Zanik Design Wants…To Design Your Custom Bike.

‘My name is Tim Turbett, President & Creative Director of Zanik Design – Kustom Motorcycle Konsulting and long-time motorcycle enthusiast. I feel I have created a very unique service that your readers would love to learn more about. Zanik Design is an exciting new and unique motorcycle design service based in the Chicago area. We have launched a new personalized design service I call “Kustom Motorcycle Konsulting”. I am not a direct builder or parts supplier, which means Kustom Motorcycle Konsulting is a unique client-interactive process which allows us to take advantage of the full marketplace of options when creating a design with the look, feel and style our customers are envisioning. Our process is similar to that of an architect. We start with a design consultation to explore our customer’s vision and budget without being constrained to pushing him in any particular direction. Then we tap into our substantial database of parts suppliers, painters, and builders to create a build plan including multiple concepts for design direction, a detailed list of component parts, and recommendations regarding qualified resources to implement the plan. We also act as the “General Contractor” with a lot of our clients to make sure the project gets done…perfect, on time, and on budget! Any make. Any Model. Zanik Design.

23 Responses to “Zanik Design Wants…To Design Your Custom Bike.”

  1. 1 35 YEAR BUILDER Apr 27th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Interesting concept ……..But haveing said that …Is’nt everything you offer already available as part of the bike building experience provided by the builder ? A reputable builder will do everything outlined in your concept. I personally don’t get it , aside from the reasoning that you might act as an advocate between the owner of the bike being built and the builder , but it would seem to me that in an effort to establish a professional relationship and report with one another, it would be in the buyers best interest to do so on a one on one basis with his Builder. I don’t believe that prospective buyers of hand built bikes need to pay a “consultant” to convey their dreams into reality. My suggestion to individuals wanting to build a ground up custom would be to check out the builders yourself , meet with them and get a feel for them , discuss your ideas and options , and know who your dealing with firsthand .A reputable , knowlegable , honest and talented builder will satisfy your expectations and then some.No established custom bike builder will compromise his or her reputation and their respect for their craft for the sake of the almighty dollar. As a matter of fact, most honest builders leave many hours of labour and extra dollars on the table in order to meet their comitment to their customer in terms of hours and time spent on a detailed build .
    Custom bikes are an expensive endeavor for most individuals , and paying a ” consultant” to do the job that should have been done by the “Builder” in the first place seems rather redundant….. But thats just my opinion.

  2. 2 jspfc Apr 27th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head 35 Year Builder. It seems all you are doing is paying these guys about $5000.00 for their full service instead of using that money on the bike..

  3. 3 Will Apr 27th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Tim Burnett. You Zanik company concept makes no sense. A reputable builder provides the services you want to offer. No reputable builder will ever acceot to work with you. What make you think that you are better at designing than a reputable builder. What kind of client can think that you know more than a good builder. What kind of client will want you as a middle man taking extra money. For what? Ridiculous business idea.

  4. 4 Charlie Apr 27th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Tim. What is your experience at designing and building a bike. I guess none or you would be in business designing and building bikes.

  5. 5 Dan Apr 27th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Custom builders will never work with you, even if you bring the client.

  6. 6 Wheelee Apr 27th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    So, you are saying to custom builders that they don’t know part of their job? So, you are going to do it and get paid instead of them? Good luck with your venture!

  7. 7 Dave B. Apr 27th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    This concept seems to be aimed at prospective customers that don’t know any reputable builders, or don’t want to be seen with us biker scum to get thier custom bike built. I am no different than most builders out there, I know where to get parts, frames, paint, etc., and if I recommend a brand it’s because I know it will perform well and look sharp. This notion just seems a bit insulting to me, in fact, so insulting don’t ever refer one of your customers to me at all, EVER.

  8. 8 Fausto Simoes Apr 27th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    What’s next- a consultant to help me choose which underwear I should wear today-give me a break!

    Why the hell do you think they are called “Custom Builders” ?????

    Fausto Simoes

  9. 9 Nicker Apr 28th, 2008 at 1:46 am

    An analogous proposition was was floated by some large manufacturers (Bendix corp….etc) who intended to bully small machine shops into doing their “dirty work” (wast-mgt, labor mgt., tooling-maint…. etc.).

    The initiative was called “New Factory America”
    The Small Manufacturers Association (and reality) put an end to that stupidity.
    If ya want more detail just holler.

    Do you guys really think the market can support a “middle-man”…….?


  10. 10 Troy Apr 28th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I’m not sure the market can support custom builders right now, let alone a middle-man. I’ve turned down jobs that I knew were going to get someone hurt, do consultants have this kind of insite? I’m not saying the people don’t know what’s good for them, just that not everybody who buys a custom knows the capabilites of a 150 h.p. chopper. I think that as you all have said, find a good builder, ride his motorcycle, work with him and let the middle-man find another job.

  11. 11 STROKERZ Apr 28th, 2008 at 10:13 am


  12. 12 madpuppy Apr 28th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    WOW, you mean I don’t have to go to Motorcycle shows and Events anymore ? Or read and look at any Custom mags. or parts books ? Or talk with the Builders or crew anymore? Or check out the other Bikes on a run? WOW what a freaking deal ! All I have to do is sit back, and pay you to do all the things I used to Love to do ! What a Concept ! LMFAO

  13. 13 Roy Paterson Apr 28th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Custom builders who deserve this name are also very good designers. They don’t need Zanik design. Worst ever motorcycle business idea. Good luck.

  14. 14 Tim Hanlon Apr 28th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Support your local chop shop!

