November 15, 2013

I know its been over 2 months since last writing an update.   I have been waiting to get some of the new 2014 bike seats in so I could tell what we have found and let you know you what we can or cannot do to them.  So let's get started.

We started receiving the 2014 Harley seats in around 3 weeks after they came out and Harley really hasn't changed much if anything to them.  The seat pans on the touring bikes are the same as last year's which came out midway through 2010 on some of the Ultra limited's and called the "LOW" seat pan.  These are very good seats to modify and work well with our modifications. 

Two months and one week after placing the order our new 2014 Indian Chieftain finally arrived and as they say "good things come to those who wait".  I didn't have anybody free who could take me to the dealership to pick the bike us so I had to trailer it to the shop.  Once we got her inside the first thing we did was take off the seats and modified it based off test rides I did on the bikes.  I did the Memory foam modification to our bikes driver's seat and left the passenger seat alone at this point.  The stock foam used in most Polaris motorcycles is pretty good for passengers and I really didn't see any point to make changes to it right now.  The driver's seat modified pretty well.  The stock foam for drivers weighing over 190 pounds is probably going to be a little soft and as the foam breaks in it would get worse.  Several cool things about the Indian seats.  The sitting area on both driver and passenger seats is leather and the sides of the covers are vinyl.  The bad thing about these seats though is the use of leather in the sitting areas.  It won't have any effect on the passenger seat modifications but on the driver's seat it will some. On our driver's seat the riding position was lowered around a 1/2" and the seat was narrowed slightly just to help get a little better footing for moving the bike around.  The cover went back on very good.  I have just over 250 miles on the seat now but it is breaking in nicely and I will know if its going to be a winner in the next 500 miles.  I do have a few things I am wanting to try to the seat but I want to get by the break in point before making any changes to it to make sure what I did is going to work or not.  In the next month or two I should have these seats mastered though.

Still looking for the elusive Honda Goldwing F6B.  We have been getting a lot of calls to work on these seats but I haven't had one to work on yet and it seems everybody that calls is out of state.  I really need to get one of these bikes in the shop before I start working on them so I can see how the seat works with the bike.  Once we do then we'll start offering modifications on them also.

Everything at the shop has been running really smooth the past few months and we are actually into our slow part of the years, Oct and Nov have always been our slowest two months and usually right after Thanksgiving things start picking up again.   It does seem to be picking up a little early this year.  This past week was almost a full scheduled week and next week is looking to be another busy week.

For Thanksgiving week we will be closing early on Wednesday around 2 PM EST and will be closed Thursday and Friday.  Everybody here at the shop hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Till next time, be safe and enjoy the ride.

September 10, 2013

This has been a very extremely busy year at the shop and I have been stretched thin since January and I am in the process of making changes to free up some of my time at the shop to take phone calls more than I have.  It has been a exciting year though but if I could have seen the future there would have definitely been some decisions made differently but as they say hindsight is always 20/20.


There is a lot of exciting things going on in the motorcycle industry right now.  Harley Davidson releasing their 2014 models and it looks like they have been listening to the riders.  I haven't gotten to ride any of the new models but from what I have heard so far the changes are good so I have to give them a Kudos for that.  I have seen the new models in person and have checked out their seats and it looks like they are carrying over previous seats used on the 2013 bikes which is great because we have been working on these seats since 2011 with the exception of the Ultra which it looks like a cover re-design is the only noticeable change.


I was a bit skeptical when I heard a few years ago that Polaris bought Indian.  My first thought was oh crap, here we go again and it won't be long till Indian is gone again.  Well to my surprise Polaris has some big plans and have sunk a lot money into them and unveiled a totally re-designed motorcycle but kept that classic look.  Still not overly excited but thought I would look into them a little more and found out the local dealership was having a demo ride and thought I would go down and check them out in person so I had to sign up for the demo ride and almost missed out because they only had a few slots left open.  I guess there were a lot more people interested in them than I thought.  I was able to see the Chief, Chief Classic and the brand new Chieftain.   I wanted to test ride the Chieftain and got lucky again as it was first come first serve and I was able to snag the last one...whew!  I won't get into much detail but the bike rode and handled really well.  All three bikes use the same seats so that is good but I haven't been able to take one apart yet so I am not sure what kind of modifications are going to work on them yet or what I can do with them but if all goes as planned I should have one in the shop to work on mid to late October and I will definitely update on how the seat is made.  I really believe Indian is back and here to stay under the guidance of Polaris and I have to give them a big thumbs up for what they have done.


