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An Interview with the MB Master

Mario from MB Leathers in San Pedro.

By Buster and Bandit with photos from MB Leathers

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Editor's Note: Buster is a social media master, who works full time for Saddlemen seats. He’s also helping around the Bikernet/5-Ball nerve center and he’s a major motorcycle enthusiast. He’s going to bring some of his connections to the Bikernet family. The first is Mario from MB leathers in San Pedro.

Buster interviewed the leather master about his history and leather learning experience.

B: Tell us a little about yourself

MB: I was born in 1972, in Germany, raised in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and moved to Switzerland in 1999. I have a master’s degree in construction, no kids.

B: how did you get interested in motorcycles?

MB: I got my first motorcycle when I was 8, a Honda Z 50, from there on I was sold. First Harley when I was 18, a swingarm Shovel. I bought it from a guy in nor cal and had it shipped to Germany in five wooden crates and a frame. Built it in a winter and rode it all over Europe. I prospected into a club when I was 19, member for 13 years, out in good standing

B: When did you start leather work?

MB: I started leatherwork because I saw Indian Larry’s Grease Monkey bike in the Easyriders magazine. That was about 21 years ago. Larry’s seat was hand tooled seat by Paul Cox. I always played guitar and drew - so I was creative. But when I saw the leather seat, I was sold.

I asked a friend of mine who was a knife maker to give me some tools. I tried it and I HATED it, it was the hardest thing to do, so I gave him the tools back and was done with it for a brief second. I couldn’t forget about it, so I borrowed the tools again and tried again and never looked back.

I became friends with Paul Cox in NYC. He showed me a bit and progress was made. Slowly started a side business and one day quite my daytime job in Switzerland to do full-time leather.

B. How long have you been in the States and what drew you here?

MB: I’ve been in Cali since June 6th, 2016. I was hired by a “famous” jewelry and leather designer located in Malibu to work for him. Turned out that it was all smoke and mirrors, and I left after 1 year to do my own thing.

I stayed here in San Pedro, because it’s the core of what drives me, the bike scene, lowbrow art, the beach, desert and mountains

B: What is your favorite thing you've recently worked on and can you share pics?

MB: I don’t have any favorites. Every project is my favorite and I put 110 percent into it.

Hold on, there are some rad saddlebag rebuilds coming - FXR convertible bags in LV material and in brown heavy grain buffalo

B: Do you currently own a bike?

MB: Yes I do, a clubbed out 2018 Sport Glide with 16-inch West Coast t bars,
mid controls. I can pass any road rage with my LR rear fender, T-sport fairing, Saddleman seat, and
Ultra Glide lowers.

B: Who are your customers?

MB: All walks of life, mostly motorcycle related folks.

B: Is there a typical customer?

MB: No.

B: What is the one project you've always wanted to tackle but haven't got to yet?

MB: A woman’s handbag. I designed one but did not have the customer for it. It’s super far out there, which would hugely impact the fashion industry.

I also have a concept chopper on my mind. I’ve dream about it since I sold my ‘46 Knucklehead in Switzerland.

B: If you weren't doing leatherwork what would you be doing?

MB: That’s what I do. I cannot imagine doin’ anything else.

B: What does 2020 hold for MB Leathers?

MB: For the summer of 2020, I’ll release some murdered-out, super high-end and unusual garments. They are all for the motorcycle scene. No-one has ever made that stuff like I do.

I will continue with my custom work. I want to concentrate more on larger projects, like MBLeathers from head-to-toe including seat, saddlebag, vest, belt and so on.

Click to see his cool web site.
Click to see his cool web site.

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Reader Comments

I checked out his cool web site. The craftsmanship is outstanding.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

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