Motorcycles are a lifestyle. That lifestyle comes issued with a community of talented and genuine people. Many of those people have built a business from their passion, just as we have. By sharing these interviews we hope to introduce you to their businesses so we can all connect and help support our locals.
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Hypnic Jerk Customs.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Jerk's made a name for himself creating a range of bolt-on and bespoke pieces built to stand out.
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What's the lowdown on Hypnic Jerk Customs?
Here at Hypnic Jerk Customs it’s all things custom, from general fabrication and machining to sissy bars and hand made taillights, we also stock a small range of limited run creations on our website.
Who are the legends behind the business?
It’s a one man show, however, I do rely on my wife and a few close friends when help is needed.
Is this your full time gig?
It’s now my full time gig, Hypnic Jerk was a side job for a few years and over the years with tonnes of hard work and support, both here and abroad, it grew and grew and blossomed into what you see today.
How'd you get to the point of doing what you love, for work?
It was the start of covid in 2019-2020, the company I was previously working for made my position redundant and my wife encouraged me to take this on full time. It has not been easy but we have never looked back!
Describe yourself in 5 words or less:
Old hands. Smart mouth.
Where did your fab skills come from?
I’ve always been curious and hands on, I was building push bikes whilst the other kids watched cartoons. I got my trade as a boilermaker and have worked on cars and bikes most of my life either as employment or fun.
Before HJC I was building bus components for government contracts. Mostly stainless steel and aluminium welding.
How did the moto journey begin?
My dad used to work on his Harleys' every spare second he wasn’t riding. He was always busy, I guess it rubbed off on me.
My first bike was a PW80, my parents matched what I saved in pocket money to get it. Many months of mowing lawns. My dad still has it and my son and niece ride it now.
What’s your best memory on two wheels?
There are a few. One is being on the back with my old man. Another is looking back on a run and seeing all my mates new and old, side by side snaking down the freeway.
What product are you most proud of?
The June Taillight.
Although it was my second creation it was, and still is, the first of its kind, designed to be used inside the sissy bar and named after my grandmother.
Can you take us through the process:
A good friend of mine saw what I did with the first taillight “Elsie” and knew I was limited by the ballast size inside the light. He came around one day and handed me an ultra thin led unit which sparked the idea for the June and most of the rest.
Are your products exclusively for choppers?
No, in the past people have used them in custom cars. Most of my products can be modified to suit the customers needs whether it be on two or four wheels. You just have to think outside the box.
How much mechanical knowledge does one need to install your products?
My bolt on range is aimed for everyone, it’s literally bolt on and wire in, basic soldering skills and capable to handle a drill of required. However if anyone gets stuck, I'm always just a DM away.
What were your thoughts behind making the 'whispering eye' taillight?
What sort of feedback have you received?
To be honest I had a female friend that asked for it for her chopper build. I understand that some get offended it’s pretty confronting, however it’s a tribute, I like to look at it as a fine art piece. I’ll create and sell them to anyone that desires it. The feedback is mostly great, however I respect anyones opinion and have lost dealers that carry my lights over that particular piece, but that’s their choice and I respect that.
You're bringing out new, handmade, products quite often...
Where does your inspiration come from?
I do try and keep it fresh, the last thing you want is to get a good name and go stale. All my products have to be tested first before they make it to production and it’s bitten me in the arse before, rushing a product to market.
Each piece created, is made by my two hands therefore I try and keep numbers low as to not blow out waiting times.
What bike/s do you own?
I have a 73 XLCH Ironhead swingarm project for next year, I also have a 73 XLH Hardtail I’ve been building when I’m not flat out with everything else.
My daily is 2012 72 Sportster named Dorothy, which is a rolling billboard for my work as well as friends that have made me pieces for it and painted it.
What factors influenced the design direction you chose?
I draw my inspiration from the past. I like the older things, classic and timeless, when items had soul. They were also built to last, I design my pieces with that always in mind, items that won't let you down in a few months of rough riding and that will outlast your bike.
What's the biggest struggles/rewards of running your own business?
If you don’t work you don’t get paid. No one will work as hard as you for your business.
The rewards are worth it though, metal health is more important to me than wealth.
Your most memorable custom build:
Getting asked to create pieces for Born free builders and Biltwell peoples champ builders has been so amazing. Guys I never expected to know my name coming to me for custom pieces is pretty surreal.
The weirdest request you've had:
I’ve been asked to mould a persons wife’s very own whispering eye of their own. I’ve had it all from buttplugs to ball bags.
What advice do you have for a newbie wanting to build a project bike?
Speak with local builders and creators, have a clear vision and just start doing it. A person's biggest barrier is usually themselves and lack of confidence, but everything can be taught if you want to learn it hard enough, no one just wakes up and knows this shit.
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