Vintage inspired hand crafted motorcycle clothing made for life on two wheels
Jack where are you based and what about your artistic background?
I am proud to say that I am born and raised in the Midwest, a corn state rider. Both my parents are designers, my father a toy designer and my mother a fashion and plush toy designer, so I was raised in a very artistic family and encouraged to be very creative.
The arts were a huge part of my childhood and I was constantly working on different styles and mediums of art. Drawing has always been my favorite, and I’ve been told I was drawing before I could walk. I was raised out in the country and we went to old farm auctions nearly every weekend looking for anything old and strange. Our our ever growing collection of antiques and oddities has had a lasting impression on my artistic inspiration, most of what I do I want to look like it could have been something that was made 50 years ago.
When and why Moto 76 Co was born? What’s the aim of this project?
MOTO76co was born in a garage 2 years ago, it came out of the passion for motorcycles and the community around them. We have always been riding, growing up out in the country we had the ultimate playground, dusty gravel roads, dry river beds, forest and hills all over the place, it was a great place to ride and camp and grow up and the time I spent riding with my father will be forever in my mind.
MOTO76co was really born to pay homage to those memories and to make more. I really want everything that we produce to tell some of that story, and to encourage others to go out and make their own stories and adventures. Its those long days on open roads and countless adventures and mishaps along the way and then setting up around the campfire with a stiff drink as we recount the day and plan for the next one. Motorcycles shape our lives, bring us all together…
Tell me more about the Moto 76 Co t-shirts collection.
The MOTO76co collection is inspired by the past, from motorcycle clubs to California hare scrambles and dirt bike legends, I wanted to design a brand of clothing that reflected the rugged American biker spirit. Outlaws and renegades on the open road, paying homage those that went against the grain and did their own thing, back to the days where riding a motorcycle wasn’t done to be cool, but to be free.
I feel that its a combination of the spirit of motorcycle clubs, hippies, outlaws and cowboys that make up the collection. Being from the Midwest, I wanted the brand to have more of the “western” feel in it than the California biker feel, we have so much history in racing and motorcycles here and I wanted to include that in some of what the brand has.
The collection is ever growing, as I am always looking through old chopper magazines, watching and rewatching biker movies and being inspired by the rides that we take. So it really reflects the past and present, and is a collection of what we do.
What are the main sources of inspiration for your work?
I’m inspired by everything, I’m always drawing and taking photos and notes. Especially if it’s vintage and strange, old gas stations, chopper magazines, club jackets, race posters… anything really. If it’s old and has history, it’s full of inspiration.
What about your local Moto community?
Our local community is pretty great, it’s nothing giant, but it is growing all the time.
The Midwest is full of great hot rod shows, and we are working really hard to get more motorcycle shows into the mix. I’m working with a group of hot rodders and bikers to create a chopper show next year and that is really exciting.
As a designer, MOTO spends a lot of time working with other events to promote vintage motorcycles. We work to put on Des Moines Vintage Bike Night, and are in the 4th year, its a great event and brings bikes from all across the state.
I also work with a group called Great Plains Vintage Motocross, which is a club of vintage dirt bike riders that races all over the Midwest. We also did a winter ride in January, only 5 people showed up, but it made it one of the best rides ever, we all froze that day, rode through snow and rain and ice. We were covered in ice and snow, and we rode a lot of muddy roads, took a few tumbles and broke a few bikes, but at the end of the day, the smiles we wore all day proved that it was worth it.
We have a ton of talent here in the Midwest, and there are a lot of great builders get to show up at these events, it’s great to be able to talk to so many riders and builders. There’s a great art scene around here too, with a lot of people passionate about the same things we are, riding and enjoying that we are from the land of corn fields and open roads…
What do you Ride?
I have a 1978 Yamaha XS650 custom bobber (daily rider), am working on a 1973 Honda Scrambler 350 and a Kawasaki 175 dual sport. I’ve also got a new Suzuki DRZ400 which I take to a lot of dual sport and enduro rides.
A Motorcycle is…
Freedom and family. I wish that I had an elaborate answer to that, but its really the truth, I’ve met the best of friends on bikes, the type of friends that have bonds like family. And when life gets you down (as cliche as it is) the bike is always there, no matter what weather, and ready for a ride to freedom.
When you are not riding…
…I’m a full time graphic designer in the cooperate world, a freelance designer at night.
When I’m not working on all that or MOTO or riding, I’m out paddle surfing the lakes, long boarding, snowboarding, riding vintage bicycles and camping, I love anything outdoors and spend all the time I can outside. With summer coming, I’ll be riding and camping all the time.
What are the future plans for Moto 76 Co?
Honestly, we just want to keep having fun, keep riding and making memories with good friends. That’s been the fun part of MOTO76co for us, its doesn’t have to be about the money. Its about the good times we have along the way.
I know that’s super cliche, that it’s not the destination but the journey, but especially for anyone that rides motorcycles, I think that is super fitting.
Where we can Follow Moto 76Co?