Writer's Ramblings


Of all the phrases I hear these days related to motorcycles, I think “old school” gets on my nerves the most. Old school is used to describe something from exactly what period? If you have been riding five years, is something six years old considered old school? I doubt it. For the true definition of the phrase, at least as far as I am concerned, you need to think along the lines of something being “the way it was in the past.”

In my mind Bear’s Hiway Classics and owner Barry “Bear” Webber are old school. Bear is a no bullshit type of guy. He says what he means and doesn’t try to blow sunshine up your ass. If you want to do something to your scooter that makes no sense he will tell you straight up that it is a bad idea. Bear doesn’t smile a lot, but don’t worry—when he does, you can be assured it is genuine. He also doesn’t waste your time with a lot of chit chat. He uses a lot fewer words to convey a point than most and tends to get straight to the point. I like that. Bear’s manner is serious, and it lets me know he isn’t wasting my time. Bear comes from a mold of men who still hold “their word” in high regard; something sorely lacking these days. I have lived in the Kansas City metro area for over 20 years and have never heard anyone be anything but totally pleased with Bear’s work. My friends Gary and Sean both have had Bear work on their Ironhorse bikes recently and they were completely satisfied.

Several things are needed for any shop to be successful these days. While many believe filling a niche is the way to reward, Bear chose a different path. “From Flatheads to Fatheads” is the shop motto. In other words Bear will work on any air-cooled V-Twin from flatheads to Twin-Cams. Whether your V-Twin is all Harley-Davidson or one of the many other H-D clone engines, Bear has you covered. You get a good feeling when an MMI graduate with over 20 years of professional wrenching under his belt is working on your baby. Bear’s is not only a repair shop but a full-on frame and fabrication shop. Technician Travis Wright and fabricator Jon Gallagher along with Bear have got you covered in any direction. The shop motto “If we don’t have it, we’ll get it…if we can’t get it, we’ll make it” lets you know you are in good hands.

Another key ingredient to a successful shop is your parts person. Try walking into your local dealer’s parts department and ask for parts or advice on a Shovelhead, Panhead or Knucklehead. Good luck. Bear knew the best way to get the parts his customers and he himself needed, was to have his shop radar equipped. That’s right Radar is behind the counter. Everybody knows Radar, and many of us have been dealing with him since his days back at F.O.G. Cycle. Radar’s 15 years of experience makes sure you get solid advice on your parts and receive what you order. If you need a high-dollar part and want Radar to beat somebody else’s best price, all you have to do is ask; he will deal, I know—he has helped me several times. Radar’s parts inventory may surprise you a little. While there is a lot of chrome available, hard parts are the bread and butter. Radar’s motto is “people will wait for chrome,” and he is, of course, right on the money. Nothing is more frustrating than taking your broken-down putt to a shop that has a million dollar chrome inventory but not the coil you needed.

Somebody once said, “Behind every good man is a good woman.” At Bear’s Hiway Classics this has never been more true. Bear’s wife Leah, is the glue that holds the business together, and according to Radar, she keeps the boys in line.

Not only is Bear’s Hiway Classics a parts and service center, but it is a dealer as well. Bear’s is the authorized dealer for Big Bear Choppers. You won’t find any Big Bear dealers in Nebraska, Kansas, or Iowa. The Big Bear Choppers they have in stock made me drool the last time I visited. (Mental note, ask Mike for a raise.) Bear always has some other V-Twins for sale as well, so you need to check back often because he also has some very nice “old school” bikes available on occasion.

If you need your V-Twin serviced or repaired, be it Harley-Davidson, Titan, Indian, Ironhorse or any of the dozens of makes, Bear’s Hiway Classics is the place to go. Looking for a ground-up build, or a frame straightened or modified? Bear is your man. In Bear’s case, “old school” is a good thing. Bear’s Hiway Classics accepts all aftermarket warranties as well as major credit cards except American Express. Check them out from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and don’t forget to join Bear and the crew on Wednesday evenings for their bike night at The Landing in Liberty

By Loney Wilcoxson

January 31, 2007

Liberty Cycle Center

One stop shopping has become very popular these days. As more and more demands are placed on our free time, the ability to purchase several items at one location is not only a time saver, but with today’s gas prices a money saver as well. Unfortunately this convenience sometime comes with an unwelcome tradeoff. Specialty shops often offer not only much more knowledgeable salespeople than their “one stop” competition, but also a level of personal service that seems to be on the decline these days.

Liberty Cycle Center has managed to contradict the norm by offering truly one stop shopping for all your power sports needs while retaining the warmth and knowledgeable staff normally associated with a mom and pop type business.

Bill Heishmam started Liberty Cycle Center back in 1968 with nothing more than 4 bikes, a one hundred dollar bill, and a handshake. Making customer service the TOP priority served him well. Bill’s son Jeff Heishman purchased the business from his father and took over as Owner and President in 1991. With a background of over 30 plus years riding as well as a stint as a professional ATV racer, who could have expected Jeff to do anything else? Jeff also believes in giving back to the community as Liberty Cycle Center not only sponsors the March of Dimes Bikers for Babies as well as Janey’s Over the Next Hill Ride, but Jeff has also served on the committees that put together both events for many years. On top of all this Liberty Cycle Center also Sponsors the Star Motorcycle Club.

Jeff added Duncan Barnett as General Manager bringing adding another 25 years riding experience to the staff. Duncan’s first motorcycle purchase years ago taught him an important lesson, unhappy customers don’t come back. Any successful business requires quality staff, and Jeff has assembled a team that believes as he does, customer service must be the top priority. A sales staff with over 30 years sales experience, a knowledgeable and helpful parts department headed by Larry Ludeke, Parts Supervisor with over 10 years experience. Couple these two areas with factory trained technicians, one of which has over 35 years experience, and you have a proven winning combination.

Of course all the quality staff in the world won’t keep the doors open without quality products to offer. Liberty Cycle Center has the bases covered with big name brands we all know and trust. Whether you are looking for a street bike, dirt bike or and ATV, Liberty Cycle Center offers the full lines from Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. If you need a street cruiser the line of Star Motorcycles will be right up your alley. If by some chance you prefer water over dirt or asphalt a Kawasaki watercraft is just the ticket. Factory financing as well as many local lenders provide even the credit challenged a way to make their purchase painless.

