Samson Lang works hard, and he loves it.
Coming from a multi-generational clan of welders, fabricators and technicians, he no doubt raised some eyebrows when he donned a shirt and tie and marched off to climb the corporate ladder. Fortunately for Samson, his family, and many motorcycle owners around Greater Vancouver, while he worked hard and did well in marketing, product development and PR, it wasn’t to last. Since turning back to his first love, owner of Rising Sun motorcycles has happily – and fastidiously – applied his Germanic work ethic to the building of his shop, and it’s paying off for everyone involved.
Launched in 2010, Rising Sun has built a significant following, but the goal isn’t necessarily to grow outside of Vancouver, or to become some glitzy purveyor of the latest superbikes. This is a homegrown, down to earth, get-yer-hands-dirty type of place where work gets done right, with passion and pleasure. Samson takes in trained and untrained mechanics; in his words, “a lifelong motorcycle mechanic has a worshipful skill set, but those guys are rare, and we value mentorship and apprenticeship if the passion is there for an up-and-coming tech.” Along with developing great mechanics, the goal is to educate and create self-reliant motorcyclists. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll never see him at the market again; but teach a man to fix his motorcycle, and he’ll return time and again for parts, advice, and work he doesn’t want to do himself.
The shop itself is full service. From basic periodical maintenance, service and repair (their main focus) to full scale custom builds (about 30% of their business), everyone can be helped – one of his six full time staff will even travel and meet you to perform an on-site inspection of a potential purchase. Bike-wise, there are some true gems hiding in the back, some belonging to customers, some to the mechanics as “someday” projects. Samson used to race Japanese speed machines (maybe the shop name tipped you off to that), but also loves the no-BS vibe of American iron. He’s not sure how many bikes he owns currently, and it was legitimately difficult for him to pinpoint a favourite if he had to choose one. But every rider harbours a dream ride, and for Samson Lang it’s a full rigid with a springer fork, built bespoke from the ground up.
Above all, Samson’s interest resides in the human aspect: running a healthy environment for his staff and clientele; showing his young children that hard work and being your own boss can be fun and rewarding; and taking a reverent approach to learning all that he can from Vancouver’s long term moto-men.
Samson is a proud business owner, an even prouder father, and a walking encyclopedia when it comes to motorcycle service. He runs a tight ship and will welcome you through the door with open, heavily tattooed arms, no matter if you’re on a Vespa, a Vincent, or a V-Rod. Rising Sun Motorcycles – a good place to visit, learn and support.
East Vancouver Shop:
1126 Franklin Street
Mon – Sat: 9am-5pm