RideApart 8: Making parts with Roland Sands Design

Dailies, TV -



Our buddy Roland is a 250GP AMA champion and the force behind the Roland Sands Design firm that creates aftermarket parts for motorcycles, fashion apparel, custom bikes and a new line of safety gear for riders. He may still look like a teenager, but this industry veteran is spearheading the next generation of American motorcycling leaders.

YouTube Preview Image
  • Jeremy

    I got one of those Ronin jackets about a month ago. It really is super soft & feels broken in right when you buy it, definitely recommend it. I decided to get some D3O armor instead of the RSD ones but it works pretty well with the fit – only thing was I had to get the tailor to modify the back pocket a bit to work. I guess the RSD back protector is smaller.

    I really dig what he does with the Harley sportsters – actually makes it look like something that might be fun to ride.

  • wwalkersd

    Nicely done, as has become usual for you guys. Pity about Grant’s mic, though. Remember, if it hasn’t been tested, it doesn’t work! I’m glad the end-of-episode outtakes are back!

    I didn’t know Sands’ production stuff was built by PM, but I guess it is Roland Sands Design, not Roland Sands Manufacturing. It makes sense to take advantage of PM’s huge investment in equipment.

    • Coreyvwc

      I might be wrong, but I think his parents own PM. So technically… Either way, keep it American, keep it in the family.

      • Jon B.

        His father is the founder of PM.

        Awesome episode.

  • Coreyvwc

    Awesome episode, love seeing this side of the industry.

  • Edward

    Great episode, but the music…. please no more of that.

    • isambard

      +1 on both counts.

    • filly-fuzz

      Come on, it was fine.
      Nothing wrong with track, it suited the heavy industry scenes very well.

      Variety is the spice of life

  • Mathew Foster

    Really well done. Been wanting to get some more of a background on Roland’s operation. Love the history. I have a ronin jacket, and I love it – totally ordering the armor now (which I should’ve done long ago) after seeing it here.

    • Bronson

      I agree. Great to see the operation and how it works. Please do a followup episode, with Roland showing his favorite bikes and some info on each.

  • jason

    Excellent! Keep it coming!

  • Jason Wortman

    Saw two of his bikes at a chopper show last summer and was floored. Roland deserves the utmost respect for what he has accomplished, and he still seems humble unlike other builders who have reached that level of success. Discovery won’t film it, glad you guys will. Excellent work.

  • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    This video was too short.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]


      Does HFL own the unused footage? If so, any chance of minimally-produced, deleted-scenes cuts of the most engaging episodes for HFL subscribers only?

  • muckluck

    Talking about safety gear and all, weren’t you guys offered safety glasses?

    • Bronson

      I’m always amazed at how many times I see people using cutting/grinding equipment in videos/TV and they’re not wearing eye protection. You’ve only got one pair of eyes and it is so easy to damage or loose one when working with stuff like that.

      • BMW11GS

        Or hands getting sucked in to grinding wheels! Yikes.

      • Ben

        Safety squint

  • jonoabq

    Speaking of safety gear did you get the “we are reducing level the safety of our gear to make it more fashionable” message? Ok, that’s not an RS quote but that is really what was being said. L1 protection in the shoulders and elbows, and back inserts that don’t even cover your back cancels out all the other clothing design decisions. Sorry, go back and try again.

    • matt

      I’m with you. After few good tumbles off the bike I won’t ride without full armor, anywhere, any distance. Everybody makes their choices for sure, but minimum level one CE armor and coverage before I’ll look at a product. Still huge room for improvement in protection across the board beyond what’s out there now. For me fashion needs to take the backseat until the functional requirements are met. Looking forward to what protection equipment is like in 2030. RS’s approach is not building that functional future equipment.

      • Tom Fiegener

        I imagine there are a lot of guys buying these more fashion oriented jackets, who would have never consider buying a jacket with CE rated armor in the past.
        Roland has good ties to the Harley world and if he can get those guys to put on jackets and helmets then that’s a good thing!

        I do have one gripe, I bought the Tracker Jacket from his collection and the Forcefield Armor does not fit the pockets. I had to hand sew Pockets form my Alpinestars armor in the jacket. I think this issue is isolated to the Tracker Jacket though.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

          “I imagine there are a lot of guys buying these more fashion oriented jackets, who would have never consider buying a jacket with CE rated armor in the past.”

          They’re still not buying a jacket like that when they get a Roland Sands jacket unless they have the good sense to buy the armor separately. That’s disappointing to me – moreso than the inadequate coverage of the added armor.

          The RS jackets are beautiful things, I really like them, but there’s no good reason they couldn’t accommodate (and include) better armor.

      • enzomedici

        Some of us would like decent safety measures while looking good in the process. I don’t have this jacket, but if I did, I would drop in some d3o armor. I don’t want Icon, Dianese, or Alpinestars logos splattered all over my clothes and I don’t want to look like Robocop when I’m out riding either. Riding can be dangerous for sure, but we accept some level of risk as with anything. If you want real safety, get back in your car because it is safer than riding a motorcycle right? Why even bother riding a motorcycle since a car is obviously much safer?

  • equ

    Excellent video, guys! Your photography and editing are great. It’s never boring but avoids too much jumping around. Does not assume that your audience has the attention span of a flea. Well done.

  • walter

    I’m hoping to enjoy one of these without having to ride the volume control.

    Are you editing on a laptop in a bar at night in skinny jeans?

    Otherwise, great stuff.

  • Archer

    Another great ep. California really does make it very, very difficult to run a business like that. My company moved all operations from Cali to Utah years ago, it’s like doing business in another country.

  • RWerksman

    Love the videos – another great one this week. I find myself tuning in each week to see what you’re up to.

    I do however echo the sentiments about the mic. This one, and a few others, had some really shotty mic work and audio mixing on them. I have to adjust the audio the entire way through, again.

    Yall need to address that. The videos are way to cool to be weighed down by some mangled audio.

  • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

    Super psyched to see the manufacturing details of this kind of thing. I used to think Roland was just a custom Harley guy. He’s a wholistic motorcycle guy though, through and through. Super cool.