The Lowside: Custom Knives And Hooligan Racing

Inside the world of hooligan racer, knife maker, and engineer Chris Wiggins.

Chris Wiggins
Chris Wiggins with his trusty racebike, a decade-old H-D Sportster with more modifications than you can count on both fingers and toes.Bert Beltran

Chris Wiggins must never sleep. He helped kick off hooligan flat track a handful of years ago and his race life has gotten faster and more crowded as more riders, sponsors, and pros became interested, resulting in the racing spectacle we now enjoy. He has worked for Vance & Hines exhaust and Saddlemen seats, and is now an engineer and machinist for an aerospace company outside of Los Angeles. And if all of this didn’t keep him at full throttle, at the end of a long day, he heads to the knife shop he built up in his garage at home where he runs his own brand of custom cutlery: Field Initiative Knives. It takes a lot to keep up with Chris, but in this episode of The Lowside, Morgan Gales gives it a try.

Follow along as Morgan visits Chris at work to get an idea of how his engineering and machining experience benefits him as a rider and racer, getting to make one-off and custom parts for his bikes. Then they head to Chris’ house to see where he really gets his hands dirty, trading in the engineering programs for hand-build tools and rugged machines, grinding metal to make tools that are both good looking and functional. Finally, Morgan and Wiggins take Chris’ racebike out to a private oval where Chris spins a few laps to show Morgan how it’s done before throwing him on the bike and coaching him on his first flat-track laps ever.

If you liked this episode, be sure to check out more of Morgan’s adventures through motorcycle culture as he gives you an exclusive look at motorcycle events and personalities all over the US in more episodes of The Lowside.