Thankfully it doesn’t happen often, but sometimes motorcycle riders go down. In his early twenties while living outside Taipei, Qun Hung was just beginning to explore his interests in racing, modifying sports cars and building custom bikes. One day, while riding to his studio he was slammed by a car and hit the street hard. When he bounced off the pavement, and life as he had known it changed radically. His right hand’s nerve plexus was shattered and the doctors told him he would never again have full use of his right hand and arm. With the help of physical therapy and his dedicated girlfriend (now his wife), Qun got out of bed, literally re-tooled himself and dove back into his building career full force.

Qun Hung in his OneHandMade workshop in Taipei, Taiwan. [OneHandMade]
After a few years building bikes in his home area, Qun realized if he was going to dedicate himself to building he needed to pack up his stuff and move to the capital city Taipei where he would have access to new materials, better working and living spaces and most importantly client/customers. His wife agreed, so he borrowed some money and they made the move.

Skinny style Triumph custom, with a clear influence from the Falcon Kestrel, but with OneHandMade style. [Mike McCabe]
“I have always been fascinated by things with wheels,” Qun said. “I dreamed of becoming a racer when I was in high school. To learn more about mechanical things, I became an apprentice in a bike shop. The bike racing industry was declining in Taiwan. Once I found a picture of a fixed up custom bike in a Japanese magazine and that’s when I started to become interested in the custom industry. We didn’t have much information and mostly only older people rode motorcycles in Taiwan. I started running my own studio at the age of twenty-two. I studied machinery and watched videos on Youtube. I watched the Indian Larry sheet metal video over and over again to make sure I didn’t miss any little detail in it. I made good relationships with the local subcontractors. I learned to operate a lathe from them. The more I learned about how to make custom bikes, the more I found out what I needed to work on.

Qun Hung at work annealing metal while working it. [Mike McCabe]
“I was unfortunately hit by a car while I was riding my motorcycle. The accident broke the nerve plexus in my right hand. Despite rehabilitation my hand would never fully recover. I wondered if I would ever be able to ride a motorcycle again. Thanks to my wife’s help my life became much easier. She helped me operate the welding rod while I welded and she took me for a ride whenever I felt like going out for a ride. In order to ride again, I changed the throttle from the right hand side to the left hand side. It worked. I was so excited, and it felt like getting on a motorcycle for the first time. At the age of twenty-five, I went back home and started all over again. I worked slow because I lacked some of the machines and of course, I only have one hand. And yet, customers couldn’t understand my difficulties. To improve my efficiency, I added new machines to my studio.

A OneHandMade custom Triumph. [Mike McCabe]
“At that time the masses in Taiwan had just started to accept modified cars. And every city has its own consuming habits. I didn’t think things would get better if I stayed in my home town, so I considered the possibility to move to Taipei. That was when I changed the name of my business to “Onehandmade”. What’s really interesting was that I trained myself to be able to do all this with my non-dominant left hand, and after a while my right hand could start to exert a little. I actually started working on sheet metal after losing use of my arm.

A work in progress: racing-style bodywork for a Ducati 900. [Mike McCabe]
“My accident neither broke my original intention or brought me down to give up on what I love most. I started learning something new and holding onto my passion in order to make better builds. But I knew my mind had been trapped in the small city where I lived. I was thirty-one years old and I borrowed some money to move to Taipei with my wife and child and open a new studio. At fist my studio looked a little shabby and it was hard to attract customers, so all I could do was focus on my work. I discovered that doing only sheet metal work wasn’t enough. I am still working on learning new things and hope that every tiny improvement makes my work a little bit better. I changed everything to a skinny style after moving to Taipei. People started believing in me and let me justify myself. Finally Onehandmade has been known by more people. I hope that I can continue working on better builds. I will maintain my original intention of loving motorcycles while developing myself.”

An urban Tracker BMW R9T by OneHandMade. [Mike McCabe]
Qun Hung had to come to terms with a difficult situation that was not of his making. With his wife’s help, he literally had to retool his body and relearn how to use it. His passion for building custom motorcycles became his motivating principle that prodded him forward with his creative life.  And his determination has paid off, and he’s now an internationally renowned custom builder whose work shows up all over the internet.




Michael McCabe is a New York City tattoo artist and cultural anthropologist. He is the author of New York City Horsepower, Kustom Japan, New York City Tattoo, Japanese Tattooing Now, Tattoos of Indochina, and Tattooing New York City. For New York City Horsepower, Mr. McCabe spent two years discovering and documenting underground custom motorcycle and car garages in the City, as rapid gentrification put their culture under tremendous pressure. He interviewed and photographed New York City customizers about their personal histories and creative sensibilities.


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