Adam Canni. Master Automotive Industrial Designer.


Without any doubt Adam Canni is one of the most talented and creative industrial automotive designers of his generation, and I should know a little bit about design…As a matter of fact he is behind the design and/or paint job of many famous motorcycles and custom parts that you know.

Although he is a friend of the industry I never used his services but follow the expression of his creative juices via the work he is doing for many manufacturers and custom builders. Humble like true artists are, calm because selling design takes a lot of patience, hard working because hard work is as good as talent and added to skills produces amazing creativity, Adam Canni offers design services ranging from graphic design to animated CAD renderings. He also holds several patents which have contributed to the success of leading OEM and after-market manufacturers. Check out some of his Moto-Art designs and innovative solutions by jumping to Canni Design.

51 Responses to “Adam Canni. Master Automotive Industrial Designer.”

  1. 1 Brandon Aug 26th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Just looked at his sketches on his site. The guy is good on all styles of bikes. But I still don’t understand something. A custom builder should be first a designer. To see that some bikes were not conceived by the custom builder but by Adam Canni lowers the respect I had for some builders.

  2. 2 Shifter Aug 26th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Very cool designs.

  3. 3 A 1 cycles Aug 26th, 2009 at 9:20 am

    brandon in my case (i cant speak for others) i had the concept and the design roughed out..but without adams amazing ability to transfer the finished product to paper i cant present the client a good rendering of his finished product..even though in my mind i can see the final product before i cut the first piece of steel. it gives the client a nice clean photolike drawing of the final product. he is a huge asset to my business a designer of many parts,bikes,body kits, and a great friend.

  4. 4 UNCANNI Aug 26th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I wanted to take a minute to respond to Brandon’s and Mikes comments. They both bring up great points, and I really appreciate their comments. When I work with a builder or a corporate client on a project, it is truly a collaborative effort. I am just one part of the collective team focused on the goal of creating a unique vision. I might provide the visual inspiration, but without the builders, their respective teams and the help of our many sponsors these bikes projects and new products would never become reality. With every project, It is always my goal to help them visualize their vision for their design. It’s not always easy to extract the design that they have inside their head, however it this process that I personally enjoy. To accomplish this usually means in-depth discussions regarding every aspect of the build down to finite details. Inevitably, my designs are only my translation of their vision.

    Case in point, was a bike I designed for Sick Bastard Chopper as their entry into the AMD show in 2008. When I designed that bike, I had to put myself inside the builder Armindo Alves head. You see, Armindo has a unique mid-evil style not at all like my own, and it was my job to convey his style in the design of this bike. Armindo did a rough sketch that conveyed his idea as a starting point. This sketch would eventually go on to become Sir Lancelot. Sir Lancelot went on to take 14th in the AMD and 1st in the Rats Hole Custom Bike Show and it was featured extensively in the Sturgis Motorcycle Mania show on the Discovery Channel. I hope this give you some insights into my creative process, thanks!


  5. 5 John E Adams Aug 26th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Very nice stuff and with respect to your response even more impressive Adam.


  6. 6 Greg Hoeve Aug 26th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Adam is NOT, I repeat, Not among the best. He IS the very best. I can’t think of anyone within the industry more deserving of the credit they receive than Adam Canni. He has never failed to impress me from the first moment of our mutual efforts together. If you are in need of design service, look no place else. You too will be impressed with the level of ability and service you will receive.

  7. 7 John "Baron" Vaughan-Chaldy Aug 26th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Well written Cyril and I am glad someone so respectable as you has stepped forward and given Adam the recognition he deserves. Though now you will likely have made getting on his schedule more diffulcult.

    I’ve been fortunate to have collaborated with Adam’s many times over the years, he possesses the amazing ability to pull from my words, hand gestures, physical demonstrations and my weak artistic “rough” sketches the visual concept I was looking for and is able to produce them in hand drawn or multiple choices for electronics medias. As well his vast mechanical knowledge and ability to foresee potential issues or and more importantly secondary products or uses has proven helpful many times.

