Tag Archives: customs

Deciphering Harley-Davidson Model Codes

New Article by Lowbrow Customs

One of the newest articles posted up on the Lowbrow Customs Blog is a useful article about Harley-Davidson model designations. Spanning over 100 years, these model codes can quickly become overwhelming. This is a tool to help teach and help identify bikes on the fly.

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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

Handbuilt Show 2017

Walking around the Fair Market in Austin, Texas—the location of the Handbuilt Show—it doesn’t take long to notice the eclectic composition of the exhibit. It’s a good thing this is an invitational event because there’d be no way to organize or codify the range of styles assembled here; each machine is in a class by itself.

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With no hooligan racing this year, the focus was truly on the motorcycles and in addition to the show inside the venue the street was packed with a secondary show of bikes, a second tier if you will, joined by the hundreds that rolled in simply to attend. It’s a cool scene with a humming vibe, with background noise compliments of regular shows by the American Motordrome Wall of Death.

Our favorite bike in the show rose to the top not based on critical judgment but due to sheer strength of historic presence. A Knucklehead dubbed “Tramp,” originally owned and raced by George Smith, the founder of S&S Cycle, was the showstopper. The Smith family had looked to acquire the motorcycle for decades and though they generally knew where it was, it had not been rolled out for public viewing. As it happened, Tramp’s new owner Gary Wattis took possession of the bike just a day before Handbuilt opened and he was pleased to have it seen and appreciated for the artifact of motorcycle history it is. If you missed it, you have another chance to see Tramp in Sturgis, at the entrance of the Motorcycle As Art Exhibition at the Buffalo Chip.

If you haven’t been to Handbuilt, we recommend you attend. It’s a clear case of creativity and craftsmanship on display—with the emphasis kept on machinery and an absence of hype. Kudos to the crew at Revival Cycles for keeping it that way.