A Paul Yaffe Q&A
May 9, 2023
Sourced from Dave Nichols. “Custom Builder Spotlight: Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation.” Web blog post. highseasrally.com. May 7, 2022.
The custom motorcycle world knows Paul Yaffe as one of the elite creators of motorized masterpieces. That’s because Paul is more than a builder or fabricator, he is truly a designer. He started his first custom shop in 1991. It was called American Legend Motorcycle Company and soon became Paul Yaffe Originals. Over the years, Paul has taken home three “World’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle” awards from the famous Oakland Roadster Show. Easyriders Magazine was proud to give Paul two “Builder of the Year” and three “Trendsetter of the Year” awards. Yaffe’s gorgeous custom creations have been the subject of over 300 magazine articles and profiles.
Paul Yaffe Originals went beyond just building high end custom bikes, Paul designed truly unique parts and products for Harley-Davidsons. From mirrors, grips, and pedals, to handlebars, gas tanks, fenders and frames. He even created “roller kits” for complete choppers.
When reality TV discovered custom bikes, they naturally came knocking on Paul’s door. He has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s Great Biker Build-Off series where he built a stunning bike called “The Phantom” that shot 30-foot flames from its custom exhaust. He was also featured in 10 episodes of Biker Battleground on The History Channel as well as dozens of other nationally televised shows for NBC, Travel Channel, and SPEED TV.
When the chopper craze waned, Paul quickly reinvented his company, creating Bagger Nation which builds amazing custom touring bikes and produces parts, products, and accessories to allow you to take your stock bagger from mild to wild.
Always first to volunteer to help with charity causes, Paul has built custom bikes to be auctioned off at the VQ Biker’s Ball in Daytona to support the Broward County Boys & Girls Club and the Children’s Ride supporting the Seattle Children’s Hospital. In his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, he has sponsored the annual Hamsters Charity “Dry Heat Run” supporting LifeScape Children’s Care Hospital. He is currently building a custom motorcycle for the first ever High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund Charity Motorcycle Raffle. He is currently working on a 2022 SRT Harley Davidson Road Glide FLTRXST with some help from Dave Perewitz. READ MORE
To create the ultimate immersive experience for all levels of bikers, riders and gear heads, High Seas Rally will be cruising with yet another crew of awesome custom motorcycle builders who will host talks, show off their work around the ship and spark some exciting new entertainment on the cruise.
Paul rocked the ship with us last year, and we are excited that he is back onboard this October. Check out this Q&A with Paul where he reflects on what made 2022 so amazing, and what he is looking forward to in 2023!
Q&A with Paul Yaffe
HSR: How did you first get involved with High Seas Rally?
PY: I first got involved with HSR about 20 years ago when they invited me to be part of the rally entertainment. I’ll be honest, I had a preconceived idea of what a cruise would be like (lots of seniors, sleeping by 7pm) and I wasn’t that excited to join. However, some friends of mine were going and said they had a blast the year before, so they talked me into it. I’ll admit it, I had the time of my life on my first HSR cruise! The entire ship was taken over by bikers, it was like one huge party 24/7!
HSR: What was your favorite part of High Seas Rally 2022?
PY: Some of my favorite memories about HSR 2022 first and foremost were the people… I believe there were over 2000 people on the ship it was like one giant family! Everyone was so friendly, we made so many new friends. Everyone is unplugged from the normal daily stresses of life (phones, work, internet) and just ready to party, explore and enjoy! That goes for my wife Suzy & I as well. I had an ear-to-ear grin the entire trip! I remember the night before we got back to the U.S., we were so bummed, we really didn’t want it to end.
HSR: What surprised you the most about High Seas Rally 2022?
PY: I think what really surprised me the most about HSR 2022 was the way everyone participated in all the events! There’s so much to do onboard and everyone was involved and ready to enjoy! Every party, like the Halloween bash for instance, was the most amazing costume display I’ve ever seen! It was unbelievable! Rally goers go all out for these events, so you better bring your “A” game! I know we brought an extra suitcase just filled with costumes for the theme nights! So much FUN!!! It’s hard to describe the feeling of comradery on the boat…When they have a belly flop contest, there’s 2000 people cheering you on!