    I appreciate his dedication to his clients and his advocacy and recognition of their talents and creative contributions that led to his renderings or designs for their projects. I’ve recommended his services to many of the industries most successful builders and parts manufacturing companies and never yet have I heard anyone was disappointed.

    Kudos Adam you may finally be getting the recogntion you have deserved for many years now. You are a great talent and one of the industries most vocal proponents.

  8. 8 Jeff Nicklus Aug 26th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    WOW ….. I am blown away! All these years I have always used my own talents, however slim those may be, to design and engineer my own bikes as I have, until now, believed ALL builders did as well. Now I find that some of the “winners” of some major shows have used outside sources for “their” design talents. Damn, I am so fucking naive sometimes! I have just lost a major amount of respect for this industry!

    Cyril, tell me your bikes have always been your own designs.

    My comments should not be considered a slam of Adam Canni …. his work is outstanding.

    Hell, next I will learn that Chip Foose has a “designer” on staff that actually does his design work and he just signs off on the sketches and accepts credit for the work. Un-fucking believable!

    Over & Out,


  9. 9 Lee Wallace Aug 26th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Guys, I’m not a builder but can turn a wrench (I prefer being a photographer though..). Like many of us, I’ve got some ideas in my head about bikes that I’d like to build myself but cannot draw to save my life. I don’t remember where it’s written anywhere that a pro-builder must be able to generate his own renderings. In order to be considered “a winner” does one need to have painted the bike, built their own seat, etc. as well…?

  10. 10 Jeff Nicklus Aug 26th, 2009 at 3:13 pm


    …….”In order to be considered “a winner” does one need to have painted the bike, built their own seat, etc. as well…?”…..

    In my opinion …. YES!

    Hell, anyone with a bank account can “sub-contract” work to outside sources …. that doesn’t make them a bike builder. That makes them someone who can orchestrate and direct others.

    I will never look at a bike again that I will not wonder how much actual artistic and creative input the “alleged” builder actually had in the creation. My bubble has been burst!

    I must admit however, I do now understand many things that I have had questions about over the years.

    Over & Out,


  11. 11 Cyril Huze Aug 26th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Jeff. And yes, I do my own designs and keep preciously my own sketches although some have proposed to buy them for collection. If I would have to keep only one thing from my professional life, it would be these sketches. And I have also with me a life companion sketching very, very well. Some other builders are very creative, can imagine, can describe what they have i mind, but can’t draw. It’s when Canni intervenes with all his talent, not only because he sketches and draw, but because he will design something that makes automotive sense to be built

  12. 12 just my opinion Aug 26th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Jeff; I am not sure why you are so shocked. I thought it was pretty much common knowlage that most builders used many people to create their bikes. If it was not for the guys behind the scenes most top builders would have a hard time getting their bikes done. Thats not to take anything away from the builders, because each and everyone of them have their special talants, and those talents are needed to make the bikes winners. I guess my point is why is it a bad thing to get help from others? One builder may be great at design and the next may be an awesome motor man, the other may be a great body man allowing him to built gas tanks and fenders that others farm out. If you are designing and building everything your self that is great. I would say that makes you one of the more talented folks around. But my personal thought is that if you have someone build your seat or fenders or doing your paint or even designs it is still your bike and still a great bike. I personally don’t see how getting outside help takes away from any builder, they are still very talented in their own right. Just my two cents, it is worth what I charged you for it.

  13. 13 Jeff Nicklus Aug 26th, 2009 at 3:59 pm


    I suppose I am so shocked because I don’t go to outside sources for help. I always thought that a motorcycle or painting or piece or literary work should be the total and absolute work of the artist. I have personally been in the shops of many other “name” builders in the past and watched, and in some cases was privileged to have helped, with a build. I therefore, and I hate this word, “assumed” everyone was their own artist/builder. Stupid me!

    I could care less if someone uses the services of an artist for rendering purposes that means nothing. Where I draw the line is when an outside source is brought to the table for design services whether that design is in cosmetic design, structural design or paint design. In my opinion if a builder can not create his/her own vision in his mind and carry that out in construction with his/her own hands then where is the artistry?

