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Custom Motorcycles Melbourne, FL

About Palm Shores Customs

The Following is an excerpt from Coastal Cruizin Magazine, November 2008.

When he was a young man of 14, Reza Baharloui loved the idea of riding a motorcycle so much, he’d “borrow” his father’s bike. Late at night. When his Dad was sleeping. Those late night rides were a long time ago, but Reza continues to have a passion for motorcycles. For the last fifteen years, he’s been building custom bikes and is now the proud owner of Palm Shores Customs, where he produces some flat-out gorgeous motorcycles.

The other day, I cruised by his shop on US-1 in Palm Shores, to check out the bikes and we talked about his business. He told me that he does restoration on older bikes, and some service work, but his real specialty is building bikes from the ground up. He said, “Most of the time, I build on my spec. Then the customer comes in and buys it, as is.” Though he does occasionally build bikes on demand, for specific customers, generally the ideas and designs are his own, with no single buyer in mind.

He had a few bikes on hand, and one of them he showed me was a black chopper. I fell in love. A buddy of mine once said, “There are but two colors in the world: black and chrome. Everything else is a shade.” I suspect my friend stole that quote from someone else, but it’s always been one of my favorites and it certainly applied to the chopper I saw in Reza’s garage. The fat 250 back tire, the beefy 127 cubic inch Ultima motor, the short squat pipes…that bike just screamed at me and it’s now on the short list of things I want for Christmas. I was especially impressed with the wide arc handlebars, the custom mirrors and the simple efficiency of the design. All of the cables have been run through the frame, making for a very clean look. Nice.

There is however, someone who would probably not agree with my preference for black and chrome and that’s Tom Carr, the owner of Precision Color Works; the guy who does the painting on all of Reza’s bikes. I saw an example of his handiwork inside the main shop. It’s a gorgeous, long low chopper and Tom’s color scheme of burnt orange, with swirls of black is particularly sweet. That bike is something special all the way around. It’s an original Jesse James frame, complete with a lot of West Coast Chopper accessories. Though the engine is a primo, black S&S case, the guts are all JIMS; one hundred sixteen cubic inches of pure, modified power. Reza stumbled into a great deal on it, and he’s just about finished customizing the whole package. Okay, so there may be another addition to the Hopkins Wish List. And of course, the bike comes with all of the factory warranties of the component parts and Reza stands behind his projects. He’ll do all of the required service work and he even maintains a friendship with most of his customers. He rides with many of them as much as his schedule allows.

Because Reza is so particular about his work, he doesn’t exactly crank out bikes like hotcakes. Though he’s built as many as ten motorcycles from scratch in one year, his numbers are usually less than half of that. However, when you combine the custom bikes with the restoration and limited service work, it’s easy to see that he’s no slouch. He produces a lot of quality work, whether it’s a project bike, a restoration, or a very detailed customization. Despite that level of detail, he doesn’t want to charge an arm and a leg for his bikes. For the same price as a tricked-out Fat Boy, you can get a custom-built, one-of-a-kind special that’ll turn heads at every corner.

As a matter of fact, his bikes have turned the heads of some judges too. Several of his customers have entered their bikes in competitions and have done quite well, with more than one “Best of Show” trophy among them. Once, one of them even beat out a Billy Lane bike in an informal competition of “viewer’s choice” voters at a local gathering. Pretty impressive for a guy who doesn’t even have his own TV show. For all of that though, Reza is not one to do a lot of bragging. “I don’t do much promotion. The bikes speak for themselves and I rely mostly on the word of mouth of my customers.” I’m here to tell you, from what I saw, the bikes do speak for themselves and they do it well.