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April 27, 2010

This week has started off like the other weeks two previous weeks have. Freaking tools breaking. I got in bright and early yesterday morning, got the first seat reshaped, memory foam installed and shot one staple and the staple gun broke. Great! So, I pulled the backup staple gun out of the haulers tool, shot 5 staples and it broke...Oh boy! Now I get the main gun from the hauler, shoot about 12 staples and it jams. I am thinking, what the hell is going on here? Luckily I was able to get it un-jammed and it's been working just fine since. But that leaves in a bind because I knew that I needed that gun for Thunder Beach and I have to have a working gun here at the shop for Brent and Steve to use. So as soon as I finished the seats I needed to I was on the road with two broke guns and going to where I had previously dropped off another broke gun 4 weeks ago. Needless to say it wasn't fixed yet so I picked it up and added to the other two and went to another place that works on them and dropped them off, the bad thing is they don't know if they can fix them or not. So when I got back to the shop I was on the horn trying to track down some staple guns. After a few calls I finally found 3 and picked them up and after a little oiling and testing they all seem to be working good so we are back 100% with spare guns just in case.

The glue gun that had broke got returned on Friday and I got it hooked up Saturday. Worked flawlessly till yesterday around noon and it started leaking again. I called the rep and left a message and after an hour or so of waiting on him to call back I tore into the gun and cleaned it up again. It looked like the tip was a little loose so I tightened it up and it's been working just fine now so hopefully its good. I didn't no more than get in my office and the rep calls. I told him what I had done and he told me if we have any more issues he will overnight us a gun which made me feel a lot better knowing that if it's not fixed they will have a gun here the next day so the shop can continue running.

And while we are on the as the World Turns at MCC let me tell what happened to my bike last week. I have been making a few changes on the bike. Derk at Baddad www.baddad.com wanted me to try a new rear fender he had come up with. After looking at it and thinking about it, it really wasn't the look I was after because it utilizes the stock brake lights and signals. So after him and I talked a little he offer to send one of his regular fenders...Hell yeah! I have always liked their rear fender. Anyways, I decided this would be a good time to switch exhaust on the bike, so I did. D&amo;D Fatcat 2 into 1. I got the bike all back together about 3 weeks ago and really that's when everything started falling apart. First, the new front fender started rubbing the tire, no idea why or how. This started on the way back from a pretty long ride, around 185 miles. I tried adjusting the fender and it didn't matter how the position was changed it would rub in a different area. So that fender was scrapped and another put on. Fixed that. The bike was tuned for a true dual exhaust and with the 2-1 it was dead. Between 2-3k rpm it felt like it was dying. So, I scheduled a dyno tune. I was really pleased with the numbers 105 HP 110 TQ. I was riding her home and heard spark knocking. Called the dealer, service guy said bring her back one day next week and he'll ride it. The first opportunity I had to take it in was last Thursday. He took her out and came back and said, yep, she is spark knocking. He said the next opening was in two weeks. Grrrr! I told him I was leaving on Tuesday for Thunder Beach. He said oh shit man, bring it in at 9 AM Tomorrow (Friday) So, 9:01 AM and I roll in. I go back to the shop and all is good. I had to leave early Friday to take the truck in for service (oil change and the usual bs) at 1 PM. About 2:30 the service manager calls me about my bike. He says I have good news and bad news. The good news was, the ping is gone. The bad news is the clutch adjuster broke on the clutch cable. I am thinking here we go again. He said they are pulling the cable off and are trying locate one that will fit my bike.(ape hangers +4 length) told me they would call me and let me know. Well, Saturday I called to see what they had found out. The part is supposed to be there Tuesday, UPS is bringing it and they either arrive at 9 AM or they come at 5 PM. So, my bike is getting fixed today I just don't know if it is going with me or staying home this trip. Luckily I have another bike I can take but damn I really like my street glide and have never left her behind so I am hoping UPS runs early today so I can take it. So this month has been a real challenge, if it can break, it has broken. Come on May!

We have been busting butt here at the shop are working the back log down to more in the area I prefer to be in. Currently we are just over 5 weeks out but I think by the end of this week we should be in the 4 week range which is really good for this time of year. The number of orders being called in have fallen a little bit but the drop off seats have picked up but we have really been digging trying to get wait time down.

