Archive | Featured Article

Luxurious Concepts

We here at Chariots of Fire Customs LLC enjoy seeing everyone and appreciate how you have helped us grow.  We want to spread that growth to others in our motorcycle community.  We realize that there is life outside of riding and want to highlight and bring business to our fellow riders.

Summer time, summer time!  This month’s featured business is Luxurious Concepts LLC.  Think relaxing on your patio with a lovely custom built fireplace.  Need a built in bar and grill next to it?  Bo Hawkins at Luxurious Concepts LLC can make your dream a reality!  Bo specializes in custom masonry work.  I went to his website (Luxuriousconcepts.com) and Facebook page to check out some of his work.  The photos I’m sure don’t do his work justice.  Beautiful work! 

Bo has twenty two years of masonry experience.  Being the type of man that likes to stay busy, when he was laid off of work, instead of trying to find a new job, or waiting for business to pick up where he was working, Bo decided to open his own shop.  Bo told several people that he was going out on his own.  With no prior business experience Bo was going all in on his dream to be a business owner.  After all, he said it out loud to several people and he is a man of his word!

When you call Luxurious Concepts LLC, rest assured that you are dealing with a top notch company.  Bo does not cut corners; customer service is a priority; communication is key; Bo is a man of his word; Bo’s integrity is important to him; all jobs are completed right the first time; Bo is proud to state that he has not had to go back and fix his masonry work.  Very impressive for having been in business for eight years! 

In business for eight years and riding since age two.  Bo’s father had him on the four wheeler at two; dirt bike at four; first dirt bike race at eight; started riding Harley’s around 13 or 14; crotch rockets in his twenties; back to Harley full time.  Bo enjoys hanging out up at our shop and is at many of our events.  So next time you are up here, just ask if Bo is around I’ll be sure to introduce you.  Or better yet, give Bo a call yourself and tell him I sent you 314-280-8836.

Many Blessings, Peace Out, Reine

If you want your business featured in our monthly newsletter, please contact Reine at 636-775-1385 or reineknobbe@gmail.com

We All Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends. By Reine Knobbe

We here at Chariots of Fire Customs LLC enjoy seeing everyone and appreciate how you have helped us grow.  We want to spread that growth to others in our motorcycle community.  We realize that there is life outside of riding and want to highlight and bring business to our fellow riders.

May is motorcycle awareness month and also tornado season!  I don’t need to preach to the choir about the importance of riding safely and I’m sure you all know to duck and cover when the weather gets dicey.  So, with that being said, I thought we would highlight Steve Swarts Roofing and Siding as our featured business.  I hope your homes are all safe from high winds and hail this season, but if not, Steve’s your guy.

Steve has been in the roofing industry since age 16.  That in and of itself should tell you what a hard worker he is.  Steve opened his own business four years ago.  Since roofing is such seasonal work, he expanded his business to decks, remodels; just about anything a handyman can help you with.  Steve will even travel out of state when needed to help folks hit hard by Mother Nature.  He is very humble and I had to pry out how important community is to him.  We know this personally as Steve supports Lincoln County Bike Nights.  Steve also sponsors local baseball teams, sheriff’s department and has even been known to donate a roof for a family facing hard times.  He’s that kind of guy.

Motorcycles?  Well, Steve owns three.  He has been riding since age 7 from dirt bikes to street bikes.  Him and his wife, Tammy have been to Sturgis seven or eight times.  When pressed to give me a favorite riding story, Steve stated every ride is “awesome” and that he feels very blessed to have the freedom to ride.  As we all know stress is left behind when we are riding.

Please be sure to give Steve Swarts your business.  Let’s help him grow as you have helped us grow! 

Many blessings, peace out, Reine

If you want your business featured in our monthly newsletter, please contact Reine at 636-775-1385 or reineknobbe@gmail.com

Here’s to Spring and Growth. By Reine Knobbe

  How wonderful it is to finally be spring!  The warmer weather brings everyone out and about.  The rain and sun bring growth and opportunity.  We here at Chariots of Fire Customs LLC enjoy seeing everyone and appreciate how you have helped us grow.  We want to spread that growth to others in our motorcycle community.  We realize that there is life outside of riding and want to highlight and bring business to our fellow riders.

  One business that tends to be seasonal similar to motorcycle riding is the bridal industry.  Many weddings happen in the spring, summer, and fall.  This winter Mustard Seed Rental and Events LLC opened its doors.  Pam and Suzy saw the need for a local rental company last year.  Suzy’s daughter was married and Suzy found it challenging to find a place to rent everything she needed.  Pam just so happens to be a wedding planner at a local church and a long time friend of Suzy.  And so Mustard Seed Rental and Events was born!

