Yeah, I Built It (Really)

I Built It…

To get there from here the typical thing we all do is, think, plan, hope, figure, Ect

So it goes like this…

Dreaming about that project???

That bike or car or truck??

That Machine?

You know, that “thing” that keeps popping up in your mind…

It may be “any” of those things listed above…or not listed at all here.

Heck you may be wanting to re-build that pontoon boat you have laying around…

Or add on to that shop or garage you already have.

Building, fabricating, painting and polishing some raw “thing” into something you can be proud of or throwing 2×4’s around until they have been used up.

Could be anything…

I meet a lot of people and they do what they do for a lot of reasons.

Sometimes I think
they think
they are going to save money…
(they will, tho they ought not “count the time” especially in the early “learning stages”)

Other times they want to believe and know “they are able to build and design something that is unique, their own.” so to speak…


They can’t find anyone to build IT, whatever IT is.

Whatever the reason, people like to learn…

Like to be proud.

Like to show what they’ve built…


There is no better thing to hear…

This question???

And it’s always better if they say:

Man, that’s really nice. Did you built it?

Yes, you say to yourself…

Then you say out loud…

Yes, I Built It…

Then start showing them all the handi-work you put into it.

You see, you can take IT As Far

As you are willing to LEARN.

Really, thats it…

All there is to IT.

Taking your Learning and Building
Just as far as You Want.

There is no pressure, unless You put it on yourself.

So, dream on I say…

Plan Big…

So, get that brain of yours in motion,

Use some good clear thinking to get yourself ready,

And Set in Motion with Confidence and Faith, your next move…

Guarantee something bigger and better will come to you and add to your life…

All you have to do is:

Get Started.


Your Job: It’s Simple

If you provide any service:


Repair and replace

Build or Fabricate



Rig or hang

Wire and run

Plumb or finish

Plus the thousands more descriptions of what is “A Job,”

Then you are presenting yourself as a


A person who knows what he is doing…

Resulting in you doing the service of:

Essentially problem-solving for people,
Institutions, work places or homes…

When you do this:

You are to be paid…

You solve problems?

You get paid.

Simple as that.


Here is another thing.


Like to Pay.

Makes them feel good.

Makes them proud.

They “Like” to spend.


They even like to Brag how much they Spent!

Once had a painter who was upset because his customer was going around showing the paint job on his bike…said it cost him $5200.00

The Painter painter only charged $2250.00…

So, the painter learned a bit about “people.”

People are proud of what they bought…


Price is a big part of why they’re proud…

Most times.

But you sure better give them professional quality thru-out.

So, go out there and solve a problem for somebody.

I guarantee there’s satisfaction in doing it.

Bet they “offer up” some money for you, too.

Something to think about.



Tradesmen: The New Name, The New Goal

Tradesmen: The New Name

I heard it at the introduction of the nite race at Bristol Speedway.

Someone said it…


I like it and I think it ought to be the new term used for either “learned skill” or naturally skilled professionally prepared people who are into what they do.

Whatever they do…


Be it whatever you are…

Whatever you are..


You Can… BE…

You build engines??
Or “want” to?
If not, I bet you’ve already run it thru you mind so many times you know it would be a “breeze”
So it ought to be something you go “learn” to do. Obviously you have a desire and probably a natural talent for it of you dream about it all the time…

After you build it…

You “have to” put it on the Dyno… run it thru it’s paces…

This is just the beginning…

If this is also one of your strong suits

Same thing,

Go sign up at the school they offer.

Tune and tweak??

How about polish??

How about weld??

Getting started anyway you can is
just that.

Getting started, standing just where you’re at… Right now.

Good Honest Challenging,
Ever-changing Jobs that are waiting

Do you “know” Tubing?
Cope, stretch/Reshape??

Heck, you have to learn how to measure tubing…

Sounds crazy, but you measure tubing off centerlines. Not length.

How many times would it take to get that neck straight or that motor mount to have just that. “perfect” angle…
You don’t know until you “get the knowledge”

That sandpaper manufacturer…

He has some very special machinery designed and fabricated just to pour just the right amount of grit and glue…

“Somebody,” some Tradesman built that machine.

