Inside: Lowbrow Customs


Lowbrow Customs is no stranger in today's chopper scene. Company founder Tyler Malinky and his brother Kyle are active members in the ChopCult community, and the whole Malinky clan logs thousands of miles every year hawking their wares at swap meets, trade shows and motorcycle events around the country.

Given Lowbrow's rapid ascent from t-shirt retailer to full-service parts maker and wholesaler for the garage builder and motorcycle retailer, we figured it was time to see just what makes this family-owned and operated company tick.

There's nothing sexy about packing boxes or driving cross-country to stand in a wet field for one more biker hoedown, but this is the kind of heavy lifting and behind-the-scenes BS that fuels the American Dream. Few people embrace the drudgery of self-employment with more zeal than Tyler and Kyle do, and that's what makes these brothers and their company so unique.


What is Lowbrow, and what is your primary mission?

Lowbrow Customs supplies shops and customers with quality parts, apparel and media, both produced by us as well as from talented builders and shops around the world. Our goal is to bring some real life to a business, make it something more than just, "Give us your money, here's your parts." We do it to have fun, because it is what we like to do, and because if I was stuck in a job I hated I would be a horrible, ornery person


What's the brief history, how did it start and how has it evolved?

I bought the domain name and designed the logo for no reason. A year later my wife (then girlfriend) said, 'Hey, you should start making some Triumph stickers and selling them through that website'. She thought the name and logo was cool, and I hadn't done anything at all with it. Something like that, anyway, she takes full credit for Lowbrow


Any new, special or ongoing motorcycle projects at Lowbrow you'd care to mention?

We partnered with Wes White at Four Aces Cycle to put out the Triumph 650 Rebuild DVD and English 101, and are currently filming another tech DVD as well as a documentary that we are excited about. Wes and I are also collaborating on the Salt Ghost LSR bike, which is really gonna be cool when our plans come together



What do you think will look different at Lowbrow in 2015?

Flying motorcycles and moving sidewalks. 2015 is the future. Hopefully, Wes and I will have put out a bunch more cool vintage motorcycle tech and documentary DVDs


Who does what?

I do the design work and web design, new product ideas and such, as well as advertising and media stuff. Kyle runs the shop, keeps everything running smooth and makes me feel guilty for working on my bike while he's packaging orders. He does a great job at both. George helps out with packing orders and anything Kyle needs a hand with; George is a good dude who has been chopping bikes since before I was born, which is crazy


What's at typical day at Lowbrow like for a guy in your shoes?

Coffee, work on bike, computer, coffee, computer, go in the house and think about work


Coffee, Red Bull, crank? How do you do it?



How does your work space break down or compartmentalize for tasks and productivity?

Years ago I used to run a sign-making company, and that machinery was where my current office is today. Now my office is a photo studio, a graphic-arts center, and a place where I can talk on the phone and other work of that nature. We have a separate small bay for personal bike work and fabrication, and then there are two bays: one for main inventory and packaging, and another for bulk inventory. We also have a final bay full of personal bikes and misc crap


Do you build bikes for customers, or do tune and service work?

No tune and service or builds; just our own. We are always working on at least one project per man, and usually multiple bikes


You work with your brother all day. Do you guys ever get pissed and fight or wrestle? Kyle's got some guns, can you take him?

I win, because if Kyle does, he gets fired. Seriously, we are like normal brothers, we might bitch at each other or throw a bucket of concrete at each other, but after we scream "pussy, fuck you" or something equally dumb it's all good again


Since you basically run Lowbrow out of the garage in your back yard, what do the neighbors think?

Our shop is more than double the size of our house, but I think it surpassed "garage status" about an additional thousand square feet ago! The backyard barn has had multiple additions over the years, and when I bought the space we gutted it and re-wired and finished the entire building. I have an apple orchard on one side of the shop, and the neighbors on the other side live so far back in the woods you can't see their house. We are pretty isolated, so no one has any issues with us that I know of. When we throw parties at the shop we invite all the neighbors, but so far only one neighbor has showed up. That guy wasn't a fan of Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival, so he left early!


What's one thing you don't sell at Lowbrow that you wish you did?

I don't know but hopefully I will come across it and get it in stock


Are there any hard and fast rules in the work day? No beer before noon, a speech when answering the phone, Kyle has to wear a uniform, stuff like that

No, the basic thing is take care of your responsibilities, I don't like to micro-manage and I work best when I'm left alone. I know I can trust anything Kyle does


What do you think of the current state of garage-built motorcycles?

In general I think it is great. Lots of people getting interested in building a bike or customizing their own. One thing I have to say: don't worry what the Internet-savvy motorcycle nerds think about your bike; just get out there and do it


What's your favorite part of being self-employed?



Least favorite?



Can you share any words of wisdom with entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

Beware working just to keep busy. Focus on results, not quantity of work. Do what's right


What inspires and influences you outside of motorcycles and family?

I am inspired and interested by about anything out there. I want to travel everywhere and spend time doing everything I can. I think there are so many interesting things in the world, it is a pity because I feel like I won't have enough time to learn everything I want to before I die


Anything you'd like to add, people you'd like to thank?

