Zylstra Choppers out of Grand Rapids, Michigan is known for his well defined style that includes a range of high performance big bore motors in classic 80's muscle bike chopper style frames. We had come to know Reece Zylstra through many motorcycle events over the years but we wanted to get down to the route of where it all began for him and what lead his amazing progression of building extremely high quality machines from the start. What we came to realize about Reece was that much like many builders in the midwest he learned his skilled trades through years of dedication and hardwork that with every bike got more refined and more satisfying than the one before it. After years of honing his skills he has built some of our favorite bikes, bikes that have earned their place not only in some of the biggest magazines and bike events in the country but actually out there on the roads stacking mile after mile. We joined Reece on a chilly winter day at his home shop, talked about his Upper peninsula Michigan bike event "Apocalypse Run" and got to get up close with the one bike he couldnt let get away, his 1955 FL generator Shovelhead Harley Davidson.
So before we get into the bike let's talk about the Michigan based bike run that you put on every year, Apocalypse Run. Give us some details about the run and how long it's been going on?
So last year was number 13, so 2021 will be the 14th year and it's been almost the same most years but I had to move locations at one point and this will be the 6th year I've done it in a new location. Just cuz like where we did it now works out really good and I don't want people to be drinking and riding up there even though compared to most places there is minimal risk but I don't want somebody getting a DUI or hitting a deer. Which seriously like hitting a deer or a fucking bear up there while drunk is waaaay greater odds than getting a DUI. Just being totally honest, animals are fucking everywhere up there so the danger is very real. I originally was doing the ride in June and I moved it partially because the bugs were just so bad. I mean you are still coming out of a thaw up there and everything was still wet from Winter in June. The Winter drags on so long up there that the ground is still just soaked mid June. So anyway I moved it to August to get away from the bugs and then the other thing was mainly Born free. There's just a lot of people that I knew that had to go and they were putting their eggs in one basket trying to pull off too much. So August was just better I think. We did it in June for 5 years and August was just better for weather and rain. Hell the 1st couple years we got wet every single year I mean the weather is fucked up there. People that arent from the state of Michigan don't always get it, like the Great Lakes creates its own weather system. So you have some of the least accurate forecasts ever maybe in the world. hahaha. It's the largest body of fresh water in the world though right? I mean you could have a storm coming all the way through the state of Wisconsin and it totally changes by the time it gets to our side.
So for the people reading this, where are we talking about roughly, I mean you are referring to the upper peninsula of Michigan, correct?
Yep, so we go about an hour North West of the Mackinac bridge on like a 55 mph road that ends up in Strong's, Michigan. So the ride is from just North of Grand Rapids starting out. There's even some guys who come up from Ohio and even as far as New York and they've even done their own ride up the Eastern side of Michigan to get to the bridge, if not they were coming another 3 hours straight West just to meet up with us near Grand Rapids to do the same thing. Michigan where it meets at the bridge is basically just a big upside down V-shaped so on are ride last year it was around 75 people but by the time we hit the bridge to cross we had 132. I don't ever know the difference though cause I'm up in front most of the time so it's tough to judge just how many people are there until we get there and you know it's not because I don't want that, it just sort of ends up that way sometimes. I mean the run it's like anyone could do the run and hell, I wish I could just pass the torch sometimes and just go on my own and not do everything but it's like I've gotta keep it moving or else we don't get anywhere. I get made fun of every year for being like this "dad" because I have to use my stern voice like when I talk to my fuckin dogs to get anybody to do anything because otherwise you would never even get there. Every gas stop would turn into 2 hours of joint smoking and fuckin tall boys. So I pull in, I gas up and as soon as I come back out I'm like OK, 5 minutes people 5 minutes and I'm serious!!!
Well let's be honest, if somebody doesn't jump in and say that then yeah it gets off the rails pretty easy. I mean you want to get to the destination before midnight and I think we've all been on quite a few runs like that.
13 years taught me that if I don't do that it's just too chaotic. I've been on a lot of other runs that are like that and it's kind of fun but it's not fuckin fun when you're the responsible party and then every ones pissed you had to ride in the dark and the rain cuz you didn't get there until 10 o'clock at night.
