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Binford turns ‘Sopranos’ into rolling art

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Binford turns ‘Sopranos’ into rolling art

The long sleek style of this custom motorcycle paying homage to "The Sopranos" was a project two years in the making for Binford Custom Cycles owner Paul Binford.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin/


POSTED February 2, 2009 3:52 a.m.
For more than two years Paul Binford thought about how he could take his passion for the hit HBO show “The Sopranos” and turn it into a piece of rolling art.
As the owner of Binford Custom Cycles – Manteca’s only full-service motorcycle shop that specializes in custom bikes – searching for ideas and ways to improve upon his already impressive resume of one-of-a-kind creations isn’t an uncommon task for the Manteca resident.
But once he got started on the unique creation, which took just a little over four months to complete once the building began,  all of the visions and the concepts began to take shape and form a ride that he hopes will someday find itself parked inside of the garage Tony Soprano himself – actor James Gandolfini.
“I’ve always been a fan of the show, and it got me thinking about what could be done with a bike about the show,” Binford said. “I know that the tribute bike thing has been pretty well played out with what a lot of people see on TV, but this is something that I thought a lot of people would enjoy seeing.
“And ideally I’d like to know that it’s sitting in James Gandolfini’s garage one day.”
So once he had the idea in place, he got to work.
By pooling together a team of local companies that specialize in custom motorcycle parts – like the hand-stitched seat made by Tanner Leathers that shows several recognizable parts of the show, and artist Steve Fernandez who airbrushed a portrait of Tony Soprano on the gas tank – Binford started piecing together what quickly became one of his favorite projects.
When people realized what it was he was doing, they were quick to jump on board.
The shop that crafted the wheels were impressed with the overall concept – and ended up turning out two of the most eye-catching pieces of the entire bike with the red logo-accented rims.
Even the chromed out motor includes accents that pay tribute to what many consider the best cable television show ever created.
“When people come in here they’re blown away at what they see,” Binford said. “That’s what we were going for when we set out to make the bike, and it turned out exactly how I wanted it to.”
The bike also earned first place honors in the radical division at the 2008 Easyriders Bike Show in Sacramento.
In addition to creating custom bikes on spec as well as for customers, Binford’s shop is also a full-service center that handles everything from motor work to in-house painting. A full assortment of apparel as well as after-market parts and add-ons are also available for sale.
Binford’s Custom Cycles is located at 418 N. Main Street, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 239-7828, or visit them on the web at  HYPERLINK “http://www.binfords.com” www.binfords.com.
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