Have You ever seen a “factory”???

They’re on tv if you look.

Every machine in there is hand-made, designed to “manufacture” everything we use and need.

Some of these machines belong in some museum for the intricate details and hand-made moving parts…
These machines are as much of a work of art as anything else you might have seen in museum.


They Build “Everything”

Look at the edge of that window sitting next to you…

The technology in that thing is remarkable…

Don’t even get me started on what it takes to “make” 40 million Coke cans per day…

Stretched so thin,
Necked down to “save aluminum” which is a little “micro” amount of metal saved…

Perfect stretched so thin…

Man, what technology we over-look everyday.

I once visited Ball Metal (the mason jar peolle who have a Govermnent Contract making 85% of the nations pennies)

Zinc coils Smashed (rolled) to thickness

run thru a stamping machine that
Was an actual “blurr” to look at…

Multiple shovels full of penny blanks coming out of that thing every second…


How do you keep it cool?????

Technical problems…

All solved everyday with meetings, measurements, prototype,

After that, then pre-production try-outs,

Then Fixturing..

To make the prototype again…
In Large Numbers…


Or fast enough to:

Make money.

So there…

Ive Got right down to it….

Fast enough to Make Money.

With the help and support of properly equipped and trained Tradesmen

All of it is possible.


Got to get to work here…(in my mind anyway…)

I still hafta figure out how to harden that aluminum can with acid and electricity so I can seal that aluminum from that Coke (that stuff will dissolve a piece of meat steak).

Just to get it ready to assemble that pop-top on…

(another blog post I don’t look forward to… did I say I know A Lot of useless information??…haha)

Then get it ready for that multi-color custom paint job on it:

But first:

I’ve got to figure out how much rinse water I’m going to have to use to” rinse” that thing clean enough to:

Fill it up with that liquid Coke I haven’t made yet…

40 million times today…


I still haven’t filled even “one.”

(I did “empty one” during the writing of this story so I’m “strongly” going backwards)

A Mans’ Work is Never Done…


So it seems…

Might as well get Paid For it,


Makes sense to me.


Don’t Want “Just” a Job? Then Get Yourself a Real Career


Where are you in your thinking?

Why whine and cry about this economy when you’re standing in the middle of “work” available everywhere…

And not enought people to fill them.

Why do I say that?

Look around…

The coal industry

The refineries

The suppliers that make the parts for the automakers.

Caterpillar and John Deere who are exporting everything they are making to other countries who are building their country and businesses wildly.

Look for companies that supply our daily needs.

These are called: Consumables.

The stuff we have to have.

Vehicles in which we use to move about to “get” these things we need listed above.

So, there’s jobs.

Every company in the world needs you, too.

Provided you got yourself a trade a company can use…

Hint: They already have enough Managers and Department Operators and Indian Chiefs.

What they need is Professionally Skilled and Qualified Workers that have specialized in cultivating Their Talent or Interest.

But, you think you have to go to College.

That college education you’re aiming to get (or Got Already) isn’t going to allow you to slide right into that cushy middle-upper management position you think is made for you.

It just isn’t going to happen.

But, say you were one of those “lucky enough” to circumvent actually working out in the field…

You’re inexperience of the “real-world” situations out in the field,

and your lack of hands-on experience,

Would result in you making commands, decisions and work orders that would immediately be recognized as being from:

“somebody who don’t know what their talking about….” says that guy who has done his time in the field…

A guy that actually knows much more than you.

So, the end result is turmoil among the workers


a more complex and costly decision you’ve made for the company.

Now nobody is happy.

Those pencil pushers…I’d like to see them come down here and…

You know the spiel…

Here is the real facts about the matter:

You just can’t get from living in a class room or office all day every day and expect to be as smart a decision maker as that guy who has made it his living to be out there in the field, actually knowing his profession and the best way to do his job.

So, now that you’ve read this do far:

Why don’t you look into becoming one of those Skilled Tradesmen Professionals the country and companies so desperately need?

America has a very real shortage of actual hands-on professionals that make America work and thrive.

