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HSR Custom Builder Spotlight: Xavier Muriel

By Dave Nichols

“To say that being part of a multi-platinum, international touring rock band was a dream come true would be a vast understatement. No kid ever says to himself, ‘When I graduate I’m gonna move to Hollywood and become a Rock Star’ and thinks that it can come true. Well, truth be told, it didn’t for me,” Xavier Muriel tells us. “I was 34 and on my third trip back to the west coast before it actually happened.”

Xavier Muriel quote

Xavier is famous for being the rock ‘n’ roll drummer for the band Buckcherry. “As I look back on it, I would have never been prepared physically or mentally for what it actually took to get to platinum status, so there was a lot of learning to do before success came to pass. I had the pleasure of playing the biggest stages all over the world as well as touring with the greatest bands in rock ‘n’ roll history and becoming friends with them. I mean, getting to play the same stage every night with Motley Crue and having Tommy Lee stand behind me cheering me on was one of many highlights in my career.”

An avid biker and custom motorcycle builder, we asked Xavier what led him to have such a love for bikes. “I’ve always been into motorcycles. My father bought me my first bike, a Honda MR, when I was just six years old. He brought that bike home one spring day along with his Harley-Davidson SX250 Enduro and my older brother’s Honda CR-125. I’ve been hooked ever since. Bikes have always been in my blood. Before I moved back to Los Angeles in 2004, I was working at a Custom Shop in Austin and had already built two bikes. So I was actually into Harleys way before I became the drummer in the band.”

While with the band, Xavier played many motorcycle rallies and bike shows. “That’s how I met the likes of Billy Lane, Paul Cox, Jeff Cochran and Chris Callen of Cycle Source magazine. After various run-ins with Chris, he asked me to start writing a column called, ‘Killing Time on Tour with X’’ which led me to meeting so many folks in the motorcycle industry. I was asked by Chris to build a bike for the In Motion bike show during the Lone Star Rally in Galveston, Texas, back in 2017. Having just left Buckcherry after 18 years, I was very excited to be a part of something fresh and fun.”

Xavier tells us that was when he got onboard the custom bike building train. “Famed motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter asked me to be a part of his Sturgis Buffalo Chip Motorcycle Exhibit called ‘Passion Built,’ which was all about invited builders who had other careers, not building bikes as their main bread and butter. I built a sweet little bike that I named ‘Grace’ for Michael’s show and she went on to win Bike of the Year at the Easyriders Bike Show Tour in 2019. It also earned the Cycle Source 2020 Bike of the Year, and I won the 2020 Readers’ Poll Builder of the Year. That bike also took top honors at the Rat’s Hole show in Daytona and many more. So after long deliberation, I decided to make the jump to a legit biz by starting Providence Cycle Worx in Austin, Texas.”

When asked about the first bike he ever customized, Xavier tells us, “The first bike I ever customized was a 1982 FLH, stripped down to the frame and re-painted, powdercoated and I chromed everything that was possible. The paint was done by a then-unknown painter and builder named Joe Martin who used to work out of his garage.”

We asked Xavier to name the biggest honors he has achieved in his life so far. “Winning the Easyriders Bike of the Year in 2019 was definitely up there with all the accolades of being in Buckcherry. Being on the cover of Modern Drummer, which is the holy grail of drumming magazines as well as the gold and platinum records. Easyriders is the Holy Grail of chopper magazines. I’m Honored that my bike was the last bike to be Bike of the Year before the mag went away.”

Xavier Muriel

When asked how he got involved in building a giveaway bike for the High Seas Rally Xavier says, “I was turned on to High Seas Rally from a former employee of the band whose husband works for the cruise company. Plus, another person I had toured with years back was the production manager for High Seas Rally. So after an initial phone call and then a visit to my shop, we all agreed on a vision to take it to the next level.”

Xavier soon learned that his giveaway chopper would also go to help raise money for a good cause. “To date, the High Seas Rally giveaway bike is my biggest endeavor. When I found out about the Dialysis Fund and what it was all about, my heart was totally in. As a person who has a family member on Dialysis, I know first-hand what they go through. So, needless to say, I threw the kitchen sink at this project, not so much as money being spent to buy the parts, but more in the labor-intensive parts, I handmade for it. This bike features the best of both worlds, combining the looks of an old school chopper with the technology found in some of the latest models.”

When asked to tell us more about the bike that some lucky biker on the cruise will win, Xavier confides, “It was built on a custom one-off frame by myself and Rick Bray of RKB customs and houses an S&S 80-inch Evo motor. There’s a Harley 6-speed transmission, a BDL two-inch open belt drive with custom belt guards, 60 spoke Black Bike wheels, a narrow glide front end, and a Paul Cox air ride. It has a one-off fuel tank, oil bag, bars, mid-controls, footpegs, fender struts, and many more custom parts. All of the electrics are handled by a Bluetooth M-unit which allows you to sync up the system to your phone, giving you access to readouts of miles per hour, RPMs and other features not found on traditional choppers. The killer paint was done by Jace at Fast Life Garage. She’s a looker, and more importantly, this girl is a rider!”

Some lucky person will be handed the keys to Xavier’s magnificent moto masterpiece. All you have to do is be on board when the cruise sails away from Port Canaveral. Every guest on the ship is entered to win! Click here to learn more about the custom motorcycle and see how it came together.