Multi-Tasking With All Things Custom Motorcycle.

It’s kind of strange. There is a slow down (at least) of our US economy. Motorcycle and parts manufacturers are bitching. Dealers are worried. Custom builders are depressed of not finding clients with budgets as big as their dreams. At the same time my email box is full of press releases for new shows and exhibitions, for new awesome custom parts and from fellow builders sharing with me via pictures what they are working on. Just an apparent contradiction. If overall volume of motorcycle business has shrunk during the last 2 years, the best of the best are still extremely busy imagining, designing, fabricating and assembling. When I see my computer screen full of so many memos/emails/pictures open at the same time (did you say multi-tasking?) it makes me feel very, very good. The motorcycle industry is ok, alive and still very creative. What has changed is that business is now concentrated where it belongs, with the true professionals of our industry. Time to go. Between 2 posts I have to meet with a client to take care of his gorgeous 1939 Harley Knuckle. Cool


9 Responses to “Multi-Tasking With All Things Custom Motorcycle.”

  1. 1 Mosher May 8th, 2008 at 8:50 am

    “What has changed is that business is now concentrated where it belongs, with the true professionals of our industry”.

    So true Cyril.

  2. 2 Mike May 8th, 2008 at 9:20 am

    I agree completely. They industry is thinning out and that will help in the long run. Many companies are finding out you can’t become rich by simply getting a Drag catalog and bolting stuff together. If you are going to make it, you need a little vision and actual ability to craft something people want. Those of us who are still around and reaching goal every quarter are doing it by making new exciting products people can justify spending money on.

  3. 3 Christopher May 8th, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Agreed. There was too many “tourists” and “opportunists” in the motorcycle industry. Let’s go back to the basics. Like in any business, vision, hard work, creativity, honesty are keys to success. To play the hardcore/swearing builder doesn’t work for a long time if you don’t have the qualities needed to deserve and keep clients. Cyril, do you really have so many memos on your computer screen? You gimme a headache..

  4. 4 Steve Johnson May 8th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    It’s not just that the industry is changing, but the demographics are changing too. We’re moving out of the “age of the enthusiast”, over to the “age of the commuter”.

  5. 5 hoyt May 8th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    The brew pub saturated market and resulting slowdown ended up with better brew pubs and micro breweries today.

    There should be better parts, bikes, and…..better clientele once the custom bike industry rights itself.

  6. 6 Cj Hanlon Guilty Customs May 8th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Cyril, you’ve explained exactly what’s going on here at Guilty Customs. With 5 builds going on, two rollers to get going along with 3 new custom parts to finish up on, i have more than enough work to keep us busy for quite awhile. And to be honest i like the “thinning out”…of the market that is…not my hair! C’ya,

  7. 7 Kiwi Mike Tomas May 9th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    The motorcycle industry fundamentals are still alive and well. For us folks that are dedicated to motorcycles we will always florish. I’ve been thru 3 slowdown but in each case my business accelerated during those times. Most of us are survivors and we believe in what we do. I look around at companies and legends like Malcolm Smith (just down the raod) who is expanding his business. In down times we sow seeds to sprout when things warm up. Nothing has changed and the American dream is still alive and well.

  8. 8 Rodent May 9th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    The real hands on builders will survive, building, fixing, modifiying motorcycles like they always have in the past..The johnny come latelys, builders in name only will fall by the wayside…Good ridance

  9. 9 B'COOL Products May 12th, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    As a fender manufacturer, which Cyril has been so generous to promote in this blog, we have seen a slow down in sales for some of our products and an increase for others. The drop in the US market and the parity of the Candian dollar has taken it’s toll on our bottom line but it has also been somehat offset by a rise in sales for our Canadian market. We are fortunate to be able to serve both markets efficiently being located along the Canada/US border. Being diverse in our offerings and frugle with the budget has allowed us to keep afloat and press on regardless of the economy.
    The downturn in sales has allowed us to get busy with all of the stuff we can’t normally do, so, we began reinvesting in new tooling and reworking current tooling to improve our products further. That is what we are up to in these trying/opportune times. We will be offering a new fender, for the 24 and 26 inch front wheels and tires now available, in the next week or two. The tooling is fresh out of the machine shop and slated for the spinning machine later this week.
    You may be asking why we would invest in this area, but the truth be told, our customers have been asking for it. Yes, asking for it!
    It is a strange time right now. I can’t quite figure it out but I believe that quality, service and product availability will be paramount to surviving going forward which is why Cyril’s comment’s “The motorcycle industry is ok, alive and still very creative.What has changed is that business is now concentrated where it belongs, with the true professionals of our industry. ” are so true. It’s no wonder that Guilty Customs and others I have talked have shops full of work.

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