After choosing the machine that fits your lifestyle you can be assured you have a great selection of all the things you need to get into action. Liberty Cycle Center has street and dirt riding apparel including, jackets, boots, helmets along with custom and performance parts to personalize your machine. Now you can get out and enjoy your new ride secure in the knowledge Jeff and his staff will be there after the sale to provide the customer service you deserve. One stop shopping can be great. Check out Liberty Cycle Center and you will soon find out why.

By By Loney Wilcoxson

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

The grand opening party for Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson in Pelham, Alabama, was so “grand” it lasted for three days, Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21. We went up on Friday mid morning to put up the Cycle Connections banner, and there were bikes all over the road. At Heart of Dixie, the vendors were all pretty much set up, and they had already had a steady flow of people inside and out. It was no wonder as they had great deals on parts and accessories and up to 50% off on clothes and leather.

That night, “Somebody’s Daddy” was the first band to rock the house in the brand new H.O.G. chapter building. Afterward, they put on the guest of honor for Saturday’s “feast,” a 120-pound hog, so that it could cook through the night. By Saturday they had added 20 butts, 600 chicken quarters, and 800 chicken breasts to the grill.

When we got there Saturday around noon, there was only a little of the chicken left, and the parking lot was abuzz with people and motorcycles. The sun was out bright and shinning and very hot, but it was beautiful for riding all weekend.

I had spotted a lift in the front corner of the parking lot as Leigh and I pulled in that I thought would be perfect for taking pictures from. Great minds think alike. As we started across the parking lot, “Chick” who works at Heart of Dixie and also has taken a lot of great pictures for them over the years, approached me about going up on the lift to take pictures, 40 feet up! We got some really cool shots—thanks Chick!

We also ran into Jim Lorenzo, the Alabama state captain for the Patriot Guard. A group of them were taking a ride out to the airport for a show they had going on.

Leigh and I decided to make our way through the vendors, the silver jewelry at Silver & Such, “Good Girlz-Bad Girlz” biker clothing, and all of the beautiful bikes, to the H.O.G chapter building where the food was. The idea was to get something to eat, but I ran into Bill Peek, the owner of Heart of Dixie, and Riders H-D, and his little girl, Leah, so I stopped to talk with them. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. If I hadn’t stopped to talk with Bill, I would have missed out on the ride of a lifetime! The last time we were that “high” to get pictures was in '95 when we were fortunate enough to be able to go to Hawaii for 10 days. This time I got to take a helicopter ride with Bill, his son Will, daughter Leah, and Jim Evans wife Sandy, who got to sit up front with the pilot. We got to not only fly over Heart of Dixie, but we also flew over to Trussville and over Riders Harley-Davidson! The trip was awesome!

After we came back down to earth, we peeked in on the bike show that was already in progress next door at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant. The band “Breaking Point” was the first band to take the stage at the brand new pavilion. Afterward, there was a fashion show. The bike games were next, and one of our friends, “Fuzzy” decided to try his luck at the slow roll. That is so very hard to do, but he did a pretty good job, especially for his first time at it!

By early evening, we had been hot for so long that the frozen margaritas at “2 Pesos” at the foot of the hill were calling out to us. Leigh, Fuzzy and I couldn’t resist, so we were drawn down there to join up with Jim Evans, his wife Sandy, and a few other friends who had already gotten a head start on us. Needless to say, the frozen concoction won out and we totally missed the band “Z & the Party Faktory” that rocked Heart of Dixie later that night; I’m sure they were great. The “Sullivan Sisters” closed out the party on Sunday in the pavilion.
With over 2000 bikes that showed up Saturday alone, I would venture to guess that the weekend was a huge success. It was one of the biggest and best parties this town has seen, and I’m sure that Heart of Dixie will continue to greatly benefit the city of Pelham in the future.

They party hard every third Saturday of the month at their customer appreciation days, so if you are in the area, stop in and hang out awhile. If you need some work done on your ride or if you are interested in putting a new Harley in your garage, you needn’t look any further than Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson where general manager Jerry Payne, as well as the rest of the staff, will be eagerly awaiting to serve you.

Thanks for being there, and thanks for the party, the trip, and the memories.

Write-On and Ride-On
Story and photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly - Birmingham, Alabama

“Rain, rain go away!” was the chant to the motorcycle gods as we began to set up the Cycle Connections booth for Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia grand reopening.

Activity was all around as Reno’s sales; service and parts guys were opening for business. All eyes were on the skies as we finished setting up. Chef Loy Johnson and his beautiful assistant Diane Okunfuss were setting up the BBQ grill, and the smell of charcoal and BBQ was filling the air so much it was making everyone hungry enough to stop what we were doing to help them get the food ready!

Steve Okunfuss opened the doors to Reno’s four years ago in 2001. With its humble beginnings of approximately 5,000 square feet, Reno’s has grown and expanded to its present size of 12,000 square feet for sales, service and parts. Reno’s has not only helped establish the STAR Riders Group Chapter 227 to promote motorcycle safety and camaraderie among motorcycle enthusiasts, they also are involved in several charities as well. We were lucky enough to be set up next to the Kansas City Poker Run booth and discussed their upcoming ride on Saturday, July 22, 2006. Be sure register for the ride and attend the pre-registration and post parties they have for you. Look for the recap article in our August issue of Cycle Connections located under Rides, Rallies and Events to see how much fun was had by all. Did I say pre and post party?

With Reno’s success, it was time for the grand reopening to show off the new space, new line of motorcycle clothes, leather, and of courses the new line of bikes. Among Reno’s new line of motorcycles are the Swifts. Steve rolled one up to our booth and said we could use the yellow Swift to let our model Meloney sit on when and if she got tired, so we took advantage of that idea. Hot bike and hot babe—isn't that what these events are all about? It was tough, but I was determined to struggle through the day at the booth with the BBQ, bikes and the babes—at least until the food was ready.

Riders began rolling in, and the parking lot was full more than one time with riders coming in for service, parts and to sign up for the Kansas City poker run, as well as for food, fun and to have their pictures taken with Meloney on the Swift that was on sale. The bikers were a fun crowd and were having fun just hanging around, eating, talking with us and shopping. Lots of bikers were visiting the sales floor to see the bikes, and I am told that the deals were so good that some didn't get passed up. So, hello to all the new riders and their bikes (and also to the OLD riders and their new bikes).

