Motorcycle shop earns top title

first_img In place of the hand clutch is a centrifugal clutch, linked to a six-speed transmission with a hand-operated shift lever down by the rider’s left leg. Sparkplug wires, too, and fuel lines are concealed in the chromed 131-cubic-inch V-twin engine. “The idea is to make you wonder how it works,” said Mike Strozzi, MGS’ sales manager. Radical Simplicity does work – a show rule requires that entrants start their engines – but it hasn’t been ridden for fear of marring thousands of dollars worth of paint work. Now that it’s a winner, Stafford and Little will take Radical Simplicity to Japan to tour around motorcycle shows. Unless somebody offers $200,000 or so for it, Stafford intends to keep it as a marketing tool. The last few months have been good to MGS. The company recently more than doubled the size of its Lancaster Business Park shop, which last week held a half-dozen motorcycles under construction. Its Dragon Slayer bike won the Super Radical class at the 2005 Rat’s Hole Show in Daytona Beach, Fla. Another bike made the cover of the February 2006 Easyriders magazine. Dragon Slayer’s win got the shop noticed for a motorcycle-building reality show, called “Metric Revolution,” that is now in production, though a channel hasn’t been decided. MGS was among 24 companies picked to build motorcycles for the show, which will give the winner $50,000. MGS is basing its bike on the world’s biggest production motorcycle engine, a 140 cubic-inch, three-cylinder British Triumph Rocket III with 140 horsepower. Stafford is thinking about adding a turbocharger to give it more horsepower. Members of the MGS staff have been videotaping themselves at work, the series producers will send out a film crew of their own, and MGS will throw a debut party to unveil the finished bike. The debut party will either be at MGS’ shop or at the Staffords’ home. No date has been set. Besides building custom motorcycles, MGS also produces exhaust pipes, fenders, handlebars and fuel tanks for other builders in its Liquid Steel line, shipping them around the country. MGS motorcycles’ prices start about $30,000. “The sky’s the limit,” Strozzi said. All the shop’s motorcycles, despite their wild appearances, are rideable. Some owners ride them daily. “You want to ride something when you pay that kind of money for it that’s definitely a piece of artwork, a showpiece, but at the same time it’s very functional,” Strozzi said. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Mike Stafford and painter Dave Little of Lancaster-based Little Design walked through last year’s hot rod show, admiring the show cars’ appearance. “They’re … so smooth and flowing, so clean and sculpted, they took your breath away. Me and Dave were talking: Why can’t we build a bike with that in mind,” Mike Stafford said. Over $70,000 in parts and hundreds of hours’ work from the Staffords and their five employees resulted in Radical Simplicity, which took the top bike title at the Jan. 20-22 show at the Fairplex in Pomona. “The caliber of motorcycles today is just phenomenal,” said Grand National promoter John Buck. To preserve Radical Simplicity’s clean lines, the handlebars lack the usual brake and clutch levers. In place of the hand brake lever is a proportioning system on the foot lever. LANCASTER – A long, low-slung 150-horsepower motorcycle with paint that shimmers between orange, green and gold bears the title of “America’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle.” Radical Simplicity, the bike that won the 57th annual Grand National Roadster Show’s top motorcycle honor, is the work of MGS Custom Bikes, which started in Mike and Paula Stafford’s garage and now turns out custom bikes getting notice around the country. “It’s such an honor to win the award. It’s a terrific marketing tool for our company,” said Mike Stafford, who built his first motorcycle so he could accompany his motorcycle enthusiast wife before they married and created his business after building more bikes for friends. Radical Simplicity had its origins at the 2005 Grand National Roadster Show, where Paula Stafford’s tangerine pearl bike named Teaser was runner-up. last_img read more