was quite challenging to find a way to match as much as possible the render.
4.What is the most critical component in the motorcycle, according to you?
Carlos: Can’t just be focused on a single part, though frame could be a real challenge when thinking in a particular look.
But like shoes in a men’s wardrobe, probably wheels are the most underrated yet eye-catching element in a bike.
I always first have to choose wheels and tyres before starting to chop anything in my cycles.
5.What do you think about electric bikes?
Carlos: From the custom point of view, I don’t have any specific choice as a donor bike. Electric or fuel I’ve seen a lot of beautiful custom bikes and also actual nightmares. I.E. DeBolex Engineering, Bizarro Corp. both they have electric bikes with a fabulous look.
I want to build a bike from an electric donor. But IMO still a lot of shades in the electric world as battery life is not enough to match fuel engines. But I think it will come in 5-10 years.
6.Are you open to build an electric bike? As electric is the trend these days.
Carlos: 100% yes. I loved to build one for sure.
7.What would you like to call yourself? Builder, Innovator or Designer? And why?
Carlos: I see myself as an artisan. I have multiple skills from painting to welding to mechanics I’m not the best in any of them, at all – and I think I have a sort of technical+artistic eye.
Not too edgy at any point, that makes my builds classic and classy, for the average guy that wants to be different but not trying so hard. Not a designer nor a “builder” per se as I modify bikes. Neither innovator.
Max Hazan IS an innovator and actual builder. Fred Kugger too. I’m far away from that genius, but fortunately living my dream life.
8.What is the one thing that you like in motorcycles?
Carlos: Sense of freedom and independence.
9.How do we see Foundry MC five years down the line?
Carlos: Honestly, don’t know. When starting this, I couldn’t imagine I would be here as I was thinking about building bikes for myself and sell them one by one. But now I’ve five motorcycles in my workshop at the same time, and none of them is mine nor my project.
I’ll be almost 65 in 5 years, and I would love to be back in my original idea of building one or two personal bikes a year, with my criteria. But who knows.