    Maybe I am naïve but I still believe most of the builders in the industry do as I and create their own visions without the need for outside input ?????

    As you say …. “Just my two cents, it is worth what I charged you for it.” ……

    Over & Out,


  14. 14 just my opinion Aug 26th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Jeff; I think what your trying to say is that if someone has another person design and then hires others to build, than it is not his bike. If that is your point I would agree, but I don’t think that is the case we are talking about here. And I also believe most builders do have much creative input that they contribute to their projects along with ideas they get from others, but that being said I think most builders do also put in alot of hard work completing their respective bikes. They may not turn every bolt but I bet you don’t either. Again just mt two cents. Means nothing.

  15. 15 Jeff Nicklus Aug 26th, 2009 at 4:28 pm


    That is what is so screwed up … I do turn every bolt on every one of my one-off bikes!

    Over & Out,


  16. 16 UNCANNI Aug 26th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    As an industrial – automotive designer at General Motors, I found out early in my career that it takes a multi-disciplined team of engineers, designers, clay modelers etc. to take a concept from paper to reality. Having been fortunate enough to have worked though the paces on a number of concept, production and pace car projects, I understand the value of the ‘TEAM”! Everyone has there place on the “TEAM”, and each team member brings his or her unique skill sets to the table, and they are collectively capable of achieving the unachievable.

    It’s been said that “no man is an island” an this is true for the motorcycle industry as well. In this day, it is a truly a rare thing to find a builder who is capable of building a complete motorcycle from start to finish. This handful of multi-talented builders are truly deserving of the coveted title “Master Builder”. For the rest of us mere mortal builders in the know, we realize the value of having a tool box of talented individuals who can chrome, polish, paint, pinstripe and stitch our creations into reality. Just think of me a one more tool in your tool box! Personally, I feel blessed to have what I consider the baddest tool box in our industry!

  17. 17 just my opinion Aug 26th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    UNCANNI ; well said

  18. 18 nicker Aug 26th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    “… the value of the ‘TEAM”….. and each team member brings his or her unique skill sets to the table…… collectively capable of achieving the unachievable…”

    Well, ya even the Fine-arts have morphed into an industry where the “artist” can now take an idea to a “contract-shop” where craftsmen actually produce the “work-of-art.”

    But that’s not surprising, given the current “we’re all in this together” group-think.

    However, you-all meed to remember that “your industry” (producing custom motorcycles) is built on the legacy of the Rugged Individuals that pioneered American Motorcycling, in all it’s aspects.

    It is certainly NOT built on the notion that it takes a committee to Build a way cool scooter.
    (or that “…ya meet the nicest people on a Honda…”)

    Sorry, i’m with Jeff on this one………
    IMHO, claiming credit as a “Master Custom Motorcycle Builder” should mean something.


  19. 19 MM Billetworks Aug 26th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Depending on the scope of the project, it is beyond challenging for a single builder to turn his vision into reality by creating every single item used in the build. One example which comes to mind is creating and milling unique wheels. Is it reasonable for a builder to also be a master machinist with over a million dollars (or several) tied up in special equipment to machine a unique set of wheels for a specified project?

    Most builders rely on other people/company’s for their finished projects. There is nothing wrong with recoginizing talent when present. It is apparent Adam Canni has some talent! Congrats on the recognition!

  20. 20 nicker Aug 26th, 2009 at 10:32 pm


    Are we talking “Master Builder” or “Master Idea-man”….. ????

    “… Is it reasonable for a builder to also be a master machinist with over a million dollars (or several) tied up in special equipment to machine a unique set of wheels for a specified project?…”

    Not the special equipment to machine, but creating the 3D CAD model from which to post process the G-code …. YES…


  21. 21 nicker Aug 26th, 2009 at 10:42 pm


    Calibrate world class design sketching:


  22. 22 Conrad Nicklus Aug 27th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    I am with my father on this one guys. Adam you design some cool things BUT in my opinion I dont consider someone a builder if they have someone else design the bike. I go off the theory of “bend, weld, grind, cut and assemble as I go” technique. I just do not get how someone can be happy knowing they really did not do much and yet get the fame for it..I hate that, I built what I want and can not use someone else as a design pig.