While I am at Thunder Beach setup Brent and Steve will be running the shop so it will be business as usual here. I couldn't ask for two better employees. These two guys really like their jobs and it shows. Both are customer friendly and have the same desire as I do to make every customer happy so just because I won't be at the shop don't think the shop is closed. Feel free to call them and ask any questions you may have or to schedule. One emailing questions note. You will probably want to email Brent This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for the quickest email responses while I am at Thunder Beach. I will have email access and can reply but at the rallies we get extremely busy and I usually don't check emails but once a day and that is at night after we have shut down.

We are setting up at a new location this year at Thunder Beach. They have moved the rally head quarters to the Bay Pointe Marriot and that is where we are setting up this year. Last year we were at Club La Vela which is a good location but nothing like being at the rally head quarters because everybody goes there. They have vendors setup inside and out and it has the biggest draw of riders so I expect we will be really busy, hopefully even busier than we were at the fall rally which was a real good rally for us. I will be updating our Facebook page and Twitter page while there so be sure to check those pages out. I will be posting pictures on Facebook also, you never know what you're going to see at a rally.

That's going to wrap up this weeks what's new. I have been loading the hauler since Friday and I have a few more things to put on it and it will be ready to hit the road.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

April 19, 2010

Don't you just love Monday's? It's really not that bad compared to the previous weeks but we just have to take it in stride and keep chugging along. There is some bad news this week and that is we will not be setting up at the Thunder in the Valley rally. First, one of our spray guns starting messing up and it had to be sent in for repair. I know some guys are going to say, why don't you have a spare? Well, long story short is money. The glue guns we use are totally different from any other on the market thus they are expensive and normally we do have a spare, the one that is used in the hauler and its getting used now and our main shop gun is the one that is sent off for repair. It should be back, hopefully Friday of this week and we'll be good but worst case scenario it will be back early the following week which will be just in time for us to get the hauler ready for the next rally which will be Thunder Beach and if it push comes to shove we'll buy another gun to ensure that we are there. So Thunder in the Smokies is out but Thunder Beach is a definite go.

The past few Mondays we have been breaking scheduling records. We are still holding right at 6 weeks out on scheduling which is pretty good really for this time of year and especially with all the seats we have been scheduling. We have been working our butts off keeping us where we are and hopefully we won't get any further out.

A few years ago we started offering our modifications on aftermarket seats and this has almost doubled business. At one of the rallies a while back I noticed a couple aftermarket seat employees snooping around the hauler and really didn't think much of it. Then back around December we had an aftermarket seat to work on and I saw a change in the glue they were using. It looked like the glue we use. I forgot to say something to our glue supplier to see if the company was using their glue at the time but last week we had another one come in with the same glue and I was talking with the rep that day and mentioned it. He verified that the company had started using their glue also. Hmmm...looks like I need to keep our products a little more discreet. But I am happy for my supplier, they make a great product and they deserve more sales.

I have already started getting emails about where we will be set up at in Sturgis. We will be set up in the same location as last year which is right beside Sturgis Harley Davidson on Main St. It's real easy to find. If you are standing in the Sturgis Harley Davidson parking lot we will be to the left of it, you can't miss everything set up in the lot. Our spot is right beside of Amsoil's BIG tent. We will be offering our modifications there again this year and from all of the emails I would say we will be busier this year than last year which is good.

Pretty much the same questions about Thunder Beach. We will be set up at the Bay Point Marriott Golf Resort & Spa which is the rally headquarters for this year's event. They will have vendors inside and out and we will be setup in the lot outside. My good friend Robbie is going with me to this rally to help and he will also be going to Sturgis again with me this year. Thunder Beach is about a 7 hour drive for us while Sturgis is 28 hours.

That's going to wrap up this week's update. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

April 9, 2010

I have been really stretched thin on time to sit down and write a What's New update the past several weeks. This past week we were closed Friday through Monday for Easter and we got hammered Tuesday. We scheduled well over 20 seats on Tuesday alone and that isn't including the people who stopped by the shop. Wednesday wasn't too bad but yesterday was another busy day and luckily today things have settle down somewhat.

Time has really been flying by the past several months and business has been really good. We had our first event of the year the last week in March and it went really well and looking at the calendar the next one is only two weeks away with another one the following week.

I want to thank everyone who has been recommending us to their friends and fellow riders they meet. MCC wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for all you guys and gals spreading the word about us and I just want to thank you all. It really amazes me at how much the business has grown in 6 years and knowing that I have been trying to keep from growing too fast. This year looks to be our best yet and I really need to do some planning so it can grow some more but there is the time issue and finding the right people who will fit in with what we do.

