Last year’s Machine Shop Market Profile revealed that about 44 percent of machine shops build motorcycle engines. Accounting for just over 3 percent of the total number of engines rebuilt, it may seem that motorcycle engines are of little interest.
But just look out the front door of your shop on the first nice day of Spring (or even a mild winter day). You’ll see motorcycle enthusiasts returning to the street, eager to feel the wind in their hair. And many of them will need the skills of an expert this year. Will that be you?
We asked a few noted shops about how they do their thing these days. Their “thing” is V-Twin engines, particularly Harley-Davidson motorcycle engines. For these builders, it’s a whole new world when it comes to these famous engines.
Accurate Engineering of Dothan, AL is a specialized “engine-only” builder. “We sell to private citizens and pretty much everything we do is towards American V-Twins,” says manager Eric Dimi, who is clear when he explains: “We don’t build bikes.”
With the shop’s engine-only focus, including its Signature Series V-Twins, Dimi says, “We probably see a little more on the Panheads. We offer rebuild services and that helps us out quite a bit.” Accurate not only does the actual work of building but also designs many of the parts that go into those engines. One example is cases. The shop designs them in-house, has them made off-site, then machines and modifies each before assembly. Hiding things? You bet. “We don’t want to give away all our secrets,” Dimi says with a smile.
Many of the parts used in Accurate engines are designed and made by themselves. Dimi says, “We try to do as much as we can,” indicating that about 23 different components are manufactured in-house, including gaskets as well as CNC-made parts. “The number may be a little higher, maybe a little lower right now, but for the future of our own hard parts, a bigger CNC center is currently under construction at the shop.”