Roland Sands Design: The Making of the Brand

Roland Sands Design: The Making of the Brand

Roland Sands Design: The Making of the Brand

Roland Sands

I remember the very moment when I first wanted a Harley-Davidson Sportster. I was scrolling through #motorcycles on Instagram when I came across a photo of an Iron 883 equipped with a Roland Sands Design (RSD) Slant 2 into 1 Exhaust. I spent days obsessing over the photo. The stainless steel exhaust design provided the WOW factor I wanted in a bike. It’s crazy how much one photo changed my life. I bought a Sportster and immediately wanted to customize it. I started researching aftermarket parts and quickly learned that if you’re looking for quality, performance, and style, Roland Sands Design makes the best products for just about everything you could modify on your bike. Sure, you can find cheaper products, but you get what you pay for and your motorcycle is not an area where you want to cut corners on knockoff parts.


The name Roland Sands has become synonymous with innovation, style, and quality performance in the motorcycle industry. Roland Sands Design is a company that specializes in building custom motorcycles, parts, and riding gear such as leather jackets and apparel. Their passion and commitment is expressed in the company mission:

Our mission is to create the best motorcycle products in the industry for both your bike and your body. A core love of two wheels is at our root and it shows in the care and design diversity of all of our products. Whether it’s a leather jacket, an air cleaner or a helmet we put the same attention to detail into every piece. We put all our products through hell so you can do the same.


Roland Sands grew up in the motorcycle industry in Long Beach, California. He got his first bike (RM 50 dirt bike) as a birthday present at age 5 and never looked back. He started working for Performance Machine at age 14 and worked his way up to become the Director of R&D and Design. His thirst for speed provided a prestigious professional racing career from 1994-2002. Sands set track records and won multiple awards including becoming the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250 GP Champion. After 32 broken bones he retired his racing leathers to begin building custom bikes that would set trends globally and revolutionize the industry.


In 2005, Roland Sands Design was founded. The crew is made up of a diverse group of riders and builders. The variety of influences from choppers to sport bikes gives the company a unique edge on performance designs. RSD has built custom bikes in just about every motorcycle category for a variety of major clients.

RSD provides an abundance of performance aftermarket parts for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and has a growing selection for Indian, BMW, and Triumph bikes as well. Some of their most popular and recognizable parts are exhausts, air cleaners, calipers, wheels, handlebars, seats, and controls. Sands is looking forward to expanding his custom parts line and builds into new segments within the industry.


Leticia Cline in the RSD Riot Leather Jacket

RSD sets the trends for riding style with leather jackets, riding gear, and apparel for men and women that other companies imitate.

RSD open3RSD full3









The RSD line of Bell helmets took style to the next level. 


Roland Sands continues to be a leading influence in motorcycle culture. He was one of the pioneers of Hooligan Racing: the racing of heavy, street legal motorcycles on flat tracks. Roland Sands Design partners with Indian Motorcycle to host RSD SuperHooligan Flat Track Races at multiple locations including Sturgis, the Lost Highway Show in Southern California, Superprestigio of the America’s in Las Vegas, Bike Week in Daytona, The One Show in Portland, Mama Tried in Milwaukee, The Handbuilt Show in Austin and more.

“Flat track is something I’ve been into for a really long time. Back in the day we would go to Ascot and watch those guys ride back then. Now we’re doing Super Hooligan racing. We’ve been doing it for almost ten years out at Costa Mesa Speedway. It’s just gotten a lot more popular. More guys have gotten involved and we have guys putting together Hooligan flat track racing teams.” – Roland Sands

Indian RSD Scout 60 Super Hooligan

Indian RSD Scout 60 Super Hooligan

The RSD Team pushed the envelope with their innovative transformation of Indian Scouts into flat trackers designed for the hooligan races.


RSD gives back by building bikes to auction at charities, such as the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Roland Sands is a living legend in the motorcycle industry who will continue to shape the culture of modern riding. J&P Cycles is proud to carry the Roland Sands Design parts and products line for you to enjoy.

About the Author:

One Comment

  1. Ken October 3, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I’ve watched Roland over they years from a distance. He does nice work and I hope he continues in the vein of offering parts for others to be able to weekend bolt up and customize.
    We need guys like him.
    Thank you Mr. Sands.

    I to am a customizer and a machinist of parts for bikes. Very small lot right now and I hope to add and grow. Finding the “right bikes” to make parts for though is a chore at times.
    HD is a really good brand given volume of bikes sold.

    I too liked the 883 Iron, bought one, a new 2013 and proceeded to put 10,000 miles on her in two years of riding. I can’t take anything away from the Sportster. They are given a bad rap by the so called “bikers” of America calling them Skirtsters and such. They are better sounding and nicer looking in some areas like the engine than the 103 ever has been.
    The new Milwaukee 8 which I have ridden is an amazing product and HD has hit the ball out of the park on that engine and the suspension as well.
    Roland, time to work up the Milwaukee 8 next brother.

Comments are closed.