Crank It Cycles – Custom Streetfighters

Crank It Cycles Custom StreetfightersCrank It Cycles opened its doors in Woodside, N.Y., in 2004. Shop owner Waxy Scanlon, formerly of Ireland, moved to the U.S. to build fighters professionally, after years of building them in his garage. With nothing but a toolbox and a computer, he found a space to rent. Then, splitting time between his construction company and the new shop, he devoted himself to his first Crank It Cycles build, a 900RR. He sold it to someone in Ireland, who spotted the bike online and arranged to have it shipped over.

After about six months trying to be in two places at once, frustrated that things weren’t moving more quickly, Waxy decided it was time to enlist qualified help. Fellow biker Sandy Frayman, who lived nearby, joined the Crank It team after meeting Waxy through a friend. Sandy, involved with bikes all his life, had been following the fighter scene for several years, but had never actually built a fighter — until he began working for Crank It Cycles. His background as a mechanic, welder, fabricator and all-around “MacGyver” was a great asset; even when he didn’t know how to do something, he could damn well figure out how! “We don’t call Sandy ‘the bracket man’ for nothing,” Waxy says.

Now they work as a team, with two others. Waxy comes up with the vision, then he and Sandy get to building it. Dave, who worked in auto body originally, specializes in fiberglass fabrication and finishing. Rodney, the painter, was doing walls, not bikes, when he first joined the crew. He had done some custom helmets for the Winter Olympics team and eventually took the leap to bikes with Crank It. With a team assembled to do work, Crank It has been turning out fighter after fighter, and will continue to do so, putting their own European twist on things.

All their work paid off at the 2008 Fighter Fest in Carlisle, Pa. Crank It’s Hayabusa build won Best in Show, and their 05 GSX-R took Best in Paint. It was clear that people liked their bikes! Since most had not really heard of them or seen their work before, this was an impressive win.

“Building a streetfighter, unlike some other types of build styles, is unique, in that you tend to use the parts you already have, or your friend has, in a creative way, before you decide to buy parts or fabricate them,” Sandy said. “Most parts require some modification to make them work. Since you’re doing more than replacing one part with another, you give each bike a totally unique style of its own.

“With the Hayabusa build, for example, the tailpiece required a completely new subframe that was built from scratch. Using aluminum to build it, we had to make it to fit the battery, CDI, rectifier, starter relay and a Power Commander in a very tight space. Since all those body parts are not just ‘bolt on,’ this level of customization takes a lot of time.”

Crank It Cycles is working on several new builds for the coming season; the team spent the off-season attending many of the winter shows in the Northeast, to promote and increase fighter visibility. Sandy reports seeing a lot of interest and curiosity from the crowds at the shows.

“These winter shows are a great opportunity to publicize fighters to other bikers, and to gain more interest by getting out there and showing off the bikes,” he said. “We hope more people will learn about the Carlisle Fighter Fest show this way, and come check out that show this summer.”

Having seen a couple of their current projects, we’re anxious to see what comes out their doors next. They’re set up with many companies from the other side of the pond, to import fighter parts that are harder for us to obtain here in the U.S., and it seems one of these new connections is going to help with a new build they have planned for this year.

Look to future issues for more from the team at Crank It. Be sure to stop and talk with these guys when you see them, they are fun to talk to, and to have a few beers with as well!

They wanted to thank the local members of New York City’s Irish biker community, whose enthusiasm and support helped them grow.

Text & Pictures: Adam Frantz

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