An Interview With Greg Rice, Owner of Greg’s Custom Cycle Works in Clearwater, FL
Since 1998, Greg’s Custom Cycle Works has sold, rented, repaired, serviced, and customized motorcycles. Today we are talking to Greg about how the services offered at his facility differ from those of your typical motorcycle shop.
Hello again, Greg. Very few people are familiar with the business of running a custom motorcycle shop. Can you tell us about what that’s like?
I try to diversify my business as much as I can. I consider it like a giant pie; every slice is a different part of my business. I try to have as many slices as I can to give me diversity. A lot of shops are service and repair shops. They sell parts and accessories, and then they may sell motorcycles. A lot of shops don’t sell motorcycles, but the bigger dealerships do. That’s the basic structure of their business. What I try to do is break down my business even further into doing the custom painting, which most shops sub out to paint facilities. We offer that painting service.
I understand that customization is a huge piece of this pie that you’re talking about. What other types of custom work does your shop do?
We do custom fiberglass work and custom metal work. This is a whole other source of income, doing custom fenders, glass fenders, modifying parts, and making them really customized. Then we have manufacturing parts, which is another part of the pie, which is our production parts. So it’s stuff that’s straight forward. We have basic fittings for different applications of motorcycle sets, or straight forward parts. Then, we offer custom parts of production parts where the customer says, “Hey I like this pair of handlebars that you manufacture, but I need it six inches taller, or I need to have more of a pullback, or I need to have this other tab or map or tachometer or speedometer, or some kind of gauge mounted in this particular place, can you do that?”
Custom motorcycle work is truly far more complicated than most people realize. What would you say sets your shop apart from the others?
About 90% of all manufacturers, higher than that probably, don’t do any kind of side bars to what they produce as a manufactured part, because it’s production, it’s turnkey and go. That’s what gives us more uniqueness to our business. We have the ability to do that, where other places are not so receptive to doing that. We do custom seat modification, we take the chassis and we may weld some different tubing or round stock, or maybe cut the horns off, or make a new set of fender struts, or what have you. We can modify a seat and custom foam it, maybe put a gel pack in it, design a cover for it, and complete that task. We don’t actually sew the cover in house, but we do the frame, foam it, gel pack it, design the cover, and then I actually have an upholsterer make a cover for the unit.
It sounds like your shop has a lot to offer anyone looking for custom work. Any final thoughts on the business of motorcycle customization?
The more diversified I am, the more steady I can become as a business.
Greg’s Custom Cycle Works is located in Clearwater, FL on 1141 Court Street. Learn more about their services at http://www.gregscycles.com/, or by calling 727-461-4840.
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