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customization they are getting with the price level

they are willing to pay!

“Club Black #02” custom motorcycle by the

WrenchmonkeesFull Size

Yeh: Don’t consider the customer’s opinion to be the

top priority over your own style—building a bike for

a customer without your own style and taste is only

making quick money and not helping you as a

builder, or your brand, grow. Most of the time you’ll

end up hating the bike, and the customer might not

be happy either.

Hageman: Oh man,

too many lessons to

list. All I can say is:

once you find good,

reliable vendors,

treat them right and

be loyal. If you

actually come across

a kick-ass painter,

powder coater or


remember there are

too many out there

that aren’t so “kick-

ass.” I’ve flushed a

lot of money down

the toilet getting

things redone, over

and over to get them right.

Stulberg: Picking the wrong people to work with has

always been the most expensive thing for me—I try

to surround myself with people that I want to

emulate for the right reasons. In my experience, I

can’t lose if I trust people that have earned collective

respect in true and genuine ways rather than those

that simply appear to be so from afar, or dare I say

‘on the internet’. If they don’t stand on their own as

someone genuinely and consistently impressive in

their own right, then they aren’t likely going become

amazing at anything with or without your influence.

Also, if you’re looking for something crazy simple or

mechanical, then I’d say that communicating

DIRECTLY what you want or feel about something is

the ONLY way to live. I’ve learned time and time

again that the more vague I am, the more

opportunity and money I lose and the more

disappointed I stand to be.

Custom Ducati SportClassic motorcycle by Revival

CyclesFull Size

Rogers: In the early days we had more knocks than

Rocky Balboa! In any business you come across

unscrupulous people but you gave to pick up the

pieces and move on. We don’t work on older bikes so

much any more, but one thing I always strongly

recommend is an engine rebuild, particularly on a

newly owned bike, especially if it has just had a

restoration by an enthusiastic amateur!

Pollock: Don’t be in a hurry when designing or

drawing a blueprint. Getting 20 hubs made that are

slightly off, or triple clamps, or a frame design, or

anything where you get a large quantity of parts

made, and when you

get deeper in you find

the mistake—that’s

costly. For 15-18

years or so I was

doing one-offs, so it

didn’t matter as

much—mistakes are

gonna happen, right?

Multiply it times 20 or

50 and you’ll be

stayin’ awake at night,

but you have to come

up with a work-

around and keep

moving forward.

If you had to

customize a brand

new (2014/2015 spec) motorcycle—what would you

pick, and what would you do with it?

Yeh: Rough Crafts is all about late model Harleys at

this point, so this is easy, and I’m doing it right now:

a 2014 Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob. But a BMW

R NineT build sounds fun too. For the Dyna I’m

running all the trick performance suspension and

brake packages, blending them with a ‘special ops’

edgy look, while still keeping the Rough Crafts style


Pollock: The less complex a bike is, the more fun it is

to start modifying. So many bikes you see new

builders start out with are 70’s air-cooled singles,

twins or in-line fours—they are simple mechanically

and you can get your head around them while

making huge upgrades or improvements. I still think

that way. Though I would like to do the new Yamaha

FZ7 or the FZ9, and I think many of the current

sport-bikes could look really good as well if you

remove all the plastic and get back to motorcycle

basics. That’s why I like street trackers: no B.S. to

muddy up the waters.