Burris Custom City
George and Sam Barris
In the 50s America gave rise to the idea of “custom bike” and everything related to bikers. But if a “bike” means a motorcycle, “custom bike” means an artwork. It’s not just a vehicle or a set of metal and rubber components meant for transportation, it’s almost a living item, a luxurious object of its owner’s pride. Custom bikes are never produced serially which is their main feature. All the components, color, materials and accessories are according to desire of its future owner, therefore there are no two identical custom bikes in the world. Such bikes should satisfy the needs and the ideas of what it should look like of its owner completely.
Custom is the main part in “customizing” and “customizer”. These words are used respectively to name custom bikes production in the whole and people building them.
Today you can find a different spelling in mass media – “kustom kulture”. They say that George Barris, the classic of custom vehicles, was the one to introduce such an “incorrect” spelling and the first time it was used in an advertising of his workshop published in the Hot Rod Magazine in 1948. But it dates back to the pre-war period when Barris brothers and their friends established the Kustom Car Club in California.
About fifty years later the so called KustomKulture uniting auto hot rodding, motorcycle customizing, rockabilly music and the “related” styles in outerwear, haircuts and tattoos turned into an industry and a real worldwide social phenomenon.