Claude of CSM

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by zipper421, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. zipper421

    zipper421 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    space
    About a month ago I wrote to Claude about a body he had. He said it was sold but he had another but it was kinda rough, so he sent me some pics and it was just what I wanted. I just couldn't get there right away. Claude said no problem even though he could have sold it to someone else. This past wednesday I called Claude about coming down to see him over the weekend and plans were made. Saturday morning I headed out at 4:30 am and made good time on the four and a half hour drive to CSM. At around 8:00 I made the call to Claude that I had arrived, this man was more than happy to put on a pot of coffee and open his shop to me on his day off. These are the type of things to look at when you are looking for a shop to do any kind of work for you. This man truly loves what he does. I could have spent the whole day there talking about building sidecars and awesome bikes!
    I just wanted to thank Claude for all his time and for helping me with all his top secret info.
    Great guy. Awesome shop.
    Highly recommended.
    Thanks Dan
    #1
  2. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,070
    Location:
    Northern Vermont
    +100

    When in the market for my hack Claude was by far the most generous with his time and advice. Even though I went with a Hannigan (to keep my gun dog from jumping out when he spotted critters to chase), when it came time to make improvements to the rig Claude was the one I went to.

    Nothing about his shop is mass-produced off-the-shelf. Everything is a work of art!
    #2
  3. KHJPHOTO

    KHJPHOTO Old Man and the Road

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    Here for now; but leaving soon
    Yup, I'll add my kudos too! Claude and his crew are "old" school - insuring quality and customer satisfaction. Great gentlemen.... and ladies too!
    #3
  4. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,455
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I can tell from his posts that he is a good guy and has a passion for what he does. He shares his knowledge and seems to respond fairly quickly.
    #4
  5. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,122
    Location:
    Minnesota
    He gets my vote,he and Brock of Side Effects were very helpful when there really wasn't any monetary rewards involved, He put me to work on his GS and the office manager almost convinced my dog that he should stay there when I picked up my rig.DB
    #5
  6. Ajacks

    Ajacks "Not in the face"

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    174
    Location:
    Oconomowoc Lake, WI
    I dropped off my r1200GSA with Claude in June, I picked up the rig he built for me last Friday. I wish I knew how to post pictures cause all you would have to do is see the pics and you would know he is truly an artist, I cant tell you how happy I am. Want to thank his crew, I know this was a team effort, THANK YOU ALL Jack
    #6
  7. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,057
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    Wow...thanks guys for all the kind words. We have made alot of good friends through this business and hope to make many more. There is much more to this than just trying to make a living and keep the lights burning. Yes, it is a team effort. A huge part of that 'team' is the one who is trusting us to build a sidecar outfit that will be what they want.

    Jack's outfit..with Jack on trailer

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    #7
  8. zenduddhist

    zenduddhist Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    153
    Location:
    Ohio
    Claude,

    Is that my Bonneville in one of the pictures? You have been working on it!! Yoohooo!!!

    Btw, guys, I am the guinea pig for Claude's new design. Kind of his idea of an old school, Watsonian style, side car...

    Can't wait to see it!

    Chris McCarthy
    #8
  9. Melrone

    Melrone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    971
    Location:
    Cheese Head Country
    Nice rig!! The man does good work..A few years ago when I washaving major problems with my rig.The builder wasn't very helpful at all.I called claude asked for some help or info on fixing my problem..Never met him or talked to him before,but he treated me like an old friend gave me the info I needed to fix it right the first time...I will make to his shop next year on my first East Coast trip....
    #9
  10. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,595
    Location:
    Edwards,Colorado
    Hi Claude :wave

    I plan on passing through your neck of the woods next year on my way down to the U.S.C.A. National in Arkansas so I guess I will have to stop and check out the shop.

    By the way nice work as usual.
    #10
  11. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,057
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    Be looking forward to seeing you again Dana. Been a while. :bmwrider
    #11
  12. RockyMtnRoadRash

    RockyMtnRoadRash Useful and decorative

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    500
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    I'll add that Claude's grand fun to listen to. His interview still stands in the top 5 on wheelnerds.

    Chuck: "Could I attach a sidecar to Buell Ulysses?"
    (pregnant pause)
    Claude (disbeleiving): "Could... you?"
    #12
  13. Melrone

    Melrone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    971
    Location:
    Cheese Head Country
    Wheres the sidecar Nationals at?
    #13
  14. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,515
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    Mountain View, AR.
    I'm about 45 miles away. Fairly new to hacks but my wife and I expect to help with the event.
    pm me if I can be of any assistance.
    Jim
    #14
  15. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,595
    Location:
    Edwards,Colorado
    #15
  16. Melrone

    Melrone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    971
    Location:
    Cheese Head Country
    Now thats a neat place for a rally.And a days ride for me...Cool!!!!!!!!!!!
    #16
  17. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,098
    Location:
    NoVA
    I had a very similar experience to this with Claude too.
    What was planned to be about a 1/2 hour shop tour turned into a 3+ hour q&a session.
    Claude and his team are top shelf and have helped me out several times.
    Most recently with a recommendation for a rear shock, for which he received no monetary compensation.
    He does it because he cares and that's what makes it special.
    I do my best to thank him with gifts of coffee, pipe tobacco and Pringles.

    Cheers Claude.

    BTW - Did you ever come up with a name for that new chair?
    You know I'm still pushing "The Freedom Flyer" :D
    #17
  18. XL-erate

    XL-erate Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    154
    I've never done business with or contacted Claude in any way, but I know a lot about him. From all of the sidecar forums and message boards I've gotten a real clear picture of the measure of the man.

    With so many, even the vast majority, the main thing in their minds is what profit they can somehow get out of a contact or verbal exchange or whatever. Time and time again, countless now, Claude steps forward and offers excellent, wise, clear and detailed assistance to total strangers with no strings attached, free of charge! He's not manipulating folks for a future profit but instead just opening up his vast store of knowledge to freely share. Even when people are being a jerk he contiues to patiently walk them through and get them straightened out, at least on sidecars.

    How many times have I read where his door is open and you're invited to just drop in, relax and set a spell, enjoy your visit and nothing expected in return? I've seen many times, more than I could ever remember, where he shared mechanical stuff that took him some considerable sweat and blood to design, the hard way, and then to work out the kinks at his expense, just given freely to make some stranger's life easier! Life isn't just about what you can get out of it. No, sometimes the much bigger picture is all about what you can give back into it for all that you've received.

    Top of the heap if you ask me! Thanks, Claude, a job very well done!

    And please, no reply necessary, sir, because I know stuff like this is embarrassing and awkward. Keep up the good work!
    #18
  19. jackhett

    jackhett Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Tip of MI's "Thumb", FL - when it's too damn cold
    This is exactly why I chose CSM to build a custom sidecar for me 4 years ago. I was impressed by Claude's willingness to help any & all without looking for something for himself.

    He has since built a second rig for me. I couldn't be more pleased.:clap
    #19
  20. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,057
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    This isn't Claude..I hijacked his PC...just wanted to respond to the fella's out there commenting on his work ethic. Claude is the kind of guy who ALWAYS puts his friends and clients first!!! He's NEVER got a day off, when you get to know him, you'll realize that he just LOVES what he does!!!! Super nice guy who loves to put his all into his projects!!!:D
    #20