Well yeah but I guess that's all part of the fun too right? haha
You know I see though every year what fails, everybody that has come to me with questions I'm like I don't try to sell anybody on things anymore really because like, OK so in my opinion best case scenario if we're talking about bikes to take just as an example, like anything V twin, or just anything, the best that you can do on one of those bikes, put a magneto on it, then have no battery and put a cycle electric charging system on it. You know like a low output 1 to 4 magneto and you'll never fail. I mean yeah occasionally anything can fail, magneto stuff can fail too but it will get you home dude, even if you're charging system went out you can still ride home with a flashlight and trust me I've been there. Haha. So every year on the run what do I see, reliable stock sportsters and FXR's and what is it every year there's an FXR and a sportster on the trailer with no charging system, fuckin regulator or coil. I mean it's usually a lot of coils and Ignition and a lot of stators and when your stator goes out though you aint doing that on the side of the fuckin road man. You're just not. I mean I bring a lot of tools and like this year I'm even gonna have a welder on the truck cause it's like when you have that many people you just gotta be able to fix everything you can. So it's also like some guys show up on a fuckin ironhead and you're just like fuckin shocked that they even made it there right ? It's got house wire rigged up all over it, yeah interior house wire dude, I've even seen that and they show right up and they end up making it the whole way. It's the fuckin plain Jane stock sportster thats on the trailer. That in all respect, in my opinion, I tell everybody 95 to 2003 sportster best bike you're ever going to get for the money.
It's a 5 speed, decent charging, cheap, makes good power, they don't break that often and it's like people I know in the punk scene who don't have bikes whenever they ask about what bike to get, I'm like yeah go buy that! Best Bang for your buck, but then for some reason it never fails on bikes like that, coils and electronic Ignition they just don't like heat and they don't like being in a rigid frame then that's when they go. That's why I tell everybody you only cry once when you buy a magneto and they always get me home every time even if their fucked and the points gaps closed and they're totally smoked they almost always get you home, especially if you carry a spare condenser, which you know I do. Haha. That's like the worst case scenario though. I can count on one hand in 15 years how many times I've been in the back of a truck almost all those times was before I owned anything magneto, it's like I haven't had a bike with a battery and a normal charging system in a long time and almost all those times were in electronic Ignition you know more modern type things, they can just go wrong. I mean it's basically like "planned obsolescence." A lot of new companies now these companies know they arent going to last. My grandparents for instance have a refrigerator from 1950, 19fuckin50, guess what still going! The ones now you are a lucky to maybe even get 10 years out of it. Planned obsolescence. It's the same deal with electronic Ignition, everything is cheap, fast, affordable and you know what there, sometimes it's gonna work really great there's no denying that having an electronic Ignition with pre programmed advanced curves is great and you can make a lot of power with it BUT the problem is they still can fail. So then what are you gonna do? You wanna just go really fast or build something with a mechanical advance and a magneto and that's basically where I'm at. I've just seen it too many times on Apocalypse run, the stuff that fails is the stuff you can't just fix. I can fix a magneto on the side of the road. I carry a couple basic parts a points plate, a condenser and it will get you home, it's like I even carry a back up coil in my toolbag and I don't even have a coil on my bike! I carry one because half the time somebody I'm with always ends up needing one and there ya go.
So Im assuming then for Apocalypse Run you usually have a backup trailer or truck right?
Ohh God yes, I have to.
That's the way the Vintage 1000 did it as well cause is just so many bikes who knows what can happen and you're pretty much guaranteed that something will go wrong putting on that many miles.
In 13 years out of those 13 for 2 of them we didn't have a truck or trailer and it was a disaster. It's not like being broke down down here near Grand Rapids where theres solutions everywhere. When you're up there there's just nothing up there, there's no shops, there's just nothing, so if you're broke, you are BROKE down for good.
So the run starts down here by Grand Rapids but how many miles does it actually go the total weekend?
Well total for the weekend is probably around 700+ miles. It's like 500 + though if you don't leave once you get up there but it's like we go ride around alot and do rides while we're up there as well.
That's awesome, that's a pretty good distance almost like El Diablo run type of miles except you guys are going North instead of South.
So let's switch gears and spend some time talking about you and the shop in general
We would love to get a little bit of back story and hear how long you've been building custom choppers?
