Name: Ricky Reyes Place: Kansas City Handle: @Anchormoto photos: James Folder
How did you get into motorcycles?
Honestly, I have been riding since I was young. My pops raced semi pro dirt bikes so it was just something we did. Over the years I just found my own way to where I’m at now.
How did you get into customizing bikes professionally?
I think how it started as just building parts or helping friends work on their bikes. Then it turned into building bike, after bike, after bike. I wasn’t going to stop, so I started selling off bikes once I was done with them to fund the next one. It just made sense to jump in and see if I could make a living doing it.
How long has Anchor Moto been in business?
The Anchor was actually my punk rock club, that started in 05. We booked punk and Hardcore bands and had a half pipe inside we skated. Local bands practiced there, and I had an office in the back where I worked on my bikes. 2008 we got shut down by “the man” and I just kept building bikes. The Anchor venue just change into Anchormoto. I was still working a day job and railing out work at night and weekends for customers. 2014 I quit my day job and just began hustling bikes.
What are the pitfalls of owning your own business?
There isn’t even enough space to scratch the surface here. Basically dealing with people and their cash is just a mess. Sometimes its hard to put a price on something.
What are some of the good things about it?
I have two kids and have week on/week off. I like being with my kids, so I get to have them with me. My shop is at my house and having the time to run errands, skateboard, ride my chopper, work at midnight, work whenever I want, etc…I like the freedom of taking the jobs I want and I can decline the ones I’m not feeling. Not having to full blown whore myself is pretty rad.
What kid of people make up your clientele?
Basically the standard fare of miscreants. Tattooed bartenders, railroad workers, nuclear engineers, IT nerds, I do really get a weird cross of customers. KC is a fairly big town but when it comes to real deal choppers I feel like the only guy that has the eye for it.
We love the stripped-down and clean look of your bikes. Is that you are mainly into?
The skinnier and stripped down the better. It makes them easier to work on, and less to go wrong. I’m a big lover of motorcycles. I love dirt bikes, vintage British twins, Weird street tracker things but my personal favorites are the bikes I build for myself. True to the old way of building a chopper. I like having the only bike like mine in the world. True expression of ones individuality.
What part of building bikes do you like the most?
Destroying. My all time favorite part is ripping a bike apart to get to the heart of the cycle. TIG welding has been a huge thing for me to master, if that is even possible. I like figuring out crazy shit that takes time to work out. I like laying in bed working through a part or bracket I need to build in my head. Then wake up and build it. Honestly I like cleaning my shop more then anything. No shit
What part do you detest?
Oh I’ll keep it simple. Needing to make money, also, people are weird as fuck. People look at too many inter web pictures, people watch to many YouTube videos, people don’t know shit but think they do. Having to squeeze blood out of a rock daily gets old.
What was your first motorcycle?
My first bike as a kid was a Yamaha yz80, as an adult I fought a BSA 441 victor most of my 20’s. Built my first full blown chopper out of a Honda CB500T in 2003. The rest is just a blur of motorcycles. Right now I’ve got my divorced Ironhead, A 77 shovelhead, and my lady has a 1981 Ironhead I built for her 4 years ago now.
What is your all-time favorite motorcycle?
Always want what you cant have. Sometimes I think about a really clean Knucklehead in full trim. But honestly lately all I can think about is the 1970 Harley’s Superglide with the Boattail. Maybe the XLCR would also make me real happy.
What do you like about riding motorcycles?
I’ve had to figure out how to separate work life and making time to just ride. I’ve got a few rad friends and we go putt together. I miss being able to ride everyday. The Midwest is kinda fucked for that. I like riding far, and fast. I don’t drink, so the bar to bar BS doesn’t interest me. I’ll ride a hundred miles to get ice cream though.
How have motorcycles changed your life?
It’s all consuming. Everything is motorcycles. That’s the lifestyle thing people talk about, not the Harley bedazzled outfit lifestyle. I think about building, riding, painting, buying parts, finding bikes, tuneups, tear downs , every waking fucking moment.
Who or what have you gained inspiration from?
Love Andy from Pangea, love 60’s bikes, think about race bikes. I read about all kinds of stuff from actual books. Lately I’ve been reading about machining and mechanical engineering. TIG welding, Lathe, and tools catalogs.
What has changed your personal life for the better?
I’ve been a Straight Edge Kid all the way to Old Man status. I’m an Anchor for my kids, I play guitar in a few bands which keeps me going. I actually just married my love Amber, she changed my life in every way.
What has changed your personal life for the worse?
Money. It’s a hard thing to carve out a life for yourself. Life is fucked and is never easy. Couple that with kids, bills, customers bs it gets a little rough sometimes. I keep my head down and just try and crank out solid work, people notice and I make some money.
Any other statements or slander you would like the world to know?
Be yourself and stop trying so fucking hard. Everything has been done, nothing is original. Do something really well and people will notice. Do something with style and people will never forget. Thanks dude.