As our time ended at Reno’s grand reopening, we all could say, 'All in all it was a gorgeous day,' with only a few showers that didn't last long enough to hamper any of the festivities. No one had to run for cover, so the motorcycle gods once again smiled on us. There were bikes, babes, food and conversation amongst the riders about the upcoming riding season and last year’s rides. You know—swapping motorcycle stories of the nasty, hard ride or the fun-filled ride to favorite places.

As bikes roared in and roared out, the smell of fumes and the sight of all the cool bikes reminded you of why you bought your bike and what summer is all about—riding the roads to your favorite places. You know, it just gets you going and in the mood to plan your next road trip to explore this great land while riding the highways and byways, mountain ranges, or hills on four lanes or back roads. Whatever your pleasure in riding, it’s summertime and time to take a safety course, get your bike checked out at Reno’s and hit the open road with your friends.

Thanks to Steve Loy and Diane and all at Reno’s along with all those fun-filled customers for making this a great Saturday.

Story by Phil Peeler

Photos by Mike Schweder

We were invited to the ribbon cutting/opening at the new Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson shop in Pelham, Alabama, under the management of Jerry Payne and ownership of Bill Peek. They had outgrown their old building just down the hill from the new one, but with 51,000 square feet to spread out in; I think it may take them a little while to outgrow this one.

With each Harley facility that Bill Peek puts together comes growth and experience, and it shows!
It was a picture-perfect morning Thursday, April 6 for a ribbon cutting outside. On hand for the celebration were the mayor of Pelham, Mr. Bobby Hayes, and some of the council members.

Bill was the perfect host, holding the door open for everyone to come inside, where we were greeted right off by a floor of “chrome.” I think that most guys would love to have a whole house with floors like that.
This place is huge! And beautiful! All “shiny new” and sparkling from the ocean of shiny new Harleys.
We continued our tour on into the service department waiting area where we were all served with a table of delectable pastries, hot coffee, juice and a huge cake that was oh-so-good!

Back to the shop—these mechanics have a massive state of the art service area to perform their magic in with several rows of lifts to make their job easier. Then it’s off to the two wash stalls to bring the bikes through to get them ready for their big “close-up”! Included in this exquisite new facility is a large building just for the H.O.G. chapter, all self-contained with a full-size kitchen. They were to “christen” the new building that night with their first H.O.G. meeting there. There is also a beautiful rock pavilion out front equipped with lights and power so all the bands have to do is hook up and jam!

They will have a huge grand-opening party that will take three days to throw. On May 19, 20 and 21, there will be vendors, a bike show, and a pig roast. There will be bands to break in the new pavilion, and the Hooters girls will be on hand, so to speak! All bikes welcome!

Store hours for the Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson in Pelham are: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The new store is located at 333 Cahaba Valley Pkwy N in Pelham, Alabama. Make sure to stop by the third Saturday of each month for their customer appreciation days.

Cycle Connections would like to welcome Bill Peek as one of our newest advertisers and thank him for entrusting us with both of his Harley-Davidson dealerships, the first being Riders Harley-Davidson in Trussville, Alabama, with Tim Peek as manager. We greatly enjoy working with both of them and attending the events at both locations is truly a labor of love for both Leigh and I.

Thanks to both of you, and much success for the future!

Write-On and Ride-On
Story and Photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly - Birmingham, Alabama

I first met Steve Okenfuss, owner of Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia, at our Star Riders chapter meeting. Steve is not only the owner of Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia, but is also the founding dealer of the Star Riders Chapter 227.

Steve is very involved with the Star Riders chapter and supports numerous charity rides. When I purchased my second bike from Reno’s, I found out first-hand that Steve is an all-around nice guy.

Reno’s is the largest Yamaha dealer in the Kansas City metro area and the 20th largest Aprilia dealer in the USA. They recently picked up the Swift line of custom motorcycles as well.

Reno’s recently finished an expansion that doubled the size of their showroom and tripled the size of their service department and will host a Grand Reopening on Saturday, May 20, 2006.

When Cycle Connections asked me to do a write-up on Reno’s and interview Steve, I was excited, to say the least.

CC: Steve, what year did you open Reno’s?
Steve: We opened in 2001.

CC: How many people did you have when you opened up?
Steve: None.

CC: None? Just you?
Steve: You got it, just me.

CC: How many people do you have now?
Steve: Three salesmen, three parts people, and five certified mechanics.

CC: Is this your first shop?
Steve: This is the first motorcycle store I’ve owned, but I had an ownership interest in two automobile dealerships before I did this and was a banker for 21 years before that.

CC: When did you first have the dream to open your own motorcycle shop?
Steve: I started trading motorcycles when I was a kid, and I’ve done it my whole life.

CC: What was your first bike?
Steve: A 50 cc Honda scooter.

CC: Sounds like my Cushman.
Steve: We stripped the bearings off of it thinking it would go faster. It didn’t work.

CC: So you have felt the need for speed ever since then.
Steve: I started with that and when I was 14 years old I bought a CV-160 Honda and the rest, as they say, is history.

CC: How many bikes have you owned, and what do you ride now?
Steve: I sort of lost count. I lost count at 180 motorcycles that I’ve owned. The most I ever had was 17 at once, which is the reason battery tenders exists. I currently ride an Aprilia Tuono factory.

CC: How many charity events do you sponsor?
Steve: We’re involved in at least five or six.

CC: How long have you supported the Star Riders Chapter 227?
Steve: I’m the founding dealer, so we started the chapter.

CC: What year did you start the chapter?
Steve: It was in 2002, I think.

CC: What events do you have coming up for the spring?
Steve: We’re going to have our grand reopening on May 20.

CC: There will be lots of stuff there… Cycle Connections girls will be here, hamburgers… Do you have any specials going on that day?
Steve: I have some special discounts on parts and accessories and we will have a sale on new and used motorcycles, ATVs and scooters.

