Breaking News. Daytec Frames Closed Its Doors. Owner Phil Day To Join Fat Baggers Inc.

DaytecSad news for the custom motorcycle industry. Daytec, one of the leading manufacturers of after market frames for American V-Twin Motorcycles with a state-of- the-art Powder Coating division, has closed its doors. Phil Day created Daytec back in 1974, first building high performance exhaust systems for the boating industry, learning about powder coating and playing around with all types of off-road vehicles,.

JJCFLThen Daytec became the leading manufacturer of  the highest quality custom American V-Twin motorcycle frames, building them for different brands like Arlen Ness and West Coast Choppers, and also creating one-off frames for professional custom builders and individuals.

In its shop of Hesperia, California the Daytec team also performed repair and restoration of classic and vintage frames. This morning, Jesse James who confirmed to me the closure of Daytec, advised me that his 2 signature frames, the CFL 1 (below picture) and CFL 3 (stainless steel) will now be made again at his own facility in Austin, Texas. The industry just lost its best source for custom American V-Twin custom motorcycle frames.

Added 01/27/2014 at 1.00 p.m. est. Gary Chipp, founder of Fat Baggers, Inc, also known as FBI located in Chariton, asked me to announce that Phil Day of Daytec will be joining the Fat Baggers, Inc. team February 1, 2014.

“I am excited about new product opportunities and the opportunity to have Phil Day in our facility assisting with manufacturing and production management” said Gary Chipp.  Mr. Day replied, “I am excited to be here and anxious to continue the tradition of producing quality frames. With the recent changes in the industry, I feel there is great opportunity in applying what I have learned to FBI!”

FBI welcomes custom frame manufacturing and powder coating services for the aftermarket motorcycle industry.  Contact sales at 641-774-7499 or [email protected] for any of your manufacturing needs.

42 Responses to “Breaking News. Daytec Frames Closed Its Doors. Owner Phil Day To Join Fat Baggers Inc.”

  1. 1 The Supreme Team Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Sign of the times. What an enormous impact they have had on this industry. Best of luck to the crew.

  2. 2 yale Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    All the best to Phil Good Luck

  3. 3 Tom Ryan Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Jesse probably doesn’t want the extra business headaches but it would be something if he bought all of the present frames jigs etc. and started to build JJ Daytec frames in Austin. Just a thought!

  4. 4 Jesse James Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I already own the jigs Phil was using and they are back in Texas now being put back in Action.

  5. 5 Jon @ Sport Chrome Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Very sorry to hear this. I think most all of us small businesses specializing in the custom MC industry can relate to the struggle. I wish them the best.

  6. 6 Dave from Chcago Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    This is truly sad news! I built my custom with Phil’s frame. What a great loss to this industry,it shouldn’t be happening. Good Luck To Phil.

  7. 7 Red Good Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Enjoy your retirement Phil .

  8. 8 izadore007 Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Does not pay cause not to many People want to pay for a Custom, anymore. I also think that the Factory Bikes are so nice and there are so many parts to customize Factory Bikes that why start with the wait and a price that was not really agreed with.

  9. 9 Mike Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Jesse has got something in his head I’m sure we need parts for the cfl seat pans and everything

  10. 10 Eric Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Sad to hear, but you still have Chassis Design Company in So Cal. Anthony Keeling and his team are behind some of the top builders and customs out there. Sad news for Daytec, but sounds like Chassis Design Co. is about to get much busier.

  11. 11 Scott Roerig Jan 27th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I know Phil personally. He is a great guy, honest, smart and creative.
    In my opinion, one of the all time, best people in the V-Twin industry.

  12. 12 SIGFREED Jan 27th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Will be interesting to see what Exile Cycles will do.

    Daytec was one of the best and to have been in the business since ’74 – in itself is a massive achievement. But you always got the feeling that they may not have been as aggressive with their marketing as they could/should have.

    izadore007 – good point, production has moved closer to ‘custom’, 3D Cad, the plethora of CAM possibilities, other rapid production methods, etc, etc, allows quick tool-up, (or even negates the need for tooling) and much reduced time to market, coupled with increasing cost for the individual craftsman and reduced expandable income (mostly via reduced credit) has hit the custom industry hard.

    Something else to consider: the traditional motorcycle frame (much like the car chassis) is slowly disappearing. The engine is progressively becoming the primary stressed member – the cruiser market will follow (if not in ways already are). Touring machines likely first – then the rest. The fact is – the real frame builder will progressively be reduced to a small specialized/niche market (making things even more expensive per item).

