Interview : Roland Sands Design

 Interview : Roland Sands Design


Roland Sands Design is a motorcycle, product and apparel company that has its roots in racing, custom bike building and design. Roland Sands motivation originates from an elite foundation that mixes the affection for two wheels with the craving to make remarkable products that are unique and innovative.

Roland Sands heart and mind is dedicated to the two wheeled life and group of inspirational and passionate road racers, off-road, dirt track, supermoto and custom bike builders and riders. It’s this assorted variety that enables Roland Sands to work with the best in the business on an assortment of ventures.

Public Figure

Roland is from Long Beach, California. He began his life with the upbringing and diverse experience in the motorcycle industry. His first motorcycle was a RM 50 dirt bike, given to him on his 5th birthday, to which, after just minutes of riding, he broke a bone, but fell in love with it anyway. His love of speed on two wheels took him to the professional racing ranks for 10 years.

He set multiple track records around the world and was the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250GP champion. However, 32 broken bones later, Roland decided to trade in his racing leathers for hammer, pencil and a computer designing and building motorcycles and custom motorcycle products. In 2005, Sands founded Roland Sands Design. Sands designs are a mixture of sport bike and chopper influences and he has played a pivotal role in popularizing high performance custom bikes to the masses.

Roland Sands


  • AMA 250 GP Champion 1998
  • V-Twin Wheel Design of the Year 2002
  • V-Twin Control Design of the Year 2004
  • V-Twin Wheel Design of the Year 2004
  • Chip Foose Design of Excellence Award, Sturgis, 2004
  • Modified Harley Class at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in 2005
  • V-Twin Award Trendsetter of the Year, Daytona, 2005
  • Discovery Channel’s Ultimate Chop Biker Build-Off Season Finale and Awards Ceremony Rookie of the Year 2005
  • V-Twin Award Trendsetter of the year, Daytona, 2005
  • Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off Champion for Sands vs. Rooke episode 1, 2006

Roland, Roland Sands Design and the RSD fleet of custom motorcycles have been featured in over 500 magazine articles world-wide, on over 100 magazine covers and attend many American motorcycle rallies and events year round, as well as multiple International shows both in and out of the motorcycle industry. Sands has also stared in many TV shows including Nitro Circus, Chopper Nation, Biker Build Off, American Thunder and many others.

Roland and his designs (motorcycles and products) have earned many awards throughout the years, including three V-Twin Wheel Design of the year, V-Twin Control Design, Chip Foose Design of Excellence Award in Sturgis, 2nd, 3rd, 4th place in Modified Harley class at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building, V-Twin Award Trendsetter of the Year, Biker Build Off Champion on the Discovery Channel, Biker Build Off Rookie of the year and 2Wheel Tuner Brappy Award.


Ducati, Dunlop, Harley-Davidson, Panasonic, Performance Machine, Piaggio, Polaris, Toyota, Triumph, Vance and Hines, Yamaha and numerous others.


1.Tell me bit about Roland Sands as a brand?
Roland : We are a multi-functional motorcycle culture creator and purveyor playing in many aspects of two wheels including custom bike building, racing, events, film, marketing, product design and sales, apparel and more.

2.How will you define yourself Racer, Innovator, Designer or Entrepreneur?Or all in one?
Roland : Definitions are becoming more difficult as the two wheeled landscape as well as the world is shaped by technology. I like to think of myself as a leader in helping to cultivate iconic ideas within two wheels. Being an innovator, builder, designer, creator and entrepreneur are key in making that happen.

3.Do you miss racing as you raced with passion and you had lot of accomplishments?
Roland : I miss the simplicity and soul focus of going fast on two wheels as a lifestyle. Mentally I feel much more complete helping to inspire our corners of this industry and creating. For me the creative process and bringing ideas to life is what today makes me feel whole.

4.You worked very hard to grow.How do you feel today Roland?Is there anything that is left still which you feel is not been accomplished by you?
Roland : Of course there is more to do. A lifetime of more I imagine. The journey is learning what is important to you today vs. yesterday and continuing to pursue it. I have two babies now so I feel there’s a huge task and the most important in front of me. Raising two children who bring positivity to this planet is a huge priority.

5.If i were to ask you one person whom do you admire in Custom Motorcycle World?Who will that person be
Roland : It’s hard to not admire Valentino. Having been on the top of his game for so long and still enjoying it today while carrying moto GP on his back in many ways this past 10 years. It’s pretty incredible he’s still as quick as he is. Real heart and it’s not bullshit. That’s what you find in racing, it strips out and bullshit, it takes real balls to ride anything fast and to do it for that long is impressive.

6.Mckenna 9T Concept 7 is a fusion of classic and modern day motorcycle?How did this idea came?How much time did it took to build this custom motorcycle?
Roland : We had some time on this one. Two years off and on to finish the bike. We’ve been picking away at some of the historic and iconic BMW’s so it was a matter of time before we got to the r7. I drew the bike and sold the idea to a friend and off we went.

7.Typically what challenges do you face while you custom build the motorcycle?
Roland : Every decision takes you down a path and when you start with only a motor there’s a lot of decisions that can fuck things up. Fortunately we have a good method that allows us to take performance into account and go from there. My team is the backbone of the bike builds, I don’t do this stuff on my own with everything I have going, so keeping the team strong and motivated is important.

8.Do you have any plans to build a custom electric motorcycle?
Roland : Yes

9.How do i see Roland Sands 10 years down the line?
Roland : Hopefully we’ll still be creating what’s next. Perhaps it’s autonomous electric plug in commuter bikes, who knows as long as we can have fun doing it, I’m down to ride.

Rolands Work Below

RSD BMW R NineT Vintage

RSD Mckenna 9T Concept 7

RSD FTR 1200

RSD KH9 Pani

RSD Ducati Diavel

RSD Custom Ecosse

Other Reads
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Source : Roland Sands

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