CC: What made you decide to sell and service the Swifts?
Steve: I’ve always enjoyed custom bikes. I love the looks and the ride of the customs and I’ve just always thought that of those that are available in the marketplace, Swift was the one I thought was the premium line of custom-built motorcycles. Swift Motorcycle Company has been in business about 12 years. They are in Phoenix, Arizona and are the only custom with a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty and a roadside assistance program that comes with the bike. They're just a very high quality motorcycle. When the previous Swift dealer decided to retire, there was an opportunity to pick up the line, so I felt really fortunate to be able to get it.

CC: So they stand behind their stuff?
Steve: They are excellent. Their warranty is the best in the business.

CC: How did you choose your location? This is pretty centrally located.
Steve: When I decided to open a motorcycle shop, it was more a matter of going someplace that had sort of been overlooked. There really isn’t a Yamaha shop within 25 miles of here.

CC: What about Swift? 40-50 miles?
Steve: I don’t think there’s another Swift dealer for a couple hundred miles.

CC: So this is the place to go for all your Swift and Yamaha needs.
Steve: Yes, and Aprilia.

CC: What future plans do you have for Reno’s. I know you have the Star barbecue coming up in mid-October.
Steve: Yes, over Labor Day.

CC: I know you have enlarged the shop and the clothing and motorcycle lines. Do you have any future plans for Reno’s?
Steve: We are just in the throes of finishing an expansion that more than doubled the size of our showroom and parts area, and with that, we carry a lot more parts and accessories now.

We feature the Star line so we carry all the aftermarket and Yamaha performance upgrades and Star accessories, which really is a great opportunity to personalize your bike to make it look, ride, sound and handle the way you want it to ride. It’s very high quality stuff.

We basically tripled the size of our service department, and that is obviously one of our fastest growing areas. Roger, our service manager has been in the business for 30 years and is really adept at getting people’s machinery in and out and getting them serviced and fixed the first time, making the necessary repairs to keep the bikes running well.

Of course we service ATVs, scooters, generators, and anything in the Yamaha, Swift and Aprilia line-up. With the expansion coming to a close this summer we are focusing on being able to service a lot more people to get more bikes in and out of the service department more quickly and the excellent thing about having the space is now we have the display, so our motto is we carry all Yamahas, all colors, all the time, and that makes it good for our customers, because when they want to see a specific bike, they know they can come to Reno’s and see it.

We make the investment to have the inventory so the customers can choose what they want. Aprilia has a lot of new stuff for ’06. They are an Italian manufacturer, who is part of the Piaggio group, a very exciting machine. They are one of the premier Superbike builders in the 1000 cc liter category. The new RSVR is out already, the new Tuono is out, and those are 2007 models. This year we also get the Supermotard and the new 450 V-Twin motocross bike from Aprilia, and those are going to be absolutely state of the art; there is really nothing like them in the market.

CC: So you will have some of those in this summer?
Steve: I’m hoping we’re going to get the first shipment of them in this month, so they are right around the corner. Those bikes are gong to be awesome.

CC: So you will have them to show off for the May 20 event?
Steve: Yamaha’s lineup changes every year. The new R6 is the #1-rated Supersport in the market in the 600 class and it is just drop-dead gorgeous, absolutely top-drawer state of the art technology. The new FJR-1300 is out. We have that bike in stock so people can actually see it. That is a special order-only motorcycle, and next month we get the electric shift, which is the Supersport tour bike. It is clutchless, so it actually comes with a computer module that operates the clutch. It doesn’t even have a clutch handle on the left anymore.

CC: Will that be in by May?
Steve: Yes, that will be in May. These bikes are going to be very coveted, very sought after.

CC: People need to come by and check them out.
Steve: Right now we have new Swift inventory coming in, basically every week, so the bobber is out, the new Tormentor is out, as well as the Punisher. I should get a Punisher today or tomorrow, and or course we have the Bar Choppers in stock.

CC: So who's responsible for the day-to-day operations at your dealership?
Steve: Roger is our service manager, Jamie is our parts manager, Nick is our business manager and Keith is our sales manager, so a lot of people to take care of folks.

It’s an exciting time of year. We are the largest Yamaha dealer in the metro area and the 20th largest Aprilia dealer in the USA. Our whole M.O. is service and taking care of the folks who do business with us.

No matter what kind of adventure you are looking for—chopper, road bike, off road or generators, speed or cruise, the road to adventure begins at Reno’s.

CC: Thank you Steve, for taking the time to chat with us and we're really looking forward to all the fun and excitement that will be taking place at your Grand Reopening and throughout the year!

Make sure to watch the Cycle Connections Local Rallies & Events calendar for Reno’s upcoming events in May and throughout the summer, including their Labor Day event. The Cycle Connections booth will be set up at Reno’s Grand Reopening on Saturday May 20 with prizes, fun, and of course the Cycle Connections girls.

What better way to spend your Saturday than at Reno’s with friends, hot dogs, hamburgers, and great sale prices on bikes, accessories and apparel. Reno’s will have a new shipment of Swifts and Yamaha bikes on display and of course their top-notch sales staff would love to help you out...and did I mention the Cycle Connections girls?

By Phil Peeler

If you're looking for the oldest and most recognized Suzuki dealer in the Kansas City area, look no further than Donnell's Motorcycles in Independence, Missouri. This well-respected dealer offers a huge selection of Suzuki and Honda motorcycles along with a full line of parts, apparel and accessories. They are known throughout the area for their outstanding customer service and team of professional service technicians.

Since Donnell Shifflett opened the doors in 1965, he and his staff have continued to serve the greater metropolitan Kansas City area and have taken customer service to the next level. When it comes to a full-service dealership, this family-owned and operated business runs like a well-oiled machine. Donnell still comes to work every day to welcome his customers, while Bart Shifflett runs the business day in and day out to keep the family reputation alive and take care of their loyal customer base, which they have maintained for more than 41 years. They are a full-service dealership that offers dirt bikes, street bikes and ATVs.

As you pull into the dealership, one of the first things you notice is a well laid-out parking lot with plenty of room to turn around even the largest trailer. The impressive showroom is packed with new motorcycles, covering the full spectrum Honda and Suzuki have to offer, plus several late model machines with the lowest of miles. Chris Thacker and the sales staff will not let you walk in without a warm “Hello!“

Tim Sickel and his super sidekick Jesse manage the parts department. Tim has been with Donnell’s for more than 20 years and is the nucleus of this highly respected parts department. They carry a full line of parts for both early and late model motorcycle and ATVs. If Tim doesn't have a particular part in stock, he'll find it quickly and give you a call as soon as he has it in his hands.

