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Friday images from the 2018 World RX of Spain
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Danny Schneider Vs World RX

Apr 152018

Danny Schneider: Owner of Hard9 Choppers, former FMX legend, and all round good guy.

Fresh from pulling overnight fabrication sessions in his shop in Ostermundigen, Switzerland, where the 44-year old builds some of the most eye-popping machinery to hit the streets, Danny headed to Barcelona this weekend to check-out the season opening round of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Lining up alongside four-time Gymkhana GRiD World Champion Luke Woodham, on his custom modified Harley Davidson FXR, his task was simple; to keep the fans on the edge of their seats in between races with a bike vs car smoke show.

Naturally Danny and Luke delivered, and just after jumping off his epic green Harley in the paddock, we caught up with him to get the inside line on Hard9 and his season so far…

Tell us about Hard9 Choppers; how did it all come about?

The idea came out because I had a really bad accident riding professional FMX

(Freestyle Moto-Cross) actually, I broke my ankle in 18 pieces, and I was forced to quit my career. At the time my health insurance offered me 40,000 to work in an office. I just couldn’t face it - so I rejected the money and decided to make my own bikes. I knew I still wanted to ride, but I wanted something that suited my own style too. Making it myself was the only way I could get this, so Hard9 was born!

What inspires you with bike builds; do you check-out others work first?

Actually, I don’t read magazines, and I don’t go to bikes shows, because it puts ideas in your head that I really don’t want. I was not in the bike scene. I came from an athlete freestyle motocross scene, so I was like in the wrong game when I started building up bikes!

This was a good and a bad thing – because I could create something fresh but I didn’t have the knowledge right away on how to do it. When I approach a build I need to have a pure mindset to build something really different. The first bike that I built was the DMX bike, the red one, and it was a bike that was covered in every magazine and show. At the time it was totally different because it was a vintage Harley-Davidson modified with BMX parts. Everyone who was in the game for more than 20 years was like what the “F” is going on? I didn’t earn respect from the building scene at first; I think people just didn’t really understand what I was trying to do. I had to work myself up to the top, like other builders.

Is that what makes you stand out from the crowd?

I think so yeah; I don’t copy, I make everything from scratch, you know? I do new fresh bikes every time. Right now I'm building a flat-track bike. I know there are so many of them, but I'm working on one that has never seen before. So it’s a big challenge to me. My girlfriend helps me a lot too, because she hasn’t had anything to do with the motorcycle world, so she comes with a pure mind again. That gives me an honest but sometimes hurtful opinion of how everything looks; but that helps me a lot. So I guess yeah, that’s basically what I think makes me fabricate differently.

Would you like to build something other than bikes?

Well, I have previously designed shoes and lately a watch with a brand too. I like to do cooperation projects with people, but to be honest I prefer doing my own thing most of the time. Haha!

Do you consider yourself an artist in a way…

It’s a really good question, I will say that… at the beginning a bike was not a piece of art, it was an expression of my personality of my riding style. Over the last 10 years I’ve really pushed myself with my work. I have my own style, I think differently, I work with my own ideas; I work with a lot passion. I know that there are a lot of people out there that just look at bikes one way, as a tool almost. But for me creating something beautiful in a bike is all about the details, and the way I build a bike has changed. Maybe I am an artist? I just enjoy what I do!

Where can we see Hard9 Choppers work up close and in the metal next?

All around the world! At the moment I'm planning with Monster Energy to do a tour, to go to a city like Madrid and Barcelona, and bring my bikes, where everybody can join and ride, and that will be really cool. I'm trying come to all events I get invited to. Like here at World Rallycross!

The demos here have been awesome - how did this idea come about?

I met Luke in London, and out of nothing, we came up with the idea of doing a show together on a track. I think it was pretty successful in the end! The weather was bad on Friday and Saturday, but the sun finally came out on Sunday so we could have a proper session. I was sitting on the start line thinking life is pretty exciting at the moment – my girlfriend Noelle is 5 months pregnant, and now I’m about to ride my bike on the Barcelona F1 and rallycross track next to Luke in his car. Right now I have a smile on my face thinking about the future. I know rad things are coming up from this; and we totally just need to ride and practice more.

 

Thanks Danny!

 

Thank you guys too – I always appreciate the support!

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