Breaking News January 2020
Breaking News! UPDATE January 2020
First, I'd like to apologize for the delays in getting Maple Farkles back rolling again. It's been a long road of education and juggling as well as waiting on equipment and tooling (more on that below). Over the past few months as hardware, parts and tooling came in from Mike & Walt along with the update, modification and acquisition of new tooling on my end; I've been replatforming Mike's designs onto a more robust CAD/CAM application (Autodesk's Fusion) so that I can drive the plasma cutting CNC table from the design files. This wasn't absolutely critical as we've created tanks using a shear cutter, but it will help with the precision needed for IBR certification and the repeatability of constructing tanks. Straight cuts are doable with a handheld cutter but slots, curves and holes definitely need computer control for quality production.
Based on the demand though it's clear a change in process is in order. I've spent the past few months fabricating tanks for local buyers - if something wasn't quite right in the translation to Fusion I could fix it easily. Based on those builds, I'm changing the way we're building and delivering aux tanks to the motorcycle market. Instead of building tanks one at a time based on individual orders, we're going to become a "stocking fabricator". This means we'll build and keep in stock several of each of the most in demand tanks so we can ship within a few days of receiving an order. Since a fair amount of the time required to make a tank is in tooling setup and prep, we'll be able to reduce this on a per tank basis and build each one in less total time. It also means customers will be able to tell when something is in stock and when it will ship.
Of course some things will remain special order & built on-demand like custom powder coating colors and non-standard designs. But if you've got a BMW, FJR, Triumph or other common bike and you're good with a charcoal black powder coat you can have it when you order it.
Along with these changes we're also expanding staff - I've hired a welder to help out with the fabrication. One of us will cut and jig the setups while the other welds the tanks. Also, unlike Mike we're doing the entire fabrication process in house - everything from cutting steel to bending, bead blasting, welding and powder coat will be done in the shop. That way we're not trying to fit our schedule into another supplier's available time.
Together these changes should provide more delivery reliability and less waiting for aux tanks, racks and accessory shelves.
We're working on the production schedule now and will be updating this page with when you can expect tanks for your bike to be made. We're confirming the delivery of a new plasma table before finalizing the schedule but we're hoping to be able to throw some tanks in the back of the truck and see you at your favorite rally!