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By Cindy Quick Wilson
If you have any preconceived notions about what inspires and motivates a talented and hugely successful custom motorcycle builder, you would probably be wrong when it comes to Cyril Huze. You might assume artistic vision to be a necessary element, but as for being philosophical—not so much. Yet, Huze is obviously a deeply thoughtful and philosophical man who feels an intimate connection with each bike he builds. For him, it’s a very personal journey. As with most true artists,

Huze sees things differently than the rest of us. From a very early age, he saw beauty in the most mundane objects; toys, miniature cars, ash trays. His artistic perspective inspired him to beautify everyday objects in his life to make them reflect his own sense of appeal.

With an unusual sensitivity and a unique perception of the world around him, Huze says conceptual inspiration can come from the most ordinary things; the pages of a fashion magazine or gazing at beautiful architecture. His gift, as a builder of world-class custom motorcycles, is that his ideas are sculpted through the eyes of an artist and the hands of an engineer. “I love all forms of arts and communication and have an absolute passion for motorcycles. So nothing makes me happier than to design and fabricate rolling pieces of art for somebody who shares the same passions,” he explains.

Not your average motorhead, Huze spent his early years in Paris, France, pursuing an education in marketing and advertising. His talent was soon recognized and sought after by some of the biggest names in the international marketplace; accounts like McDonalds, Volkswagen and Hertz. It was clear Huze had something very special.

Though professional success seemed to come easily to this young Parisian, there was one dream he had yet to fulfill. Through books, magazines and the lure of Hollywood, he was inexorably drawn to the romance and rebellion of American culture during the 1950s and ’60s. His passion for motorcycles and muscle cars led him to admire the talents of Dick Dean and Big Daddy Ed Roth. “The main influence on me is that they showed me how freedom of expression can lead to creativity.” After his visit to America in 1978, he set his sights on living in the U.S., and by the late ’80s, made the move to Boca Raton, Florida.

The very essence of a custom motorcycle is its originality. Huze, although continually asked to replicate some of his most popular designs, never reproduces a theme, and adamantly stands by his principal: “I never duplicate what I have done before. I am a designer, so I don’t specialize in a type of bikes.” He keeps his ideas fresh by constantly changing concepts and styles: bobbers to softails, baggers to choppers, never limiting himself to any particular model. “Only my emotions influence me. My style is the cyril-huze-bombshell1.jpg (64543 bytes)
cyril-huze-bombshell2.jpg (45962 bytes) result of these emotions.” He loves nothing more than to thumb his nose at conventional methodology and venture into his own interpretation of shape, power and paint. “It’s true that as a material, steel, aluminum or paint seem to have physical limitations. But perhaps nobody tried to push these physical limitations,” explains Huze. When it comes to inspiration, his guiding principle is always “uninhibited experimentation."
Huze’s intellect, design savvy and engineering capabilities allow his exploration of fabrication techniques and original paint concepts that constantly raise the originality bar for other custom builders. For Huze, there are no rules when it comes to customizing. He does not recognize the conventions, and thereby, the limitations of industry “standards” in custom development. A little outside the box? Huze never knew there was a box.

When it comes to describing his custom work, one can use words like stunning, innovative, original and unique, but these descriptions, while accurate, fall far short of the gut level emotion his bikes arouse. For anyone who loves the sleek lines of beautifully crafted motorcycles, the splendor of perfectly selected and accented paint, and appreciates the total commitment to original fabrication, there is no way to deliver the grace and beauty of these custom machines through the written word.

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Huze has an impressive list of original and highly acclaimed creations, but to name a few, his firefighter-inspired bike, the Bravest, was built to benefit the International Association of Firefighters Burn Foundation and features actual firefighting apparatus from the mid-1940s. Its “fire engine red” paint and 1940s vintage charm was featured (centerfold—ooohhh la la!) in the January/February 2007 issue of Barnett Magazine and was also featured in a world-wide tour. His war-era inspired bobber, Bombshell, is a tribute to the flyboys’ penchant for decorating their instruments of war with voluptuous pin-up girls as a way of inspiring the troops and distracting the enemy. Bombshell has been featured in magazines nationally and internationally. More of his work can be seen on his Web site (below), as well as a selection of custom parts and accessories.

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His innate sense for creating beautiful motorcycles has brought him to the pinnacle of fame and recognition in the fiercely competitive world of custom bike building. In October of 2006, Daytona Biketoberfest saw the induction of Huze into the Hall of Fame by the International Master Bike Builders Association, an honor he shares with fellow builders, Arlen Ness, Dave Perewitz, Eddie Trotta, Aaron Green, Matt Hotch and the late Indian Larry.

Huze attributes his success to his passion for motorcycles, the artistic connection that allows him a special intimacy with design, shapes and colors, and his ability to bring his passion to life.

He knows no boundaries or limits when it comes to seeing his esthetic dreams come to fruition. Hailed as one of the true masters of custom motorcycle design and fabrication, Huze is, by anyone’s standards, at the top of his game. 

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Copyright© Steel Horse Motorcycle News.  May 15, 2012.