This past Sunday my Ex-wife and daughter Megan was in a head on collision just outside of Maiden. I won't get into a lot of details but both on are recovering now and hopefully my daughter will be out of ICU in the next few days. Both are at Carolina's Medical Center in Charlotte NC and the best doctors in the state are taking care of them. I want to thank everyone who has been praying for them and ask that you please continue to do so. Both has several surgeries still in their future and a long way to go yet.

That's going to wrap up this week's What's New. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

May 6, 2010

We made it back from Thunder Beach safe and sound and had a pretty good time and we fared pretty well considering everything that went wrong.  They were supposed to have us hooked up and power on around 1:30 to 2 PM on Wednesday.At 8:30 PM still no power but we were told the electrician was on his way but it was going to another hour or two before he got there.  We called it a night and everything was ready, we just needed to test all the equipment.Thursday morning we head back early, get to the hauler around 7 AM and we were hooked up but the power wasn't on.  Around 8:30 the power came on and we started testing everything.  The first problem hit, the compressor wouldn't come on.  We did a few tests with what we had and we had power to the compressor but it wasn't even trying to come on.  We headed back to the hotel on the bikes to get the truck.  I called my buddy Matt who wired the hauler up and he thought it was the way we were hooked up to power that was causing the problem.  Long story short, 11:30 AM we were finally up and running and we had 8 people waiting on us to do their seats.  Not the way you want to start out.  The rest of the day went smooth and we were busy.Friday morning we go in and everything is going great.  We were on our 8th seat by 1:30 which is busting butt and then the rain started.  We were lucky compared to other location because we only got a light shower but further west they got flooded.  The bad thing though that 8th seat was our last one for the day because the rain stopped all the riding.  Saturday morning started the worst.  We get the hauler early because we had a lot of people saying they were coming back first thing in the morning and our glue container had fallen and busted.  4 1/2 gallons of glue all over the place.We started cleaning it up and sure enough here comes the crowd.  Luckily our glue is non-toxic and water soluble but there wasn't a water hose for 500feet so we had to haul water to our spot which took around a hour to clean everything up.  The rest of the day was very busy and Saturday was by far our best day.  But the bad luck didn't end there.  On the way home got hit by a tractor trailer tire tread and it mashed in the right front of the hauler so now the hauler looks wrecked but the good thing is we made it home safely but with the damage to the hauler it probably took us out of the green and put us in the red for that rally.

I am not sure what is going on but the past few weeks have been terrible.First I didn't get take my bike with us because the clutch cable broke onFriday, two weeks before that the glue gun in the shop broke, the Monday before leaving 3 staple guns broke then with everything that went wrong at the rally I almost thinking someone put a curse on us.  But looking back,the past couple of years everything has gone smoothly so hopefully all the bad karma is gone now and we can get back to doing what we do best and not have to repair anything else.

The scheduling has been very good the past several weeks and to my surprise we have actually been able to get our back log down a little bit also. We are just over 4 weeks on scheduling right now and that is awesome for this time of year but I feel like we will be getting another surge soon.

I want to thank the guys at the shop, Brent and Steve did a great job while Robbie and I were in Panama City Beach. It's nice not having to worry about what is going on at the shop while I am away and to know our customers are getting taken care of just as good as if I were there, thanks guys. I also want to thank Robbie for all his help in Panama.

That's going to wrap up this week's up update, I have to get back to work, we have a busy cover day today.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

March 26, 2010

This past week has been pretty much a carbon copy of the previous weeks with us working our butts off, which is a good thing. The scheduling has remained very strong and we have been keeping right on schedule so everything is working and flowing really good. We are currently booking the first week of May now which is further out than I would like to be really but I don't want to get where we are having to rush through seats to get everything done, even though we are busy we still have to take our time on each seat to ensure it is done properly and if we would add another seat to each day's work it would most likely be too much and I do not want to lose quality.

It looks like spring time is finally hitting our neck of the woods. This past week we have had several days in the low to mid 70's and that always brings in traffic to the shop. Our new location is really paying off and walk/ride in traffic has increased around 75-80% over the old shop but we are on Main Street now and not hidden like we were.

This afternoon we head out for our first event for the year. We will be setting up at the Charlotte NC CBA Swap meet this weekend. If you are interested in checking it out, information can be found here www.charlottecba.org the swap meet part is around the 5th button from the bottom on the left hand navigation bar. Saturday's hours are from 11 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM. The weather on Saturday is looking pretty good but Sunday they are calling for a chance of rain.

