Archive for March, 2012

Popularity contest

Posted in custom work, Leatherwork, Motorcycles, New Items, Tank bib, Three Mutts Customs, Whaletail Tank Bib with tags , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by Chris Wright

I’ve been picking up a few new tanks lately to branch out the tank bib model line up and thought I’d put a feeler out there to see what the Three Mutts Customs blog readers favorites are.  Up until now, I’ve mainly focused on Hondas as that is what I know from my own bikes but with the recent acquisition of the Yamaha V-Star 1100 tank & dash I want to add more.  The Honda line-up is pretty much set, so here’s your chance…what’s next?!

Here are a few of the popular metric bikes I’ve had one off requests for, throw in your vote or offer up a different suggestion in the comments.  I’ll add to the voting from the comments as replies come it.  It only takes a quick click so vote for your favorite and represent your brand!

Side note: For the Harley folks wondering where they are on the list, Harley was nice enough to design tanks that don’t really work with whaletail tank bibs so I didn’t include them as a tank isn’t needed.


If you don’t see the voting poll above, try this link:

New Whaletail tank bib models coming!

Posted in custom work, Honda VT1300CT, Leatherwork, Motorcycles, Tank bib, Three Mutts Customs, Whaletail Tank Bib, Yamaha with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by Chris Wright

Yeehaw, the ebay gods were good this week! As luck would have it, I picked up two new tanks this week to expand the line of tank bibs I offer. Coming soon to the Three Mutts Customs tank bib line-up are:

2010+ Honda VT1300 (Sabre, Interstate & Stateline): Whaletails & Tuxedo tank bibs (flarecut design just doesn’t work on this style tank)

Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic: Whaletail, Flarecut & Tuxedo tank bibs – I’m still trying to narrown down the exact years but from what I have gathered so far, the tank stayed the same from 1999-2009 on the VS1100. Evidence? Well, checking the dealer microfiche shows that the tank trim (aka dash, filler trim, etc) is the same for all V-Star 1100 models for those years. I’ll ask on one of the forums to see if someone can verify.

2008+ Yamaha Raider: while not exactly a tank bib due to the giant tank trim the Raider has, I do have the pattern to do replaceable leather dash inserts for the center dash opening. They can be fully tooled, spotted, etc.

The VT1300 tank has already arrived, just looking for a reasonably priced tank trim for it and the dash has been found & ordered.  The V-Star tank & trim were bought today so I expect them to arrive in two weeks or so. Since the shop wait list is about 14 weeks right now, I’ll have plenty of time to do patterns between now and then.

For those that haven’t been to the main website yet, here is the current line-up of bikes I make tank bibs for with more coming soon:

2004+ Honda Shadow Aero 750
2003+ Honda Shadow Spirit 750
2009+ Honda Phantom 750
1998-2002 Honda Shadow Aero 1100
1997-2003 Honda Valkyrie (GL1500) Standard
2004-2009 Honda VTX 1300C
2003-2009 Honda VTX 1300S
2005-2009 Honda VTX 1300R
2002-2008 Honda VTX 1800C
2005-2008 Honda VTX 1800F
2005-2008 Honda VTX 1800N
2002-2008 Honda VTX 1800R
2002-2008 Honda VTX 1800S
2007-2008 Honda VTX 1800T
2010+ Honda VT1300 (Sabre, Stateline, Interstate)

1999-2009 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic


Adding the artwork – tooled designs

Posted in custom work, Fender bibs, Leatherwork, Tank bib, Three Mutts Customs, Whaletail Tank Bib with tags , , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by Chris Wright

A few of my recent clients have asked the question, what exactly is tooled leather?  Is the leather cut and dug out, is it stamped or pressed, etc?  The process of leather tooling involves a number of steps and a few secret ingredients that each leatherworker learns through trial and error to suit their geographical region.  One of the first ones is called, “casing” and is the process of bringing the leather to the correct moisture content so the knives and stamping tools can make a good impression and once dry, the leather retains that mark indefinitely.  Too wet and the design will simply raise up and get distorted or faint, too dry and the leather won’t cut easily and the impressions end up with a ‘shadow effect’ where the tool burnishes the leather when struck.

I’m not going to bore everyone with a lengthy description since most just want to know the jist of what’s involved and those who want to know more should visit and check out their forum, tutorials and discussions.

Here’s a brief picture overview of what goes into the tooling process made up from pictures I took while creating various client pieces…enjoy!


Tooling Process 1 - DrawingTooling Process 2 - Swivel KnifeTooling Process 3 - Hand ToolingTooling Process 3.5 - Cut & Partially tooled

Tooling Process 4 - Close-up

The Tooling Process, a set on Flickr.

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