The HOT BIKE office is headquartered in Orange County, California. Let's just say that within a 30 square-mile radius there are plenty of motorcycle manufacturers, fabricators, custom builders, shops-whatever you want to call them-that it's hard to keep track of who's doing what. But we kept hearing about Illusion Cycles in Westminster, California, over and over, from this guy and that guy, so we decided to head over to the Illusion Cycles compound with our cameras and notepads. When we arrived we were more than pleasantly surprised with what we encountered: bikes, motors, trannys, belt drives, and more bikes!
Illusion Cycles is owned and operated by Rusty Coones and Rod Requejo, formerly of Twisted Metal. When we got there we'd witnessed what the crew had been up to: building choppers, bobbers, customized Dynas and much more. The guys have built some pretty kickass choppers that made us realize just what everyone was talking about. We met Rusty and Rod and chatted for a while to get the skinny on what they were all about.
When Rod was a teen, he'd hang around the machine shop where his father worked, soaking up all of the knowledge he could. Rod eventually honed his metal-fab skills at a young age and created many rolling works of art by bending, grinding, and twisting the metallic elements, and as time progressed Rod was determined to open his own shop. This spawned the birth of Twisted Metal, a motorcycle customizing shop in Orange County. He became recognized as a force in the local customizing industry.
As for Rusty Coones, he's been into bikes since he was just a tike. From mini-bikes to motocross racing, two wheeled machines always interested Rusty. He bought his first Harley when he was 19, and like all of us, he was hooked. In the early '80s Rusty had a company that built anything from customized Porsches to wickedly styled limousines. Some of his creations made it to the Autorama Invitational car show and the Oakland Roadster show. But he always stayed in touch with two-wheeled machines. In the late '90s he acquired Illusion Cycles. In 2005, Rod and Rusty merged their efforts together and Rod closed Twisted Metal and the two men became business partners at Illusion Cycles.
Illusion Cycles offers EPA and CARB certified motors in both Evo- and Panhead-styles from 80 ci to 114 ci with all motors utilizing a 4.25-inch stroke and a variable bore from 3.5 to 4.125 inches depending on displacement. Illusion also offers five and six-speed left-side-drive transmissions and six-speed right-side-drive transmissions. On top of that, you can also get a 2- or 3-inch Ilusion belt drive system to complete your drivetrain needs.
Illusion Cycles also builds turnkey production bikes. Take the Hellrazor project for instance. This is a limited production bike in collaboration with West Coast Choppers that fuses both Illusion Cycles parts with West Coast Choppers parts. It features a CFL 250 frame, custom exhaust, front and rear fenders, forward controls, and more to make up one kickass chopper. Illusion's Hellrazor is also listed on the Kelly Blue Book and NADA pricing guide websites, which makes it easier to register, insure, and finance if necessary.
If you're into bobbers, the Illusion team manufacturers a rigid production model for $19,999. It's black and it comes with one of Illusion's EPA or CARB certified motors and it's a clean-looking bike.
If that isn't enough, Illusion also specializes in building custom bikes from the ground up. The shop is not limited to any project. If you can think it, they can build it.