I know I have said it before but it's something that I cannot over emphasize, Thank You! 99% of all of our work comes to us via word of mouth and I just want every one of our previous customers to know that we appreciate them telling their friends and family about us and our services. Word of mouth is the best advertising there is hands down and it really makes me happy that our customers are that happy with our work. Thank you guys, we really do appreciate you guys spreading the word about us. This really helps us keep our cost down because we do not have to spend much on advertising. Last year we put a few ads in a couple of national magazines and honestly it really didn't pay off. The first month it would be decent but after that we would get maybe one person who told us they saw our ad in a magazine. Sure it was cool seeing our ad in them but honestly it was a waste of money and the only way to keep on doing it was to either raise our prices to compensate for it and that isn't going to happen.

One really big surprise, well maybe not that big of a surprise really after thinking about it but the Impact Gel sales have jumped off the chart. We switched from our own Comfort Cruizer gel pads to the Impact gel pads last year after talking with Impact Gel at the Thunder Beach rally last year. Why? Because they have a better product than what we had and I am all about using the best stuff available. Last year we installed around 125-135 Impact Gel pads, this year we have already installed over 75 and that is in less than three months. Like I said when we brought them in our product line, these are the best pads you can buy and that is why we switched.

One last thing. The shop will be closed this Saturday March 27th so if you call, just leave a message and we will return your call on Monday. Also next Friday April 2nd thru Monday April 5th we will be closed for the Easter holiday. Again, if you call just leave a message and we will return your call on Tuesday April 6th.

Have a great weekend and if you're at the swap meet this week end stop by and say hey. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

March 16, 2010

The past two weeks have been extremely busy both here at the shop and working on different rallies and other motorcycle events to setup at. Last week we finalized two new events.

The first event will be March 27th and 28th. We are going to be setting up at the Charlotte CBA swap meet www.charlottecba.org I have attended this event several times over the years and they have a huge turnout and kind of kicks off the riding season in our area. We will be setup in the parking lot and will be working on seats there.

The second event will be Thunder in the Smokies. Which will be April 23rd - 25th. I haven't ever been to this event before but have talked to a lot of people who go every year and this weekend rally has been growing bigger and bigger each year. They have riders come in from as far as Arizona.

I also got word this week as to where we will be setting up for Thunder Beach. We will be at the Rally Headquarters which is the Marriot hotel.

So as of right now we are scheduled for 7 events this year and of course the big one will be the 70th Annual Sturgis Rally and Races, my favorite rally. A few of the shows the shop crew will be at but I am also going to have to use some road crew because we don't close the shop while the events take place in most cases. This year is going to be very busy and we will be burning up some miles and diesel fuel.

We are right at 6 weeks out on scheduling and we are doing everything we can to maintain this but it's probably going to get another week out or so before we hit the peak. We are all working our butts off trying to keep up and work everything in but we are just getting so much business right now it has been tough keeping up with it all. This isn't a bad thing really when you take in consideration that our turnaround time is still overnight because the seats only need to be at the shop the day before they are scheduled for then the next day they are completed and shipped back.

I have to give a shout out to the crew, Brent and Steve. These guys have been busting butt working on seats and if it weren't for them the schedule would be a lot further out so thanks guys for the hard work.

That's going to wrap up this week's up date, gotta get back to work. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

March 9, 2010

The past couple weeks have been really busy and that is always good. We are scheduling the middle of April currently and have adjusted our daily output to compensate for the increased number of orders to keep the scheduling in control. The first year we started scheduling we got out to three months, last year we were able to keep it within 2 months and the goal this year is to keep it within 6 weeks and we should be able to maintain that...hopefully.

I want to thank everyone who has been recommending our services, we really appreciate it. We enjoy our job and enjoy meeting and talking to fellow bikers/riders. Everybody at the shop rides so we understand the importance of a comfortable motorcycle seat on long rides and short rides for that matter.

Daytona has come and gone again and from what I have heard the attendance was down and the weather wasn't too good. I felt like attendance was down this year because usually we will have several people stop by the shop on their way down to have their seat worked on and this year we didn't have any which was kind of weird but our scheduling was up during the Daytona time frame which usually it will drop off a little. Maybe the high prices they charge down there are starting to catch up to them and make them rethink their I am going to make all my money in two weeks out of the year and charge accordingly. I know Sturgis raises their prices during the rally but nothing like Daytona does and we can actually go to Sturgis and make money where we would be lucky to break even going to Daytona and it is half the distance to travel..go figure.

