A Bit of History
Roland Sands from Long Beach, California, is an AMA Superbike national champion road racer, an award-winning designer, and owner and founder of Roland Sands Design (RSD), a design studio with deep roots in the motorcycle industry and aspirations to catalyze the field of industrial design. Roland Sands is the son of Perry and Nancy Sands, owners of Performance Machine, the well-known aftermarket firm that manufactures some of the world’s finest wheels, brakes, controls and other components for custom motorcycles of both chopper and sport bike selections.
Inspired by his unique background in the motorcycle industry, Sands is pushing custom motorcycle designing in a radical new direction with the mixing of sport bike and chopper styles, resulting in a new breed of motorcycles. Sands’ creations cannot be easily categorized; while the craftsmanship and artistry associated with choppers can be appreciated, the bikes designed at RSD can be ridden just as hard as race bikes.
Sands life began immersed in the motorcycle industry. His first motorcycle was a RM 50 dirt bike, a present for his 5th birthday. After 5 minutes of riding, he broke a bone, but fell in love with riding anyway. He grew up in the PM shop, and began working there sweeping floors at age 14. He quickly moved up to assembly, sanding and polishing, and even designing custom wheels. He finally worked his way up to Director of R&D and Design at Performance Machine, before moving on to founding RSD. His designs have been described as being a mixture of sport bike and chopper influences to create the ultimate custom bikes.
In 2004, legendary designer Chip Foose awarded Roland Sands with the Award of Design Excellence for his design on the motorcycle "The Hard Way". In 2005 his peers honored him when he was voted Rookie of the Year on the Discovery Channel Biker Build Off awards show. Since his first appearance on Biker Build Off, he has been featured on ESPN2’s Chopper Nation and Super Bikes, SPEED Channel's American Thunder and Build or Bust, and recently crowned champion of Biker Build Off in 2006 against Jesse Rooke.
His future projects include filming for The Heritage Million Dollar Build Off beginning in January 2007. In this upcoming build-off he will pit himself against 14 other world class builders. His competition will be Vinnie Minichiello - CMX Choppers, Eddie Trotta - Thunder Cycle Designs, Inc., Russell Marlowe - Russell Marlowe Custom Cycles (2005 winner), Kendall Johnson - Kendall Johnson Customs (2006 winner), Bruce Mullins - Skunkworx Custom Cycle, John Dodson - Gangster Choppers, Joe Martin - Martin Brothers Bikes, Darrian Tefft & Mario Audia - Jolly Roger Customs, Roger Bourget - Bourget Bike Works, Arlen Ness - Arlen Ness Enterprises, Roger Goldammer - Goldammer Cycle Works Ltd., Paul Cox & Keino - Indian Larry Legacy, Aaron Greene - Paramount Custom Cycles, and Jerry Burrow - Road Hawgs Ltd. The show premiers on April 10, 2007 at 8:00pm on ESPN2. For more information on the Build Off, go to