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.