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Interview: Bob Wolfe of Twin Iron Cycles
Print
04/11/06 - Steven Winslow
Click on image for full size PopUp.

Welcome mat to TIC.

Storefront at TIC

One of Bobs Custom Mods.

Nice custom TIC rebuild. (Now it works!)

Bob Wolfe and his baby.

TIC / Bob Wolfe Original

All of these bikes are LOADED with detail!

Gotta love that Silver / Black / Chrome combo!

TIC logo imprint.

Bob built these with no bends whatsoever!

TICs full service shop.

Man, this thing is LOADED!

TIC specializes in Indians.

TICs full service shop.

Wheelin one out for a test run...

Gotta love the Skittles bike!

Firing it up!

The whole team checkin it over.

Test ride...

Bob and the Twin Iron Cycles crew.

I love to build ridable bikes... - Bob Wolfe

During the last interview I did with Robert Windsor down at Cycle Creations, he had nothing but great things to say about the Twin Iron Cycles crew and Bob Wolfe. By pure chance, I ran into Bob and company at ABATEs Tilgman Island benefit and an interview was set... Im begining to learn just what a unique breed bike builders are! Here is the interview I had with Bob at his shop located just across the highway from the Easton, MD airport.

Winslow: Hi Bob, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
Bob Wolfe: No problem.
Winslow: Is this going to be your Beast of the East entry? Wow, thats nice.
Bob Wolfe: Yeah this is the one. Matter fact, I just started stripping it. Im putting it together, just mock it up, I got more powder coating coming in.
Winslow: Uh huh. Oh wow, I like the way that fender comes all the way down. Making this for a customer?
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, a guy from Philadelphia. Were just mocking it up, making sure everything fits right, instead of chrome Im going to blacken out a few peices here and there.
Winslow: Wow, the black will realy set it off.
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, Im just starting to get to that now.
Winslow: I like it. You do some nice work man.
Bob Wolfe: Thank you. I just got done with that one. Iron works bike.
Winslow: You didnt build it?
Bob Wolfe: Naw, the guy got it in Myrtle, we just rechromed everything, redid the wiring harness on it. Its got the credit card ignition, just carry the card in your pocket and you can start it up, wont start otherwise. We rechromed the wheels, did the whole front end, raised it up 3 inches. We redid a bunch of stuff on it.
Winslow: Wasnt too good from the original builder huh?
Bob Wolfe: Nope.
Winslow: This is the one you had in the trailer at Abate, right?
Bob Wolfe: I did the same ignition in this one, its a bullet proof ignition, its impossible to hotwire unless you got a couple hours to tear the whole bike apart. Carry this in your wallet.
Winslow: Uh huh.
Bob Wolfe: You just sit on it and activate it.
(Bob places a special Credit Card on the seat and the Engine turns over and fires)
Winslow: Cool. You just set it on the seat?
Bob Wolfe: Well, normally you carry it in your wallet. Without it you got nothing.
Winslow: Thats killer!
Bob Wolfe: We did the same thing with other bike. Now, this guy is going old school. She starts like a charm, theres no wires in the handlebars. Everythings right here, ignition, headlights, just turn her on and she goes.
Bobs Wife stops by to talk to us a second...
Winslow: Hey how ya doing? Ree told me to tell you hello.
Bob Wolfes Wife: Oh, hello! Im just running through here...
Winslow: Okey dokey. I like this... Snakes and skulls.
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, I built those pipes. Not a single bend in em.
Winslow: Thats awesome work.
Bob Wolfe: Chrome masters did the chrome work.
Winslow: I realy like those pipes, thats realy neat.
Bob Wolfe: Theres no pipe bending, its all welds.
Winslow: Wow, very nice.
Bob Wolfe: It lifts to a riding position. The first one is for show position. She will go way up. Itll actually ride like that. Get out of the show, put it up some and away ya go.
Winslow: Neat, ok I didnt notice that at first. Does it have clearance?
Bob Wolfe: Enough to get out of the parking lot, hehe. It wont go no lower than that. I make alot of our bikes like that, 1/4, 5/16ths clearance, once they ride out the parking lot they can hit it and it wont slam down on the tire.
Winslow: Ok, neat stuff.
Bob Wolfe: It had an 80 inch motor bored out 30 over, 9 1/2 to 1 biggest you can go with that blower setup.
Winslow: Um hmm.
Bob Wolfe: We do all our own cranks and valves.
Winslow: You got your own machine shop I guess?
Bob Wolfe: Well, I got all the truing stands in the back, I got a lathe, I got a buddy next door hes been doing car engines for 20 years, he does alot of work for us. Were looking to get a dyno next.
Winslow: Cool, Do you guys do your own paint here?