  Both women want to make the process of planning a large event extra special by taking some of the pressures off those planning big events.  They enjoy being a part of whatever celebration it may be.  They don’t just rent out items for weddings, they have been involved in renting items for prom, birthdays, showers, local businesses have rented out chairs, if you have a party or meeting need, call them at 636-775-2244 for more information.  Their building, located at 451 Main Street, is a great space for meetings and parties.  Yes you can rent a room!  Pam and Suzy specialize in making each event unique to your specific tastes.  One example is a wedding where the groom wanted golf included somehow.  The girls put their heads together and came up with unique idea of golf tees in the boutonniere among other ideas.  Way to go girls involving the groom!

  Pam became a motorcycle enthusiast ten years ago when she met Chad.  They showed up at all of our dinner runs back in the day when we went out every Thursday evening for a ride and dinner.  Pam enjoys watching how different people from many walks of life enjoy the sport.  Motorcyclists have their own “spirited brotherhood”.  When someone goes down, everybody rallies around them.  Pam has also spear headed the annual Troy Ride Against Suicide.

  Please be sure to give Mustard Seed Rental and Events LLC your business.  Let’s help them grow as you have helped us grow! 

Many blessings, peace out,  Reine

If you want your business featured in our monthly newsletter, please contact Reine at 636-775-1385 or reineknobbe@gmail.com

Which Wheel Would Work Your Wonder?

   When creating a custom look for your bike turn to wheels. You have two choices, it shouldn’t be hard right? Well, let’s hear Tommy’s thoughts from the parts counter. He has seen folks turning more toward billet wheels lately. With the array of different styles and designs, you can find something that goes with the flow of any motorcycle.

   Billet wheels have many advantages. To start, they provide greater stability at higher speeds compared to spoke wheels. Also, inner tubes and rim strips become unnecessary.  So the only con for a billet wheel seems to be the higher cost.

   Spoke wheels still carry the classic traditional look for most motorcycles. Whether it is the standard cross laces spoke or the radial fat spokes there are many options to make your spoke wheels be a little different than the next guy. When you get into the detail of your spokes and nipples many more decisions come into play.    How many spokes, diamond spokes, twisted spokes, chrome nipples, colored nipples…  So many options! The only cons Tommy sees with the spoke wheels are the extra cost for a tube and rim strip each time you replace a tire and the amount of time it takes to keep them shiny and clean.

   Remember, when installing anything new to your bike, always go with quality! A couple of the top sellers we offer here are DNA, Performance Machine, R.C. Components, Arlen Ness and SMT.

 

Think of Her. By: Reine Knobbe

    Our tech department has written some great blogs the past couple of months on upgrading your ride.  They are full of really good advice and knowledge about how to make your engine fit your riding style.  And I’m all about that!  Everyone knows I enjoy riding behind Jan and going on long trips on a fast, dependable machine.  Not only are our motorcycles dependable they are comfortable.  I can ride for long distances, often gas tank to gas tank, because the passenger seat works.  If your passenger is not comfortable, well, we’ve all heard that saying “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”!

   I’m writing about this following our winter vacation in 2017.  With shorter days and a short opening to take off, Jan and I flew out to Arizona and borrowed a motorcycle.  We were so very blessed to have a good friend lend us his motorcycle as they were back here during our visit.  Jan and I were all too happy and honored to borrow his ride.  Jan could attest to the bike being dependable since all maintenance is completed here at Chariots of Fire Customs LLC.  This particular motorcycle has the original factory seat.  Works great for the driver, however not so much the passenger (now I’m not complaining, just being honest as I know the person we borrowed the bike from is reading this also).  I did not last for more than an hour without having Jan pull over so I could stretch.  Especially after a few days of riding.

   I am telling you this story because I want you to think about your passenger.  When upgrading your baby, think about your baby on the back.  The motorcycle we borrowed, well his baby has her own ride, so the seat works for him.  If your honey likes to ride behind you and cuddle and whisper sweet nothings in your ear like I do with Jan, you better make sure her fanny is comfy!  Girls, this one’s for you!  Come by the shop and mention this article and we will give you 20% off any seat.  I HIGHLY recommend a Mustang seat. 

Proven Performance by: William “Sparky” Tindall

     All bikers know when you buy a bike it doesn’t quite sound or perform as well as you wanted. The beginning of your transformation starts with changing out your air cleaner and exhaust. The following parts to change include your cam, pushrods and lifters. There are many options available for all of these parts.