I have been posting pictures of custom covers and some other seats we have done recently on Face Book so be sure to keep up with us there and on Twitter, although I do get too busy from time to time and forget to tweet but I try to stay on top of what we have going on there also.

That's going to wrap up this week's what's new update. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

February 26, 2010

Another busy week is almost over and I am ready for the weekend myself. We are running right on schedule and haven't had any issues getting all the seats done on time which is always a good thing. We have been scheduling the seats for 3 years now and haven't had to change a thing because it works so well. It's really hard to believe that we got that right on the first try, usually you have tweak stuff to get it just right over time but I guess we got lucky. Well, let me take that back. We did have to tweak it the second year a little bit.

This past week must have been aftermarket seat week. I know I have had over 30 emails requesting work on the aftermarket seats and we have had 9 or 10 people stop by the shop with different ones also. Save your money and get your stock seat re-worked. The aftermarket seats are still a one size fits all seat but they just cost a lot more.

We are currently scheduling the first week of April and I have been adding more seats to be day each day also, I love being that far out on scheduling because I know next month is covered but customers don't like waiting that long to send their seats so I am going to start putting a few seats in ride in time slots. With the weather being so crappy this year we haven't been getting ride in customers every day and this will help us get to where I would prefer us to be on the scheduling. The people who take a ride in slot will still have to schedule and the same rule apply that the seat must be here the day before it is scheduled but instead of the seat being shipped the day it is scheduled on it will ship the next day because the seat will be completed after FedEx picks up. There may be an instance where the seat will ship the day it is scheduled on but those will be far and few between.

Speaking of weather, I don't know about you guys but I am tired of all the snow we have been getting. Usually in North Carolina the winters aren't too bad and usually you can ride at least once maybe twice a week but this year I know my bike has sat for over a month but this past weekend was pretty good and I did get a fix. Let's hope this crap gets gone and the weather takes a turn for the good so we can start riding more.

That's going to wrap up this week's update. Thanks to everyone who has recommended us and to everyone who is using our services. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride..

February 22, 2010

Sorry for not updating till now, we have been extremely busy and I just haven't had much time to sit down and write on what's been going on here at the shop. As usual this time of year is really busy for us and this year we are busier than ever. With all the scheduling we have been doing and with me working on trying to get thing finalized for the rallies it has kept us jumping from one thing to another. The orders for new covers have really picked up this year also.

Daytona, No we are not going this year. The cost is just too much and quite honestly with all the work we have coming into the shop we just can't spare the man power to go either so while I would have liked to have been able to go it just isn't going to happen.

I want to thank everyone who has been referring us, as I mentioned before this year has been our busiest yet and there are a lot of people saying that previous customers have recommended them and thank you all for that. As I always say, happy customers send more customers and that couldn't be further from the truth...thank you all. I have to thank the crew here at the shop also, these guys have been busting butt to keep us on schedule and get the seats done, thanks guys.

We are further out than I prefer to be right now, as of today we are booking April 6th which is over 6 weeks out and that is just too far so we are going to do some creative scheduling and I want to get this back down to a maximum of 4 weeks out. What I am going to do is start booking seats in ride in time slots, with the weather here being what it has been we haven't been getting many ride ins right now so this should help us get our time frame down a little.

That's going wrap up this week's up date, I have a thousand things to still get done but wanted to let you guys know we are still here and working out butts off getting seats done. So, till next time be safe and enjoy the ride. Spring is just around the corner.

February 6, 2010

Another wintery mess has hit us again. This time it was mostly a sleet and snow mix and the roads were really slick Friday morning so to ensure no one took a chance of having a accident and getting injured the shop was closed Friday. They are calling for another wintery mix Tuesday into Wednesday but I am keeping my fingers crossed in hopes we won't get anything or just rain.

Our website was down Thursday. There was a problem with the servers but our web guys got that fixed and everything is back up and running again. Thanks to everyone who sent emails and called to let us know about this problem. We try to get on the web site several times a day to ensure everything is up and running but sometimes get too busy to check and won't know anything is wrong for several hours but it's good to know we have customers out there checking up on us.

I am almost certain now that we will not be in Daytona this year. The cost of setting up there is just way to expensive. It isn't that we do not want to go, it's just that I am not going to pay five grand for a spot to set up and that isn't even a good location. The better locations are anywhere from eight to ten grand and I blame that on the greedy businesses. Sure they need to make money but they want to get it all at one time and excuse my French but fuck'em. After the travel expenses down there and back, lodging for 12 days and the spot cost we would be lucky to break even and that would be working our asses off every day and one bad day then we would be coming home in the hole and to me that isn't smart business. So we will skip Daytona again this year. If you want to stop by the shop on your way down that is cool but Daytona isn't going to be on our 2010 tour list.

