Business Reviews

Cyco Graphics – Masters in the Art of Custom Paint

Written by  February 29, 2004

The first time I walked into Cyco Graphics in Claycomo, Missouri I wasn’t sure if I was in a bike shop or a museum. Immediately upon entering the shop, you’re greeted by Biker Frank, the world's tallest Leprechaun, with Humphrey, the leg-humping dog clinging to his leg. You’ve got to see this, because Humphrey actually humps!

The next thing you pass is an antique coin-operated Indian motorcycle kiddie ride, which Bill dropped a quarter in to show me that it still works. On the right side of the hall leading to the showroom is a 1978 Shortster, which is actually a bicycle with a plastic V-twin looking engine, gas tank, and all the simulated parts you’d expect to find on a Harley-Davidson Sportster. According to Bill, Harley-Davidson didn’t find the Shortster nearly as amusing as the creators, so Harley-Davidson sued the manufacturer and forced them to stop using the name.

When you make it to the showroom, you’ll find a few bikes for sale and all the parts, accessories and apparel you’d expect to find in a typical bike shop. Cyco Graphics offers custom fabrication, service work, and inspections, and can provide diamond cutting on jugs and heads. Although they offer all these things, Cyco Graphics is best known for their unbelievable custom paint jobs and incredible airbrush work.

Cyco Graphics owner, Bill Young, has been painting motorcycles for over 50 years. Nine years ago, Bill decided to open his own paint shop in Independence, Missouri near Fort Osage, and five years and hundreds of custom paint jobs later, he decided to open a retail shop in Claycomo, Missouri. Bill continues to use his Independence location to create his works of art, but also does some airbrush work at his Claycomo location. While Bill does all the painting himself, his nephew, Rick “Scooter” Haskins runs the parts and service departments.

As you look around his shop, you’ll see several motorcycle parts, helmets, and even mailboxes that Bill has turned into incredible works of art. Bill also showed me some hand drawings he was working on, which was unbelievable! If Bill ever decides to get out of the painting business, I’m sure he could find a job at Disney. Bill found it funny I mentioned that because his son just happens to be Disney’s Graphic Arts Director in Anaheim, California. I guess great artistic ability runs in the family.

So how good is Bill’s work? At the 2004 Cycles N More Bike Show, 36 of the bikes Bill painted won trophies. There were 17 first place winners, 11 second place winners and 8 third place winners. At the 2004 World of Wheels All American Bike Show, one of Bill’s customers won Best Paint for the incredible paint job Bill did on his 2002 Road King. When you have your bike painted at Cyco Graphics, a photo of you and your bike is added to “The Wall of Shame,” which runs almost the entire length of the store. I’m not quite sure why it’s called The Wall of Shame, because with all these beautiful paint jobs I’m sure each and every customer is proud to have a place on Bill’s wall.

I asked Bill what designs are most popular among his customers and he stated that flames are still one of the most popular choices. I also asked Bill what someone could expect to pay for a paint job and he replied that his paint jobs normally run anywhere between $600 for a basic paint job to over $3,600 for one of his custom masterpieces. When asked how many paint jobs he does in a normal year, he said that last year alone, he did 43 paint jobs. That’s almost one a week, which led to my next question regarding turnaround time. Bill stated that his normal turnaround time was only 10-15 days. Bill said he doesn’t like to keep his customers waiting and he understands that they want to get their bikes back together as quickly as possible.

Along with creating incredible works of art, Bill goes out of his way to support the local motorcycle community. Bill sponsors two junior dirt bike riders who placed first and second in the state of Missouri for 2003, he sponsors a bike night every Tuesday night at JC’s Sports Bar, which is just down the street, and his shop is a stop for many local poker runs and charity rides. When riders stop by Bill’s shop, he offers free drinks and refreshments.

Bill is also donating a Best Paint trophy for the Kearney Bike Show on Sunday, March 28, as well as a Bike Pro self-locking wheel chock valued at $179. Bill will also have a Load Pro™ displayed at the bike show, which turns your truck bed into a self-storing motorcycle transport system. Make sure to look for the Cyco Graphics tent at the Kearney Bike Show where the talented Eric Campbell will offer custom airbrush painting while you wait.

After spending some time with Bill, it is quite apparent that customer service and satisfaction is why he has such a loyal following of satisfied customers. So when you’re ready for your next paint job, stop by Cyco Graphics at 312 NE 69 Highway in Claycomo, Missouri and tell Bill that Mike sent you.

Story and photos by Mike Schweder

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