Bart Shifflett is not only the one of the owners, but he also serves as the business manager and still races as well. He always goes out of his way to answer any questions you may have and explain all of the specs. Bart gives his utmost attention to detail when it comes to his customers and is a true people person.

I've been in a lot of dealerships and this store is certainly one of the most clean, organized and well-maintained facilities I have ever visited. This is a very important factor in my opinion. Many people are not as particular about the cleanliness of a store and notice only the motorcycles—I notice both!

Their service department has over 70 years of combined experience. Stewart Basey and Larry James run a very exciting and high volume shop that still offers in-house cylinder boring and valve jobs. They have four lifts, and every time I visit the shop, they always have a bike or four-wheeler on them. When service has been completed, you can be certain your bike has been fixed right the first time. Stewart and Larry are two of the most seasoned technicians I know, and they work well together. They have a list of repeat customers too long to count, and in this day and age, return business speaks volumes. The service department is also equipped with state of the art diagnostic equipment for late model motorcycles with fuel injection systems. They handle any type of repair and modification including transmission undercutting, cylinder boring, and fuel injection remapping for tuning newer model sport bikes and cruisers.

I am always excited to talk with Stewart and Larry and find out the latest scoop on the new models being produced. They truly take the time to fill me in even when they are busy. It is also important to note they offer pick-up and delivery of your motorcycle and provide this service even when you find yourself stranded in the worst possible location when nobody else is available to come and get you!

An experienced team of professionals staffs the finance department, and when you visit David in the finance office, you can rest assure he will do everything possible to get you the best financing available. When you purchase a motorcycle at Donnell's, David takes your photo and publishes it on their website. This is just one of the many things Donnell’s offers to their customers to give them a one-on-one experience that is second to none.

I always have a positive experience when I visit Donnell’s and everyone treats me like family. Keep up the great work, continue doing what you've done for the past 41 years, and I look forward to seeing Donnell’s on the top 100 list of metric dealerships in the United States.

By Dave Miller

Unless you have been living under a rock or are new to the Kansas City area, you have heard the name “Dyno” Mike Wilson. Mike has been and continues to be the premier Harley-Davidson performance wrench in the city. Whether it is at KCIR on a weeknight testing or competing at an A.H.D.R.A. event on a drag bike he built from scratch, Mike puts his money where his mouth is; his time slips prove it. Building the first street-legal Harley-Davidson in history to make an 8-second quarter mile pass at an A.H.D.R.A. event with no wheelie bar is the kind of feather in your cap that no amount of BS can touch.

After eight years heading up the Performance Center at Gail’s Harley-Davidson, Mike has his own business up and running strong. Providing every service from maintenance to customization to performance engine builds, Dyno Mike’s Dynamic Chassis has got you covered. Are you in the market for something to take to the bike shows or need that new stock unit customized? With several custom painters at his call, Mike can provide everything you need. Need some engine work? How about a one-year warranty on that work? Mike is your man. Got the need for a new drag bike to set your hair on fire? Mike can fix you up there as well. Mike’s Dynamic Chassis business is going to build street-legal drag bikes with all the potential to run in the 8s if the owner has the skills to get it there. From bare frames to turnkey bikes, Mike can take care of your go-fast needs.

Mike’s shop is equipped with every piece of equipment you can imagine, and the floor is clean enough to eat off of. Whatever your Harley-Davidson needs, from a bagger to an 8-second street monster, Dyno Mike’s Dynamic Chassis is your one-stop shop that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face that won’t wipe off.

We had the opportunity to visit with Mike at his new shop in Belton, Missouri to find out more about him and his new business.

Loney: How long have you been working on motorcycles?

Mike: I’ve been working on motorcycles since I can remember. I started working on my bicycles when I was a kid, but it quickly grew into tinkering with dirt bikes, dune buggies, and cars. But the true love in my life has always been motorcycles. I’ve only been working on Harleys about 10 years, but I’ve worked on motorcycles all my life. I probably picked up my first wrench when I was 8 or 9 years old. People often asked how long I’ve been doing this and where I learned to run a lathe and a mill. I learned a valuable lesson from a good friend of mine, Stan Redford, who never had the money to pay anybody to fix his cars, bikes, or trucks. So we were always over there on Friday nights lying in his mom’s gravel driveway doing something to his cars. I probably got more mechanical experience working with Stan just because he couldn’t afford to hire stuff done. We might not get it right the first time, but, by God, we’d work on it until it was right. If you had something break and didn’t have the tool to fix it, instead of paying someone to do it for you, go buy the tool and do some reading and asking questions, and then do it yourself. Hence this garage and everything in it.

My dad was a good woodworker. He built houses. It’s not that I can’t work with wood, but I just hate doing it. I don’t like the smell of it. But I think I could go lie down in a pile of metal chips and just go to sleep.

Loney: Please tell us a little more about what Dyno Mike's Dynamic Chassis has to offer.

Mike: Basically what we are going to concentrate on is V-Twin service, performance, and customization. One thing that I’ve always done pretty well is customizing your Harley-Davidson to give the average guy a look like a custom bike, like with the 180 tires, paint, motor work, lowered, or whatever you want to do to it. A lot of people can look at their motorcycle, and they can look at a catalog, and they see all of this cool chrome stuff to bolt on a motorcycle, but when they get done with it, they just have another motorcycle with all of that stuff bolted on. They don’t understand that you can do bigger tires, lower the bike, get the performance so it will run they way you want a bike to run, and things like that. One of the things ever since we started at the Performance Center at Gail’s and I’m going to carry through to my business is the one-day turnaround. A lot of people don’t want to do motor work until it gets cold outside because they think their bike’s going to be down three or four weeks, because in most shops, that’s what it entails. They get the bike in and take it apart, they send everything out to be machined, three or four weeks later it comes back, and they put it together, and you may have the horsepower they said you would have or maybe not. I don’t have my dyno yet, but I’m going to get one, because I want to be able to do what I have always done – back it up with before and after dyno runs, then keep the bike running perfectly the whole time you own it. I will dyno every make of motorcycle. I always have. Most of the Harley shops won’t do anything but Harleys. When I was at Gail’s I had thousands of runs on metric bikes. To me, where the bread and butter of my business is going to be is Harley-Davidson servicing; I ride every make and model of motorcycle known. I have a KTM dirt bike, Suzuki drag bikes, Harley street bikes, and custom bikes I’ve built myself. I’ve got my own line of motorcycles that I’m building for my Dynamic Chassis business. They are basically street-legal drag bikes for the A.H.D.R.A.

