What's Happening Now?
All vaccinated here! If you haven't gotten yours, please do as soon as you're eligible and can arrange an appointment. We had minimal side effects and have determined that the needle in the arm really is more fun than a ventilator.
Covid-disrupted supply chains have tamped down the motorcycle side of things. But our race car work has been going strong. March 19th was the kickoff of the SK Modified season here in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic for #14 with race week in Johnson City. The only thing more expensive than the steel & aluminum here are the tires. It's good not to be the financial backer when you run through these in 8 or 12-packs!
We're running very limited production on the fuel cell side of things. With steel and aluminum prices up 300% it's cost-prohibitive to manufacture and sell custom fuel tanks when you're buying plate in 3x4 and 4x10 sheets a few at a time. With U.S. steel mills pretty automated (robots have replaced most of the workforce required even 20 years ago), Covid didn't really cause much in the way of plant shutdowns here. But, with so much steel and aluminum stock normally sourced from overseas, international manufacturing slowdowns and shipping interruptions have created demand here in the states that domestic suppliers can't satisfy. It's a first-world problem, but we are looking forward to things returning to something approaching normal this summer. (Did we mention you should get vaccinated? It'll help achieve herd immunity and let us all get back on the road together.)
In the meantime, R&R of older aux tanks as well as testing fuel tanks sold on the used market are still being accommodated as re-fitment parts are somewhat more available. Just send an email and we'll try to help.
In possibly more exciting news, we're thrilled to announce that we've just closed on the purchase of property where we'll be building a new shop with ride-in facilities available in the southwestern mountains of North Carolina near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah Forest and coincidentally enough, the Tail of the Dragon. It's not far from TN and SC as well. We're pretty sure you'll be able to find some good riding to occupy you if you want to stop in for fitting and test riding a new tank. The new shop plans are being turned over to the designer & architect later this month - in addition to our current CNC, 20 ton hydraulic press brake, welding, bead blasting and powder coating stations, we'll be adding a shop gantry & winch system for handling full sheets of materials as well as a new walk-in powder oven and a Tormach CNC milling machine. The builder was scratching his head about the need for 300A service but sooner or later we think we'll need it. Together these will let us do full production of all components from billet materials if needed. Supply chain disruptions are something we're going to try to avoid in the future.
It doesn't look like much now, but keep an eye out and we'll be reporting on progress. We're hoping to be built out and moved in this fall.