Where It All Started

Custom Touring Design represents a homecoming of sorts. The Preston family’s first foray was a custom shop in Southern California that grew out of frustration, an inability to find anyone who could do the sort of work on his ’82 Gold Wing Aspencade that our father, John wanted done. When other chapter members saw the work on his bike, they asked him to work on their bikes. Starting in the two-bay garage of our El Toro home, the move to a real shop was realized as necessary when the garage and courtyard were full of bikes waiting for work. Starting in a single bay across the freeway in Laguna Hills, the move to two bays was almost immediate, courtesy of the demand for quality work. Having certified Honda Gold Wing mechanics on staff allowed CTD to not only do custom work but also service and maintenance.

It was the shop that innovated, that thrived on projects that others thought were not possible. The shop produced the first highway boards, installed the first audio system in a Yamaha Venture, and built a hitch-mounted rack to carry two Slotline golf bags on a 1995 LTD that was displayed off the 18th green at Pebble Beach. Ultimately, it led to our acquisition and 20 year tenure at the premiere cargo trailer manufacturer, including a move from Northern California to Tennessee.

The single most important product to ever come out of that shop was relationships. Understanding that we didn’t do something to simply sell a product to a customer. We developed relationships where people trusted their pride and joy to a non-dealership to perform service and maintenance as well as customization, almost unheard of at the time in the Gold Wing community. Trust was built through communication about what we would do and then doing what was communicated. Trust was built through a window in the lobby into the shop that allowed customers to see their bikes being worked on and cultivated a realization that we had nothing to hide. We seek to build on that philosophy that has guided us for 40-plus years. Our intent is to build products that address our customers’ needs that others miss.

Daytona Déjà vu

The first time I attended Daytona Beach Bike Week was 1992, as a member of the family business, setting up at the race track. This was long before Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona complex was even a thought and Beach Street was filled with motorcycle specific shops. Over the years, we changed venues but Bike Week in Daytona was always the much-anticipated kick-off to Rally season. From the cold and rain of Northern California then Tennessee winter to the sun and warmth of Northern Florida was a welcome change and chance to get in some riding. In 2010, I attended what would be my last Bike Week for 8 years as life took me in a different direction. During one of those years, I was headed south on I-75 toward Chattanooga in late February when I passed the S&S Performance truck also headed south. Memories of Daytona, friends and motorcycle family reminded me how Bike Week was more than just the kick-off to the riding season. It was a chance to catch up with old friends and introduce new products. Fast forward to 2019 and working the event with my brother in support of his company, Electrical Connection. Even after several years away, it felt like where I belonged, largely due to old friends and motorcycle family that made me feel at home. This year, we had the privilege of unveiling the production version of our first product. I can say without hesitation, it took entirely too long to bring it to market but the end result was worth the wait. I would much rather have released late than rush and not get all the details addressed that were key to the end product. We have several more products in the queue and will release them as we complete them and have confidence that they address our customer’s wants. If you have something you have been looking for, reach out and let us know. It might be on our list, it might already exist or we might want to work with you to answer your inquiry.