Roland Sands doesn’t only fancy himself a rider—he also uses his creativity to design motorcycles. The 40-year-old founder and owner of Roland Sands Design is responsible for building the GEICO-branded model, which made its debut August 2, 2015, during the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, one of the largest motorcycle events in the world.
As a former professional racing champion and an award-winning designer, Sands builds bikes that complement each other in both performance and aesthetics, especially because he feels a custom motorcycle can be a true expression of oneself.
“With motorcycles, it doesn’t matter how good they work, if they don’t look cool, people don’t want to ride them, ” he says. “I try to be inspired by literally anything and everything. Riding down the road, I could see something weird, or look at architecture or furniture design. You don’t want to duplicate what other people are doing. You want to try and be unique and do something new. Trying to break new ground is what excites me and gets me up in the morning.”
Sands took a practical approach designing and building the GEICO bike. Aware that he would be riding it extensively closer to the rally, he made it “dirt-worthy, ” so that he could ride from California on as many dirt roads as possible approaching Sturgis.
“It’s a flat tracker, with good tires on it, so it’s going to work really well in the dirt, ” he says. “It’s a really fun bike and something that will stand out in Sturgis because there are a lot of [Harley] baggers and big long highway bikes and this is the opposite of that.”