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El Solitario, a person who lives aimlessly, but has never lost his way. This definition typifies the vibe of David Borras, one of the founders of El Solitario. What we find in this Galician garage dedicated to outfitting bikers with new threads and giving vintage bikes a new life, is an invisible flame that seems to light the way for everyone who comes here. This burning passion for doing it their way, not the client’s way, underscores the individuality and rogueness of the bikes they create and the bikers they attract to their cause. Because this shop is not merely a brand, it is a way of life.
El Solitario has embraced the land they work in as a kindred spirit. David explains, “Galicia has embraced us, as we have it, and it forms part of our DNA. A hidden gem, this place is not evidently beautiful to the lazy eye, but truly charismatic and enchanting. Always too far, to be there by chance, only the pros arrive here and sometimes they stay.
Galicians are very particular human beings, very humble and incredible workers. Here you will find a distillation of the best of the Spanish metal workforce and the textile industry. Being a writer, a resident alien by birth, and having lived almost everywhere, I consider myself rather bright at assessing a region’s charm. Galicia is a very special place. “She” is protected by elemental forces and her deadly coast. This has resulted in its remoteness, allowing it to be the last true Spanish state. We all know that El Solitario would grow much faster and stronger in California, and we ourselves even feel the temptation to pack up and go every now and then. But then we remember that nothing would be the same as we, riding in this land, truly have something authentic to say. Our own voice, in a world of ubiquitous cool and pointless drums!”
David’s passion for the outdoors is folded into his everyday life. He and his entourage live in the wild, in a very small village with just around 50 neighbors and surrounded by wildlife. So the outdoors is just part of his natural environment. An integral ingredient that is sanded, screwed and soldered into his creations. This area is considered a land of hard seas, “agua
ardiente”, green forests, witches, and rain. With their own language, the Galicians are well known for never answering a question straightaway. Galicia is truly a place that suits David’s temperament perfectly. “I just produce what I want for myself. I think Juan doesn’t like this but I couldn’t do it any other way. My clients have to be brave and trust me.” His obsession for motorcycles started very early, and with time has just evolved. Always keeping the durability of his creations in the forefront of his working mind as a responsibility, David’s busy energy finds inspiration everywhere.
“You don’t need to do as you are told if you want to find your real place in the world. A brand must have an authentic reason to exist and then live by it. Otherwise, it will be commoditized and loose its soul.” It doesn’t matter if the resurgence of old school manufacturers and retro brands with their ancient processes are a cry against mass consumerism or just the result of some economic downturn. Either way, El Solitario like the return of the old, the noisy, the unique and they support it.