  23. 23 UNCANNI Aug 27th, 2009 at 2:23 am

    Lets be clear on the term “Master Builder”, it is NEVER a self proclaimed title. It must be bestowed on you by your piers. A “Master Builder” as I have come to know it’s meaning, from individuals who I consider “Master Builders”, (Arlen Ness, Dave Perewitz, etc,) is a guy or gal who is capable of transforming raw materials into a complete motorcycle. So with that being said, if you are a builder using and off the shelf frame, tin, wheels, etc., I would consider you “Master Assembler” . In my mind you need to fabricate more than a coil bracket to be considered a Master! I am sure you will all agree that, Custom dose not come in a box, and Bolt-on does not equal Builder! 

  24. 24 JT Aug 27th, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Well, one things for sure, nobody blows his own horn better than Jeff Nicklus!

  25. 25 Lee Wallace Aug 27th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    On a similar note as to what JT said. I think I’d prefer having to defend a “master builder” title than defending a statement such as “Worlds Leader in Performance and Styling”, just my .02 cents worth…

  26. 26 choppertom Aug 27th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    i gotta go with jeff on this—–
    building was always a grass root talent. if you incorporate others, you lessen the total outcome of the final product….brag if you will. bragging rights should be held by all involved.
    does anyone think occ should be considered masters?

    masters of marketing……maybe.

  27. 27 Conrad Nicklus Aug 27th, 2009 at 9:44 am


    Where are you going with the Master Builder comments? Does anyone claim you to be one even though you are just a designer? I know my father knows how many there are and I will llook at the list and post who all is there, Dad is #17 i know this much.


    Where are you going as well?

  28. 28 Conrad Nicklus Aug 27th, 2009 at 9:45 am


    Are you a “Master Builder” or have a 2 to 3 year waiting list to get a bike from my father? Thats what i thought.

    Have a good day with your 2 cents.


  29. 29 Conrad Nicklus Aug 27th, 2009 at 9:57 am


    ……”Just think of me a one more tool in your tool box! Personally, I feel blessed to have what I consider the baddest tool box in our industry!”…….

    I personally would never use you nor do i understand why anyone who actually builds custom bikes would ever use you as well. DO NOT GET ME WRONG you have some cool designs and are VERY talented with your sketching, but you are the person who makes our industry, as a whole, weak. People like you have caused the custom world to fall into a pit because anybody with a pocket book which has a Centurion card can afford to build a crazy one-off, lack of building actually. The reason of building/owning a custom bike is to know YOU did it, not someone else. Sure, we have customers who buy our One-Off bikes BUT they buy them because they want to say they have a Jeff Nicklus bike and they know he does it all from beginning to end, hell he even gets upset if anyon touches the bike while its in the fab shop because it may alter his state of mind on it. He doesnt do sketches or renderings, he does it in his head then he builds what he has thought up. Trust me he can draw stuff if he needs, he has designed full fledged super cars to airplanes to homes so he is capable just like you. I just think people are fools for paying someone to come up with a design for something THEY should do themselves, they are not builders to me any longer.


  30. 30 Jeff Nicklus Aug 27th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    OK, OK, that is enough on this subject ….. everyone has their own opinion and this doesn’t need to get nasty or go any further.

    Over & Out,


  31. 31 Frank H. Aug 27th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I own two Jeff Nicklus Customs bikes myself and I can say that I would never have anyone other than Jeff build a bike for me …. but that is just me. I suggest you go to his customs website and ignore the Desperado Motorcycles leg of his company then make your own determination as to who Jeff is and who some of the people he has built bikes for in the world. Please pay particular attention to the services page. That is all I have to say on the subject other than Adam ….. you do fine work my man.