  15. 15 Evo Apr 28th, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I tired to figure out how to comment on this idea…. all I can say is

  16. 16 A 1 CYCLES Apr 28th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    next time you have to drive 25 miles for plugs, or pay a harley stealership to change your tire thank zanik design for taking another percentage of the slim margin built into my profit. support your local shop and pay a little now or be prepared to pay a lot later

  17. 17 Doc Robinson Apr 28th, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Dumbass idea. Methinks Cyril only ran it to stir the pot . . .

  18. 18 Mr. Motorcycle Apr 28th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Probably as usefull as Jason Pool at OCC for design.

  19. 19 hoyt Apr 29th, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Tim –

    There are other ways to pursue Motorcycle Design. Have you heard of MDA? check it out at:

    The designers within that Association are focused on numerous & varied aspects of motorcycle design. I don’t think many of them would position themselves as a “General Contractor” in the same manner as you suggest.

    Roland Sands is a member as well as Brian Case. You will also note some very famous designers within the roster such as Massimo Tamburini.

    The ultimate gratification of one-off custom motorcycles would be to roll down the road on something you built yourself. If you don’t have the time or skills to do that, then the next closest thing is to personally talk with a builder and make the ideas in one’s own head come to life through the builder’s expertise…..adding someone in between the customer and the builder (for a one-off bike) punts the experience further away for the customer.

  20. 20 Nicker Apr 29th, 2008 at 3:32 pm


    That ‘s an interesting site, thanks for the link.
    Talk about a reality check on the state of global MC design…. Cool!
    Man the Ian Drysdale motor is the most drop-dead gorgeous V-twin i’ve ever seen!!!!

    “…The ultimate gratification of one-off custom motorcycles would be to roll down the road on something you built yourself….”

    Well, i’m think-n the “gratification” was in the building, the ride simply validated that process.

    So, ” If you don’t have the time or skills to do that”…. What’s the point?
    Wouldn’t Golf be cheaper?………. 🙂


  21. 21 hoyt May 1st, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Nicker says, “So, ‘If you don’t have the time or skills to do that’…. What’s the point? ”

    Now if everyone who couldn’t build something solid were to throw in the towel, all of these builders wouldn’t have much business.

    Ian Drysdale is impressive. Did you check out his MotoGP V8 engine?

    The southern hemisphere has great moto minds. Ian Drysdale, John Britten, Burt Munro. Small businesses make the world go around.

  22. 22 Nicker May 4th, 2008 at 2:01 am


    “… southern hemisphere has great moto minds…”

    Check out the concept Holden in the Feb-07 Hot Rod.
    It makes Zztops’ Cadzilla look like a go-cart.

    “… if everyone who couldn’t build something solid were to throw in the towel, all of these builders wouldn’t have much business….”

    Sure, i understand that from a builder’s business perspective my view is blasphemy.
    But then, i’m not a business man, i’m just a garage builder.

    Ya gotta remember, i look at custom scooters from an early 60’s perspective.
    In those days the expectation was that you had built the scooter you were riding.
    In fact, someone who wanted to know if a bike was yours would point to it and ask “…is that you…?”
    So, in the tradition of the era: if you “thew in the towel” you weren’t a biker and “everyone who couldn’t” … shouldn’t.

    To be blunt, (the way i see it, anyway) if you ride in on a custom that you didn’t build, what possible contribution do you “bring to the camp fire”….?

    I’ve always found people who design and build scooter to be interesting. To me, those who buy custom scooters are about the same as those who buy a “Honda”. And although (as the TV commercial used to say) “…You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda…” ….. Since i don’t sell Hondas, to me (although nice) they simply aren’t very interesting….. at all.

    And yes, i’ll concede that’s not an egalitarian perspective.
    But then i’ve never pretended to be enamored of the contemporary custom scooter scene, i simply see it as today’s reality.

    To be sure, many of the builders are very talented, interesting people and they put out nice products. But let’s face it, their customers, in general aren’t very interesting.

    I’m up font about my perspective, i am who i am, and i make no excuses.
    Life ain’t a popularity contest …… 🙂


  23. 23 Zanik Design May 14th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    …wow, how quick these blogs go off in the wrong directions!

    Sorry, this blog positioned us totally wrong! Please go to our website to understand a bit more what we do. it is not for building custom bikes….most of or work is helping people customize there existing bikes. We are not building because we do not want to be lock into a bike manufacture or style….and we are not a builder or parts supplier so we do not mark up all the parts so you pay more!

    For example, we had a client who had a Road King, and wanted something different and was looking at a chopper…he figured he would lose almost all the money he spent in mods and then have to come up with even more to get a new bike… so we used the additional money he would have spent to get the new one as a budget to customize his. We gave him 5 design themes (hate that word now, thanks OCC), and then managed the production.

    By all means, if you find a builder and like his style and have the funds, go for it….then you are not are target and we would be a waist. We help people who have a bike (or want to start with a used one) and help them make it a one of a kind. If you have a chuck of money to have a custom built by a builder, than we add no benefit!

    Thanks for all the input here because it is obvious I need to make sure it is very clear what we do and how we are positioned by others. And, again before slamming something please make sure you understand it. Nothing is perfect for everyone, but the people we have worked with feel it was very help and ended up save them tons of time and money…not adding $5000 like some posted!

    We are very passionate about what we do and take great pride in helping others get the perfect bike….think of it this way…if you got money to go to a builder to start from scratch, they will help you through it…if you have a bike, but want to take it to the next level and do not know were to start, then we help with that! We can design the concept, and then stage it based on budget, and then we have spent years finding the best people to do the work so people don’t have to find out the hard way. We have clients that take our plans, budgets, and recommended parts and service suppliers and go and do it themselves, and that is perfectly fine, but they have it all figured out.

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Cyril Huze