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Posts Tagged ‘C.F.L.’

Renegade Wheels Owner - Chuck Frederick

He joins an elite club of A-listers who love to flaunt their fabulous machines and high quality wares.

I’m talking about Chuck Frederick, owner of Renegade Wheels.

I was recently contacted by the co-founder of MaleStandard.com, a men’s lifestyle source of information on grooming, dating and other esoteric items that men care about, in regards to an exclusive article about the man behind Renegade Wheels.

It turns out that Renegade Wheels developed a customer set of wheels for Paul Jr. (of OCC fame) Designs of American Chopper and this article covers the story behind the business as well as the new relationship with Paul Jr.

Here is an excerpt:

Q: Circling back around, it’s hard to deny the excitement that is exuding out of you after your trip to Sturgis to showcase your wheels on Paul Jr.’s bike. How did that collaboration come to light?
A: It was a surprise. The collaboration wasn’t something that was pre-planned. Paul Jr. had intended on making his own wheels however he was in a real time crunch and knew he likely would miss his deadline without Renegade’s assistance, so he had Vinnie give us a call. It turned out the timing was great for us and we could get right on them.

Q: Was the custom design specific to just that bike?
A: Yes. Most of Paul Jr.’s bikes are theme or corporate and get very unique one-off wheels.

It’s well written and a good read so check it out HERE.

Full Disclosure:  I purchased (blog post HERE) a set of Renegade Wheels last year, but have no affiliation with the company.

Photo courtesy of Renegade Wheels.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Honda Fury

Honda Fury

No, I’m not talking about the newly released DiCaprio and Winslet movie, but about Honda’s plans to enter the “chopper” motorcycle segment.  At the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York City, which ended yesterday Honda announced their plans with a model called the ‘Fury’.

Rumors have circulated since last summer, but Honda’s NYC announcement of the radically styled custom motorcycle were put to rest as they debut the 2010 model.  The corporate press release on the motorcycle is HERE.  Honda even released the 2010 Fury Development Story HERE.  Exact timing to dealer show rooms or availability was not mentioned in the corporate information, but many believe it will make the channel by end of year.

Choppers have been a part of the motorcycling scene for decades, but for large part they’ve occupied a niche on the edge of the sport. Honda intends to change that, but I’m not sure “reduction” of the motorcycle to its most pure form using some of the latest production technology qualifies as a chopper?!

fury_patentThe Fury’s complete patent filing (click “images” at bottom) high light some the original design concepts.  On the technical details – there is a large gap in the frame above the VTX fuel-injected 1312cc liquid-cooled 52° V-twin, a raked-out front (caster angle: 38.0°) fork and the tiny (3.4 gallons) fuel tank. It sports a single-shock rear suspension, an aluminum swing-arm, a 5-speed transmission with shaft drive and a shot-gun style exhaust.  It has a low seat height, a single 336mm-diameter front disc (ABS version will be available), a 200/50-18 rear tire and 21″ front wheel.  The dry weight is 663 pounds.

These days guerilla-style marketing campaigns are all the rage.  And not one to disappoint, Honda created a viral marketers dream come true for the launch of the ‘Fury’.   Full on in your face Web 2.0 style social media/networking for Honda fan boyz is available at: Facebook; Youtube; Flickr; MySpace; Twitter.  The only thing the marketing guys missed was a pre-launch count-down widget to load up your PC with a bunch of Adware!

Do you believe that during this economic downturn that buying Honda is being anti-American?  Do you think this is revolutionary for Honda or is it the right idea at the wrong time?  Maybe it’s a situation where after you research all similar motorcycles you’ll determine its well engineered, at a bargain price and designed to get better fuel mileage with a minimal repair record?  And one you’ll purchase…

If nothing else kudos to Honda for sparking the is it “custom/chopper vs. production” motorcycle debate.

Photos courtesy of Honda and U.S. Patent Office.

All Rights Reserved (c) Northwest Harley Blog

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Jeff Cockran

Jeff Cockran

You know Jesse James as a custom bike builder (WCC), publisher (Payupsucker Publications), television host (Monster Garage), Hollywood celebrity (wife Sandra Bullock), car builder, welder and restaurateur (Cisco Burger), but did you know he’s got some serious “behind-the-scenes” legal trouble?

Contrary to popular opinion I’m not a big Jesse fan even though he did visit the U.S. Troops in Iraq before Obama!  Clearly he has talent and has built some interesting bikes.  However, his chumminess with the Hollywood elite while casting himself off as an everyday bloke working for the blue collar common man as a “glorified welder” is an insightful commentary and somewhat disingenuous as the bad boy C.F.L. industry personality.  These days the whole biker experience (as “media darlings“) has become gimmicky and any day I expect to see a “Chopper Deal or No Deal” game show on TV.

Having had my share of legal issues in this litigation-base society I’m not judging Jesse because I think he’s done a lot for the industry, but it does look like a negative trend or downward spiral…he’s being sued for breach of contract by Keats McFarland & Wilson LLP — his former lawyer for more than $327K in unpaid fees.  And he’s being sued for breach of contract by Michael B. Jones for more than $422K in the failure to deliver a custom 1949 Cadillac. Last year Jesse was in another law suit with the Sheet Metal Workers Union over a trademark infringement when he co-opted their image on popular WCC calendars that were sold in Wal-Mart.  And capping off a year plus of legal fun he was fined $275K by CARB for selling motorcycles with engines not approved by the state.

Sucker Punch Sallys

Sucker Punch Sallys

All of this is adding up to some serious coin and has to be cutting into the Monster Garage residuals!  Most important is the question of “Where is the chopper industry going?” 

We witnessed the sponsorship implosion from Billy Lane’s accident.  Is Jesse on the same collision course?  We have OCC and the Teutels, but they’ve become wealthy growing into grander and more upscale shops while doing corporate built-off’s.  Not to get personal, but even Paul Sr. looks to be sitting around the lounger too much because either his bicep tat’s are starting to droop or Hi-Def TV is not kind to body builders?

What we need is another Indian Larry personality.  Another larger than life ambassador for the industry to make an entrance onto the TV scene and become an inspiration.  Is Jeff Cockran of Sucker Punch Sallys our next ambassador?  I think he’s one to watch…

What do you think?  Is it the slowdown of the economy, or the fad of TV choppers wearing thin, or did the greed of the custom builders over charging customers simply cause the market to crash?

UPDATE: November 12, 2008 – More legal issues with Mr. James and WCC who are being sued by Fortune Fashions over a clothing line which was to be sold thru Wal-Mart.   Jesse pulled the deal, hired a key employee and then decided to sell direct to Wal-Mart anyway.  Legal docs HERE.

Photo’s courtesy of SMWIA and SPS web sites.

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