This year has been very busy and our back log has filled up quicker than previous years. We have been working our butts off trying to keep the scheduling under a month but we are out just a little over a month right now. We will continue to keep working hard to keep this down but one good thing about scheduling is you do not have to send your seat in right away so you can continue to ride and not be without your seat very long. This has been working very well for us and our customers for the past three years now and we will continue to use this process because it works great for us and our customers. We do still offer our Express service but personally I would rather have everyone schedule because it keeps everything nice and simple and it flows good.

Last thing, just a thank you to all of our customers. This year we have seen a big spike in referrals from previous customers and I want to thank each and every one of you for letting your friends and fellow riders know about us. We work hard on every seat and we want our customers happy and when someone tells us that a previous customer told them about us it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that our work is appreciated and that we are doing our job right. So thank you all for spreading the word.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

January 23, 2010

Another busy week behind us and we are rolling along pretty good right now. When we started scheduling this was for two reasons. The first one was to cut down turnaround time. The second was to help control the number of seats we have in house better. Your seat has to be at the shop the day prior to its scheduled date then the next day it is completed and shipped back. So far this has been working really well but we are still having a few people sending the seats in un-scheduled. It hasn't been a big issue yet but what we do on these seats is put them on whatever day we are scheduling when the seat arrives. For example say we get a seat in today(1/23/2010)and we are scheduling Feb 23rd then we would put that seat on that date to be done. Right now with the cold weather it isn't a issue for most people really but as we start getting into the warmer months this will become an issue so I always recommend scheduling this way you get to keep your seat longer to ride on and the seat will only be at the shop overnight as long as it is here the day before. I am trying to make this as easy as possible for both you and us.

I have sent in the rallies dates to be posted to our web guy(Ron)and he should be updating the upcoming rally dates soon. I did get some bad news from one of the rallies. We will not get our same location for Thunder Beach this year which really sucks because I liked that location and it worked really well for us. I am in talks with them now trying to land a good spot for the rally but it is looking like they want to put us out at Frank Brown Park and if that happens then we will not be going to this rally. Frank Brown Park is nice but it is a grassy field and while Panama Beach generally has good weather if it would rain then nobody is going to go there as to where we have been setup was a paved lot and bikers don't have a problem riding on wet pavement, they won't touch wet grass. I will keep you posted, I am very optimistic though and feel sure we will come to an agreement.

We have been doing some pretty cool new covers with different color combinations and I will be sure to get these pictures posted soon and I am also working on some new stitching designs also. Currently we are only offering two versions of flames, traditional and tribal in various colors.

It is hard to believe that January is almost over already. Seems like we were just coming back in from Christmas but as they say time fly's when you are having fun so I guess we have been having fun.

I have started tweeting and have created a Facebook page for MCC. If you want to follow us on Twitter just go to www.twitter.com/meancitycycles and if you have a Facebook page you can become a fan of ours, simply search Mean City Cycles. I have already uploaded a lot of pictures and have a lot more to do and have been tweeting our daily progress on seats. I am thinking about getting a little more detailed on the tweeting but I just need to figure out what type of format to use.

That's going to wrap up this update, this coming week is going to be another busy week.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

January 16, 2010

2010 has started out really busy for us. We are almost a month out on scheduling and by the end of next week we most likely will be but we will make some changes so we don't get too far out. By the end of February we will have a real good picture as to how things are going to be this year but so far so good.

There isn't really anything new going on right now. We are just working on seats, answering emails and phone calls which the phone calls are really picking up and the emails are coming in spurts. One quick note about emails. If you send us a email with a question we will reply and it is usually within 8 hours, most of the time its less than a hour so if you do not have not received a reply within 12 hours from us you need to check your spam folder because we reply to every email. I have had several guys call in and say they sent a email and never received a reply but when they checked their spam folders they found our reply.

I am still getting asked, Are you going to Daytona? I don't know. I have been trying to find a location and am going to email a couple places today to see what their rates are but until I can find something reasonable I doubt we will be there honestly. If any of you guys know someone who has a 20 ft x 30 ft spot somewhere that gets good traffic in the Daytona area let me know or have them email or call me. Do I want to go? Yes, but as I have stated in the past I am not going down there and working my butt off for 10 days to just hope to break even. Most places I have heard from want anywhere from $5000 to $10,000 for a spot and that is just crazy.