  32. 32 Greg Hoeve Aug 27th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I am assuming from some of the posts in this thread that all of the self proclaimed ” Master Builders” or whatever title they bestow upon themselves also formulate their own paint from raw chemicals, raise their own cattle for the leather on the seat, design and assemble their own gauges, mold their own proprietary tread patterns in the tires, cast their own cylinder sleeves, write their own CNC programs, polish their own parts which they chrome in their own tanks, etc………. or they just ain’t shit! Right…….

    Enlisting a talented individual to render YOUR OWN ideas so that OTHERS who you may contract to can understand with absolute clarity what the overall objective and end product is to be is not a sell out. DaVinci guided the hands of many artisans in his time. Is he diminished because he did not quarry the marble personally? I’m laughing at all of you who think your so damned special when all you do is build yet another boring ass V-Twin set up. I know, I know, I’m a F(*%$*king heretic for saying this, but whatever is being done now in the custom world has been done already, ad nauseum. Who needs another S&S powered sleep inducer?

    To decry a builders talent just because he/she enlists the aid of OTHER talented professionals reeks of hypocrisy unless you can demonstrate that you conceptualized and produced from absolutely raw materials every last damn thing on YOUR project. Do that and then talk shit. Otherwise, your just talking out of your ass.

  33. 33 Jeff Nicklus Aug 27th, 2009 at 11:23 am


    So how do you really feel about it! You crack me up and that is but one reason I am proud to call you a friend!

    Over & Out,


  34. 34 aft customs Aug 27th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve been in the industry 32 years now.What I have found is that the real “greats” in this industry are humble & open minded.They don’t belittle others to draw attention to their work. It will speak for itself.I consider Adam a friend & he has had a positive influence on this industry with his work & his attitude.He is always excited to hear about others new projects.Never have I heard him be negative.One of my best friends is a painter.I’m proud to showcase his work on our bikes.I don’t want to be a painter nor do I have the sq. footage in my shop.We have a great relationship with Avon Tyre..All Balls Racing is a sponcer.We obviously don’t make tires & bearings.R. Goldammer is a friend & gave us his air filter for the LowLa project that the girls in our modeling agency built.He has been a great source of knowledge & encouragement to us.This is a business & our bikes are an advertisement tool for many companies in this industry.I’m not ashamed of not making every part on our bikes.We are proud of all the friendships we have in this industry & we promote them when ever possible.That makes for a stronger industry.My hat is off to people like Jeff for the ability to do everthing on their bikes.This colume started off as a positive piece about Adams work & then it turned into him having to defend himself.I don’t like evrey bike I see but I always appreciate the time & hard work the builder put into it.Alot of biulders that do it all have probably been inspred by Adams designs & maybe stole an idea or two for that matter.There is room for us all in this industry & we should supprt each other.

  35. 35 UNCANNI Aug 27th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    With regards to all the hype about term “Master Builder” I second Greg!

    Jeff, I am sure that you are a competent and capable builder, however I think your missing the key points regarding of the value of my services. Unfortunately, we as humans have not evolved to be clairvoyant, and since we do not have the ability to read one another’s minds it is important to be able to use words and visual aids to communicate our ideas to our clients being private or corporate. My illustrations are a communication tool designed to convey the theme of the bike to the client. In the case of a corporate client, these illustrations have proven to be an invaluable tool in closing the deal. If that concept does not appeal to you lets speak in a language we can all understand, the language of economics. The last time I checked paper and pen was cheaper than steel and aluminum. Personally I would much rather get it wrong on paper than in metal. Since you are businessman who prides himself in customer satisfaction, I am sure that you will agree that there’s a better chance of pleasing the client if he or she knows what they are getting for their money. I am glad to see that your customers trust you and your design sensibilities, but having been part of over twenty custom builds last year, I have yet to find a client willing to stroke a check for $25-100K for a build, based on my hand waving and fast talking, so kudos to you on your salesmanship!