Still trying to get a look at Honda's F6B bike and seat.  We have had a lot of calls wanting me to work on them but I haven't seen one in person and have been trying to find one at a local dealership but no luck yet. I think Honda has a done a good thing with the design of the bike slickening up but I have felt Honda is always a few steps behind what customers are wanting but that's just my opinion.  Honda builds one heck of a solid performing motorcycle and I set the standard for performance and reliability.  Their design team though may want to jump on the band wagon a little earlier and watch and listen the riders a little better.  I love the Fury but it seemed to come out right when the chopper scene died and they dropped the VTX line to release motorcycles that look a lot like the Fury.  Yeah, cruisers are still somewhat popular but hard bagged baggers have been the popular bikes since 2006 and I don't see that changing since people have learned you can have a cool looking but functional bike.  I am not trying be disrespectful to Honda or Honda rider's because again I think Honda builds one of if not the most reliable motorcycles on the market and its tough to beat their prices.


Another riding season is quickly coming to an end and our season here in North Carolina has been really short due to all the rain we have gotten.  It seemed like every weekend it would rain and in our area we have had three rains where we got over 5"s of rain at one time and one where we got 10"s which caused a lot of damage and closed some local roads for a while to be repaired.


2014 will mark Mean City Cycles 10th year in business and that just amazes me but I can tell you a lot of hard work has gone into the business to get us to 10 years.  I have learned a lot over the past 9 years and I am sure I am going to learn a lot more and hopefully continue to grow the company. 


That will wrap up this update.  We already have 2014 Harley seats scheduled and will be posting updates on any changes found with them and the new Indian's in the near future.  Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

May 24, 2013

Time is really flying by this year it's hard to believe we are almost in June and it feels like the days are just merged together.  We have had a lot of things happen since the last update so I will try to get all that stuff covered and I am sure I don't have tell you that we are busy.

Back late November or early December I was contacted by one of the previous owners(Chris O'Connor) of our local Harley Dealership about may be working together on a new business project here at our shop.  We met for lunch one day and he went over some things and told me about his past history in Harley drag racing and all of the different aspects he has had working for and owning a Harley Dealership.  He was a several time Regional and National Champion drag racer and engine builder.  He has worked on all types of Metric bikes and was one of the first 60 master Harley mechanics.  Well, long story short what he was wanting to do was stay in the motorcycle industry since that is all he had ever worked in which from what I was seeing wasn't going to be hard.  He had gotten several job offers at other dealerships and was getting offers to get back into bike drag racing.  He told me he had been following MCC's progress over the year and was impressed with our customer feedback and reviews and wanted to do something with us which made me feel really good.  We talked and met a few more times over the next few months and last month we reconfigured the shop for him to have a work area to service and work on motorcycles and build engines.  We also talked about offering parts but he would be tied up working on bikes and I just don't have the time to handle the parts side of the business because my days are filled with working on seats so we decided we wouldn't go into the parts side of the business.

Well, as luck would have it one of my good friends(Chad Poovey also a home town Maiden boy)who was working for him at the dealership and had been there working parts and in the service side stopped by the shop one day and was ready for a change.  That night it really got me thinking, if I were to ever to start offering parts I would need someone that is really good, knows what he is talking about and has excellent customer service skills and he knocks all that stuff out of the park.  He knows Harley and Metric's plus dirt bike and ATV/UTV and has worked on them all.  So we started talking, well to make a longer story short last month we opened the parts side of the business. MCC is now a full service motorcycle shop and not just a seat shop any longer.  We offer all Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Amsoil, Kuryakyn, Bad Dad and Camtech Customs to just name a few and we are adding more every day. 

One thing that really had me concerned about offering parts was could we compete with the internet prices because I have always heard from people that they would always find their best deals online.  After we got set up with Drag the first thing I started doing was checking on pricing to see if we could compete and to my surprise I found that we can meet or beat any price I searched which made me feel really good knowing that if people would give us a chance we would give them the best price they could find.