We still need to get some recent pictures of the new shop posted on the site. We are settled in pretty good and the location is working out good for us also. It has surprised me how many motorcycles ride by the shop each day but that has been somewhat off the past few weeks with the weather being as cold as it has been but we were able to get our bikes out the past couple of days and enjoy some low 50 degree riding. It was nice to be back on two wheels again.

Well that's going to do it for this update. As usual be safe, stay warm and enjoy the ride.

January 5, 2010

This year has started off with a big bang. December is sort of our kick off month for the new season because that is when orders start picking up again and again this year that holds true. January is usually a pretty good scheduling month and so far this is being one of the best January's to date. We have already filled one week in just two days, looks like this may be a busy year if the scheduling follows its normal pattern and we certainly need business to be good.

I am still getting a lot of calls and emails asking about if we are going to be in Daytona this spring. It is looking doubtful seriously. Like I have mentioned in the past, the cost of setting up there is outrageous and I just don't want to get into a situation to where I am working my butt off to break even, that isn't worth it to me. I will say however that I had the same experience when trying to find a spot for Sturgis and luckily found a great location at a decent amount so I won't rule Daytona out yet but it is looking very doubtful. I want to go so hopefully I can get something worked out. I have found a accommodations that are reasonable but not a location just yet.

While I am talking about the events I am about 80% sure we will be at Thunder Beach this spring. Then we will have a month off before the event which will be in Lincolnton NC for the Hog Happenin then the next month we are off to Sturgis again. I just signed a 5 year contract with our lot owner so that will put us there for the 70th Annual and the big 75th Annual rallies plus the 4 in between. I am really excited about going back to Sturgis again but I will say I am dreading the drive there. It took us 28 hours last year to get to Rapid City which is where we spent the night Sunday then rode into Sturgis Monday morning and started setting up. This year should be smoother and I have worked it out with the lot manager so we do not have to get there a week early to set up. I have also added some new things to the hauler that makes it easier to move around by hand. Then after the Sturgis rally we will be heading back to Panama Beach to cap off the year. There are some other shows and events that I have not mentioned that are in the negotiating stages and as soon as everything is finalized for each event we will post it on the site in the Events section.

I am going to call it a wrap for this week's up date. Talking about the rallies and such I just realized I need to send this information to Ron so he can get it posted on the site. So till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.(brrr...it's cold too)

December 15, 2009

This will be the last what's new update for this year so I thought I would do kind of a review of this past year.

2009 has been our best year yet and the outlook for 2010 is even brighter. This year marked many first for MCC. The most notable would be going to Sturgis and setting up. Sturgis was a great time really and it proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. The only drawback that I had was being out of the shop for two weeks but the shop crew kept things up and running, I just don't like being gone from my baby that long. The ride to Sturgis was a long one though, 28 hours straight through and that was with Robbie and me taking turns napping and driving. The first day we were open which was the Friday before the rally started I was really nervous, mostly after we closed and all we did was one seat. Yeah, one seat. We took in a hundred bucks plus the tax. It had me wondering how we were going to get home. The gas bill to Sturgis was over $800 so I knew I had to come up with $800 to get us back home and plus I had to pay Robbie, I knew I could go without being paid but luckily the next day we got busy and then on Monday which was the day the rally officially started we got really busy and it held out all week long. We actually came out in the green and I was just hoping to break even.

But probably the most important thing leading up to Sturgis was getting the trailer finally finished so we could work out of it and doing the test run at the shop in it then going to the Hog Happenin in Lincolnton NC. Things started off slow there but once it got going we had a good day and found some kinks we needed to work out but the success we had there is what lead me to pursue going to a larger event.

2009 also was the first time I had to hire more employees's to keep things running. We had 5 people at one point which I know isn't a lot but for the size of our shop and what we do I think that is pretty good. All we work on is motorcycle seats and to be able to bring in enough seats for 5 people to be working is a lot of seats.

We had more ride in seats this year than we ever had in the past, I don't have the numbers tallied up but I estimate we had between 150-200 ride in customers this year. It started really early this year also, we had guys scheduling ride in appointments in January and as the temperature warmed up we were having 2 to 3 a day and we were booking them up weeks in advance.

There are two downsides to 2009, one was my dog Axle passing away brought him home when he was just 6 weeks old, I still miss him today. The other was leaving the old shop. I still remember the first day in the shop after it was built. I looked over the shop and thought, man I will never out grow this place, there was so much room. I think a month later we added on to it again.

