For Dar Holdsworth, the art of building customized motorcycles began as a stress-relieving hobby.
“I had a corporate job, and this was an outlet for nights and weekends,” he says. “Eventually, that phased out because this – this is where my passion is.”
The passion also translates as talent because Holdsworth has also won the World Championship for Custom/Production Bike Building two years in a row.
Just a stone’s throw from downtown Oklahoma City, Brass Balls Cycles has produced unique, customized motorcycles for almost 10 years. These timeless pieces have drawn customers from all over the world, including actor Tim Allen and entertainer Usher.
[pullquote]We create bikes that looked good 10 years ago, and they’ll look good 10 years from now.[/pullquote]“I can’t even name all the places all over the world we have bikes in,” Holdsworth says with a chuckle. “Russia, Estonia, South Africa, Australia … we also have them all over the place in the U.S.”
Brass Balls Cycles builds custom motorcycles from the ground up, as well as customizations for existing bikes. Depending on the customer’s wishes, prices can range from $26,000 to $80,000. Holdsworth says a custom bike typically costs about $40,000 because “we use high end components that last. People can take these bikes around the racetrack or across the country and have no problems.”
When describing the bikes he builds, Holdsworth carefully conveys that these bikes, while maintaining a unique look, are not takes on trendy fads.
“We create timeless bikes,” he says. “We create bikes that looked good 10 years ago, and they’ll look good 10 years from now.”
Each cycle is assembled by hand, as opposed to an assembly line. The shop has four lifts, so they can accommodate four bikes at any given time. Currently, all of his lifts are full and it is possible that they could be full for at least a little while; when customers bring in their bikes, depending on the intensity of the customization, they could look at anywhere from two weeks to six months of production. It’s also a first-come, first-served basis.
Brass Balls Cycles is owned and operated by Holdsworth and his wife. He enjoys when people call the shop with questions and request to speak with him instead of his wife when she answers the phone and end up discovering his wife is also a motorcycle expert.
“She is very knowledgable about this stuff,” he says. “She knows more than probably most of the people that call up here. She can answer almost any question anyone has about these bikes; she knows all about it.”
Another area growing in his business, Holdsworth says, is customizing existing motorcycles. Custom wheels, tires, brakes, grips, handlebars, foot pegs and seats are just a few of the parts that customers request for their bikes.
When asked if he ever takes his bike cross country, the longing in his voice is palpable: “Oh yeah, of course. No email, no cellphone; it’s great. I should do it again soon.”