Hi. I'm Charles Tonna,
designer and owner of Cuztom Kraft.
Like you, I love to ride and modify my bike. This all started one night after I finished fitting my fishtail pipes and was looking at my ride thinking something classic looking has to be added to fully complement the rest of the bike and get the look I was after. At this point I was thinking turn signals.
Something that will:
- Give my ride a true classic look like no other
- Stand out from every other bike
- Be Bad Ass when standing still
- Be a Work of Art when operating
- Be easy to fit without modifications
As you can see I set the bench mark high.
I looked at everything that was on offer in the shops and online. Nothing matched what I wanted. Even having a back ground in Aerospace Engineering didn’t make any easier when I looked at modifying something to fit, or what was on offer looked out of proportion to the rest of the bike.
So I decided to design something with the hope of getting it custom made. What I found out blew me away.
I discovered the ‘DEAD ZONE’. At certain angles a motorcycles turn signals are not seen at all despite the fact they are very bright and powerful. When I stood 90 degrees to my Harley I didn’t see them working at all during the day and at night wasn’t much better. I couldn’t believe it. With a little research I found that the second highest cause of most accidents to motorcyclist occurred when turning or passing, and the number one reason they gave for this: “Poor Visibility.” No Shit! I am all into riding a bad ass bike, but a safer one is even better for me and my brothas.
So I studied light and reflection. I took a look at a lot of cars from the 50’s and 60’s and how light worked when operating. I was drawn to the beauty and function of the 1959 Ford Galaxie tail lights. They have this huge bright grooved lens with a channelled bezel and when lit up it looks amazing. I thought all they need now is to be made to fit my Harley and light up the ‘Dead Zone.’
So the first thing I did was design a lens that came out and gave an area or volume of space for the globe to light up and travel through when functioning. I could have left it at that and made a cheap lens, but that’s not how I do shit. So I added over 30 different grooves to the inside of the lens so I could capture and use the light a second way and make it amazing to look at when working. But to fully address the earlier issue of poor visibility and leave no stone unturned in addressing ‘The Dead Zone’, the inside surface of the lens had to be super shiny to give maximum reflection and bounce of light. So to achieve this, the manufacturing dies were hand polished for a month from file to sand paper, to the finest diamond paste finish, until the steel is as bright as chrome.
We all know what it’s like to polish up chrome and the work involved to make it bright again. Imagine starting that process from a scratched, machine-grooved, dull, hardened steel surface and making that as bright as chrome. No problem. We did it as it makes a safer ride.
While I have been writing this up I have travelled to America and on one of my smoke breaks I see a brothas bike in the car park. It’s a nice ride and he tells me he has just finished replacing parts because he got hit in the back fender. I told him I had just finished writing about that…
Shop Our Turn Signal Lenses
I have done everything possible to make the perfect lens to address ‘The Dead Zone’.
It also helps when I have designed in Bad Ass style and function to them.
This has been a personal project for me, not something designed to fit a corporate budget. And like your bike brotha, I have made them to stand out and be a Work of Art. My products are my Art Work and something to make my bike safer to ride. Thanks for your time my friend!