Timothy Somers is a relative newcomer on the motorcycle scene – certainly compared to an oldtimer like me who got on a bike for the first time in 1980…
But he – and his company Powerbrick – have really started to make an impression in this two- wheeled world, and certainly among aficionados of the K-series BMW’s. That’s where the roots of the company are, the 80’s to early 90’s K-bikes from BMW, with the big rectangular engine blocks hanging under them – hence the name ‘Powerbrick’.
Timothy started riding in 2018, got a motorcycle driving license and bought a BMW K100 at a good price. This was at the same time as he quit his job at his design agency, having worked on the design and production of many different consumer goods.
As the K-100’s styling was really not to his taste and he had the time, he started customizing the bike in his shed almost right-away, designing and then making the first specimen of the part himself. And put every stage of the transformation on instagram, which pretty soon had a steady inflow of followers, who then also started asking for him to sell them these parts he had designed.
Powerbrick – the company – was born. He started to have the parts produced in larger quantities and selling them though his insta page. As a professional designer, Timothy completely develops his products on his computer in 3D-rendering. And these designs can be sent right over to the factory to be moved into production!
The parts-business actually flourished during the covid years. I guess as lots of enthusiasts were stuck at home with a K-series bike in the shed, had the urge to make it perform and look better, had time to scour the Internet for ideas, but then also the time to actually do something about it…
Most sales originate from Powerbrick’s Instagram presence, maybe a bit via Facebook, but all without spending money on marketing! More recently, Powerbrick started to promote the brand at motorcycle shows, like the BMW Motorrad days in Berlin and the BikeShed MotoShow in London this spring.
As to be expected for an internet-era company, Powerbrick’s clientele is truly international, with lots of orders from the United States and Australia, and relatively few from its ‘home market’, the Netherlands.
Over the past couple of years, more motorcycles were bought as a development platform for his parts on one hand, and to show off the parts that he is producing on the other. These motorcycles are then sold when finished, making Powerbricks a custom shop on top of a parts design and manufacture business.
Last year (2022), Powerbrick realized two of such full custom conversions, they are planning to do three this year and then keep on a steady but controlled growth path – 4 full conversions in 2024. Timothy wants to keep full control of his customs, building them in accordance with the Powerbrick style and not limited by demanding customers. The Powerbrick set-up in Schiedam, in the Netherlands, reflects this very well: a spartan but well-equipped workshop – come office and warehouse – in a soon-to-be-torn-down industrial space, and just Timothy and Sasza, his trusted sidekick, doing all the work…
Powerbrick produces and sells custom triple clamps, subframes, air-filter sets, headlight covers, tank caps, exhausts… All in all some 70 different parts, all designed in-house, and produced exclusively for Powerbrick. Mostly for BMW’s K-series, but more recently they are expanding to the R-series as well.
And, right now, Powerbrick stands at the beginning of an exciting new adventure, taking on Harley Davidsons. For the Amsterdam/Rotterdam HD Dealer, Powerbrick is starting to convert 3 brand- new Harleys; a Sportster, an adventure-touring model, but also an electric bike , the LiveWire. We are excited to see what those bikes are going to look like!