FRAMES & PRODUCTS :
Situated in the West Norfolk Fens in a purpose built workshop near to where we live, CCD has been established since 1994 having occupied 2 previous premises in the London area. we relocated to our current location when the costs and hassles of existing in the London area became untenable.
One of our principal philosophies of business is to keep costs down and keep things simple. We have seen many small businesses in our field go down because the owners felt they needed to follow 'normal' business models, where expensive premises, company status and debt based financing inevitably bring intolerable stress levels and a need to be running fast just to stay still. All very nice when things are going well, but as soon as there is a slowing in the marketplace, you're dead meat, Jack.
So we don't do things that way. At CCD costs are low and we've never owed anyone anything. This means that our prices are lower than most of the other guys, and you don't have to pay VAT on our stuff. So, just because the other guys prices are higher does not mean that our quality is lower than his, he just has to run faster to stay still!
Who are we? CCD is basically Me, Briz, helped by Bee, my better half.
My roots in this rather strange custom bike business go back about 33 years
At age 18 it became clear that an obsession with choppers was developing nicely. Seen the movies, read books, discovered 'easyriders' magazine etc. So the acquisition of some sort of project bike was a matter of some importance. With funds gathered from the sale of an extensive record collection, a 1950 BSA A10 was sourced for fifty quid from MCS in east London ('foremost chopper specialists') The bike wasn't complete so I never rode it stock.
Over the next couple of years I proceeded to make many mistakes and spend most of my meager earnings, but ended up with a fairly eye grabbing chop in the style of the day. See the 'archives' page for pics.The bike was not without its problems, but it did get me to Germany & back before the crank broke!
The Learning of Skills
I got lucky in 1975 and landed a job working for Alf Hagon; famed drag racer and speedway rider, at his shop in Leyton. The job was on the sales counter, but as I was hopeless at this, I soon petitioned for a transfer into the workshop, and I owe Alf a debt of gratitude in that he allowed this and did not simply fire me!
The Hagon workshop was a fully equipped engineering and fabrication facility where grasstrack, speedway and sidecar motocross bikes were manufactured and I gradually learned just about every aspect of bike - related engineering so that by 1979 I had become the main frame fabricator & welder. This was small batch production, where one worker would do all the tasks from cutting the steel to stacking the finished frames to go the painters. It was during this time that I built 'the sorcerer' - another BSA chop but a bit more advanced engineering-wise.
After I left Hagons, there followed a few years of 'biker lifestyle' activities and doing custom work on a casual basis in various locations until 1985 when I started 'Megacycles' in East London. Although it only lasted 4 years, Mega did a great deal of work and built a good few quality bikes. Sadly, the custom business wasn't mature enough to really function properly (ie. pay the bills, and generate an income!) and eventually the hard work & no pay aspect got to me enough to look for a better way to earn a living.
I decided to try the car business, I'd always liked old American cars and joined the 'import anything with tailfins' bandwagon. I still did custom bike work for those who knew how to find me, and when the early '90s recession hit and everyone forgot about buying old yanks, I looked again at the custom bike business. Besides, fixing up old cars is hard work!
The custom Harley scene was gathering pace; guys who were building Jap chops on a shoestring in the '80s could now afford Harleys and by specialising in HDs, I could streamline the engineering side by building enough jigs & fixtures to make most frame builds straightforward 'known quantities'. The original idea was to have a range of products rather than every job being a complete blue-sky one-off. Each product could be almost infinitely variable in terms of dimensions. I spent a lot of time in 1994 making this necessary equipment, and making sure that all the plant & machinery was there to do the job properly. I was also a bit ruthless in eliminating from the business a lot of areas which were loss making time-bandits. This is why I don't take on complete bike builds anymore, for instance. Its still a custom bike business however, and I do still do frames for anything if asked. And I don't charge any extra even though some frame builds do take longer than others.
The other big area of importance to me was (and is) that everything made by CCD should be top quality in terms of engineering, fabrication and materials used. Some other guys out there don't necessarily always hit all 3 of these targets! To my knowledge, no frame ever made by me has ever broken, cracked or failed in use.
And I ride what I build!