Well, I dropped out of high school and I hopped trains for quite a few years then I came back here and wanted a little bit more normalcy but you know of course I started working some shitty job at night and with that you still want some freedom and some adventure. So I was like fuck it, hell I always grew up on dirt bikes, I'm gonna go out and find a motorcycle and then that idea isn't so hot when you're broke, but then you're like well if you get a motorcycle it's kind of like having a hobby that you can still ride to work! So I buckled down and ended up finding a wrecked sportster and at the time you could go to the Meijer grocery which is like our Michigan version of a Walmart basically and there you could buy magazines like Cycle source or The Horse. I didn't fucking know anything about harleys so, you basically just figure it out. I'm not from a Harley family or anything my dad's a die hard Yamaha dirt bike and snowmobile guy and it's like I grew up around motorsports a lot but not like the americana type of motor sports. It's like we just had dirt bikes and also had a dune buggy and I was into outdoor sports like skateboarding, bmx, so growing up that was it for me. So it's like I don't really know what made me get into Harley's really it was like everybody I know it seems like they have an Uncle or like their dad or their grandpa or something, and nobody in my family was into Harley's at all I mean NOBODY. I remember being at a party once where one of my dad's friends had a Harley shovelhead and I was like "oh yeah, OK that's it" and like I think that was cool because I wasnt around bikes like that at all. So it was like this 1 odd thing I was into, I'm like that guy smokes pot and he has a beard and rides a harley and I was like "OK that guy's pretty cool" ha ha ha. He was just basically less square then everybody else so basically you're kind of drawn to it for that. So fast forward I get this bike didn't know anything about it it had been wrecked but repainted oddly because I bought it from a body shop that I think must have been bought at an auction and then they just slapped some paint over it but it had all these underlying mechanical issues still
So yeah that was in I believe 2008 then shortly thereafter I saw things I liked but I didn't know really what they were, it's like you see something and you're like well I guess that's kind of punk looking you know. hahaha. Then I realize all the bikes I'm looking at well, a lot of those bikes I like old rigid frame bikes I didn't even know at the time how to accomplish that but I was like "OK yeah I definitely need that." So a year later I bought a Paughco frame and I had met a couple guys here who were into punk rock and also bikes and hot rods and stuff and I was not in to rockabilly or anything like that at all. In fact I hated rockabilly but I somehow ended up joining a sort of rockabilly type car club that was sort of like a car and motorcycle club because I had that bike and I had a couple of C 10s you know like the sixties ones. So anyway I put that sportster in a rigid frame one Winter and I learned how to mig Weld over time just to get things done and then one of the dude's I met there was a welding engineer, we are actually still good friends to this day, he's kinda like a mentor. At the time though it was a lot of me just trying to make something and then tack it together and then he would finish weld it, you know and it became an annoyance for him which is funny because now I'm there where he was and feel the same way but anyway that's how I got started. Its like I had something in my head and then I tried to make it for real. So anyway I lived with him at the time we had a community shop and I lived in the shop. There were 10 of us who all shared the shop but I was the only one living there.
Did that shop space have a name?
Well not really I mean the car club was called "the relics" and we had a couple guys from that in the shop, your regular kind of set up though you know like a couple bike lifts, lots of tools, the regular. So anyway at some point I end up buying a shovelhead on credit at the local Motorcycle shop while I still had that sportster because the guy was like yeah if you can get a grand together I'll foot the bill for the rest and you can just make payments. So I went ahead with that because hes basically been my mentor over the last 15 years but it's kind of funny how it worked out. I mean I basically paid him $100 a week for like freakin 10 years hahaha. no joke. Though I kept adding stuff on to the credit there and they had me on the books for quite some time, it's like one day I would need a belt drive the next day I would need something else added to the credit and seriously $100 a week I'm paying it every week. It's like I've never really had credit cards before and that actually was weird because I've never actually borrowed for anything but that was like the closest I ever came to realizing that hole you can truly dig yourself! Haha The funny thing is that cone shovel that he sold me ended up being the most clapped out pile of shit ever! I rode it home from there and that was it. It never moved again. I tore it into a million pieces sold off the frame as a roller and kept the motor and transmission and I ended up building my 1st cone shovel chopper. That was around maybe 2009 or 2010 then since it's just been shovelheads ever since. I mean I've had a few Panheads never really any knucklehead stuff but the panhead stuff I just sold it off because I'm just a die hard shovel dude and at the time, all I wanted was generator shovels and that's what I had in like 4 or 5 bikes in a row.
What made the genny shovel better to you than the cone shovel or maybe even like what appealed to you more about it?