I have several contacts for purchasing parts. We are going to use genuine Harley-Davidson parts. We are also setting up accounts with companies like Drag Specialties, Custom Chrome, and Arlen Ness, anybody you would think of when you bought original parts or aftermarket parts. We’ll be able to buy parts and sell them to you at competitive prices. We have fairly low overhead, so our labor rates are going to be very affordable.

I’ll put a one-year warranty on all of the motor work I do here. As far as a guarantee on service, anything that you would normally get anywhere else, I’m going to offer. If I place a chrome inner primary on, then three weeks later it starts leaking, I’m going to take care of you on it. I’ve always done that. The kits that I’ve designed over the last eight years while working for Gail’s Harley-Davidson in the Performance Center, I’m still carrying that knowledge and information here. There are a lot of places that will claim bigger numbers, higher horsepower, but I’m going to guarantee the price, the delivery, and the results, and put a one-year warranty on the work that I do. That’s a pretty good deal.

Loney: The cool thing is having it on paper. Anybody can talk horsepower and torque numbers, but I’ve seen “100 horsepower” bikes get their asses kicked by basically stock Sportsters.

Mike: Well, here’s the deal. I learned a lot when I had the dyno at Gail’s. Dynos can vary from machine to machine, and what normally throws them off is when you install new software. I’ve seen in some cases like my dyno was documented improperly at Dynojet. Whenever they would send me software upgrades, it would always throw my drum mass off. When the drum mass is off on a dyno, what it does is make the dyno read high or low depending on which way it’s off, and it can be off 10 or 15 horsepower. I’ve seen motorcycles that we built that made 105 horsepower go somewhere else and make 130 horsepower. I used to always kid everybody. I would say everybody else’s 120 horsepower wouldn't outrun my 100 horsepower bikes. It won’t happen. When you’d go to the Harley drags, who always won? The bike that we built at Gail’s won, and I’m going to continue to build those motor kits. As times change, and things get bigger and better, and other components become available – different cam shafts, possibly different carburetors that may work better, maybe different cylinder head configurations, and things like that -- I’m sure we’ll see some of the numbers going up. I’ve build 95-inch motors that made 130 horsepower and ran mid-10s in the quarter on street bikes, but they weren’t bikes that I’d recommend the average guy spend his money on. You have to run high-octane fuel and a lot of clutch. They are hard on transmissions. They’re hard on primaries. They’re hard on everything. They are drag bikes.

Loney: So, basically, you’re going to have something for everybody from the hobby rider all the way up to the serious racer?

Mike: We can do everything from frames to complete bikes from the ground up. I have three different painters that I use, Wiz Bang Customs’ Brian Plihal, Visual Imagination, which is Mark Morris down in Harrisonville, and Chris Cofield at CC Custom Graphics. Chris painted my new drag race helmet. The guy’s a really good airbrush artist. I’d like to send him more work, the more I do here. He keeps getting better and better. Really all three of these guys have their special niche. I think they are all equal as far as paint quality, but they all have a different type of painting that they do. Really, Brian’s specialty is the metal work such as wide fenders. Whenever I do 180 tire kits on these bikes, I use him to do the rear fenders and the paint. One thing Brian is exceptionally good at is matching the factory paint. If you had a scratch or something on a stock fender and needed to replace it and match the paint, he’s the king of that. Chris and Mark are the kings of the airbrush. I don’t send a lot of motorcycle work to Mark, because he really specializes in offshore boats, trailers, and motor homes – big-ticket items. A good painter is like a good dentist. Once you find one you like, you tend to stick with him.

Doing custom builds is not really the biggest part of my business. My biggest thing is going to be the engine work and the customization of Harley-Davidsons. I’ve done 30 or 40 of the 180 wide kits on Harleys. There are all kinds of kits that you can buy in magazines or on the Internet, but I’ve fixed a lot of those bolt-on kits after they have fallen apart. I don’t believe the back end of a motorcycle where somebody is going to sit should be bolted onto the motorcycle with four bolts. I think it should be welded on part of the frame. When we do wide tire kits on the Harleys, I actually cut the struts, move them out, weld them back on, and it doesn’t affect the structural integrity of the motorcycle. You can actually go with an after-market strut, but I don’t like to do those kits, because they are normally bolt-on. I’m not really crazy about the one-piece back fender and strut design either, because that’s a bolt-on deal. Harleys vibrate. I’d hate to have my girlfriend on the back of a Harley going 80 miles per hour and have the whole back end fall off.

Loney: Yeah, I used to take 2-inch long ½-inch stainless steel bolts with a nut on them and throw them in the saddlebags of the old Fat Boy to see how many would work themselves off by the time I got to town.

Mike: The last thing you want to do if you buy a $20,000 motorcycle is chop it all up and make it worth $5,000. Some of those kits you see in the magazines do just that. You cut the struts off and throw them away and bolt on some garbage that doesn’t fit or is leaning to one side or is bent or whatever. I’ve never seen a set of bolt-on struts that didn’t require extensive work to make them fit the bike anyway. So we came up with a way to move the struts out and weld them back on, and you can use your stock chrome strut. We can do the fenders several ways. I like the Russ Wernimont fenders, because they seem to be the highest quality metal. They make a Fat Boy fender that had almost the direct profile of the stock fender. I like the stuff that looks original when it’s done, but is just fatter.
Good craftsmanship means people don’t know or care how you did it. They just know it really looks nice.

Loney: We’d like to hear about your chassis.

