You Need a Burn Permit!" In big letters, the announcement appears on the internet bulletin board for the town of Medon, Vermont, population 1,100. If you're prowling around the New England area, you'll find the hometown of Green Mountain Performance (GMP) nestled in the green fields off US 30 and Route 4. Medon is not in a hurry to get any bigger. It was planted in the same spot just five years after the birth of the nation. Chartered in 1781, it's learned caution over the long years and the requirement for an official permit to burn anything in the open makes perfect sense. Now whether that warning applies to burning rubber is another matter.
The local authorities might be checking burn permits at GMP thanks to its owner/custom bike builder, aka "performance artist," who goes by the name Sisco. Green Mountain Performance by the way takes its name from the mountains of the same name that run north and south through the state while the name Vermont itself is a vestige of its early French colonial history and translates to Green Mountain. In any case, more recent history tells us that GMP has literally been "flying under the radar" because world attention has not exactly been focused on Vermont as a center for fire-breathing motorcycles. But if Sisco has his way, that'll soon change thanks to his sweet customs; take for example the two bikes seen here. One of the bikes Sisco has named UTR, or spelled out Under The Radar, is a comment on GMP's previous low-profile status.
Sisco outfitted the front of the UTR bike with a black and chrome Dragon Springer from American Suspension.
Sisco outfitted the front of the UTR bike with a black and chrome Dragon Springer from Ame
When we caught up with Sisco at the end of a workweek that actually never ends, he was hoping to have a quiet Saturday to work undistracted. "I tell people I'm not open on weekends but they figured out that was just a ploy, so they still show up. But today it's 0 degrees outside so maybe that will keep them at bay. I really can't complain too much about the cold. The reason I ended up living in Medon, after leaving New Jersey, is pretty simple: I came to check out the snowboarding. That was 15 years ago."
After earning his daily bread first bartending then filling a local need for a good auto mechanic hammering away from a two-car garage, Sisco officially opened GMP's doors in 1995. He still works on high-end German cars with an emphasis on performance enhancements, but motorcycles take priority.
A little show and go. The Calgon bike sports Ego Tripp wheels that have been almost perfectly matched to the sheetmetal's red and black marbleized paintjob, and the dual Mikunis are ready to feed the hungry 124.
A little show and go. The Calgon bike sports Ego Tripp wheels that have been almost perfec
When examining the UTR bike, you detect a powerplant that actually did go under the radar and literally disappeared from sight, at least for one special application. That would be one of the last of the 92ci motors S&S built for the now extinct Hollister, California, Indian Motorcycle Company. Sisco decided to put the engine back in play, bolting it into a pavement-kissing dropseat Rolling Thunder frame he then dressed in translucent silver/black powdercoating. Sisco, added his signature modifications including hammering out all the bodacious bodywork and spraying the "So Blue" paintjob.
Switching focus to the candy marble red "Calgon" bike, it's running a 124-inch S&S motor fed by twin individually tunable Mikuni 45s and bolted into an Independent Cycle's Lowlife frame. The bike epitomizes Sisco's emphasis on both form and function, with ride-ability being a key factor hand in hand with leading-edge design. Tracking is handled up front by a Perse frontend while the wheels were cut by Ego Tripp. Details include a stingray-upholstered seat and Legend Air Ride shocks in the rear. Again all sheetmetal, molding, and paintwork was done by GMP.
When not building or painting bikes, Sisco can be found hopping up the performance or just simply getting a bike back on the road.
When not building or painting bikes, Sisco can be found hopping up the performance or just
When asked about the unusual Calgon name, Sisco replied, "This may sound weird, but I kept thinking of this old TV commercial I saw when I was a little kid, the one for Calgon about their dish detergent that had this tag line: 'Let Calgon take you away.' They still have that line going in their ads. I chose Calgon because the bike does take you away from it all, puts you in a different state of mind; a better place."
While he builds radical category motorcycles, Sisco says there's a minimalist thing going in the sense that there are no unnecessary add-ons and much of the highly detailed and demanding work is subtly submerged in the overall design. "What gives me a rewarding feeling is when judges from the industry recognize the bikes for what went into them. Everything you see in the bikes is me, so it's a personal satisfaction thing."
Sisco's currently focusing on yet another "alarming" custom since he's been invited to make an appearance at a bike build-off competition in Laconia. Sisco's thinking of taking a different tactic for the build due both to the event's time restrictions and an inclination to build a bike on the "salvage yard/basic budget" plan, something the average Joe could tackle himself, just to demonstrate the unlimited possibilities. So watch for another mysterious GMP blip on the radar screen. Greenmountainperformance.com