I don't even really think that anymore to be totally honest well cause now I have 3 shovel heads and 2 of them are alternator shovel heads. So it's like my opinion kind of changed because I built a bunch of hot rodded ones. It's like, dude for the fuckin price if you want to make something fast that isn't supposed to be fast, making a cone shovel fast is way cheaper than making a generator shovel fast. Period. I mean the 1955 that you just photographed I built it myself and I still had $8000 in that motor to make a 95" generator shovel and you know what that bike is really fast though, just pricey. Honestly it's light and quick but I realized though you could have half the amount you could have like $3500 to $4000 into a cone shovel that would eat almost anything! I mean that cone shovel that's over there on the bench, this bike once it's done will be faster than anything and I have like 4 grand into that motor, so it's all relative. Really I kinda shifted into the cone shovel thing just because if you do wanna go fast there's way less moving parts. You have a cam that's coming directly to the drive on the magneto, where on a genny you have a Cam that's gotta go through four gears before it ever sees the magneto so for timing purposes and starting and everything else it's just a little bit better honestly I've got an S&S carb that I might run on this but I'm kind of really into flat side carbs right now like the one that's on the 1955. Like I'm a Lectron dealer and I'm also a Baker dealer as well so I really push both of those brands hard as I can. Baker transmission for instance they're made right here in Lansing, only an hour away so I really push them hard and Lectron is all based out of Texas which at the time couple years ago when I put mine on my bike they weren't really running them for anything other then racing. You just didn't see them on the street that much at all and in the last couple years they've really come a long way for much more of a streetable carb. They've been really good to me as a company though over the years they also sponsored Apocalypse run. So that was really great they even gave me a carb for the raffle, they've just been a really good company to work with Baker also just such a great company. I have 1 of their transmissions in my cone shovel a 4 speed with the n1 shift drum. It's really hard to go back after you've had one as someone that's doing it for a living though. I mean obviously I have to do some commercial fabrication to get by but I'm trying to just do mainly bike parts these days and I mean I'm welding frames for a company, I'm doing metal work for another, you know it's just kind of like whatever it takes at this point. Honestly it's very fucking hard trying to make a living just with motorcycles. I mean I don't think it matters if you're doing service or parts or if you're relying solely on that it's just like you going to fight tooth and nail to get by sometimes if that's all you're doing. I haven't really been relying on just that for very long though. I mean I've always had a day job and this was always something that consumed my nights and weekends. It's almost too difficult to describe to someone though who hasn't been doing it until you are balls deep and invested all your money into it and then finding your own time and your own shop to do it all in. I mean the prices you are going to tell someone it's just like if they haven't been there to get to that point, chances are they arent going to fully understand I mean a good example I have 3 grand into just my fixture for frames to even be able to start building them, then you're gonna have another 5 grand in a decent mill and then another 5 grand in a lathe and then on and on and on and on. You really don't realize how fast it's going to stack up, it's just like sometimes I almost missed just doing everything on the floor with an angle grinder because for a long time that's what I had was an angle grinder in a tig welder. I made a lot of bikes with that and just a real shitty lathe just enough to make wheel spacers on but it's like now that I'm here and I have my own shop I've got more in just my equipment then my bikes and my boat and my truck combined. hahaha Which is wild to think of but that's what it takes to be able to make someone else a great part. For me though, you really have to want to do it for the love of it, cause it's just not financially amazing right away.
So in regards to the shop and what you are working on currently what do you have in the works for future builds or upcoming new parts?
Well the main thing I am really pushing right now is I'm doing these decorative 39 mm fork caps for hydraulic front ends which is something cool that I thought up and then I had someone help me work out the CAD designing. Cornerstone manufacturing up here was actually the company and they're helping me do part of the production on these too. Well then as far as other parts that I am making here marketed as Zylstra choppers for right now it's mostly handlebars and shifters. I have done over 78 sets of T bars since I got set up in this shop space over the past 3 years. So basically a few bars a month. I sort of refined my process for it though I do all of the bungs, the copes, the tubes all in a batch then on a welding positioner with pulse they end up looking really nice.
So the bars that are on the '55 is that what you're referring to that style of bars that you are making now?
That was actually a real early set but yeah those are pretty close to it. Honestly I really don't do them exactly like that set anymore, that set is sort of really similar to a set that Front street cycles does and hes been doing them way longer than me. So I don't really advertise that I do them like that you know especially with the larger OD on the top. I've had people ask me to do them like that but generally I usually just tell people to get them directly from him he does some really great work and I mean hell, I was buying fenders from him 15 years ago! I really have a lot of respect for him. It's like if you take anything from this, it's that you know I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here, if anything I feel like I saw stuff that I really liked and I try to do it to the best of my ability in my own style.