Another highlight of the year was having two bikes that we did seats on win in Daytona. One won the Rat Hole show which is one of the biggest bike shows of the year and the other won the Boardwalk show, pretty cool I think. I don't consider MCC a Custom Bike seat company and it's not really our forte but it's pretty cool to be able to say that we did those two seats.

This year we quit offering our Comfort Cruizer gel pads and became the National installer of Impact Gel. I had seen the infomercials about their shoe inserts and had no idea they even made motorcycle seat gel pads but when I was at the Thunder Beach rally I met the Florida sales rep and was really impressed with these pads. He put his hand under a gel pad and whacked the crap out of it with a hammer. I couldn't wait to get back to the shop to see if I could that with our pads, needless to say I couldn't. I tried it with our pads and if I barely hit it I could feel it. I called Impact gel that day and well, the rest as they say is history. I have always wanted to offer the best products out there and I can honestly say that the Impact Gel pads are the best and I am happy that we have them. We have installed more gel pads this year than we ever have in the past and I think 2010 will beat this year easily. We have installed somewhere around 250-300 of the Impact gel pads and have not had one complaint, that says a lot right there.

This year was the first year we were in a major magazine and ended up being in 5 different ones which is pretty cool. I actually advertised in one for a while but I have found that nothing beats word of mouth so I doubt we will go down that road again but you never know. I also I had my first interview this past year, sure it was a local paper but people are starting notice that MCC is here and we are the real deal. The funniest thing about that interview was a question the reporter asked. "How does it feel to be expanding your business in Maiden with Ethan Allen and Apple(computers)?" I held back my laugh with that one, having MCC and Apple computers in the same sentence about growth is just too funny but again it makes me realize that people are noticing what we are doing here and they are seeing us grow which is really incredible in this economy.

The last major undertaking of this year was moving into the new shop. Located right on Main Street in Maiden, everybody in Maiden knows we are here now. The old shop was hidden off the beaten path but not anymore. Since moving into the new location our local business has really picked up and before it turned cold we were having 7-10 people a week bringing in seats to have them worked on which is really big because all of our work had mainly came from people in other states who heard about us through internet forums or word of mouth from previous customers. So having local people having their seats done is going to drive up business more and like I said the future looks mighty bright.

The thing that really hits home for 2009 is our 5 year anniversary is over. 5 years ago I wouldn't have ever thought MCC would be where it is today honestly. Who would have ever thought? It all started out of my dad's garage, making a mess but making motorcycle seats comfortable. If you were to compare one of the first seats that were done to what we are doing today there is a night and day difference really but the basics are still the same. My first and most important aspect of every seat is making the customer happy with their seat and shaping it to fit each person and that will never change. Why would I?. That is what has brought us to where we are and we need to stick to the basics, customer service and quality because they are a proven winner.

Well, that's it folks. Thanks to all of our customers of 2009 and previous years, if it weren't for you guys and gals MCC wouldn't be here and that's a fact. You have made us what we are today and thank you for the support. I hope everyone has Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

December 5, 2009

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving; it's hard to believe that we are heading towards Christmas now. Where does the time go? Seems like yesterday that we were heading down to Panama for the Spring rally and here we are planning for the next spring rally there.

Just as previous years, the scheduling has picked up even more after the Thanksgiving holiday. We are still maintaining our one week out though but I doubt that will last much longer because the numbers scheduling is starting to overtake the time slots for each day.

The new shop is about 90% complete now. Our sign guy came today and put up the main sign on the front of the building. There is one wall to finish in the back to close up the office. I had a Pepsi rep stop by a few weeks ago and we were supposed to have a Pepsi machine in the shop but it hasn't showed up so we may be going a different route. Aaron(our sign/screen printer)said they have a machine that has drinks and snacks that a local vending company stocks so we may go that route and have our own Gedunk machine...bet most of you don't know what that is....Old Navy term, google it.

I'll get some pictures of the shop since the old pictures were still a work in process and post them next week, its really looking good and is so much more efficient now. The last thing to wrap up will be the new seat fitting area that will be available for our ride in customers and when that is done we will be finished for the time being anyways. I am guessing that area will be completed sometime in January to early February just in time for the riding season.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

Testimonials

1200 miles in 4 days
Thanks Allen, I got the seat on Tuesday and was off to the mountains on Thursday. Rode over 1200 miles in 4 days and if felt great.
Bill Haste


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