    It also appears as if more people prefer to modify an existing frame than to get a complete frame. Eg a rake-job, minus/down front-legs on a tourer/dresser – just cut and weld a new neck..WTF!?!?! I will NEVER do it – rather buy a decent frame that was a complete fabrication from the onset (eg Rolling Thunder Frames – now likely one of the few “decent” options left).

  13. 13 Terence Tory Jan 27th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    SIGFREED,you are right about all the clever modern fab and design techniques,but when the welding starts you still need a big dirty old rigid,precise,and stable frame jig.

    A stressed member frame will never suit Big Twin or Sportster motors because they are not designed to bear that much stress through the cases or cylinders,and they need rubber mounts or a “real frame” to dampen the V-twin vibes.

    The real problem with aftermarket frames is when you try to sell the bike,”it’s not a Harley”,just a collection of bits from the mailman.I’m sure the resale value of custom framed bikes affected Daytec sales a bit.

    I always thought Daytec frames to be well designed,quality units.

  14. 14 BobS Jan 27th, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Very familiar with FBI in Chariton, they are top notch. Sad to hear about one door closing but I’m thinking that the one opening might be very interesting too.

  15. 15 Drive The Wheels Off Jan 27th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    The last 2 sentences of the post don’t sound like the frame building & powder coating have completely stopped…

    “FBI welcomes custom frame manufacturing and powder coating services for the aftermarket motorcycle industry. Contact sales at 641-774-7499 or [email protected] for any of your manufacturing needs.”

  16. 16 Shifter Jan 27th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Drive The Wheel Off. What you don’t understand? Daytec is dead. FBI is going to use Phil Day, probably as a kind of consultant, to try to develop the FBI frame & powder coating services. For baggers only? Read Jesse James comment. He got the jigs from Daytec, doesn’t give the fab of his frames to FBI. There is a reason, I guess…

  17. 17 Gary Chipp Jan 27th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Fat Baggers Inc. Now has the ability to be Manufacturer all types of Motorcycles frames ( Not just Baggers) we have Modular tooling that we will use for all types of Frames & Swing arms. Currently the Chopper Market is a very small market compared to the Current Bagger Demand. ( This may change with time & we will also) Fat Baggers is willing to quote any Custom frame Manufacturing for the industry & carry on the High Quality Frame Manufacturing that Daytec has done over the Years.

  18. 18 Jesse James Jan 27th, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Ha Ha Gary said “Bagger Demand”

  19. 19 Paul Rogers Jan 27th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I agree with Jesse James. Where did FBI got the idea that there was a demand for after market bagger frames??? Grey beards ride a Harley-davidson tourer and have absolutely no intention to change their stock frame for a custom one. Sorry, Gary Chipp, you sound like somebody with a poor understanding of the bagger market. Maybe Phil Day joined you to teach your crew about welding raked frame necks to install a tall front wheel on a bagger. There is no market for custom bagger frames, except at best 1 or 2 frames a year for a couple of custom builders looking to win a bike show.

  20. 20 Diamino Jan 27th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    JJ got it right. There is no custom bagger frames demand.

  21. 21 H. Jones Jan 27th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Evidently, Daytec closed because the custom frame market has shrunk, is very small and probably will stay this way because of legislation, EPA, etc. No custom bagger frames on the horizon…

  22. 22 Blackmax Jan 27th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    OMG !!!!!!!
    Daytec will be missed
    but congrats to Mr. Day for joining up with Gary Chipp & FBI
    A great company just got better …..

  23. 23 nicker Jan 27th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Two issues:

    “…people prefer to modify an existing frame than to get a complete frame. Eg a rake-job, minus/down front-legs on a tourer/dresser – just cut and weld a new neck..WTF!?!?! I will NEVER do it …”

    Well, that’s what was done before “custom frames” were commercially available. Made it real easy to tell who did and who didn’t know what they were doing……… 🙂

    “….,but when the welding starts you still need a big dirty old rigid,precise,and stable frame jig…”

    Not really.
    All y need is a good section of I-beam to fix axle and other datums. And a plum-bob. Weld slowly, one side then the other and work the shrinkage, from side to side, as indicated.

    Rocket science it aint………. 🙂


  24. 24 Drive The Wheels Off Jan 27th, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    @shifter – what don’t you understand? I quoted the article which states they intend to build frames & offer powder coating. It doesn’t say anything about limiting themselves to bagger frames. (at least based on this post)
    Jesse owns the jigs…great, but that doesn’t mean Phil can’t make other jigs for other frame styles

  25. 25 west coast diva Jan 28th, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Good luck Phil!