HSR: What are you most looking forward to for High Seas Rally 2023?
PY: Suzy & I are sooo excited for this year’s cruise! First and foremost, we get to reunite with all the friends we made last year! We are super excited for new ports of call; we love the shore excursions. Of course, we too can’t wait to unplug and let our hair down! As soon as the ship leaves port we just shift gears into neutral… Time to coast, relax, let out a big sigh and prepare for the week of pure enjoyment ahead!
HSR: What is your inspiration behind the High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund Charity Motorcycle that you’re building?
PY: I could talk about this year’s bike build all day! First, the Road Glide is my favorite Harley platform to customize and second, Dave F*%K#&G Perewitz is painting it!! HSR gave me a blank canvas and said GO! I wanted to build a two-up touring machine that can cruise the country coast to coast providing an experience for the lucky winner that’s nothing short of exhilarating! (I’m hoping it’s a couple) Of course at the same time the build has a purpose and what a wonderful purpose it is! You must witness HSR’s on-board dialysis center and the amazing opportunity it creates for 10 deserving patients each year. I had to build a head turner that anyone would be proud to own and would sell out and max out HSR’s dialysis funding.
HSR: What feature of the new motorcycle are you most excited about?
PY: As I take in the 2023 build, I can’t help but get stuck on The SRT Wide Performance Front Tire kit! I just love the look and balance of the 180 x 20 front tire that handles like nothing else you can imagine!
HSR: What are the most challenging parts about putting together a custom piece like this?
PY: To be honest, I’ve been doing this a long time and the build portion goes really smoothly. The build is made up of 95% Yaffe products so we know they fit and flow together in harmony. The quality is top notch as well and all of our products carry a lifetime warranty and are road proven for a lifetime of reliability. With Dave Perewitz handling the paint and body there really is nothing to worry about! He’s an industry legend that’s been laying down the most killer flame paint jobs for what… 50 years!
HSR: What is the process working with Dave?
PY: Dave is the consummate professional. Working with him is both seamless and worry free. Dave knew exactly what he wanted to laydown for this project and also exactly what was needed to sell out the charity build. Perewitz Flames baby! When you see them, you know they are Dave’s. There’s nothing like them. Dave’s paint jobs have an almost collectable iconic power to them. Iconic in a word.
HSR: What’s the most rewarding part about putting together a custom piece like this?
PY: I’ve always said if you want to keep it, you have to give it away. We’ve been so fortunate over the past 35 years to have the love and support of our fans and customers. We are both humbled and proud to be able to support the biker community. Bikers by nature take care of their own and I’m sure there’s not a community across this great country of ours that, in one way or another, hasn’t been touched by the generosity of bikers.
HSR: Have you given the motorcycle a name yet?
PY: Usually bikes names come through the build process. Right now, everyone refers to it as the HSR but I’m sure we’ll come up with another along the way… Stay Tuned!
High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund Charity Motorcycle Raffle
High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund (HSRDF) is proud to announce the first ever High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund Charity Motorcycle Raffle! We have teamed up with Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation and Dave Perewitz who are working their magic on a customized motorcycle to be raffled off to one lucky winner!
This year’s prize is a 2022 SRT Harley Davidson Road Glide FLTRXST customized by Paul Yaffe and Dave Perewitz.
Those that have sailed on High Seas Rally before know that we not only have a good time, but we also raise money for charity through raffles, auctions and games throughout the week. We are excited to bring the fundraising on land this year for the first time ever! The generosity of the High Seas Rally community is extraordinary and has helped change the lives of many deserving individuals.
Everyone is invited to participate in the High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund Charity Motorcycle Raffle. All proceeds benefit the High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund. Tickets are $20 and only 5000 will be sold! For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.