I mean for instance single loop frames, you know I was doing them with this guy Brad for years other people have done them of course it's no big thing they've been around a long time but the thing is that you'll notice no one does them for very long and that's just because honestly there's just no fuckin money in them. I mean it's hard to describe how much time actually goes in to building a frame, you can have something like 50 hours usually for like what, you know maybe a grand profit, I mean for an entire week of work then you pay for materials and shielding gas and on and on, I mean it goes on and on and on, it's just really some ball busting money to make sometimes. It just is what it is though, I mean I'm doing some now though for Mullins, which is owned by my friend Eric and you know I'm doing them for Mullins because I really want to do them. Which you know he has to make money to and especially with all the time and money hes had into design and research and development he has me set up pretty well though because he has the mandrel bent and then cut and then they come to me and I finesse a few parts get them in the fixture and get them welded up. It's like at the end of the day though, I have invested all my energy into really becoming a decent welder I mean I work for a company building welders I'm welding for work and then I'm also welding in my free time I mean I don't have a natural bone in my body for welding it's just been time in the seat.
Well it's often been said that many skilled trades especially welding it's all about getting your time in. I also work in skilled trades as a day job and I definitely know that first hand.
Really the best thing that I did for myself was having that job and going to school for training classes at Miller. It's like when you know the science behind what you're doing and I didn't even think I appreciate it at the time or had the foresight to know that but, when you actually have the science of it in your head before you're actually doing it, it really yields different results. Having a truck driving job that I had at the time before that which you know I loved and it was great but I didn't want to do it forever, I just thought I really had more in me than that, so I quit driving and I took a big pay cut to go build robotic welders in a build shop and I don't think I had the foresight of how much I was actually gonna learn that would come into here, you know into the shop for actual bike building. I learned a lot about machining and welding working at that job and I mean mostly of my own volition too because honestly I really wanted to know and learn. I even took a full year of electrical training and I learned a lot about electrical theory and wiring motors. I even made my own phase converter here. So there was just so much that I took from those jobs solely because of the fact that I actually wanted it.
So it's kind of like if you send a kid or somebody to guitar lessons and they don't really wanna play guitar well you know they aren't gonna get much out of it but if you give someone lessons the actually loves playing guitar and that's what they truly want, well then they're going to get so much more out of it. So I think that is kind of where I was at, I was like I kind of felt like I had been mediocre at almost everything I had done my whole life you know it's just like someone else comes along and they do it and they're instantly better at it and I gets discouraging so for me I think not having any of these natural talents and I feel like everything was hard for me, it made me like "you know what fuck this, I'm not gonna do anything else, not skateboarding or BMX or anything I'm just gonna try to weld and build choppers and that was really what I wanted to do. Which was basically just to be a well rounded motorcycle builder. It's like back then all I wanted was to just be a better tig welder at the time and now hell I'm probably not even still that good but you know what I'm better than I was 10 years ago! Alot of that is just the seat time though, and the schooling and building that knowledge to know the theory behind welding it all helps immensely.
So we've talked quite a bit about what sort of brought you and the shop to this point, so, let's delve into the bike, the one that we shot today. Why don't we start with what you consider to be the year make and model and some of the key parts of note.
Well it's titled as a 1955 FL and really the main reason that it's that is because the tranny is a 1955 then the motor is really a mix of after market Delkron cases. I built that motor out of anything I could find at swap meets, you know all stuff that was performance big bore and stroke generator shovel stuff. Basically anything that I could find there was good for performance went on it. I got pretty far and I realized ok well, I still need quite a few more things like Andrews timing gears and then a bottom end that I ended up getting from Truitt + Osborn and sending it to revolution cycles to have rebalanced. The funny thing is this was actually 7 years ago when I 1st started building that motor up. I mean this is kind of the longest I've ever kept a bike project around. I tried to sell it at 1 point and honestly I'm glad I didn't but well I ended up selling my gold EVO chopper with the dual magneto, which I really kind of wish I had back now because I was really proud of that bike. Seriously I made every single thing on it. I did the motor myself with my buddy Rudy, I did a Sputhe 5 into 4 transmission, built the frame, built all the tins, just everything. Sometimes it is just so hard to put a dollar amount on a bike like that because at the end of the day you really realize you've barely made minimum wage even if you're getting good money out of it.
So with many of your bikes you know that sometimes you see there's like "show bikes" and then there's "go bikes" and yours tend to be a really good mix between the two. That being said you definitely gear towards the performance aspects. Could you talk a bit about why you tend to build that style?