    In defense of the “BUILDERS” and “MASTER BUILDERS” that have been lambasted for using my services, I want to make it clear that these bike illustrations are their visions, not mine! If I get their vision wrong, I go back to the drawing board until we get it right. There is no design committee only the builder and his vision and it’s my job to make sure that this vision is portrayed to his satisfaction. Inevitably, my illustration is only a starting point and in my experience, I have yet to be involved with a project that hasn’t evolved into a creation that surpasses my two dimensional illustration. As for the “TEAM”, I want to make it clear that their skills are invaluable to the project, but at no time do they drive the vision for the project, that is solely the duty of the builder, who leads his team. The “TEAM” simply exists to execute the vision of the builder, and the illustration is there to communicate that vision to the team responsible for it’s creation!

  36. 36 Jeff Nicklus Aug 27th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    AFT Customs,

    In my first comment and several times thereafter I said that my comments have nothing to do with, or a slam against, anything Adam Canni does or his artist abilities …. it goes without question he does great work and I commend him for that.

    My comments are nothing more than my thinking out loud at how shocked I was, and am, that some of the people over the years I thought had such great ideas and craftsmanship may actually not be that after all. Many times I have wondered how someone that could not stand in the rain without drowning could have such outstanding design capabilities …… now I understand.

    I will repeat a statement I made earlier…. “Maybe I am naïve but I still believe most of the builders in the industry do as I and create their own visions without the need for outside input ?????”

    Obviously none of us make our own tires, or bearings or chains or as Greg said mix our own paint from clay we dig up in the yard, however, I do expect a “builder” who is quick to claim a build as his own to have actually designed and built that bike himself. I don’t think that is much to ask.

    Also, obviously, not all of us have the CNC capabilities as others and for that service one must go to outside sources. I am fortunate enough that I do have that capability. Further, I have machined several parts for other builders based on their drawings …. some builders drawings have been nothing more that sketches on bar napkins (that is as it should be) and we have taken that drawing and made a AutoCad drawing, we write the “G” codes for the machining and run the part. I don’t have a problem with any of that and that takes nothing from the builder or his creation.

    This industry is (or was) based on the individual and that individual having the dream of building something that is different and something they can build with their own hands. As I said before this has popped my bubble and I no longer have that belief.


    I have on occasion provided renderings of a proposed motorcycle for my clients …. one being the Bike I built for President George Bush and the other for McDonalds Corp. both of which I deviated from the original drawings dramatically. My contract with my clients ALWAYS gives me total and absolute artist and creative control over the projector or I will not consider doing the project. I have walked on only 3 project in 15years. The problem with the “Approved” renderings I found is that on more than on one occasion I will change my theme in midstream …… if I had a rendering the client approved I would have to submit my changes for approval before making any changes ….. I am not about that.

    As I have said before, you serve a purpose and do great work. I am taking nothing from you with my comments and I wish you and your company nothing but the best.

    Now I am finished with the subject.

    Over & Out,


  37. 37 Greg Hoeve Aug 27th, 2009 at 1:29 pm


    I heartily agree that any individual who contracts the original concept of a build to another person is not the creator of said build. He is merely the customer. He should not be allowed to claim responsibility for the concept. In that context I offer no argument.

    For what it’s worth, I value your friendship as well. I appreciate your candor and passion for your point of view, even if I only agree with you about 85% of the time. Your a good dude.

  38. 38 Greg Hoeve Aug 27th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    For what it’s worth, I don’t have a pony in this race anymore. I just check out the blog to see what some of my old friends are up to from time to time. Since I don’t rely on anyone in the bike biz for my revenue, I feel absolutely free to express my opinion on what I feel to be right or not right within the industry with no fear of reprisal. I know Jeff and Adam for a long time now and I respect them both, for different reasons. Me I’m just the proprietor of a tiny little 25,000 sq. ft. aerospace and defense oriented machine shop. What do I know anyway? We all have out part to play and you both do your part well, shit, even better than most others. Be content with that. My bubble popped many years ago Jeff, just ask Adam. The overwhelming tide of marketing driven bullshit has cause me to look elsewhere for work. Adams core competency however still has relevance within the custom bike world as he is so very talented in design that he can contribute on any project from riding goggles to luggage to fenders. Let Adam design the parts, let me run them, someone else assemble. We all contribute what we do best, and we are all better off for it.

