Bryan Thompson, hailing from the Central Coast of California, has been building custom motorcycles since 2001, but his passion for racing and creating things with his hands started at a much earlier age.
“There’s excitement from building a bike – check out of normal life – creating a bike that’s a piece of art. I’m very fortunate doing something that I love as my profession.”
Originally from Bakersfield, Bryan enjoyed working with bikes as a kid. He’d disassemble a bike, figure out ways to make it lighter, faster, then spray paint it for a fresh new look. He got into BMX at the age of eight, then as time went on, transitioned from BWX to motocross, road racing and vintage motorcycles.
— Bryan Thomspon
I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and I get a lot of enjoyment truthfully about taking a piece of junk from swap meet and making a custom bike.
“Racing at a young age was awesome. I liked being competitive and it was a good way to stay out of trouble. What I loved most was getting to work on bike builds with my dad. We’d go to the store to pick out a bunch of different spray paints and modify bikes together.”
Now Bryan lives and works in Arroyo Grande, California, building custom motorcycles and refurbishing vintage bikes for enthusiasts near and far. In his free time, you can find him spending time with his family, skateboarding and planning ways to break records at Bonneville Speed Week at the salt flats race track in Utah.
— Bryan Thompson
If you’re out there competing at a race like Bonneville, you’re already a winner, truthfully.
Bonneville Speedway also known as the Bonneville Salt Flats Race Track is an area noted for numerous land speed records and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist…that’s the Bonneville salt flats.”
Every year, people from around the world gather to witness history being made – Bryan Thompson and his friend Alp were two of those people.
“I first visited Bonneville several years ago as a spectator and ever since new I needed to come back and not only race but try and break a record.”
Bonneville Speed Week is a long weekend packed full of racing – everything from land speed bikes, wild streamliners, crazy little short-wheel based cars, vintage motorcycles and classic cars. Bryan and Alp decided to enter their vintage motorcycle in the 500cc class.
“There’s not another place like it on the planet. It’s its own racetrack. Never seen anything like it.”
The stars aligned and on the last day of racing, one of the last races of the day, Bryan and Alp broke the record in their class.
“I couldn’t believe it! It was the perfect story to end the day. We’d worked so hard, making so many little adjustments back and forth on the bike, but we never gave up. I’m excited to go back, we learned a lot and I’m ready to set a record by myself.”