I don't have any interest in owning anything I can't go out and ride. As much as there are bikes that I like that are just show bikes it's just like what the fuck am I gonna do with it??? I mean like If I sit and look at something longer than a year I'm kind of over it. Even that bike, the 55, I've had to talk myself out of trying to change shit on it several times because really I just need to focus on working on my new bike. Which my new bike, my next project is all in here in the shop it's just all in pieces, it's just like at the end of the day after 12 hours of making parts to sell, hell I don't wanna work on that thing! Haha So that bike had been 3 years of collecting all the right parts and I got the wheels I got the front end done, I got the motor all done (the shovel on the bench) I just haven't put it all together yet because really my priority became making sure that I wasn't having to work for anyone but myself and getting this shop set up. Now I'm just trying to get some quality parts out the door. It will come together one day though.
So on the '55 what are the actual motor specs on that?
Well it's a 95" motor and I mean the whole motor got CNC with kerosene, it was done the right way, got a lot of Andrew stuff in it, the heads are S &S, the jugs are Extells and the cases are Delkron. It's also got a Truitt & Osborne crank and honestly I really like their stuff because they're made out of Kansas and they just make good stuff. Zippers performance out of Maryland They also make really good stuff by the way
So let's talk about where you are regionally how do you feel that sets you apart from some other custom builders? I mean sometimes you hear people refer to West Coast styles, East Coast styles, you're kind of smack dab in the middle being from the midwest.
I mean Michigan actually has a lot of motorcycle history but it's like a lot of the Midwest stuff that the Forsteros did is not really here it's just kind of like Michigan doesn't really have its own style. I think for me if I have drawn influence from bikes it's definitely more East Coast bikes, it's like even though I live in the country now the bikes I always like are mostly city bikes. I like shorter bikes with full disk brakes with big motors even though I liked to ride cross country. For that reason too I really like Dick Allen stuff as one of my big influences, he was in my opinion someone that was doing that kind of performance bike but also made for a long distance. So I'm kind of somewhere in the middle of that.
Have you met his son Drew Allen in Rockford?
I actually have met him a few times and I bought some shirts and stuff from him, really I love his bikes he's a great guy.
Yeah when Danny Lyon did his photo show in Rockford I took a trip up there and got to meet Drew and hang out at his house for a bit and he is one of the nicest guys ever and definitely an infinite knowledge about vintage motorcycles. It's really cool to see what his father has passed on to him and how he is carrying it on.
Definitely yeah he's really one of the greats.
So touching on the Rockford style or maybe even the "outlaw club" style your builds are definitely in the vein of a club bike, I mean would you agree?
Ohh, absolutely. Like my favorite bikes are like we say you know the tough guy bikes or muscle bikes that's kind of where the whole "team tough guy" hash tag thing came from but the reality is they are just outlaw bikes. I think in peoples heads they are like "Ohh yeah 70s and 80s bikes were tough" but the reality is most of the shit I really like is early 90s. When you really look at photos of the shit from like 88, 89, 90 and up to 95, that's the shit I really like. So when I say 80s bikes its really more accurately early 90s. All that shit was around big time cuz like they were buying stuff at the time to make their 80s bikes perform. They arent gonna just go out and buy an Evo. They cant afford that, so they're taking their shovel and putting Evo shit on it. Like for instance mag wheels, like when I first got into bikes I hated mag wheels, it was 16 spoked wheels and 21s. Now I'm sitting here about to run 15 inch rear, 18 front mags. Haha.
So last question what is the future of your shop and what do you have planned for 2021?
Well starting out the plan is to do 10 more Mullins frames, keep doing the handlebars made to order, keep doing shifters made to order, transmissions, definitely those new fork caps, and any other parts. Realistically I've got quite a bit more commercial jobs that I'll be working on for paying the bills and I wish I was like " yeah I'm gonna jump right in and finish this new bike" but that might not quite get there yet. Hell, I used to build a bike every year for like 7 or 8 years in a row. I would sell one then ride the one that I just built. Anyway though my hats, and shirts, all those are stuff I'm really excited about because they're made on all-American materials and that was hard to sort of keep the integrity on those but I found a really good supplier for those so I'm stoked. I'm also going to be starting selling my handlebar bungs this year also, so if people wanna make their own handlebars they can do that too.
(If you wanna find out more about Reece's Zylstra Choppers products or how you can join in on this years Apocalypse Run check him out on Instagram via @ zylstrachoppers or his website zylstrachoppers.bigcartel.com)
Photos and words by Mike Vandegriff