    One of the driving forces behind the decline in the industry( which predates the overall economic decline by several years) is the rampant trampling of other peoples product or service. Every one of us has been knocked off more times than we can remember. Perhaps if there was more integrity to be found in this industries ranks we could all do what we do best and do well with it. It saddens me that a thread in a blog that started out so positive ends up with people having to “Defend” their point of view. It is symptomatic of what the rape and pillage mentality has done to so many of our thought processes. You are both giants in your own fashion where many others are just standing on the shoulders of giants. Take great pride in your achievements as you both deserve.

  39. 39 nicker Aug 27th, 2009 at 3:50 pm


    “…nobody blows his own horn better…”

    And your point is……….???


  40. 40 Mario Audia Aug 27th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Adam your a great guy and the best at what you do. Greg you are simply a bad ass! Like you you I come here once in a blue moon to check in on the state of the industry. Its always entertaining, just like watching Jerry Springer! Best wishes to all my old fiends…

  41. 41 Edgar Baron Aug 27th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I have a special custom tribute that I am doing for a friend that is a fallen police officer that I have had the honor of knowing. I must say that when I wanted to take the build to a “Professional” level I did a lot…did I say a lot???…of research and came across a hidden secret in the industry. It was Adam Canni, the man who was behind the concept for many of the industry’s top level builds. I found out that many of the builds that I admired in the magazines and in person were inspired by his designs. I commissioned him to design the paint work for my bike, and help decide weather or not to run certain parts on the build. I must say that my only regret was not contacting him in the beginning, as he would have put the build on a tight focus of what I wanted to do with it, versus trial and error method that it started out with before commissioning him to focus the look I wanted. With his design concept in hand it also provided something that I could give to potential sponsors to look at in my proposals. His concept design of my bike alone turned the tables and assisted me in securing several major sponsors that I don’t think would have taken much interest with out something to physicaly help them envision the bike. Check it out on his myspace page, it should be the only police tribute there.

  42. 42 nicker Aug 27th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Help me understand your point here……

    “… I wanted to take the build to a “Professional” level…”

    “… Adam Canni, the man who was behind the concept…”

    “…commissioning him to focus the look I wanted…. his design concept… His concept design of my bike…”

    “… must say that my only regret was not contacting him in the beginning, as he would have put the build on a tight focus of what I wanted to do with it, versus trial and error method that it started out with…”

    Look, the way the above reads is:
    You used “his design concept” to achieve “of what [you] wanted to do”…..
    Because the “trial and error method that it started out with” wasn’t working for ya.

    Is that what you meant to say……???
    If it is, then basically he designed the bike you built.
    If it isn’t, ya need to try again, because words mean something and your meaning may have gotten lost in the translation.


  43. 43 Conrad Nicklus Aug 28th, 2009 at 1:28 am


    I have only met you one time in person but I will say you are a class act. Also, if my father says you are good people then you are good people to me, so you build those wheels,man!!!!!


    I understand where you are coming from 110% and I like some of your work. BUT on the otherhand I am disappointed with the fact that people who call themselves “builders” rely on you to make someting with sex appeal and crowd appeal. I hate the fact that very few have creative freedom anymore. I am building a bike for one of my bestfriends as we speak and he told me as long as I like what I am building he will like my idea. So, in this, I am saying no one needs someone else to design a bike if they have the trust of a client or if they know what THEY want and what they are willing to make.


    It is not worth the arguement past this point. You have made your friends believers as well as you believe in your friends. This is a war that will never be won by you, or me for that matter, so just let the un-talented go by the talenteds’ designs. Just make sure you stay proud of your ideas and designs, that is why people come to you and not you to them.


  44. 44 JT Aug 28th, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Hey Conrad, in a previous post you said, “I know my father knows how many there are and I will look at the list and post who all is there, Dad is #17 i know this much”. So Conrad, it seems you & your Dad have a list of the top bike builders. Will you please share that list with us? That would be very interesting.
    Thanks Conrad.