Thanks to our customers for continued support, we couldn't do it without you


Lowbrow Customs

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Comment with Chopcult (41)

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 04:43 am

Very nice! From one Ohio bastard to another. Keep up the good work guys! I support you!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 04:51 am

Hahaha Tyler got it about right. The throwing buckets of concrete was no joke either!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 05:30 am

Keep up the good work fellas!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 06:19 am

snazzy write up. good stuff. Im leavin for Ohio on saturday, maybe Ill see ya guys around. Keep up the good work.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 06:29 am

Great job guys. Love dealing with you guys. Always fast. Even all the way up here in Canada. Thanks.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 06:32 am

Haha, the header picture is an elusive photo of when I had a beard and looked like a homeless criminal.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 06:47 am

I can say that dealing with Lowbrow is always dreamy. I am sure that they get all types of e-mails throughout the day yet they seem to answer everyone I send as if it is all that they have going on at the time. Shipping is always super fast and everything is packed perfectly for the trip. I can't believe we are only about 45 miles away and I have never swung up that way. Keep up the good work gang it is a true pleasure doing business with you.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 07:00 am

Luckily you two are such big bastards. I don't know what part of the hospital I'd end up in If I was hit with a bucket of concrete. It would probably be ER or morgue.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 07:43 am

Nice. As a young and new entrepreneur that was a good read. Best of luck to ya all from Tejas.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 07:46 am

very very cool! i have often wondered about the people behind lowbrow and man as far as interviews go talk about some seriously solid sounding dudes! i guess this only means one i have to order something so i can support these guys

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 08:21 am

awesome. you always had my buisness

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 08:40 am

tyler and klye, huge thanks and small hugs!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 09:05 am

Good write-up on a great crew...............keep layin it down Lowbrow!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 09:13 am

2 of the best guys in the business! always a pleasure to deal with,and i'm looking to do more in the near future!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 09:22 am

They've always handled my business well!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 01:31 pm

Oh come on now!!!! Don't you people see what's going on here? Fast, friendly service AND killer parts?! The Malinky brothers are a couple of svengalis hell bent on getting their sinister paws on all of our bikes. To be honest - it's working. I don't own a single bike that is lowbrow-free. I'm just saying I'm on to you guys and your nefarious schemes.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 01:39 pm

No joke man...I got to wittiness the whole concrete deal in person. And let me tell ya there were some mother Fin' and some other kind words and a bit of silence an apology and back to work. Cool interview, Tyler layed it out straight for you all........ No Fluff........No Filler........these guys are real deal.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 01:58 pm

I wish all mail order shops were as on top of it as Lowbrow. Treat your customers right and they'll have a reason to come back. A lesson so many seem to not understand. Thanks Lowbrow.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 03:11 pm

These guys are great. Got my wife on their e-mail list so I always get awesome birthday and Christmas gifts! Great to see that they're doing well.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 04:03 pm

Got my bubble shield from them, and it DIDNT smell like a hobo puked in it, as i've heard tends to happen on those old plastic lids.

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 06:31 pm

real awsome guys to deal with.had one issue with an order and they were more concerned about it than me!super cool...

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 06:41 pm

Damn Ellis I forgot you were there hahah you g to see me angry hah! like the hulk

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 08:16 pm

Pabst and Pineapple, sounds like dinner!

Commented on 3-24-2010 At 08:33 pm

makes me want to work from home selling bike bits.

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 05:37 am

Nice write up! Tyler~Kyle- you boyz do a bang-up job- very happy with my dealings with you guys! Keep it up!

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 06:24 am

Now I just want to see you two fucks fight!

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 08:26 am

I don't think I've ever heard a negative word spoken about Lowbrow ... which is saying something cause nowadays seems like everyone can find a reason to bitch about somethin! Graphic designer turned entrepreneurial moto parts seller ... seems like a popular career switch, ha! Keep up the good work fellas.

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 09:41 am

Lowbrow's site is great, the how-to's they are puttin together are a good resource. Keep it goin strong

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 09:49 am

Oh yeah, and I found Chop Cult off Lowbrow's site.

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 10:03 am

I deal with these guys weekly. Stand-up and honest. A+ and allways there to help. Tim

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 02:33 pm

Tyler and kyle are soooo dreamy.....

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 02:54 pm

these guys are great and i will continue to do business with them

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 05:22 pm

Loyal fan and customer of Lowbrow! Thanks guys.

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 05:27 pm

Fastest service from any company I use worldwide. Excellent

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 06:35 pm

These guys are top notch, no bullshittin' there.

Commented on 3-25-2010 At 07:54 pm

Good stuff. Thanks guys.


Commented on 3-26-2010 At 06:27 am

Love the internet nerd comment.
These guys have always got the coolest shit. Great service etc...etc..Has anyone mentioned that yet?.
thank you very much.

Commented on 3-28-2010 At 04:22 pm

Great guys... support your independent retailers!

Commented on 3-29-2010 At 10:52 am

These guys friggin' rock, I have placed several orders for the bungs and stuff they carry, always high quality...the FASTEST shipping, Always cool box candy (stickers-posters) just great.

Commented on 3-29-2010 At 09:42 pm

I've been dealing with Tyler for a long time now, and I can truely say that LowBrow Customs is my favorite place to buy motorcycle parts and accessories....whenever I need something, I always check with them first to see if they are selling what I need...if they don't have it, I end up buying a couple more tee-shirts, or another Biltwell Helmet anyway...I have like 18 of those posters of Tyler on his Triumph race bike now...just a few more purchases and I"ll be wallpapering a room with them real soon....

I wish you guys all the prosperity and good fortune that goes along with hard work and treating people like me as good as you all are the best of the best!!!

Larry in MD

Commented on 4-9-2010 At 04:18 pm

I always check out the new products page. Lowbrow is very cool. They even traded a helmet for one of my custom shift knobs. Thanks and good luck fellas.

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