When biker Finn Walsh commissioned his custom motorbike, he sought out only the best materials. For the seat, he already had his eye on a special leather – Destroyed Black. It’s the same leather that Finn sits on every day at home on his Timothy Oulton Shabby sofa, and he knew it would be the perfect, authentic fit for his bike.
We were happy to assist Finn with his request for a piece of Destroyed Black, complete with Timothy Oulton’s signature bowler pin for that final custom detail. Destroyed Black is a wax pull-up leather, buffed without any protection to give an aged look to certain parts. As with all Timothy Oulton leathers, it’s finished purely by hand, using translucent aniline dyes to celebrate the natural character of the hide.
The bike was built by master craftsman Charlie Stockwell at Warr’s Harley Davidson in Chelsea, London. Located on the historic King’s Road, Warr’s was founded in 1924 and is Europe’s oldest Harley-Davidson dealership.
Below, Finn talks bikes, leather, craftsmanship…and how a snowmobile inspired the design.
Finn, how long have you been riding?
I’ve been riding my whole life, mostly Harleys on the road, but before that I was always on a motocross bike. My father and brother have been into bikes for as long as I can remember.
Why do you love to ride?
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig writes: “You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.” I couldn’t come close to putting it better myself!
Is this your first custom bike?
This is my first custom bike to this detail, it involved a couple of trips to the US for parts. The red, white and blue tank design is actually inspired by a 1975 Harley-Davidson Snowmobile.
What made you want to commission it?
Whilst I’ve had other bikes, this was my first ever Harley I bought from new. I always loved the model but knew there was room for improvement.
What was your brief to Charlie at Warr’s Harley Davidson?
We tried to build a timeless, clean, minimal, ‘strong’ bike with the best components in the world. A Timothy Oulton seat exceeded that objective and when you see the bike in person, it’s one of the stand-out features. Charlie and Warr’s Harley-Davidson, Chelsea, have an impeccable track record for custom bikes and it helped being five minutes from my flat – I was there every chance I got.
What is it you love about Destroyed Black leather?
The Destroyed Black leather is a perfect contrast to the rest of the design, it’s a complex and interesting leather that gets better as it’s enjoyed.
What drew you to the Timothy Oulton collections?
It was during a trip to the Timothy Oulton gallery at Homes of Elegance in Abergavenny, Wales. I’d never seen anything like it before, the use of the finest quality materials and their combinations are truly unique. Almost every piece is stand-out and draws the focus of the room. The perfect mix of outstanding form and function, effortlessly timeless and elegant.
What other Timothy Oulton pieces do you have in your home?
I have the Shabby sofa and the Explorer sofa (discontinued), both in Destroyed Black, in the living room, and a Tesla pendant light above the stairs. In the office, I have the large map of Hong Kong, to remind me of my time working there, a Castaway desk, Aviator Blackhawk side table and Crossfire chair (discontinued) in Spitfire.
Do you have any other exciting projects on the horizon?
I’ve recently purchased my dream car, a 1965 Mustang Fastback. The idea and concept for the interior is based on a number of Timothy Oulton pieces. Hardwood, exposed metal, and dark leather. Again, classic and timeless.
If you would like to know more about Timothy Oulton’s unique hand-finished leathers visit the craftsmanship section.