  26. 26 Terence Tory Jan 28th, 2014 at 2:04 am are right for a one-off.But for producing even a small run of frames you need a real production jig.

  27. 27 James just another crazy Kiwi Jan 28th, 2014 at 3:58 am

    Hope I never have a fat Bagger….but as the Italians say there’s always da paper bagger

    Sorry but we think different down here……

  28. 28 Harlan Schiilinger Jan 28th, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Phil Day is a class act and a true leader. Thank’s Phil, for all you have contributed and all you have a head of you.

  29. 29 JackS Jan 28th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    JESSE, you said you own the jigs — just the jigs for your frames, or all of the Daytec jigs?

  30. 30 RODS & RIDES MOTORCYCLE COMPANY Jan 28th, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I would say that is a true waste of talent. As a builder, we build all frames in house and have not bought a Daytec frame ever but I can testify that the demand for Bagger frames is like the demand for a Chevy Avalanche, very few… I am sure the quality will be second to known but there will never be enough sales to consider it a long term deal. The true biker still enjoys whipping through the turns with the wind in there beard and the power of a screaming engine. The idea of dragging fiberglass bags with a booming stereo and a windshield is just not for me….
    I wish them all luck though, American parts rule!

  31. 31 Bigalyts Jan 28th, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Guys, As I said before: being a Exhibitor at International Boat Shows and watching all the Asians that are attending the Shows for one reason and one reason only, they are there to copy what the American Boat Builders and Engineers have developed. they all brought their Best Engineers with them to copy what works. Their Engineers that they brought with them are in their left hand and their names are “Sony Mavica”! this is the same way any Custom Builder will be fine without Daytec and having someone that will not be around to enforce and design Patents…………….

  32. 32 chopmonster66 Jan 28th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    well that sucks, sorry the here that , they made great frames . have used many over the years . Good luck in the future Phil. R.I.P Daytec along with the rest.

  33. 33 Chop Jan 28th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Hardly BREAKING NEWS, they have been out of action for months now. Shame that we cant get Daytec quality and price no more………we will all have to pay heaps more having them branded as something else.

  34. 34 H. Jones Jan 28th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Chop. To be barely active and to close the doors are different things.

  35. 35 Me Jan 28th, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Not a B Lane fan, his bikes looked the stuff we were building at 18 and knew very little. He made lots of noise and chugged from the bottle, admit it that’s what he’s really famous for.
    I understand there Lane fans here and that’s fine, just remember he has 2 dwi’s and a murder on his hands and no amount of babbling on your part changes that.

  36. 36 1550tc Jan 29th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Stock bagger frames are great for guys what, 5 10 and under………to me their just to short and a stretched bagger frame is something that i just cant figure out what HD does not offerone

    HD should offer a stretched version of its classic bagger frame and allow customers/dealers to factory order a stretched version. A guy 6 ft 2-3-4 looks like a 15 year old teenager on a tricycle 🙁

  37. 37 fxrocket Jan 29th, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Don’t forget about Dick at Atlas Precision still one of the best Chassis Guys in SoCal across town In Apple Valley California.

  38. 38 Paughco, Inc. Jan 30th, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Good luck in your new endeavour, Phil!!

    @Paul Rogers…… Out of the more than 1,200 frame configurations that we list in our 2013 catalog, our RS147FLT replacement frame for 1994-2006 Road Kings is of our best-sellers. While not a true “custom” frame for baggers, it is a great starting point for building one.

  39. 39 thug custom cycles Jan 31st, 2014 at 9:29 am

    We’ll I’m sad to see so many changes and great company’s go , happy to see JJ is back in the game . and bringing back some cool stuff .. Sure we built a few baggers and none the same , but bobber’s are still strong and so are custom build here at THUG CUSTOM CYCLES… pretty pumped up how things have picked for us … i hope for the rest the same too….

  40. 40 mdsphoto Feb 1st, 2014 at 11:16 am

    It’s also a lot easier/cheaper to insure a stock bike’s cut frame than a ground up custom. I found this one out the hard way!

  41. 41 Ironhorse Feb 8th, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    My guess is the downward death spiral at daytec started with Ironhorse, then Big Dog, etc. What happened to all the Jig’s and raw metals at daytec?

  42. 42 ironman Apr 9th, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Glad to see them go . Back in2011 have daytec frame that broke and they would not back there product guesses petty common on earley frames Easy in the wind!

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Cyril Huze