Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines?

We are bike builders, co-authors and childhood friends - known as KoolKat and Radical Brad on the AZ Builders Forum - located in Ontario, Canada.

Brad Graham has been building his own custom bikes for over 25 years. We launched Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines over 10 years ago to showcase some of his creations, and it has grown ever since. We (Kat and Brad) design and publish DIY plans.  

Kat and Brad, circa 1970
The AtomicZombie site also has an extensive Builders Gallery and international Builders Forum
Our DIY plans detail every aspect of the building process using easy-to-follow instructions, high resolution pictures and diagrams. Even if this is your first attempt at building a bike, you will be able to follow our plans, as no previous expertise is assumed. Real photos of the project and detailed diagrams are used instead of complex drawings, so you will not have to guess when critical measurements are required.

You will only need a minimal set of common hardware store tools to build any of our plans such as a welder, angle grinder and hand drill. To ensure that anyone can follow our plans, all welding was done with a basic AC stick welder, and the only other power tools used are an angle grinder and hand held drill. Although some of the trikes require a small threaded part to be machined, drawings are given and the costs are normally very minimal at most machine shops.

No difficult-to-find or non-standard bicycle parts are used in Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines plans, so you can acquire parts at most bicycle shops, thrift stores, or even scrap yards. Our plans allow a great deal of modification as well, so you can adapt your project to the parts you have available, or easily add your own modifications to suit your individual needs and style.

Most of the amazing bikes and trikes shown in our gallery were built by those who never considered taking apart a bicycle or turning on a welder. With a little patience and a few days of practice, you can learn to weld steel and turn scrap metal into a work of art. 

Our Builders Forum is a great place for new builders to share ideas and seek help when first starting into this great hobby. Membership is free, so join us! 

The Builders Forum represents an international community of creative people who enjoy building their own cool stuff! Our forum is family safe, meaning that we keep it clean and free from flaming, offensive language and trolling. 

If you want to talk about the things you are building and meet others who share your desires to create, then please drop by and join the discussions! We also encourage experienced builders who have completed projects based on Atomic Zombie plans to help other novice builders, so feel free to share your advice, tips and tricks with the community.

Meet the AZ creators

Radical Brad
In 2003, Brad Graham, inventor, bicycle creator and author received a Guinness World Record for the World’s Tallest Rideable Bicycle, a new category. It was a dream for Brad, who has always wanted to be in the World Record book.

On July 1 at 1:04 p.m. (ET), Brad launched his first successful ride on his 14-foot, 3-inch high SkyCycle bicycle around the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium parking lot to cheers and applause by family, friends and bystanders. Brad is known internationally for his Atomiczombie.com web site, which inspired the 2003 Atomic Zombie’s Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza book.


Kathy McGowan is also a bicycle enthusiast, co-author of Atomic Zombie’s Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza, and proud owner of several custom built recumbent bikes.

Additionally, Kathy coordinates the logistics and marketing aspects of many bicycle, robotics, computer and publishing projects, manages the daily operations of the couple’s multimedia adventures, including Atomic Zombie, and co-ordinates various marketing and communications initiatives.

Check out thousands of custom bikes in the Atomic Zombie gallery, and be sure to send us a picture of your completed homebuilt recumbent, chopper, tandem, trike, ebike, tallbike, trailer, etc., to add you to our growing AZ Krew community of bike builders. Cheers, friends.