Chicago-area custom motorcycle builder funds dream by selling bike

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The bad economy couldn’t keep one custom builder from realizing his dream, even when he got cold feet.

Gearith Burkhart quit his job, sold his Harley Street Glide and used the money to start Burkhart Kustom Cycles in Addison, Ill. The shop, which opened in April, specializes in repairs and custom builds.

“I didn’t know if I was going to last two months,” Burkhart told the Elmhurst Press. “I put everything I had into it, so that was scary.”

It helped that some customers from a shop where he’d worked for seven years followed him to his new business.

“I have a good reputation,” Burkhart says. “At the shop that I left before this, when people heard it was my last day at the shop, three bikes got pulled.”

Although Burkhart favors Harley-Davidson, he can work on or build any make or model. “That’s a great thing about this business,” he says. “Everything isn’t repetitious. It’s not doing the same thing over and over again. Every day is a different project. Right now, I’m having fun building this one, but by the time I’m done with that, I’ll be ready to put wheels on something or work on an older bike.”

Posted by Holly Wagner

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