Mike: Several years ago, I built the first 8-second street-legal Harley-Davidson in history. It was a '03 Dyna Super Glide that I built when I was at Gail’s Harley-Davidson. We took that bike for its debut at Bristol, Tennessee, and ran 8.90s at 148 miles per hour. It was the first street-legal Harley-Davidson with no wheelie bar to go in the 8s at A.H.D.R.A. We got so many oohs, aahs, and wows over the bike that I decided to build my own version of that bike that was actually more mechanically correct as far as design. The way to do that on a bike is, first of all, to have a lot of horsepower and, second of all, be able to get the power to the ground. There’s an old saying, “Fast is easy, quick is hard.” That’s what I’ve got on my business cards, because it’s that first 60 to 100 feet that count in a drag race. If you don’t have a chassis that can harness that horsepower and keep the front tire on the ground, you’re not going to go fast. A 9-second Harley is very rare. There are only handfuls in the United States. Eight-second Harleys are even rarer. There were probably only about five of them in the world, and I just built 25. They are A.H.D.R.A. legal. They are a Kosman chassis that I designed. Kosman Fabrication builds many of the professional Pro Stock motorcycles like those for the N.H.R.A. This year there will be a lot of six second runs in the N.H.R.A., I think.

I built a prototype of this motorcycle three years ago, and I’ve been racing it. The bike works well, and it’s fast. The problem with that motorcycle is that it’s very lightweight and very spindly. You probably couldn’t ride it very far on the street without something breaking. It runs 9.60s with 150 horsepower, which is very rare. Usually it takes 180 horsepower to go in the 9s and 200 to go in the 8s. I designed these new bikes with a Buell front end with a perimeter brake. It’s nice if you’re going to go 150 miles per hour in the quarter to actually be able to stop at the end. It’s nice for street riding if you can stop, too. The bikes have 28 degrees of rake. They are adjustable from 67 to 70 inches wheelbase. They are legal in about five different A.H.D.R.A. classes: Hot Street, Street Pro, 124 Challenge Class, and some E.T. bracket stuff. They are very short in the front and long in the back. The motor is moved about as far forward as you can get it. The tire almost hits the front cylinder when the suspension is completely compressed. It’s got a long swingarm and carbon fiber fenders. The bikes weigh just over 500 pounds. That’s fairly light for a drag bike and extremely light for a street-ridden Harley-Davidson. The chassis will accept Evolution or Twin-Cam motors with FL transmissions, so we’ve got the shortest possible combination of motor and transmission to move the weight as far forward as we could. The bikes are very low profile. They look fast, even when they are sitting still. They’ve also got four inches of ground clearance, which is pretty rare. We smashed the backbone right down on top of the motor, and we’ve got the gas tank down over the backbone and actually cradling the cylinders, so the bike is very low-looking which makes it look faster and run faster on the track, getting out of the air. We use a lot of components from Harley-Davidson, so if you already have a stock Dyna, you can take most of the stuff right off that bike, and stick it right in my chassis and go racing. They kind of have an FXR look but are a lot longer in the back.

The average Harley enthusiast wants to do one of three things. They either want to buy a motorcycle because they’ve always wanted one, and the kids are finally out of school and gone, and they get a bike to go out for a Sunday ride, and that’s about all they ever do with it. The other guy wants to use it to commute and go to Sturgis and Daytona and ride all the time, because it’s his number one hobby. With most motorcyclists, that’s what they are going to use it for. That guy doesn’t need killer power, because he’s not going to go racing, but he wants good power, so he can accelerate in third or fourth gear. He wants to be able to pull out into traffic and not get run over by a semi. If he wants good power, we have motor kits for that. It’s a little bit less expensive kit and a little less radical and will live on pump gas. It uses a stock clutch and a stock starter. You boost the power 25 or 30 percent, and that’s all those guys need. Then there’s the guy that all he wants to do is get drunk and race his buddies from bar to bar. He wants 300 horsepower, because all that matters is getting to that intersection first. They don’t have any interest in drag racing, but they want horsepower. When I was at Gail’s, I designed a 100 horsepower kit that became very popular. You could install it in one day, and it wasn’t a radical kit, but it made 100 horsepower. We used to do about 100 of those kits per year, and I’ve done about 5 or 6 out here in the last couple of months. People love them. That’s probably your three main Harley enthusiast types.

Then there are guys like me. I don’t spend a lot of time riding on the road. I don’t enjoy going out on my bike and drinking, so I don’t go to a lot of bike nights, but I’m going to try to hit more of them this year. My thing is, when everybody else is going to bike night on Wednesday, I usually go to the track. It’s all about seeing how fast and how quick I can go at the racetrack. So everybody has different ideas what they want to use their Harleys for, and I want to be able to give you all of those avenues. I want to be able to answer everybody’s dreams, and that’s what Dyno Mike’s is all about.

A lot of the Harley dealerships don’t want to do the wide tire kits because of the liability, but I feel like if it’s done right the liability is very minimal. When you are messing with the frame, you can’t jack around. It’s got to be cut right, moved to the right spot, and welded on right. This is a fabrication deal, and I don’t really know where you would go to learn it. I’m self-taught, and I have all of the equipment to do it here. Wherever I’ve gone since I was 17 years old right out of high school, I have always surrounded myself with lathes, mills, welders, grinders, plasma cutters—all the equipment it took to do the things that I think need to be done to these motorcycles. Out here I have a MIG welder, TIG welder, lathe, mill, presses, and everything it takes to do this type of work, and I like doing it. Even the 180 tire kits, we can do in one day. The hold-up on the 180 tire kits is getting the back fender painted. When you buy a bolt-on fender, there are no holes for mounting, no holes for taillights and license plat brackets, no holes for the blinkers. You have to drill all of those. On the bobtail bikes like the Night Trains and Softail Customs, I’ve never found a good mail-order fender for those. I use Brian at Whiz Bang for the 180 kits because he cuts the fenders, puts the wider cateye tail light in them, makes the license plate holder that goes underneath, and makes them look really nice. I take care of everything including getting the fender ready and painted and getting the seat modified to fit the new fender radius. I charge a flat fee that’s the same for every bike. You have to pay the painter and buy your parts, but when I’m done, it’s ready to ride out of here. When I take on a project, I like to finish it for the customer.

