2009 Yamaha V-star 650 – photo by Daniel Bergeron Photography
Cynthia Ibarra’s Yamaha V-star may still have all its stock parts, but there is nothing stock about its unique glittery sparkle custom paint job. She put her AA in graphic arts to good use when she came up with the concept of her “tribute bike.” Every inch of her custom painted motorcycle has a special meaning to her. Sprinkled with just the right amount of girly glitz, this custom bike also comes with a sassy, bad ass attitude.
An Anxious Start Turns Into A Love Of Riding
Cynthia’s first experience on a motorcycle was not a pleasant one, even though she was with her husband. She explains that she was a bundle of nerves and very stressed out because she wasn’t the one in control. When she and her husband attended motorcycle shows they went separately, she drove her car and he went on his bike.
The more shows she went to, the more she noticed how many women had their own motorcycles. This sparked her desire to ride. So one day, Cynthia declared to her husband that if he wanted to continue going to motorcycle shows he should buy her a motorcycle of her own. To her surprise, he bought the Yamaha V-star and started teaching her how to ride.
“I love riding. It clears my head and it feels kind of like you are flying and in your own little world. It’s just me and my bike. No kids in the back seat or hubby asking if you know where you are going.”
Mad Maxx Garage
For 11 years Cynthia’s been married to her childhood sweetheart Jesus, and together they have three daughters. While taking care of their daughters is a full time job in itself, this busy mom also helps out at his shop, Mad Maxxx Garage in La Puente, California.
The name of the garage, Mad Maxxx, was dubbed by a friend. The shop got its start in 2017 when friends started bringing in motorcycles that were in desperate need of repair. Jesus managed to piece together the broken parts and got the bikes back on the road. “Kind of like the cars in the Mad Max movies,” Cynthia says.
Having painted cars since he was 19, Jesus easily made the transition into custom painting motorcycles when a friend asked him to paint his bike. At first he only painted solid colors but it wasn’t long before he challenged himself with more intricate designs. His business has flourished, and since then, Cynthia has stepped in to become an integral part of Mad Maxxx Garage.
Her imaginative stencil designs add to the impressive hand painted motorcycle designs that Jesus creates. Some of Cynthia’s duties include keeping the garage running smoothly and giving encouragement to her husband when he needs it. Her dedication to the shop has earned her the nickname “Boss Lady.” Cynthia laughs about this and remarks that she thinks it’s just a nice way of saying she is bossy. She also puts her photography skills to use updating the shop’s Facebook page at @madmgarage.
From Basic Black To a Sparkling Tribute Bike
While creating custom motorcycle designs for customers at the shop, Cynthia was inspired to turn her own ride into a one-of-a-kind “tribute bike.” Most of the motorcycle stencil designs she worked on were for men. It was time to create a feminine, yet bad ass looking motorcycle design for herself. Not only did she want to gain more attention for the women’s bike circuit, she wanted to enter her motorcycle in the shows she attended with her husband.
Cynthia’s vision was to have the motorcycle look like shining diamonds. To get this glittery sparkle they started off with a Silver Bullet metal flake from Painthuffer then added Sandbar, the fine gold metal flake from Tropical Glitz.
Violet and Teal Kandy paint was added over it. Teal to honor her late Mother and her personal favorite, Violet.
Cynthia created the stencil for the two humming birds and positioned it to wrap around her family’s initials on the top of the tank. She chose the humming birds because they flap their wings a mile a minute and never quit.
Her stenciled diamonds on the tank were to play off of the diamond design on her husband’s bike. Only she wanted them to have a more defined feminine touch. “Kind of a his and hers thing.” Cynthia’s Yamaha V-star and her husband’s Yamaha Bolt are each unique and “shine like diamonds in the rough,” especially when parked amongst Harleys and sport bikes.
The headlight sports a crown. After all she is the “Boss Lady.”
Wrapped in Lace
The back and front fender incorporates a lace pattern. Along with her husband’s freehand design this adds a touch of femininity.
Every inch of this beauty sparkles with a glittery shine.
Cynthia created the butterfly stencil in memory of her best friend Linda. They had planned on riding together but unfortunately Linda lost her battle with cancer. Cynthia named her bike “Linda” as a tribute.
“In a way she is there riding with me like she said we would.”
Women’s Motorcycle Show
Cynthia and Jesus first showed off the custom painted motorcycle to their daughters. As it glittered and shimmered under the lights her 6-year old whispered, “Wow Mama, your bike is so much better than Daddy’s.” Her other two daughters agreed.
Cynthia premiered her sparkling Yamaha V-star at the Women’s Motorcycle Show in January 2019. Onlookers delighted at her spectacular stunning creation. One person exclaimed, “It was girly and fun, but still looked bad ass.”
Creativity Spills Over to Custom Designed Shirts
It was Cynthia’s sister-in-law who first talked her into making custom shirts for a road trip she was going on. With encouragement from her husband, Cynthia used her stencil cutting machine she uses for motorcycle designs and gave it a try. At first she used heat vinyl transfer paper and a household iron. Seeing how well the shirts turned out, her husband bought her a proper heat press. Now Cynthia makes custom shirts for her girls and the Mad Maxxx Garage.
“I hope to turn this into a business someday.”
The Boss Lady’s Favorite Accessory
Hands down—or should we say feet—Cynthia enthusiastically says that her motorcycle boots are her favorite piece of gear. Knowing that boots provide great protection, Cynthia keeps an eye out for more to add to her growing collection.
“I have my eyes on the glittery Dr. Martens that just came out.”
Connect with Cynthia
On Facebook at @cynthia.ibarra.75 or her Mad Maxxx Garage page @madmgarage.
Do you have a bling’d out bike? Are you fashionably styling while you ride? Then check out How to get featured as a Biker Girl Bling’n It.