Tim Banks doesn't call himself a bike builder or an artist. He just builds motorcycles that have meaning and reason behind them.

Banks was a machinist by trade, but his real passion was racing. He was always a racer. He won Daytona in the Super V Twin class in 2000 but was forced to quit when he was injured in a bad accident. That same summer, Banks started building bikes.

EatSleepRIDE caught up with Banks at the Indianapolis Dealer Expo where he was showing two of his concept bikes.

The Marine Corps Concept Bike

The Marine Corps bike was conceived to promote the Toys for Tots foundation, a not-for-profit that collects toys for under privileged kids and distributes them to kids in need every Christmas.

The bike evokes a complete Marine Corps dress code complete with an NCO sword! A view from above inspires a full Marine Corps uniform. His passion comes through in every detail. The custom paint colors are matched to the actual uniform colors. The buttons and belt buckle are authentic military issue. The sword is an original.

The Marine Corps bike is not only pretty, it's bad. It comes compete with flame-throwers and swanks 200 horse-power to the back wheel with a Harley Davidson inspired motor, Elderbrock high-flow custom designed heads and Magna-Charger supercharger.

It's unfortunate that we don't have photos of the bike running. To operate, the bike lifts up four-and-a-half inches on airbags and activates a swing arm and oil tank (still waiting on info for that). When it rises, the bike leaves a Marine Corps eagle, globe and anchor emblem on the ground.

I asked Tim if he sketches his bikes or uses any kind of spec drawings tools to guide his build. ‟No” he told me a definitive Kentucky note, long pause, ‟I see it in my head”.

The Marine Corps bike is a celebrity in and of it's self. It's been to every Marine camp, up to the White House, the Pentagon and has toured the United States.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Concept Bike

In Tim's city of Owensboro Kentucky, twelve women around him had bread cancer, one of which was his mom. She survived and he wanted to inspire other woman to fight.

The Breast Cancer bike was built to look aggressive, as a woman would be with cancer. ‟I wanted to build something that portrayed what [women] were going through.”

Tim's personal and emotional connection shows through. The gas tank is built in the shape of a heart - which is very hard to do. The pipes are wrapped to invoke mastectomy bandages. There are 29 ribbons built in to the bike, twelve ribbons are hammered out by hand, the largest forms the seat.

The Cancer Awareness Motorcycle took 40 days to build, which even by master mechanic standards, I'm told is fast. To hear Tim talk about the bike is powerful. Breast cancer is a horrible disease that continues to take too many lives. Banks has felt the impact first hand and wants to inspire people to find a cure.

Tim says he's taken a lot of ribbing for making a pink bike, but he doesn't care. ‟I'm very proud of it”. There's a lot of meaning and soul in this bike.

 You can find Tim Banks on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/tim.banks.330

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