I joke with my vendors and tell them the only things their parts will bolt onto are my lathe and mill, and they certainly don’t bolt onto any motorcycles. My Dynamic Chassis bikes are designed to give you a chassis that has everything in the right spot, and everything fits. You don’t have to be a welder or a machinist to make that bike go down the road. I sell those bikes all the way from a bare frame to a complete motorcycle—chromed, painted and ready to go, turnkey. They range from $5,500 to $50,000 depending on what you want. If you want an 8-second street bike, I don’t recommend you get on it and ride it to Sturgis, but if you want to take it up there and run it in the drags, it will go in the 8s if you can ride it. Back to my saying, “Fast is easy, quick is hard.”

Along with Amanda Macy’s 2005 Harley-Davidson Pro Mod Drag Bike, which is featured on the cover of this month’s issue, lets take a look at a few of the other bikes built and customized by Dyno Mike Wilson.

This bike started out as a Heritage that had been rear-ended by a semi. Dyno Mike converted it to a Fat Boy. He cut off the struts, straightened them and moved them out, and installed a 180 tire kit with a Russ Wernimont rear fender. The bike features a 103-inch stroker motor making 120 horsepower, Screamin’ Eagle Exhaust with Mike’s modified baffle, chrome front end, and wheels from Carriage Works. Brian Plihal did the paint. At the strip, it has run 11.40s at 120 M.P.H. This bike is Dyno Mike’s daily rider.

The “Bones Bike” is the prototype for the Dynamic Chassis, built for testing and development. It features an FXR style chrome-molly Kosman chassis, Kosman wheels and brakes, CO2 system for the air shifter, 117-inch motor, Super D carburetor, hand-made exhaust system, and paint by Brian Plihal. This bike runs 9.60s at 140 M.P.H. but is not easy to ride. For the new Dynamic Chassis bikes, rake is changed from 33 degrees to 28 degrees. The gas tank is shortened, the motor and seat are moved forward, and the swingarm is longer. This dramatically reduces the tendency to wheelie, so it’s much easier to get out of the hole.

This is a 2005 Springer Softail with a 100 horsepower motor. It replicates a 1946 Knucklehead. It has a bobber theme and race theme going at the same time. It has been converted to chain drive on the rear wheel and belt drive on the primary. There are many custom components such as the oil tank and exhaust pipes. We smoothed the front end and powder coated the front part of the springer fork black to give it a nostalgic look. An unusual feature on this bike is the use of brass. It has brass risers other brass touches such as the seat bolts and oil tank lid. The clips that go in the pushrod tubes are brass-plated, and there is some brass plating on the exhaust system. Wheels and brake rotors are from Chip Foose. Dyno Mike smoothed the swingarm, and dropped the rear brake under the rotor. This bike is owned by Gaylon Soule for whom Mike has built several bikes.

Interview by Loney Wilcoxson

Photos by Michael Blomberg with Main Street Photography (816) 830-6363

March 31, 2006

IHD Powder Coating

Three months ago I was in need of a powder coating company that would not only deliver a fine quality product but also have it ready when they promised it would be done. So I was tasked with servicing a customer of mine and was completely lost in regard to where to go to have his wheels done. My customer only wanted a high-gloss black finish—not too tough, but it can be if you have not found a shop that has great reviews from word of mouth or just getting lucky.

So I did what almost everyone has had to do at one point or another, I looked in the Yellow Pages! I called IHD Powder Coating of North Kansas City and the rest is history. I spoke with Nathan Finney and he just simply said if we can hang it on the hook, we can coat it.

IHD Powder Coating has recently added a batch powder coating operation including a new batch oven, coating booth and now offers aluminum oxide blasting with the addition of a 20’ x 12’ blast room. “The installation of the new equipment was necessary to keep up with demand and shorten turn-around time,” noted Arell Wasson, Executive VP and Operations Manager. “It also enables us to expand our service options by handling larger and heavier parts. It has increased overall production capacity and allows us to process multiple colors and smaller orders much more efficiently.”

This equipment has been added to the conveyorized system installed in 2004 which includes a 3-stage washer, infrared dry-off and curing ovens and a paint booth that can handle parts up to 60”H x 32”W x 16’L. “We are constantly juggling our production schedule to meet the day-to-day demands of our customers,” noted Nathan Finney, Paint Shop Manager. “The additional equipment gives us more flexibility and makes it easier to meet the JIT needs of our customers.” IHD has also acquired a new delivery truck and offers pick-up and delivery services to their customers.

The company operates in a 55,000-sq-ft. facility with 20 employees. IHD is a full-service distributor of industrial component parts. The powder coating division serves numerous industries including material handling, truck equipment, architectural, recreational, automotive, office furniture, restaurants, retail fixtures, and general industry for OEM’s, custom fabricators, and individuals.

When I made my initial appointment to bring in the wheels, I was truly impressed with the large area and cleanliness of this facility. I have been in numerous painting facilities, and they are either dirty or just plain smell like methyl ethyl ketone so much that you can hardly breathe. Not so at this place. It was clean and organized. Nathan had told me in advance to remove all of the wheel bearings so this would not contaminate the new finish when it was in the oven at 400 degrees above Fahrenheit. Nathan also reminded me to use a low flash solvent to clean all excess grease and oil from these wheels; this will ensure that before prep this will not soak back into the metal.

Once the items that you want powder coated have been sandblasted and all old paint has been removed, they will be washed and all dust is then removed. At this point they are ready to apply the powder resin onto the parts that have been prepped. The negative charge will attach to the bare metal and this will hold up when in the baking process. After the baking process the newly coated items once cooled can be put back into service and be used immediately. So that is where they can give a quicker turn-around time on the frames, wheels and race chassis that they are currently coating on a day-to-day basis.

Nathan Finney and Arell Wasson are committed and strive for customer service and they are always happy to give you a tour and explain the process of this great corrosion-resistant process that gives long-lasting shine and appearance. They also have recently taken on a high-end production local wheel manufacturer to powder coat under the tightest of manufacturing guidelines with zero defects to be offered in the retail market.

So when you have had enough of that chipped, dull paint that bothers you every time you look at it, give Nathan a call and see what they can do for you. Their prices are very competitive so make your appointment now for a free estimate!

Below is the contact information to schedule an appointment with Nathan:

IHD Powder Coating Services, Inc.
1201 Burlington
North Kansas City, MO 64116

Phone: (816) 221-9700
Fax: (816) 221-9701
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Dave Miller