  45. 45 Greg Hoeve Aug 28th, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for the props Mario, I appreciate it.

  46. 46 UNCANNI Aug 28th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    This has been a very interesting debate, however I am sorry that Cyril’s wonderful gesture has turned into an episode of Jerry Springer, as my friend Mario Audio has noted. For me it is indicative of and industry that has always been about “ME” and the situation has only become exacerbated under the stress of a poor economy. What everyone has failed to realize is that in our vain attempt to shamelessly self promote ourselves into the lime light, we have lost touch with what we all have in common as enthusiasts, which is our love and passion for motorcycles. If you haven’t noticed, even the general public that was engrossed with the irate ramblings of the Tuttle’s two years ago has made this realization and has moved on. If we don’t like the state of our industry we should take a long look in the mirror, because we have no one to blame but ourselves. I think that it’s really a shame to see the industry that I – (we) love, abashed with negativity in a time when positive attitudes are so desperately needed. If there is any hope for our industry, it is time for us to put aside our personal interests and be supportive of one another, and work together collectively for the future of our industry. If we don’t, I fear the worst is yet to come. Think of it in these terms, do I give as much to the industry as I take. The time for “ME” is over, the time for “WE” is now!

  47. 47 SOHO Aug 28th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Yeah, what UNCANNI said Jeff & Conrad.

  48. 48 Jeff Nicklus Aug 28th, 2009 at 4:53 pm


    When I started in this industry deals we done over the phone, no contracts, no bullshit and we were all working together toward one end ….. then TV stepped into the picture and brought every slim bag “wantabe” movie star out from under the couch. That is when things went to hell in a hand basket and everyone started getting burned and the trust went out the door. Once the trust is gone it will take years and years to restore that level of trust and until that happens the Utopian Vision of “can’t we all just get along” is nothing more than a pipe dream. Needless to say the economy has sent many, many of the “wantabes” down the road and in my humble opinion …. Never mind.

    The bottom line is, as I said before, I will never look at another custom bike again and not wonder who really designed the bike.

    Over & Out,


  49. 49 nicker Aug 28th, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Look, UNCANNI’s position is understandable, when put in the following context:

    “…As an industrial – automotive designer at General Motors, I found out early in my career that it takes a multi-disciplined team of engineers, designers, clay modelers etc. to take a concept from paper to reality. Having been fortunate enough to have worked though the paces on a number of concept, production and pace car projects, I understand the value of the ‘TEAM”!…”

    However, it simply doesn’t translate into the one-off custom bike scene.

    And it shouldn’t take Rocket Scientist to figure that out.
    There is no GM guy that takes credit as “the Master Builder” who’s talents produces a GM car.
    And IMHO, there in lies the disconnect.

    All this stuff about “DaVinci’s hand” and “making paint” …. etc, etc, etc, are so far off base they don’t warrent a response.

    Just in case ya missed it, the point is simply this
    No customer gives a rat’s-ass who designed and built their showroom Camaro.
    But they sure seem to care if Jeff did or didn’t build their one-off.

    If ya don’t understand that the production car industry isn’t anything like building one-off custom scooters, then you should stick to working for and/or buying production GM products.

    This is just one more reason why “the Industry” or “custom biking” (or whatever ya want to call it) is in decline. It sure as hell isn’t because of “negativity” or lack of “Group-think”….

    IMHO, Trying to turn custom motorcycling into GM is EXACTLY what’s killing a great avocation.


  50. 50 Dennis D-Man Vazquez Sep 10th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Adam is the designers professor.
    In the three years that I know him I’ve seen his work to be the scifi of motorized designs.
    He is way ahead of us in his vision to design; not only does he draft beautiful cars and bikes,
    but the styles and functionality are all on point!
    We are truely blessed to have him at our side. Who knows he may be Michael Angelo’s
    He is Italian…

  1. 1 Adam Canni. Master Automotive Industrial Designer. - Harley Forums USA Pingback on Aug 26th, 2009 at 11:14 am
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