Business Reviews

Temptress Choppers – Looking Good and Going Fast is Their Business!

Written by  October 31, 2003

When you think of custom motorcycles, many of us flash back to the latest episode of American Chopper or one of the numerous Bike Build-off specials we've seen on the Discovery Channel. Names like Jesse James, Billy Lane and Indian Larry come to mind, however, there are two other names floating around the custom motorcycle arena, and they are “Nick Kasik,” founder of Temptress Choppers and “Mike Hudson” founder of Heartland Fabrication and Machine in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

The first time I met Nick was at a bike night at Russo’s Pizza & Pub in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Nick and his wife Niki, were there to sponsor a wet T-shirt contest and had donated leather chaps, vests, and a jacket for the contest. After talking with Nick for just a few moments, and hearing the excitement in his voice as he showed me his custom Harley-Davidson FXR, which contained several custom parts they produce, I knew I had to find out more about this guy and see more of his work. The next day, I contacted Nick and he was excited to have me drop by so he could “Show me some really cool sh*t” as he put it. He was right! They are doing some very cool and amazing sh*t there in Lee’s Summit!

When I arrived at Temptress Choppers, Nick greeted me at the door and gave me a tour of their new 12,000 square foot facility which houses state of the art computerized equipment. During the tour, I had the unique opportunity to see a solid block of aluminum magically transformed into a custom mirror stem. Very impressive! Nick also handed me a triple tree and showed me how the rake is machined into the contour of the tree-fork tube so it’s flush with the tree to achieve higher strength and superior appearance. We also took a peek in their final assembly room where several custom mirrors were being assembled. Nick handed me a mirror they had rejected earlier that day because they didn’t like how the glass fit into the frame. It looked fine to me, but when Mike and Nick aren’t satisfied with the end result, it’s back to the scrap heap until it’s done right! Temptress mirrors and other parts are featured in several catalogs including the popular J&P Cycles catalog. This comes as no surprise after seeing the quality that goes into all Temptress Choppers products.

After touring the production facility, we made our way to Nick’s modest office located at one end of the facility where we chatted for a while. The walls of Nick’s office were covered with photos and motorcycle paraphernalia, and Nick showed me a few of his favorite photos that were taken of him with Billy Lane and Indian Larry during one of his many trips to Sturgis, South Dakota. I also noticed photos of several custom cars and trucks, which Nick had built before switching his focus to custom bikes. I asked Nick why he doesn’t build cars anymore, and his response was “I can get a lot more bikes in my garage than cars, plus they are much easier to maintain.” I also couldn’t help but notice several photos of Nick and his friends skydiving, rock climbing and whitewater rafting. Nick explained that he has always enjoyed living on the edge, but now prefers to spend any spare time he can find, hanging out at home with Niki and the kids.

Temptress Choppers has been featured in several national motorcycle magazines, including the October 2003 issue of American Iron. When I spoke with Nick, he was getting ready to head down to Daytona Beach, Florida for the annual Biketoberfest rally, where he was invited to a VIP event with Billy Lane, who was going to be in town to judge a bike competition for old school choppers. Nick could do some serious name dropping if he wanted, but that’s just not his style.

I asked Nick where this passion for building custom parts originated, and he explained that he had been building custom bikes for years, but struggled to find unique components to match his specific needs. In early 2002, he began developing ideas for his line of products. As a mechanical engineer with more than 10 years of experience, Nick had the vision and knowledge to create these parts, but lacked the capacity to actually produce them.

It just so happens, that around this same time, Mike Hudson, owner of Heartland Fabrication and Machine, a nationally recognized precision machine shop, was initiating the development of a motorcycle parts division. He also shared the desire to produce innovative motorcycle parts, but lacked the contacts in the motorcycle component industry.

As fate would have it, a fellow motorcycle rider and friend of Nick’s picked up one of Mike’s business cards at a trade show, and knowing that Nick was looking for someone to aid in the production of custom parts, a phone call was made, and the rest is history. The combined resources of Nick and Mike have enabled them to produce truly innovative motorcycle components, which has led to their own proprietary line of custom parts and accessories.

Temptress Choppers has turned the world of custom wheel making upside down by being the first company to offer production run billet aluminum three-dimensional “sculptured” wheels. Until now, “sculptured” wheels have been available only as high-cost luxuries, which are too expensive for most people to even dream about owning. Because of advanced technology and engineering know-how, Nick & Mike can bring these wheels to the market in a cost competitive manner. Nick says “For a little more than the cost of “flat” cut wheels, you can now own one of the most unique wheels available.”

In addition to custom wheels, Temptress Choppers offers a complete line of triple trees, axle covers, mirrors, fork braces, speedometer clamps, cable clamps, shifters, grab bars, derby & point covers, license and brake light brackets, oil coolers, pegs, grips and much more! They are also able to laser etch almost any design into a part for their customers. Nick told me that while Mike’s focus is on customers who want high quality billet products; Nick’s heart and soul still reside in the old school parts, such as their popular Maltese cross oil coolers.

They’ve come a long way since their original retail shop in Grain Valley, Missouri, but now Nick and Mike have combined efforts on the parts design and production operation, creating new ways to build the impossible part. Currently they are in the process of further combining their efforts to create a new company called “No Limitations.” No Limitations will take their unique parts production designs and techniques right to the builders, and become a resource for builders to create new and unusual private label products. Niki Kasik controls marketing and assembly, as well as heading the scheduling of customer relations activities, while Kristi Hudson manages the business office operations and controls the day to day activities.

Before leaving, I was also hoping to chat with Mike for a bit, but Nick told me he was currently out of town working on a deal with the folks at Paul Yaffe Originals. Wow! What’s next?

Temptress Choppers is located at 1695 SE Decker Street in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Make sure to check them out at www.temptresschoppers.com or give Nick a call at 816-875-1040.

Story and Photos By Mike Schweder

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