At 6 feet 6 inches and about 275 pounds, Chuck is a little bit bigger than your "average" custom bike builder, but he still fits comfortably on the stripped down bikes he builds.
At 6 feet 6 inches and about 275 pounds, Chuck is a little bit bigger than your "average"
Many times when we meet custom bike builders we often find that they came from the automotive or even aircraft industry. The transition from cars and trucks or planes and helicopters to motorcycles makes complete sense, it's all a matter of having the passion to utilize steel, aluminum, nuts, and bolts to harness horsepower into fixed wing, four wheel or two wheel modes of transportation.
Now what we've rarely, if ever, come across is a bike builder whose background includes flying off the top rope of a 20x20-foot ring and driving an elbow into the chest of a downed opponent in front of tens of thousands of cheering fans. But after digging deeper into the background of what shaped wrestling superstar Chuck Palumbo into a skilled craftsman and dedicated custom motorcycle builder we quickly learned it all made sense.
Like most of us, Chuck's love with motorcycles started small-his first motorcycle was a 3 1/2 horsepower Sears and Roebuck mini bike which he got at the age of 4. Once he outgrew the mini bike, chuck got into BMX bikes which he constantly tore apart and rebuilt. At 15 Chuck's interest in mechanics and fabrication turned more serious as he worked after an school and summer job at an auto body shop where learned how to paint, weld, and perform plastic work.
After high school, Chuck tried a little stint in college but quickly felt it wasn't for him and followed his brother's path into the Navy eventually working as an aviation mechanic on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf. Stationed out of San Diego, Chuck immediately acclimated to the sunny SoCal beach lifestyle. After the Navy, Chuck decided to give it the old college try again and while attending junior college he earned a full ride basketball scholarship to Central Missouri State University. About this time he also became the father of a baby girl named Charli.
During college Chuck got into watching pro wrestling and fell in love with the high-paced action. He immediately sold all his possessions and moved to Atlanta with his daughter and girlfriend Shannon to attend wrestling school. For two years Chuck and Shannon worked themselves to the bone, with him participating in rigorous training for no pay, and her watching their daughter during the day while working as a waitress seven nights a week to support the family. In 1999 the long hours and hard work paid off as he scored his first TV pro wrestling contract with the WCW. Chuck's passion and dedication led him to become a stand out wrester allowing him to work for organizations all over the world most notably the WWE where he was a two-time tag team world champion.
When he wasn't in the ring or on the road, Chuck could be found back at home in San Diego spending time with his family and his other passion, motorcycles. After several years of tearing down and rebuilding his personal bikes, Chuck began to take the bike building thing more seriously as he began purchasing more and more tools and machinery to allow him to really customize bikes through cutting, welding, and making his own parts.
"With the wrestling business you never know how long you are going to last, I began looking for ways to expand so I would have something going when I was done wrestling. I had a good relationship with Vince McMahon and I showed him some of the bikes I had done and I asked if I could work that into my wrestling persona. He dug the idea so I incorporated the bikes into my entrance into the ring. Eventually I started pushing the envelope to see what I could get away with and I started wearing my shop T-shirts, CP Kustoms into the ring."