Let’s not beat around the bush; Bandit9’s critics have been many and varied. They called out the shop by insisting that all their bikes were nothing but Photoshop renders. They questioned their creativity and even suggested they stole ideas. Such is often the fate of those who choose to rock the boat. But for shop owner Daryl Villanueva, none of this really mattered. Like anybody with an honest-to-goodness mission in life, he knew where he was going and what he was doing. And hey presto, the Petersen Automotive Museum, The Haas Moto Museum and the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum have all agreed by opening their wallets. Here’s his latest piece of magic – a Royal Enfield Classic Chrome Bullet he calls ‘Merlin’.

“It was an interesting year for Bandit9,” says Daryl with more than a little understatement. “We were fortunate to be part of the Custom Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum in LA. Then we got a call from Royal Enfield to work on a couple of projects with them. I really consider us quite blessed. I’ll take some time during the holidays to reflect on where we’re going. We’re tackling apparel in 2019; We still need to crack that. Maybe I won’t get a holiday after all.”

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