Michel has been restoring vehicles since the age of 15, and with your help, he hopes to make his favorite hobby into his livelihood! Alchemy Motorcycles started when Michel’s brother purchased several 1970s “Café Racers” from a scrap yard. These small, yet nimble motorcycles were often used to navigate the narrow streets and alleyways of Europeans cities. Though the motorcycles were beat up, Michel quickly saw that with a little tender love and care, these old eyesores could be restored and sold as classic beauties.
The entire restoration process of chroming parts, leather-working and engine construction takes as long as eighty hours per vehicle. Michel is able to complete two motorcycles restorations per month, doing all of the work by hand.
Michel’s venture has not been without its challenges. Most of the parts required to restore the bikes have been obsolete for decades, and the learning curve on some of the repair processes for them is tremendous. Still, there is nothing more satisfying for Michel than to see a finished bike restored to its former glory.
“I love seeing the final result of all my hard work,” he says. “I’m just a simple guy trying to do simple things.”
With business slowly growing, Michel hopes to expand, and will use his $5,000 Kiva loan to purchase additional fabrication equipment and accounting software, and to overhaul his website. He also plans to teach his brother the skills he has learned in order to increase his rate of production.
Michel dreams of one day having his own shop with his brother, from which he can fully provide for his wife and two children.