The best days to ride motorcycles in the open weather may be leaving soon with the changing of the seasons, but that doesn't ruin the fun for anyone working on a bike. The winter months are usually the best times for people to retreat to the garage, fix up what needs repairing or tuning-up, and improve on what already was a sweet ride. Or, for the more dedicated mechanics, building a new bike from scratch or bringing heaps of scrap back to life. One of the latest shops to open up in SLC is Short Fuse Cycle, taking up residence on Kilby Court at the end of the street near the all-ages venue. Today we chat with one of the co-owners of the shop, Danny Payne, about the new locale and the work they're doing on old-school Harleys.
Gavin: Hey Danny, first off, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Danny Payne, I live in Salt Lake City, and I own Short Fuse Cycle along with my best friends, Andy and Brook.
Gavin: What got you interested in motorcycles growing up?
Most people would probably say that they just love the free feeling they got the first time they had their knees in the breeze and all that mind-clearing stuff. But I just really liked getting into trouble, and you can get into a lot of mischief on a motorcycle. That’s one reason I can’t own a supermoto as an adult.
Gavin: What was the first bike you ever owned, and what was it about it you really enjoyed?
The first bike I ever owned was a 1980 Honda CX500 Custom. My friend Scott had it siting on the side of his parents' house open to the elements forever. I asked his dad about it, and he was more than happy to let me have it for free. I basically jump-started it and wheelied that bitch home before he even finished saying the word "free". I thought that bike was the most badass thing on the planet. I also still reference things I did to that bike as what not
to do now.
Gavin: As you grew up, what was it like learning the inner workings and learning to repair and build your own?
I’ve always been the kind of dude that likes taking things apart. Every vehicle I’ve ever had, I’ve worked on myself. Reassembling things is a slightly different story.
Gavin: What specifically drew you to Harley-Davidson bikes over other makes and models?
I don’t think I’m any different than most super-handsome, bad-boy Harley owners. There is just something about the heritage and the feeling of owning an old Harley-Davidson. That being said, I am talking about older bikes that my aforementioned, non-diploma’d
brain can understand.
Gavin: How did you get involved with doing this full-time, and who did you work with prior to Short Fuse?
I’m not actually at Short Fuse full-time. Since there are three of us, we get the luxury of splitting our time and the responsibilities required to run the store. Short Fuse is Brook Lund, Andy Carter and myself. Brook is our business brain, Andy is our creative genius and fabrication expert, and I tie the whole group together with my quick wit and debonair style. We also have the one and only Chop Baby Z, Isaiah Boutwell, basically doing everything in the store, including answering the phones while we are in back talking about our shoes and the boys we like.
Gavin: What made you decide to open up your own shop?
The three of us have been working on and riding bikes together for years. Andy has been building bikes for his Company Pangea Speed for a long time as well. Except for the inevitable mess that Brook makes, we have always loved working in a shop together. It just made sense to us to open a cool retail store for people to get their own cool chopper shit.
Gavin: How did you come across the location at Kilby Court, and what was it like turning it into a proper garage?
Finding this location was kind of the deciding factor in us actually moving from only having a shop to opening a storefront. We had been kicking around the idea, and when Andy said that this was available, we knew it would be a great fit. Opening the store has been a real learning experience. I love when people come in and say, “Whoa, this looks like a real store.” I take it as a huge compliment.
Gavin: What kind of models do you specifically work on and look to work with from customers?
We have veered away from working on bikes for customers and tend to focus on personal projects. We have done it in the past, as far as customizing, fabrication, and full builds, and to be honest, it’s kind of a nightmare. There is a lot of pressure in trying to make someone’s entire bike perfect, exactly like they’ve always dreamed it should be. We’ve turned our focus towards selling cool parts, bars, etc
. so that people can work on their own dream bike. But don’t take that the wrong way! If you come down and by some Pangea bars, we’ll roll your bike back there and help you pop them on if need be. We’ve got your back.
Gavin: You also set up a small shop at the front. What do you have to offer?
We use Short Fuse to sling chopper goodness up front; pins, parts, tees, mags, knives, Adult Pains, Pangea Speed, and other tits chopper treats. If you have a Harley, we can help you undorkify
it and get you to Wheelie Town. No one wants a bike that looks like everyone else's.
Gavin: Going with the Harley theme, you buy/sell/trade a lot of parts. What kind of parts are you looking for at this time?
I’m a parts hoarder; I’ve had to come to grips with that. We are always looking for anything Harley and old. Original timeworn Harley stuff, we think, is the coolest, but anything chopper-related is awesome. If your grandma has an old shitty Harley in a field, call us. We’ll at least come and tell her how cool it is and maybe kiss a little bit. That last part we can play by ear, depending on the mood.
Gavin: What do you hope to achieve with the shop during the winter before riding season picks back up?
Winter is the time for projects, projects require parts and ideas, and we can help with both. We also carry awesome brands and accessories that your chopper dude or chopper mama will totally love for the holidays.
Gavin: What can we expect from you and the shop going into 2016?
We have a lot planned for 2016. We are going to be having BBQ’s, swap meets, hang outs; there is even talk of a chili cook-off/fire pit chill sesh in the works as soon as this winter. Right now, we are small enough to not have regular hours.
We hope to have someone in there full-time next year.
Gavin: Is it true that you once did a no-handed skid on your FXR?
Wow, it’s crazy you know about that. I actually did, and Brook saw me do it.