Bob Wolfe: Same thing, I used to do it, but Im not into airbrushing and stuff like that, we keep pretty busy with what we have, so I have a guy that does it for me just down the road.
Winslow: Makes it alot easier Im sure.
Bob Wolfe: Oh yeah, Im telling ya. I get home at midnight most nights as it is. I got another guy whos been doing alot of my paint, he just went to work for another shop. Im talking to them now to get a deal together. I design all the paint jobs, tell him what I want, he does a great job for me. All the colors and paint schemes.
Winslow: Um hmm.
Bob Wolfe: He did the jester here on the front. I got the battery underneath, you undo a screw and it comes down from below its a stainless steel pad, no battery to deal with on the bike.
Winslow: Oh under here?
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, its a jell battery. Just drops it dow.
Winslow: Oh, neat!
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, thats why I did that.
Winslow: So, this guy did it all according to your specifications?
Bob Wolfe: Oh yeah.
Winslow: I like the jester on the front.
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, everyone does like just the head, so I wanted a wicked jester for it.
Winslow: Yeah, everyones looking for something new and different.
Bob Wolfe: I got a good guy who does all my powder coating.
Winslow: Uh huh. Thats nice, I like it. Im sure you guys will do well at the show with it.
Bob Wolfe: This one is all sheet metal, no bondo on it. It was a mess when it came in, the motor was gutted, the swing arm was set and wouldnt move, he was gonna sink money into it for a new motor, it had an S+S motor with Harley parts on it, we got it all straightened out. The original guys didnt do too good with it. I do alot of this kind of work, I tell ya what probably 60% of my work is this kind, rebuilding other guys work.
Winslow: Realy?
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, alot of guys dont put everything into it they should.
Winslow: It seems like theres an awefull lot of guys getting into this busniess these days.
Bob Wolfe: Well, if anyone has a problem with a custom bike, we can usually fix it up.
Winslow: Cool. Oh this is neat.
Bob Wolfe: We got this one here, it has a lower serial number than the one in the Harley museum.
Winslow: Cool.
Bob Wolfe: It has all the original parts including the original screws. You cant get those, we had to make em.
Winslow: Nice Indian.
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, we do alot of work with Indians, they are one of our specialties. We do alot of thier warranty work. Were one of the only ones around here who can service em.
Winslow: Thats Great.
Bob Wolfe: I got alot of Indian customers who come in here, Maryland, Delaware, even some from Pa.
Winslow: Ill make sure I get that on your listing.
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, we pretty much do anything here, rebuild motors, oil changes, it pays the bills. Working on the customs, you get to 2 or 3 hundred hours you kinda stop counting.
Winslow: Wow.
Bob Wolfe: Yeah, but thats the business. Ive always been into engines and ever since I was a kid I was into engines. I got two years training, the I got two years practicle in a machine shop. This is our clean room engine shop. We have a lathe for making what we need, I got a truing machine for wheels, we got a machine for spoke wheels, alot of places wont do that. This to test the springs, its probably older than I am, hehe.
Winslow: I used to have an old 67 Mustang, and I could work on that. Get out the Chiltins and away I went, now adays, NO WAY Id touch anything, LOL.
Bob Wolfe: When I was a kid and it came to lawn mowers, Id take em all apart and put em back together.
Winslow: Cool, youve been into it your whole life. How many bikes do you think you build a year?
Bob Wolfe: Anywhere from 3 to 5 and maybe 6 or 8 redos, maybe 2 restorations.

After Bob showed me around his shop, they pulled out this very nice Yellow and Purple Skittles bike for its test run. The whole time, Bob and his team were all over it making sure it was just right. I got to meet a few of his guys there at TIC and they are all just like Bob, true blue bike nuts. Twin Iron Cycles is located just across from the airport in Easton, MD. They do pretty much everything right there in house or with a time tested team of partner shops. Look for thier Jester bike and booth at the Beast of the East, Im sure it will be one of the highlights of the show!

Thanks to Bob Wolfe and team for taking some time out of thier busy schedules to talk to me. Im sorry the article was a bit late going up, the break in the weather just had too much of a pull on me... *LOL*

See the entire set of pics from this interview here.

See ya on the Road!
Steven Winslow



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