A job that provides satisfaction while Making Real Money too.

Do you know how much a Plumber makes???

So, why is your sorry broke ass wondering where the jobs are.

Open your eyes.

Can you weld?

Can you get certified at the tech school?

Why Certainly…

Then go get your job…and your money.

You all have to understand the average age of “hands-on” Skilled Labor Professionals is 45 years old.


There is nobody coming up behind them.

No younger aged folks coming on stream.

What do you think this situation will look like in 10-15 years???

Make a wise choice and decision for yourself.

Good money
Challenging and satisfying
Never the same
And badly needed

Now that’s something to sink your teeth in.

Go for it


Back to Business

It has been a while since I’ve updated here, and I find the time has quickly “slipped” by, so to speak.

Changing objectives, people and personnel changes, new directions, different goals, heck, if you’re like me in any business, you better be on your toes.

Economic and political situations are adding to the complications of having good and clear thoughts…

See, these days, making decisions, and trying to make sure it is the right decision is more critical than any time ever before.

You have to know that you know it’s “right”

The right time

The right product

The right knowledge you are investing your time and money in.

And believe me, if you aren’t learning,
You’re slipping backwards, and quick.

I can’t “afford” to make mistakes.
So the decisions need to be “right on.”

That complicates your thought process in many ways.

I do say this:
Since time is going by anyway,

Why don’t you commit to something

Something new

Something even scary

“Why, I could never get that….”

“Well, That’s way more than I could ever afford to do…”

How do you know that???

Just because it doesn’t “Appear Possible” does not mean It’s Not…


Everything is possible…

With a commitment that originates in your mind,

That in itself

Puts it in motion…

Believe that???

Something to think about.


Legacy Builds: Phantom Bus

I have a Bus


What a bus it is…

Some of you know this.

Built on a TV Show, Radical Academy: What Would Mike Do, on Fox Sports South Nationwide, here is picture of what we built live on that Tv Show.


Designed to be pushed down the road by a really Radical Wide Tired Drag Racing-Pro Street Style Motorcycle.

The motorcycle is mounted in the back of the bus and is hooked up to conventional automobile controls in the front where we sit.

The hoot of all of it is me and Angela my wife would drive the bus to Myrtle Beach where I would park it and she hits the pool and after unhooking it, I Ride All Week, Woo Hoo!

The idea to build this machine came about by being stuck in a motel/ice storm, in Conway Arkansas for 3 days, where I figured I was about to design a car that was “carrying around” a perfectly good powertrain in that motorcycle…

Hmmm, I thought…

If I just let the rear tire down on that motorcycle, I bet it would “push” that bus.


Well, I’m going to. “make it do it.”

Re-geared for the job and mounted on a Variable Traction, Pressure Frame,

This frame is attached to the motorcycle, which in turn has a bunch of quick clamps that hold the bike.

This Traction Frame is made so I can take the bike in and out very easily.

The idea behind It all was to showcase the talent and abilities of 10 hand chosen guys from the local Technology Center,

We thought we would see if they could get some good job offers once the show was on Tv

Plus they would get to be part of an actual Legacy Build,

Something Radical Enough that will be “remembered” after all the hard work.

So, together with a production crew and these 10 guys, we built this thing.

Remember this tho:

I tell you would be fabricators right now, it’s easier to build from nothing

Than it is to modify an existing thing. (2X the work)

And if you “chose” to modify, instead of building from “scratch”

It’s “just” a modified existing thing after all the harder work.

Most cars have paint undercoat and the steel is just junk to work. Let alone getting it clean enough to weld, not even mentioning rust or previous collision damage you might find…

Yep, scratch built Phantom Bus is what we got here…

And it’s a bad looking machine.

Powered by a S&S 113″ motor with 120 hp. And a lot more torque, it Will Do The Job Quite Nicely, And a Lot Better than the 36 hp the original bus had.

Only 5 square feet of sheetmetal from the car was used, (the front from an original ’58.)

So now for the last few weeks Matt and I have been working this thing up for the big unveil.

So, updates are coming,

Stay tuned.



The picture above is our air scoops for the bike.

They are open while driving, to cool the bike.

