- May 18th 2018
Join us for our #BarbourInternational campaign as we meet four different collectives who sum up the Barbour International attitudes. We hear more about how their collectives were established and what drives them to be innovators in their chosen areas.
Benny, Will and Sam run Mutt Motorcycles in Birmingham. They’re pushing the boundaries of motorcycle culture by making custom builds more affordable and the scene more accessible. What started as an experiment has turned into a motorcycle culture all of its own. We sat down with them to find out more...
How did Mutt Motorcycles come about? Tell us your story.
Benny: It started off as a bit of an experiment, my background was in custom builds of mainly older bikes like Harley’s and traditional choppers. I had an idea rattling round in my head about building an accessible, easy to handle bike, with all the mod-cons of a modern bike. A lot of the bikes I’d built were very expensive, so we thought if we could build something that a lot of people could have, it would be a good thing. So, I set out to build the first prototype bike.
I’d known Will for quite a while. I’d been building custom bikes for him for a number of years, he just happened to drop by when I was finishing the first bike off, it had a 125cc engine. He thought it was a great idea and we decided to do something with it. Over the next two years we built these bikes from a little workshop and sold quite a few of them. Which Will helped me to do, he built it into a proper business, then we decided to fully set it up where Will once again took it to the next level. He set up proper dealerships and production. He also put the parts we designed into production, so we could create the Mutt’s we have now.
Benny wears the B. Int. Spex Wax Jacket
Could you tell us a bit about what each of you do?
Benny: I design the bikes and new parts, create new models and run the workshop. I also oversee the building of the bikes.
Sam: I run Mutt HQ in Birmingham, I put on events, look after the retail store that we have here, and do the parts for the bikes as well as bike sales.
Will: I run the business side, the marketing, the branding and all the other bits they haven’t covered! All the important bits!
Can you tell us how you met and how the team has grown since establishing Mutt?
Will: Everybody in the team originally came on board as a hobbyist, everyone was hanging around and wanted to learn, and started working to develop Mutt for nothing. They did it because they were into it and as we’ve grown, those people became indispensable and created roles for themselves.
What are you most proud of at Mutt HQ?
Benny: Bringing motorcycle manufacture back to Birmingham, where a lot of the great bikes were made in the 60s and 70s. Creating a sense of community, having a place for the younger generation of the motorcycling scene to come and hang out.
What is your main goal at Mutt Motorcycles?
Benny: To continue what we’re doing really, getting more people into bike riding and keep creating cool bikes.
Sam: There’s a real cult scene growing around the Mutt’s. People that didn’t know each other but have come together through the bikes and meet up from all over the country and go for rides. Hopefully this will continue to grow with the bikes.
Will: The ethos of Mutt is to make a custom retro style bike that is accessible and easy to own and to bring people into biking that perhaps wouldn’t be able to if they had to go and spend four times the money on something more expensive. Sometimes people can perceive bike culture to be difficult to penetrate, understand and gain entry to. We want to bring those barriers down and make the motorcycling scene and culture more accessible. We hope to grow the business, to build a Birmingham based manufacturer to be a serious player in admittedly a niche sector, but globally. We also hope to extend the culture as we have more stores opening outside of the UK, as well as in the UK.
Find out more about the #BarbourInternational campaign here or shop the Men's and Women's collections.