   Due to a recent release by S&S Cycle, we are able to offer you the stage two and stage three upgrade kits at a discounted price. The S&S stage two kit includes a set of cams, stealth air cleaner, mufflers and all of the necessary parts to install the kit. The stage three kit includes all stage two parts plus cylinders and pistons for stage three. We also offer CNC ported and hand polished heads with stock valve configuration and upgraded larger valves.

These kits are bolt on proven power. With the kit you will get a more powerful and better sounding motorcycle. The performance gained compared to the cost of the kit is incredible. With these kits you can save anywhere from $400 to $800 compared to purchasing parts separately.

If you’ve been considering an upgrade on your ride, now is the time to get it done. Our team of experts will ensure your motorcycle is transformed into what fits your particular style of riding.

It Takes a Village. By Reine Knobbe

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but 2018 absolutely flew by for those of us working at Chariots of Fire Customs LLC.  Jan and I could not have built our beautiful new building without the help and support of our staff.  We did our best to keep everything even-keeled on a daily basis and kept the shop open and “business as usual”.  Quite frankly, I’m amazed that I was able to keep up with all of our events.  Working with our great team made this challenge feasible.  

 

Sparky kept the work flow on the shop end going when Jan was called away to the job site.  Rosie, always with a smile, managed customers, social media, and followed up with all the scheduled events.  Tommy, our newest addition, was thrown into the parts and service position in the middle of the build with little to no official training. Doing an excellent job I might ad.  Jan and I are so very blessed!

 

We are also very fortunate to have built up a wonderful customer base.  Jan and I work very hard at having a place that you can feel comfortable coming to, knowing that our staff is knowledgeable, honest, and easy to talk to.  Jan and I wanted to make sure our new facility would reflect that comfort.  The color palate, cabinets, wall textures, and lighting are all meant to be inviting and calming.  A place you can come to for reliable service in a relaxed, unpressured atmosphere.  How fortunate we are to have you as our customer!

There were some fun times preparing for the building:  going antiquing last winter; picking out lighting and cabinets; endless hours at hardware stores choosing paint and brick; Jan choosing those great front doors!  Then came the actual building itself.  Our contractors were all great to work with getting the bones of the building up.  Then it came our turn to finish the interior.  Thank God for all our volunteers!  I’m afraid I might inadvertently leave someone out, so I’m not naming any names, but know how much we appreciate every paint brush stroke, screws, nails, plumbing, brick, stone, cleaning etc. that went into our building.  Blood (a couple spots can still be seen), sweat and tears (mostly Reine . . .) went into this facility.  I figured it took us 15 weeks of working evenings and weekends from the time we got started on the inside until the weekend we moved in.  

 

They say it takes a village to raise a child.  Well our baby is no different!  It takes a village to help a small business grow.  Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom our hearts!  Here’s wishing you a blessed holiday season.  Time to celebrate the blessings and, yes, the heart aches of 2018 (for we learn from them).  God bless us, everyone!

Peace Out,  Reine

To Bore or Not to Bore? by Amanda “Rosie” Lotter

   More than likely you know there are many ways to improve the “get up and go” factor on your bike. But, did you know how inexpensive and efficient a Big Bore Kit could be for you? Before doing this research I really wasn’t sure what this process entailed and now I have to admit, I am impressed with S&S Performance. Not only have they made Big Bore Kits easily accessible to us, but they have damn near perfected the procedure. Supplying us with everything we need including great tech support and amazing prices, there is no better option on the market.

   The S&S Bore Kit is the ideal combination of performance and savings, designed to transform your motorcycle without breaking the bank. Now, will this kit fit your bike? S&S offers two different kits for both Harley’s Twin Cam and M8. The 100”/110” kit will fit 1999-2017 Harley-Davidson big twins (except 2006 Dyna models and 2017 touring models). The 124″ kit will fit 2017-2019 Harley-Davidson M8 Models.

   For a limited time these kits are available at an even lower price. If knowing you’re getting the best on the market doesn’t sell you on this then maybe saving up to $400 during the month of November will do the trick. You know you’re going to park your baby for the winter anyway. Why not use this time to give that motor an ultimate facelift? You won’t regret it.

Where to Start. by: Reine Knobbe

   

   Heading into winter so are you putting your baby to bed, giving her a facelift, or toning her up so she is ready to ride come spring?  Although many of you ride year round, the vast majority of Missouri riders take the winter months off.  So how do you go about making changes?  Face lifts aren’t cheap.  Toning can take time.  How can you be prepared when you come into your favorite motorcycle shop with a specific design or upgrade in mind?

