Sean SalgerGreetings everyone and welcome to 2013!  First off, thank you for the support and comment posts on my last blog entries.  It’s great to hear from you!  Believe it or not, I read each and every comment and had a blast doing it.  Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?  We’re going to leave the worlds of motorcycling philosophy and needling popular culture behind for a while and get down to why you’re here, and I have a job…BIKES!

If you have been a customer of J&P Cycles over the years you have seen some killer custom machines grace our catalog covers and displayed in our showrooms.  It’s been a couple of years since we turned out a new bike so, like so many of you, we have the itch and it must be scratched.  This time around we’re taking a different approach, though.  Instead of a ground-up build we are going to recreate the experience shared by the majority of our customers.  Here you have this sweet, new ride, but it’s bone-stock, not shiny enough or too shiny, too loud or not loud enough, sits too high or sits too low…I think you know what I’m getting at here.  The bike is just not “yours.”  Well, we hear you and we’re going to do our best to inspire you.

The project is being headed up by Sean Salger, merchandising manager for J&P Cycles and a highly experienced technician.  He recently returned from a Midwest excursion to fill a trailer with not one, but three new bikes fresh off various dealer floors.  Instead of locking Sean in the shop with a single assistant for weeks on end, he’s going to get all of us desk jockeys involved.  When he’s working on aspects of the customization involving the lines we manage, we’re going to be right there with him, wrenching, learning and getting grease under our nails…and we can’t wait!

Now we’re talking full front to back customization.  The various customizations are going to range from simple bolt-on additions to more advanced work.  We want to encourage you to tear into your ride by confirming that a lot of this stuff can be done – by you – in your garage.  We’re going to document the process take photos and some videos to keep all of you involved every step of the way.  We’re on an aggressive schedule, so my blog updates won’t be real-time, per se.  The goal is to have the bikes ready to debut at J&P Cycles’ Destination Daytona SuperStore for Daytona Bike Week starting March 8.  Following Bike Week, the bikes will hit the road and travel the country on J&P’s Showroom Semi.

So, what bikes are we working on? Without further ado, here’s on the line-up:  a 2012 Sportster® XL1200V (72), a 2013 Softail® FLS (Slim), a 2012 FLHTCUTG Tri-Glide® and a 2012 Goldwing GL1800P.

I caught up with Sean to get his perspective on the work ahead of him and to find out why these bikes were chosen. According to Sean, the motorcycles being worked on all lend themselves to heavy customization and he believes they will be extremely popular models this year.

What work is being done on these machines? The Trike and Goldwing will be largely outfitted for performance with custom suspension and exhaust being the biggest upgrades. The 72 came from the factory sporting a low-rider vibe with heavy metal-flake paint.  We’re going to keep going on that look with a lot of chrome and some fat spoke wheels.  The Slim is a bare-bones Big Twin with a focus on functionality, so we are going to enhance that feature with the RSD Clarity line of products and some very cool internals for all to see.

When asked how he felt about working with less experienced shop helpers Sean said he’s excited about the prospect.  Sean says he truly enjoys teaching others about motorcycles and thinks it’s always great when someone realizes they’re capable of taking on many great projects for themselves.

Where my part is concerned, I’m going to do my best to bring you along for the journey highlighting the parts used complete with J&P part numbers. This will ensure that if something catches your eye, you can order the part and get it bolted on or installed as quickly as possible. I hope you enjoy the updates as they come in.  More importantly, I hope you gather some ideas for your bike because making your bike your statement is all a part of the whole experience.