Painting & Building Matt Jones’ Custom Marin Alcatraz for his ‘Design & Conquer’ Film
Matt Jones is no stranger to a good looking bike. From diamond-studded hardtails to a one-of-a-kind mini bike death trap, Matt has an acclaimed fleet of toys.
One early spring afternoon we heard about a new project Matt was working on with Ford. We needed to know about Red Bull and all they told us was “this one is going to be huge” and there have been lots of mentions of “world firsts”. Knowing the caliber of the projects he was coming up with, especially one that was being developed in collaboration with Ford, Matt came up with the idea of creating the ultimate bike for this unknown project without his having a clue about it. Suggestions were thrown in the pot, but we inevitably ended up on the one bike that Matt helped design. The Marin Alcatraz was designed from the ground up to be the best dirt jump bike ever. With the same philosophy, we worked with Marin (and with a little help from Matt’s fiancé) to find the perfect paint job.
We’ve turned all the things that matter most to Matt into a design. It only takes a quick scan of Matt’s YouTube channel to know what’s special to him, and after an intense brainstorming session with way too many coffees, we had our shortlist. It was easy enough to figure out what to include, but then came the difficulty of putting them into a color scheme. Marin Alcatraz doesn’t exactly have much room to paint and while the initial shortlist seemed simple enough, we then had to figure out how to include a car, engagement rings, burn crew, and everyone’s favorite dog, Moose.
With some elaborate strategies and some secret industrial techniques, the bike was ready to be painted. Before we took out spray guns, the bike had to be pulled back. It would have been easy enough to take some paint back, but if you’re Matt Jones, those extra few grams can make all the difference when you throw yourself off monster booters. We also had the words “world firsts” in our ears and knew how critical these marginal profits could be. The paint has been stripped down to the bare metal, all with careful consideration of the frame.
After the bike was taken off, we used the primer and base coat as the first step in making the idea a reality. The next step was to hide the first part of the design with meticulous precision. We use a combination of masking tape and a flexible tape mask that can be precisely cut to ensure we can create the cleanest lines on the design.
With the masks it was time for the first splash of color. While you’d think we’d be grabbing a spray gun right away, this isn’t an old bike. The first layer was a metallic silver, but it was applied with a plastic bag. This may seem strange, but with careful application, some silver stains throughout the frame will turn into an artificial marble effect. The next step was to apply colored inks to the frame over the metallic silver, creating a two-tone finish down the length of the frame.
After the paint dried, the masking was stripped off for the next layer and more masking! No corners are cut here and we will always pay so much attention to everything we do, even if you are not Matt Jones. Since this was for Matt, we added a bold Marin logo, along with a nod to his Helfare brand and the Burn Crew.
The bike was starting to look more and more like the concept we had in mind and the final part was the important details that we’d been discussing for many hours. We didn’t want the details to be bold but visible enough that they put Matt in a good mood when he finally gets to ride this bike. Nothing is better than having the things that matter to you when you get rid of tricks that have never been done before. The final detail has been achieved through even more masking and brought to life with a contrasting matte and gloss finish.
After the paint was done, it was off to Brink Cycles where we handed the frame over to Fin’s capable hands to bring the bike to life. There were still a few custom additions to the bike, including color-coordinated forks, wheels, and valves. The motorcycle was completed with Matt’s preferred selection of parts from his sponsors.
The final reveal with Matt came just 30 minutes after the bike was completed and it was Matt’s reaction to the bike that made the whole project worthwhile.
Due to the various restrictions around the world during these difficult times, this bike has been sitting in Matt’s living room for the past few months, waiting for the green light. There’s nothing worse than planning a super-secret project only to be put on hold by a global pandemic. But here we are at last.
We were madly excited to be part of this project and you’d be surprised how hard it is to keep a secret from Matt Jones. We’d like to thank John at Marin for being the ring leader in this area and he had a few words about the project:
|Marin was fortunate enough to be involved in a number of Image Design custom motorcycles. When we decided on a custom bike for Matt Jones, they were our first choice. We wanted to make a bike that showed some of the things that we knew were special to Matt: his commitment, his car, his dirt jump crew and Moose the Dog! IDC took some ideas on paper and delivered something Matt will cherish forever.|
We should also thank Matt’s fiancé Rebecca for being our special agent, Kenny at Ison Distribution for quickly handling parts, Jack our painter who is an absolute wizard with colors, and of course Moose the dog just because he’s a good boy.
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Watch Matt here on his bike.