nicholas hopkins

Corrupted Concepts

There is some bike-work for which the only possible response is, “Wow.” Scott Hall at Corrupted Concepts produces that kind of work. His shop is like the Holy Grail of customized bikes / cars / trucks / just-about-anything-else and we’d be hard pressed to find anyone, an-y-one, who does better work.

Back in the early ‘00’s, Scott was just your everyday metal worker, who built bullet proof vehicles for the US Government. Even Uncle Sam noticed the quality of his work; it was almost impossible to tell that those vehicles had two inches of bullet proof glass and other defensive customizations installed. Not a bad way to build your metal working chops. Then, when he got his first motorcycle, he decided to do a little work on it. He ended up pretty much cutting it up, reworking it and reassembling it with a whole new look. Just for the heck of it, he took it to Daytona, showed it around, and entered it in some contests. He did more than win contests, he got people to sit up and take notice of his work.

Word started to get around that he could work on bikes and soon, people started asking him to tweak their rides. A set of forward controls here, a new paint job there, but “it was frustrating because no one would let me get radical. No one wanted me to cut up their Harley.”

As he started picking up more work, it became obvious there was a real market for his ideas. Even though he hadn’t planned on it, and had no shop-owner ambitions, he soon figured out that he had to open his own place. He picked out a location on Auror near US-1. “At first, we didn’t even have a working garage door. I had to climb under it, just to get in.” (After hurricanes Jean and Frances finished transplanting the roof to the business next door, he moved the shop all the way across the street.)

On his first bike, he designed and built a set of shotgun handlebars. When he took the bike to Daytona, he happened to be in the same place as Indian Larry, before Larry got his own show on the Discovery Channel. Scott mentioned the bars to him and convinced him to take a look. When Larry came by to check, he looked at the bike for a few minutes, commented, in his own profane style and said, “Wait here for a minute.” When he came back, he had his whole crew with him and they poured over Scott’s bike for more than two hours. One of the crew members rolled his eyes and said, “Larry, we’ve got to start doing better work.” The compliments don’t get much higher. A few weeks later, Larry called Scott at home, saying he’d seen his work in Hot Bike and wanted to congratulate him. “Even though Larry’s gone, I’ve still got his cell number on my phone.” Who could blame him for hanging on to that bit of biker history 

In fairly short order, people were giving him a free hand to work his magic; sometimes people who owned big factories. A while back he got a call from Kawasaki. They’d heard about his skills and told him, “We’re going to crate up a brand new bike and deliver it to you. Do whatever you want.” Now that’s not something you hear about every day, is it?

As a matter of fact, Scott’s broken a few barriers when it comes to metric bikes. A customer came to him with a Yamaha Road Star and Scott went to town on it. It’s his Fire Bike and it’s notable on a few counts. Not only does it look fantastic (and absolutely nothing like a Road Star) but it’s sporting a brand new concept, designed by Scott; a unique 4 into 1 header. After he designed it, Scott patented it, initially for HD motors, and then he showed it to his friends at the Hooker factory. After they recovered from the shock, and more than a little jealousy, they decided to produce a line of headers for Yamaha and Harley motors based on Scott’s work. It’s the first time they’ve ever bought a design that wasn’t developed in-house, and it’s the first time they’ve produced an exhaust system for a metric bike. That system, on that bike, is one of the reasons it’s on the cover of the national Yamaha calendar.

There just doesn’t seem to be an end to his innovative, Corrupted bike ideas. In fact, you won’t believe his Dog Bone concept for yet another customized exhaust system. The rear pipe runs behind, under, then over the front pipe in a design that’s never been seen before. Very radical, very cool 

So naturally, there’s no shortage of people who are willing to let him cut up their Harley now. He’s built some absolutely gorgeous customized HD’s, including a Fat Boy that he’s transformed into a Phat Boy; just one more prize winner and magazine cover bike. Another of his Harley projects is an FXR, with a 240 back tire. That’s right, a 240. Whenever hard-core Harley enthusiasts look at it, they’re amazed. It’s never been done. It’s physically impossible to squeeze that much tire onto a stock FXR; unless you cut the back end in half and expand it. It’s just another example of the amazing work going on in Scott’s garage. 

All of his motorcycle work would be enough for most people. (Most people who build world-class concept bikes.) Not Scott. He also modifies cars and trucks. When you look through his scrap book, he really should provide a drop cloth and towel for mopping up the drool. He customized a ’69 Camaro, with special spark plug wires, running through the valve covers to the 620 horsepower engine. That’s not a typo; six-two-zero horsepower. He’s worked on Corvette’s, Malibu’s and Monte Carlo’s in addition to a whole slew of trucks. Recently, he designed a special suspension system for a brand new Ford Harley truck, but it was too much for the customer. (The guy got nervous because it was too high, so Scott ripped it out and replaced it with an air bag lift system instead.)

It almost doesn’t seem fair that one guy should have so much talent. In addition to building custom bikes and modified sports cars, he’s also built or modified some fun toys, including a tug capable of pulling 30 tons, a scooter, golf carts, and even a Radio Flyer. (That’s a sight to see and something every kid in the world, including those 40 and over, would love. Check it out on his web site at www.CorruptedConcepts.com) He even did a custom paint job on an airplane. Since it’s hard to fly into his shop on Aurora Boulevard, he made a house call on that one. Recently when someone mentioned that he had a hard time getting his wheelchair into the back of his motor home, Scott designed and built a lift system for him. (Does this guy ever stop?)

Scott’s almost a one-man machine, running the shop, doing the design / metal work and most of the painting. Almost, but not quite. He’s got some capable help at the shop in Pete Fortin. Even though he does most of the paint work himself, for the really high end stuff, he calls in the big guns: Mike Quering. Mike’s done some air brushing that’s just about too good to believe. He once did a memorial portrait on a fender and people still refuse to believe it’s not a photograph under clear coat. He also calls in help for the seats. Jeffrey Phipps produces some real artwork in his leather saddles.

As you would expect, Scott is beginning to get some real attention in the bike world. In addition to winning every contest and build-off he’s ever entered, (some on the national level) he’s got more magazine covers than you can shake a stick at, including magazines in Switzerland and England. Here in the states, his work has graced the cover of Hot Bike and Road Bike and his work will be featured once again in V-Twin in both February and April.

So, the next time you’re watching TV and you see that famous family who does more arguing than bike building, don’t be mislead into the thinking you have to go to New York for quality custom bikes. Scott Hall at Corrupted Concepts does work right here in Central Florida that’s as good, if not better than any builder we’ve ever seen.


Copyright © 2018, Nicholas Hopkins. All Rights Reserved.