   

   The process of any new build is to have your end vision in mind.  Jan suggests going through magazines and picking out what you like.  It could easily be a front end from one picture, back end from another, and wheels off a completely different model bike.  Are you into the latest trends?  Then Hot Bike or Baggers are good magazines to look at.  If you attend bike shows take pictures of what draws you to a specific bike.  Handle bars can change the whole look of a bike as can bags.  The more information you have of what you want to achieve the better we can help you.  While your bike is on the table, do you want to upgrade your sound?  New audio system?  How’s that budget?  Try to think of everything you are wanting and what works for your style.  Once you have the end vision in mind, then we can help you pick out the parts that work together on your frame and within your budget.  Having all the changes you want to make ahead of time can help with the budgeting also.  Making changes midway through a build will increase the expense as well as increase the time frame to complete a build. 

 

   Updating your engine is a completely different animal.  Again, what is your end game?  Do you want your engine to go the distance for cruising America?  Are you more interested in fuel economy for your daily driver to and from work?  Or is being the fastest in your group of riders important to you?  Make sure you talk to a professional before rebuilding an engine.  In Jan’s own words “don’t try to mix match a bunch of shit that doesn’t work together”.  It becomes a nightmare and more expensive to make it right.  One brand or part of an engine may advertise that they will make your ride go fast and another brand/part may help with fuel economy, but that doesn’t mean they work together and the end result can be a sluggish bike with great fuel economy or just not working at all.

 

   I learned the following about engine upgrades while writing this article:

            Stage I – upgrade air cleaner, exhaust and tune

            Stage II – upgrade internal cams and small changes to the pistons

            Stage III – upgrade to a more aggressive cam and larger pistons

            Stage IV – upgrade cams, cylinders, pistons and head work

 

   So what are you doing this winter season?  Putting your baby to bed with a nice drink of fuel additive; giving her a facelift with new curves; or toning her up with a fresh engine rebuild?  Whatever you choose, know we are here to help!  Peace Out,  Reine

 

The Last Move. By: Reine Knobbe

 

  This better be the last move!  LOL  What a journey it has been.  We went from 800 square feet to close to 12,000 square feet in 13 years (by the way, 13 is Jan’s lucky number).  Just 15 years ago, owning our own business wasn’t even on our minds.  Jan and I are certainly not on this journey alone.  Family, friends and loyal customers have all been along for the ride.  There are no words to express our deepest gratitude all along the way!

 

  This whole project parallels some of the bike builds we have completed over the years.  A customer comes in with a dream and then we make that dream a reality.  With some bumps and road blocks along the way.  Big projects never seem to go smoothly.  So many things that are out of our control.  Like weather conditions which can put a damper (pun intended) on any ride and completely halt the pouring of concrete.  Relying on outside labor to complete a part of the build we send out can be frustrating as they have their own deadlines.  We don’t always have control on how quick, or slow outside labor works.  Then there are the parts.  Our nemesis!  You take the time to find just the right piece of chrome; pipes; handlebars; engine parts and they are on backorder; ordered correct part/wrong part comes in; driver left it back at the warehouse.  Same scenario goes with a big building project just different parts such as lighting; bathroom fixtures; doorway hardware etc.

 

  So what goes right?  The biggest thing and yet hardest to measure is the support along the way.  When you dream big those around you help to make that dream a reality.  In the case of a big build, whether from a mishap such as an insurance job turned into the dream build you’ve been putting off or just finally coming up with the funds to make your dream bike become a reality your family and friends encourage you and enjoy hearing about the process.  The builder, in this case, Chariots of Fire Customs LLC, will guide; make suggestions; and help keep you on budget.  In the case of our building, Girod Builders did the guiding and lead us in the right direction for what was possible. 

  Making a dream come true is always worth the wait to see the end product.  Getting on your new build and riding it in the wind for the first time is just feel good happiness!  Having family, friends and strangers marvel at your creation is just icing on the cake!  For me personally, I am just tickled pink to have the back deck with the overhang.  That has been my big dream!  The interior show room was very much a collaborative project.  Thank goodness Jan and I have the same taste which helped with the process.  This part of our build I have kept guard over as I want that “wow” factor when you walk through the doors.  I believe Jan is most proud of the front entrance.  It took him months to find those doors and the barn wood front is simply amazing!  And, of course, Jan can’t wait to have the back completed and operating at full capacity.

  Jan and I cannot express in words our deepest gratitude for all the support and help along this journey.  Many individuals have volunteered their time and expertise, too many to name but know we are thankful for each and every one of you.  The Chariots of Fire Family cannot wait to show off our new home.   Please, take this as a formal invitation to join us on September 22 for our Grand Reopening at 2113 Alexandria Crossing.  See you then!