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Secret Machine Shop Connection

It Took An Australian Investigator To Find AB Tech

By Doc Robinson/HEAVY DUTY magazine.
6/11/2010 8:47:41 AM


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In the couple of decades I’ve spent as a motorcycle photo/journalist covering the American V-Twin scene there is one constant that I have encountered over and over again; the fact that many people in the industry are super keen motorcycle enthusiasts and began their careers by turning the hobby which they loved into a business: Bandit--Bikernet.com; Perry Sands - Performance Machine; Jay Tullis - Progressive Suspension; Mike Corbin; Mike ‘Kiwi Indian’ Tomas; Bandit-Bikernet.com; Tom Rudd - Drag Specialties/Küryakyn; Kenny Price – Samson; John Parham - J&P Cycles; George J Smith - S&S – the list could go on and of course Bandit-Bikernet.com.

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Another gentleman has turned what he loved into a career with motorcycle magazines, Southern California’s mysterious Craig Murrow is yet another example of how love for the sport of motorcycling morphed into a way of making a living, as well as contributing to the industry. Craig worked selling ads and running ad departments for Hot Bike for decades, maybe too many to mention. I had the opportunity to visit Craig’s shop recently while test riding a Big Bear Choppers, X- Wedge powered GTX touring bike (Great Bike!) around Southern California and, thanks to the superb GPS unit the bike is equipped with, I managed to ride right to the door of his hidden San Clemente facility without making even one wrong turn.

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Craig (left above, author right) wasn't always a motorcycle mag desk jockey, he had a mystery business on the side, but no one knew about it until recently. He founded AB TECH (Advanced Billet Technology) in 1994, and kept it a secret. While his early working years were spent as a home building contractor before finding a niche at Hot Bike, each evening would find him working on motorcycles.

Over the early years, Craig built several custom motorcycles which were featured in a number of magazines and in fact made the front cover of several leading publications. This lead to him becoming even more enveloped in the V-Twin market and Craig’s products, knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry in general earned him a job offer from Hot Bike Magazine in 2001 in the advertising department.

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During his tenure at Hot Bike Magazine, Craig’s ability to relate to his advertisers because of his manufacturing background earned him considerable respect in the industry. Craig then went on to work for Garage Magazine, which is owned by Jesse James, but rather than selling ads he found his way back into his natural habitat, the machine shop.

After organizing Jesse’s shop he decided it was time to go back and work for AB TECH full-time with the encouragement of his lovely and vivacious wife Kelli, who by the way, just so happens to work for market leading aftermarket manufacturer of motorcycle parts, Performance Machine. (As an aside I should mention that Craig and Kelli met when Craig was Kelli’s ad sales rep.)

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Industrious and self-taught in his trade as a contractor, Craig found that his skills naturally bridged over to the art of running a CNC machine and fabricating parts and his product line began with a series of derby, points, and inspection covers, but as his product range expanded over the years. Hence the secret shop in the hills of San Clemente. Craig discovered there were a few unique products that he felt would set AB TECH apart. Those products included flush mount axles and push rod covers that featured designs that had not been seen in the industry.

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In fact, AB TECH is probably best known for the uniquely styled pushrod tubes Craig turns out. Machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum, these pushrod covers utilize the factory sleeve and spring to assure proper sealing. With contrasting machined grooves and available for Twin Cam, Evo and Shovelhead engines, all AB pushrod tubes are available in machine finish, polished or chrome plated as well as in a stylish black anodized finish.

Since June of 2008 Craig and AB TECH have been moving forward creating new designs and innovative finishes based on the same philosophy that drove Craig to create AB TECH in the mid-1990’s; quality, original products.

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AB TECH produces a very neat and beautifully machined flush front axle, which totally cleans up the front end of any bike, giving a true custom look to stock and aftermarket forks. With no visible nuts or rods whatsoever this is the ultimate in clean looks. All caps are made from 303 stainless steel, while the axles themselves are chromemoly steel. AB TECH also produce a flush rear axle which has done away with the nut and bolt head. What is left is the clean look of 303 polished stainless steel adjusters.

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Also worthy of mention are AB TECH’s fender spacers, which come in either smooth or ribbed styles and are available in polished, chromed or anodized finish. The AB TECH handgrips fit all single or dual cable models except for 2009 models equipped with a throttle position sensor Only available for 1” handlebars, these grips, as with the other AB TECH products are available in machine finish, polished or black anodized.

AB TECH can be contacted by phone at 949-276-7976 or fax on 949-276-7977. Or via email abtechusa@cox.net. They can be found on the web at www.abtechusa.com and if you are in the market to dress up your bike, check them out. You’ll be glad that you did.

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