Another thing that I found is that to become a dealer for some product lines you have to buy X-amount of dollars of product and the more you buy the better deal you get.  So, when we were doing our buy in we tried to make sure we would buy stuff that wouldn't sit on the floor and is common parts needed so most of the buy in products we have stocked right now is service products so we do not have a lot of parts on the floor but we do have a pretty good start and one thing I found also is that most anything a person could want for their motorcycle is we can have it at the shop the next day when ordered which is really cool.

Now since I have gotten you up to speed a little bit let me say welcome to our newest team members Chris O'Connor and O'Connor bikes offering full service on Harley and Metric motorcycles and Chad Poovey our new parts manager for MCC.

To go back a little people have and still do ask "How did you come up with the name Mean City Cycles?"  When I was growing up we lived outside of Maiden and there is a road sign I would see almost every day that said MAIDEN 10 miles and I always kind of thought that the way the sign looked it made MAIDEN look kind of mean looking plus Maiden High School has always had really good High School football teams.  We lived on the outskirts of Maiden and I really didn't know anyone in or from the town but would always hear about how good the football team was and the players were mean.  So, there is where the "Mean City" came from the spelling of the sign and reputation of its football players.  The "Cycles" part of the name the came from me not wanting to be limited to just seat work.  When I first started MCC I would do about anything asked to do such as exhaust, polishing parts and oil changes but as the word spread about my seat work that part of the business kind of took over and I didn't want to change the name to reflect just seat work thinking maybe one day the opportunity would come up to where we could do what we have started doing now so I have always kept the name Mean City Cycles and it has a certain ring to it.

So now when people find out we are offering parts and service they are asking "are you going list parts on your web site?"  As of right now, no. There are so many parts on the market and we have available to us it would be very difficult and rather expensive to get everything listed.  So what I have been recommending is look at the drag specialties website,  they have all of their catalogs posted online where you can view them over internet.  If you see something you want

then just give us a call and we'll price it for you or you can email Chad at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   like I said previously we will meet or beat anybody's advertised price and when you couple that with our excellent customer service why would you buy from anyone else?

Last thing as I know this has been a long one.  We have set up to where you can buy Amsoil products from us online.  You will see a Amsoil banner on the right side of the page, just click on it and you can purchase it and have it shipped to you.  Amsoil is one of if not the best synthetic oils on the market and I have been using it for years plus they sponsor all of the big rallies and I am all about helping those that help us.

That's going to wrap up this update, sorry it was so lengthy but I had a lot to put out and let you know what's going on at the shop.  Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

March 23, 2013

Well, it's been a while since I have updated the what's new page and all I
can say is we have been busy, busy, busy.  We are wide open and I probably
have said this every year at this time of year but we are busier than ever
so we must be doing something right.  Bag liners and seats have both kicked
in hard this year and while we have picked up production we are not and will
not rush through anything, we want to do it right the first time because it
don't pay to have to do it twice.

Rally schedule, it's simple this year.  No rallies.  We just don't have the
man power to support the shop and to set up at a rally this year, not sure
what the future holds for rallies for us but this year there will be none.  

We do have a new person answering phone calls and scheduling.  My wife has
officially joined the MCC team.  She has always played a important roll
handling payroll and all the tax junk but she finally decided to join the
business full time this year and its great having her and our pups around
the shop.

This year I have made a few changes to our work schedule.  We have been
being closed on Saturdays and I may do away with working on Saturdays for
good.  It's not that I do not want to work, I am just trying to free up some
free time so I can ride and enjoy riding the motorcycle some.  For the past
6 years MCC has been open 6 days a week and while I really like doing what I
do I do know my employees enjoy some time off also.  Last year we tried
being open 2 Saturdays a month but it always seemed to rain on the ones we
were closed and sunny the ones we worked so this year Saturday work is out
for now.  There will be some that I do work and Lori will most likely be in
the shop also so she will be answering the phone and helping walk ins while
I am working on seats so it will be a hit and miss if you call or stop by.
I am hoping I can at least get back to putting 10k miles on the bike a year

If you aren't our friend on Facebook please do so.  We always post the
latest seat work pictures and other stuff going on the around the shop on
there, it's just easier to update and the stuff we post just
happened...welcome to the 21st century.

That's going to wrap this update.  I hope it's not as long till the next
one.  Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.


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