They close flush with the body when parked.

Another feature is built in…details later.

April 2: Big Show and Class Sessions Begin

If you haven’t heard of the Classes and Hands-on Teaching Sessions we put on here from time to time, then get ready…

We’re setting up the next big round of class sessions here, teaching you everything you need to know to get yourself set-up in the Custom Motorcycle Business.

The knowledge and insight you will receive will greatly shorten your “Learning Curve” from years, to only “months.” This could set in motion a Completely New Life and Profession for some of you.

Mike Brown, here at Amen Motorcycles, is known to have Pioneered many of the Common and not so Common, along with some Special Technical and Design Advances in the Motorcycle Industry, from it’s beginning in 1996.

Having Put his Money where His Mouth is…


Beginning with the 2 year tooling and Engineering start-up,


Having invested over $600k in Engineering,

A Fully Balanced Left Side Drive Custom Chopper up to 300 mm wide was developed as an “actual everyday rider.”

A bike that is known always to be a 2 finger “handler.”

All this knowledge and much more is made open to the public when you attend these week long sessions and classes Mike holds from time to time.

Mike will also cover all that it takes for getting your name established so you can readily sell your product after you get it completed.

It is the determination from the beginning not to follow the industry, to be yourself, follow your dreams, aim high, make your niche, and your name, the way you want to…

Not by necessarily following “The Crowds” either.

By being what You Want To Be in this industry.

Amen Motorcycles created and sold hundreds of Final Assembled and Powder Coated Rolling Chassis held to such close tolerances, the owners could “finish” the assembly of the bike to running condition in as little as 14 hours.

The tricks of the trade and the techniques to “get there ” are demonstrated while you’re here.

You can then go home and duplicate all that you seen while here.

So, get yourself ready for The Best Training Your money can buy.

Call 423-272-6000 for more information.


6 Days and Nights of Training, covering all aspects of Motorcycle Building and Fabrication.

No Motel Fees, Stay here at the Home/Shop.

Food provided.

Come Build the Discovery Channel Great Biker Build-Off Bike, The Get Er Done.

Hosted by Industry Veteran Mike Brown, Owner of Amen Design and Engineering (Amen Motorcycles)..

These week long sessions are in fact
(3) separate classes

(1) Gas tank fabrication
(1) frame fab
(1) Assembly Training

Call and get your seat saved.

Only (5) people per session.


Well, I’m a goin on

That’s the way I say it the way I say it

What did I say a while back about building some bike….

I’ll have to go look, but I’m pretty sure I’m now working on that 20′ Long VW.

The one we built on Fox Sports South a couple of years ago…

After losing about $55K from the experience (TV ain’t pretty so much, people),

I pretty much have recovered from the experience and have a mission to see it complete.

The Goal: Drive the VW to Myrtle Beach.

Powered and PUSHED by the Vee Rubber Monster 360 Drag Type Bike I built a long time ago for my friend and ole buddy Scott Adams in Charleston South Carolina, it ought to bring in a good amount of exposure for us here at Amen and Scott’s company Liquid Box, which is a really neat idea of converting shipping containers into liquid holding containers that are then shipped worldwide.

So, we’re out riding the bikes yesterday to get rid of the itch ( both from wanting to ride, but to recover from all that grinding from modifying the bus)…

Met up with some real good suspension guys, Sam & Sam who are VW Specialists.

They are going to fix our front steering beam up for the Bus, as it is just mocked up with steering and spindles, not much else.

A nose lifting and steering element is being finished this morning so I can turn this beast “on a dime”,

This is unheard of…

But results is a totally functional and useable machine as a driver. After all the hard work, shouldn’t it be?

And so, this is the latest of updates here.

We also have plans for one of the week long sessions of classes to begin here in about a month, so look for info on that, probably April 2…

There will be lots for you guys to see, and learn from, you guys that are committed to this fabrication lifestyle we create here everyday.

If you are trying to get somewhere in the Fab Business, maybe here at Amen is where you get your start.

I guarantee I Will Open Your Eyes to What Is Possible..

Call 423-272-6000 for the low-down.

Later, Tader