by Kyle Bak / January 9, 2014
Lost Garage and Handmade America are the brain children of Chicago’s Ryan Lange–Chicago native and motorcycle enthusiast.
Lost Garage was born a few years ago, focusing on old Harley and Japanese bikes. Since then the company has grown to be a source for independent, handmade motorcycle parts and apparel. In addition, Lange has accrued a riding collective by the same name, the members of which frequently blog about their adventures, giving insight to the lifestyle and culture. Their complete bike builds range from modern Harley Davidson cruisers, to Shovelheads, to old Triumphs. Lots of their parts are re-engineered or made entirely by hand, and they leave most of their bikes in the raw steel, which has–in my eyes–become one of their signature traits.
The Lost Garage website has all sorts of custom-made Harley parts as well as handmade key chains, bottle openers, and rad t-shirt designs. I’ve been following Lost Garage for a few years and it’s been great to see them grow as big as they have.
Recently, as Lost Garage has grown beyond a strictly motorcycle focus, Ryan Lange has started Handmade America. While the two companies are intertwined in some regards, Handmade America is more about D.I.Y. projects and inventions. The project that served as a catalyst for the creation of Lange’s second brand was the penny floor http://thepennyfloor.com/. It got a lot of coverage, and it was featured on local Chicago news channels. Since then, Handmade America has produced creations of all kinds. One of their more recent, and my personal favorite, are a series of benches made out of recycled firehose and steel http://handmadeamerica.us/the-firehose-bench/.
The two companies have expanded and benefitted greatly from their blogs, videos, and photography, links to which I will list below. I’m really excited to see where the next few years will take them, and hope to make it to one of their bike nights some time this summer.