Category Archives: Motorcycle People

Modern Retail: How Lowbrow Customs Does It Right

lowbrow-customs-buildingEditor’s Note: As bike enthusiasts, we at Iron Trader News have had the opportunity to order from and work with the people at Lowbrow Customs. The people on Lowbrow’s team are riders, too, and they make it easy to find the right parts and move a project along. We’re glad to share this input from Lowbrow’s Tyler Malinky on their business processes and philosophy.

lowbrow-customs-employee-photoThere are changes sweeping the aftermarket motorcycle parts industry. The change is fueled by new technology and the increasing adoption of e-commerce. From toilet paper to automobiles, this shake-up continues to offer positive outcomes for the consumer. One indicator of this in the motorcycle industry is Lowbrow Customs.

Founded in 2004, Lowbrow Customs originated in the early days of e-commerce. They ignored the standard practices of motorcycle shops and took a different path. “I was a customer myself, and options online for motorcycle parts were limited. The poor selection and especially the bad service frustrated me,” said Lowbrow founder and CEO, Tyler Malinky. “I thought, I can do better than that.” He focused on procuring unique parts for a wide range of motorcycles. Lowbrow stocks thousands of motorcycle parts and accessories that they design and manufacture. This array of innovative products is not available anywhere else. Creating their own niche meant there wasn’t much competition. lowbrow-customs-motorcycle-tech-support-Todd-Muller“We need to give customers as much information as possible. As if they were holding the parts in their hands,” says Malinky. “Which is why we spend so much time and energy producing how-to videos, writing articles, and providing free motorcycle tech support… even for products we don’t sell.” This leads to a customer with confidence. Lowbrow’s passion and authenticity showed, making them a mainstay in the custom motorcycle scene. “We are our own customer,” said Malinky. “It’s easy to advance and evolve when your job is also your hobby and passion. If I need a particular part for my own motorcycle, chances are, someone else does as well.” 
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Traditional motorcycle part retailers are stocking showroom shelves and printing thick catalogs. Progressive brands, like Lowbrow, warehouse retail direct, ready-to-ship inventory to customers world-wide. Instead of a catalog, the focus is on keeping up with modern technology; from inventory management to user experience. The direct-to-retail model allows complete control of their brand and lower prices for the customer. An affiliate program is the most recent technical expansion undertaken at Lowbrow. The Lowbrow Customs affiliate program allows key partners to help advertise for Lowbrow. They benefit by earning a commission on the resulting sales. This process is a departure from traditional print advertising and online banner ads. An affiliate program works with individuals and companies who create high-quality content. With it, they earn passive income by adding links to their articles, videos, and online content. In a world saturated with ads, curated content is becoming a valuable resource. Useful articles containing links, should a reader want to learn more, are an asset and tool. 
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“With the amount of information online, it is easy for customers to identify exactly the parts they want,” says Malinky. “They are now often more informed than their local motorcycle dealers. We help customers be confident the parts will fit their motorcycle. They can place their order and have it arrive on their doorstep days later.” With constant advances in technology and communication, the consumer now plays an active role. Transparency and accountability are assets to a company. As long as they’re doing it right. lowbrow-customs-warehouse-3

VISIT MICHAEL LICHTER’S NEW SITE

From my very first rally back in the 90’s something… I kept a close eye on the man I respected pretty much more than any other, and I had never even met him at that point. Over the years we’ve chatted many many times, been on rides together, and so on. His photography never ceases to capture my undivided focus. The angles, the lighting, the vision… like no other. I do my best to imitate,  but that’s all I can hope for. Michael has created a new website which is why I am doing this post. I encourage our Iron Trader News audience to visit his site & check out his amazing work. http://lichterphoto.com/

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MICHAEL LICHTER AND JACK MCINTYRE, DAYTONA BIKETOBERFEST

Continue reading VISIT MICHAEL LICHTER’S NEW SITE

Sons of Speed

12More than a dozen vintage-powered race bikes re-created the board track races of the early 20th Century at the second Sons of Speed race on October 21. The event took place at New Smyrna Speedway during the Daytona Beach, Florida’s Biketoberfest.

This fresh yet nostalgic race event, instigated by Billy Lane of Choppers Inc., first ran in March of this year during Daytona Bike Week on New Smyrna’s banked half-mile asphalt track. That time, Brittney Olson took first, followed by Matt Harris in second and Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe in third. Olsen sat out this round while her bike was being repaired but acted as Grand Marshal for this day.

Many of the same racers came out to compete, some on the same machines they campaigned in March and others on “new” bikes that recently rolled out of Lane’s shop—one, in fact, just hours before race day! The powerplants vary in make but they’re all original equipment from the early days of motorcycling that sat languishing for decades. Lane’s purpose built frames, front ends and sheetmetal created homes for these motors to finally fire up once and get back on the track. The concept harkens back to one of motorcycling’s heydays and it’s exhilarating to watch.

Even the practice runs were exciting. Moonshiner Josh Owens and Matt Walksler ran neck in neck early on, with Owens fearlessly on the throttle. But that rivalry resolved when Owens’s bike wouldn’t start for the final. Walksler and Ebay Jake duked it out, too, crossing the finish line head to head in one heat. Buzz Kanter, Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe and Billy rocked steady to make their qualifiers; Toce and Roxy ran consistently, too. Though mechanical gremlins bit Xavier Muriel, Rick Petko, Freddy and Brook they all exhibited moxie and looked incredible. These stripped down, pre-1925 machines with no clutches or brakes had to be bump-started and appeared to hang on the banking by magic.

