While driving down to Gardner, Kansas I was thinking about all the questions I wanted to ask Brian Plihal about his custom motorcycle fabrication and painting business; better known as Wiz-Bang Customs. When I arrived, Brian and I did our meet-and-greet, and since he is such an easy person to talk to I decided to set my interview questionnaire aside and just chat.
Brian has been doing paint and body work for over 30 years and got his start in the hot rod fabrication business. Like many entrepreneurs, Brian started off juggling a regular full-time job on top of the body and sheet metal work he loves to do. About 10 years ago he decided to take a chance on the custom motorcycle fabrication industry. Persistence paid off, because three years ago he was able to ditch his regular full-time job, focus on the business at hand, and is considered one of the top custom fabricators and painters in the industry.
Unless you’re new to the local motorcycle scene, I’m sure you’ve been exposed to some of Brian’s handiwork because you can’t go to a local bike show or motorcycle event without running into several custom bikes he has helped create. Brian’s work has also appeared on many of the bikes that have been featured on the cover of our magazine.
When asked what makes his business stand out from the others in this field, Brian said, “Most shops are not able to fabricate new tanks or fenders, so they will have to do this kind of work outside. The painting and artwork may or may not be able to be done in-house, so it also has to be sent out, whereas I do everything right here in my shop.” By being able to do the tear-down, metal fabrication, prep, paint, and put all the newly customized parts back on your motorcycle, Brian is able to keep the cost down and provide excellent customer service.
Over the past several years, Brian has built up a large customer base that trusts him and provides numerous referrals to potential new customers. Brian stands behind his work and is always readily available to take care of light scratches that are easy to buff out. Brian also has approximately $30,000 worth of matched stock sheet metal parts on-hand to eliminate the down-time while revitalizing your parts so you are not without a motorcycle. He also strips each part down to the metal so he can do a better job the first time and give his customers a better quality product than simply painting over the top of someone else’s work. Now how’s that for customer service!
Brian went on to explain how you can create a really great looking bike by simply changing the gas tank, “Frenching-in” a tail light and adding a custom front and rear fender without spending great sums of money. At the time of this interview he had seven motorcycles in his shop getting some type of fabrication work done. He showed me a Dyna on his lift that was receiving a Frenched-in rear tail light and license plate, a stretched gas tank along with several other new components.
So, when it comes to one-stop shopping for all your custom fabrication and painting needs, give Brian a call and come see for yourself why he is a cut above the rest. It’s nice to see someone who focuses on craftsmanship and quality instead of quantity; especially when the end result saves you time and money.
Keep up the awesome work Brian, and we will be watching for more of your latest creations!
By Dave Miller