Dealernews just returned from the big Press Launch of Dirico Motorcycles in Boston, Mass., the custom V-twin company that’s a collaboration between Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and engineering genius Mark Dirico. At this point in the industry, just about anybody with half an idea of what’s happened in the custom V-twin market would ask, “Wha? Huh? Why?”
Here are a couple of highlights of our whirlwind trip to New England — none of which include Liv Tyler.
So we went there with the “Why” question at the tip of our lips, but they got to it first. This is no mass-production operation like has been the standard operation in the custom V-twin world the last many years. Think of Dirico as more of a boutique custom operation.
The collaboration works like this: Tyler and Dirico formed the company out of a love for V-twin motorcycles and a desire to build a superior bike. The two are neighbors in a swanky suburb outside of Boston. Tyler offered the design cues (springer front-end, right side drive, a rainbow of colors) while Dirico worked out the engineering details.
Stephen Talarico, the man behind the manufacturing aspect of the business told the assembled moto-press stressed that the three bikes in the Dirico lineup aren’t for everybody and are aimed at a niche audience. He also said, “We never designed this and put it together to make money,” so you know they’re pretty serious about keeping things small.
Talarico owns AC Customs and Manchester Harley-Davidson, where the Dirico bikes are assembled in a
dedicated space back in the service department. The day we were there, a Massachusetts state trooper’s rig was being servied in a bay across the way.
While volume isn’t part of the equation, the company can ramp up or slow down production if needed. Given the collapse of the credit market and the flight of most lenders from the powersports wholesale and retail business, Dirico isn’t exactly looking for a dealer network right now.
The lineup includes the Flyer, a vintage-looking bike that’s a real easy rider; the Speedster, basically a beefed-up Flyer with a Harley-Davidson stock 110 cu. in. motor; and the Pro Street, a choppery looking custom that is smooth on the road (but a little tough on the buttocks.) Bert Baker/Baker Drivetrain is supplying the 6-speed right-side drive transmission for the Pro Street and it is a smoooooooooth clicking gearbox.
We capped off a decent ride through New England by attending an Aerosmith concert at Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass. After we parked all the bikes right near a giant Dirico rig in the parking lot, the crowds massed around them taking pictures of them and of Tyler’s giant mug painted on the side of the trailer. Other than lacking any kind of musical talent, I’ll never understand why I didn’t become a rock star. Women were taking pictures of themselves kissing the PICTURE of Steven Tyler on the trailer.