Even with camaraderie high and competitive angst low, someone’s going to win, right? Ultimately Ebay Jake, who’d run strong all day, placed first on a 1919 Harley J Model racer owned by Curtis Wear. In second place—again—was the Matt Harris of 40 Cal Customs, still nursing his broken leg but not holding back a bit on the track. Matt Walksler of Period Modified came in third and was all smiles about it.
Ebay Jake also gave the crowd a stunt show before the main event, mixing it up with Bubba Blackwell who popped some wheelies, too, while taking a break from his emcee duties. Bubba stepped in to fill-in for the recently deceased Barry Boone who was originally set to announce the races. Bubba respectfully led the crowd in a moment of silence to remember Barry.

There were dozens of side stories, the racers took time to meet with spectators, and pit crews exhibited a ton of dedicated effort. But instead of us relating more here, just take this advice: next time Sons of Speed racing happens, go. You won’t regret it.

Rhett Rotten exhibits proper Wall of Death style for Doug Wothk.
Rhett Rotten exhibits proper Wall of Death style for Doug Wothk.

 

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A few serious moments at the racer’s meeting.
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Josh Owens was nervous as the crew worked on his bike. Nice leathers, though!
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Billy runs a heat in period gear.
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Lining up for the Main.
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In the winner’s circle with Billy Lane, Matt Harris (2nd), Matt Walksler (3rd) and Ebay Jake 1st).

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Leah Visits the Evel Knievel Museum

1On her way toward Oklahoma to visit friends and leave her beloved Scout for the winter, Leah Misch stopped in to see the new Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka Kansas. Housed in a new facility adjacent to historic Harley-Davidson, the museum opened this past June and garnered visitors from all 50 states and a dozen foreign countries in just three months.

 

Visitors see Evel’s motorcycles, leathers and helmets along with dozens of personal effects including his casts and gold checkbook. Plus:

  • Fully-restored Mack Truck Rig “Big Red” – cab, dressing room and trailer
  • Snake River Experience Room featuring the actual X-2 Sky Cycle
  • “Plan A Jump” interactive wall
  • Broken Bones interactive touch screens including Evel’s actual X-rays
  • Virtual Reality Jump Experience
  • “Big Red” Gallery with restoration film, crew recollections
  • 1970’s-era movie theatre with marquee, seating and décor
  • Film and crash videos of many famous jumps
  • The kid’s room, the garage, the family room
  • Children’s letters to Evel from decades ago
  • Many never-before-seen personal items and images7

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It’s the one and only exhibition showcasing the world’s largest collection of authentic artifacts that belonged to the most legendary, death-defying daredevil of all time! The Museum’s extensive and complete displays reflect the impact of a man who did the unthinkable and, some said, the impossible. They were tumultuous times in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. America needed a hero – and Evel Knievel gave us one!

Enjoy Leah’s pictures and visit the Museum yourself.654 3 2

 

http://evelknievelmuseum.com/

ORANGE COUNTY CHOPPERS TO AUCTION CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE

ORANGE COUNTY CHOPPERS TO AUCTION CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE IN SUPPORT OF HURRICANE HARVEY VICTIMS

GUERNSEY’S TO CONDUCT HOUSTON EVENT OCTOBER 12

Orange County Choppers, the most famous maker of extraordinary, one of a kind motorcycles – “choppers”  has just revealed a spectacular Texas Strong bike that will be sold at auction on October 12 in Houston. NYC-based Guernsey’s will be conducting the event with auction proceeds going to support the Peace of Mind Foundation and those whose mental health has been severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The 6 pm auction will be held live at Gallery Furniture, 6006 North Fwy. Bidders unable to attend can participate on LiveAuctioneers.com.12

 

Under the guidance of Paul Teutul, Sr., the exploits of OCC became a sensation for nearly a decade, effectively creating the world of reality television. Week after week, the shop produced one outrageous themed creation after another, pushing the boundaries of motorcycle design. This latest gesture reflects the giving nature OCC has always exhibited as their choppers frequently have been used to support worthy charitable causes. 14

Sporting the “Texas Strong” banner, this long, lean custom chopper features powerful red, white and blue regalia. The 124”, twin cam, six speed bike has a tricked-out rear fender, syringe exhaust, unique gas tank and many other one-off features.15

Gallery Furniture – the setting for the event – and the McIngvale family have been pillars of community support during the difficult times following Harvey. Indeed, Gallery opened its doors to provide food and shelter to those in greatest need during the darkest days. Now, one lucky successful bidder will revel in owning as extraordinary a motorcycle as this one, taking comfort in knowing that the event’s proceeds will be going towards continuing support of those who need the help most.16

Years ago, Guernsey’s worked with OCC to support the Fallen Heroes Fund, and is delighted to be assisting Orange County Choppers, Gallery Furniture and the Peace of Mind Foundation in this much needed effort. The Rosen Group will be assisting on this compelling project by helping to spread the word to a global audience. Bidders needing additional information should contact the auction house at 212-794-2280.18