There are two kinds of people in this world. People that do and people that don't. Chad Pecchi at Shop102 is one of those that does. Out of his two car garage in Kennesaw, GA Chad works at making his dream a reality. He spends countless nights perfecting his craft, breathing life into bare metal. Creating some of the coolest handlebars, bikes, and hard parts you've ever laid eyes on. He does all of this while still holding down a 40 hour a week grind at a local sign shop. Thankfully, Chad pulled his welding mask off long enough to talk to us about Shop102. Here's what he had to say...
The Lost Highways: First off, when and how was Shop102 born?
Chad Pecchi: The shop opened in 2009. Before that I was in the printing industry. I left that and did the shop full time (mechanical and fabrication), I got burned out on working on bikes day in and day out with very little fabrication. Well, there came a crossroads for lack of a better term. It was either keep on wrenching and fab/weld or just fab/weld. So, Shop102 became a full service fabrication and welding shop. In doing so I had to go and get a fabrication job at a sign shop....a means to the dream ya know. That's where I'm at right now.
TLH: What do you make out of Shop102? Is it primarily custom order stuff?
C: I can make just about anything, but the majority of my business is bars. I have done everything from tanks to brackets, bungs, etc. All of my orders are custom. I don't mass produce a lot of parts yet. I am slowly working towards a small parts manufacturing set up as well.
TLH: What's the attraction to welding/fabricating vs. working on bikes?
C: The attraction to fab work as opposed to wrenching is the creating part. I am a advocate of craftsmanship with your own two hands, it's what this country was built on.
TLH: Where would you like to see Shop102 in the future?
C: The future of Shop102 is full time and self supportive. Not looking to become a millionaire, just want to provide for the family.
TLH: What bike are you currently riding?
C: My daily is my 1986 VFR700. I am in love with this scoot favorite daily bike to date.
TLH: What projects are you working on right now?
C: The bike I am currently building is going to be a mono-shocked gas in frame machine. The engine is going to be a stressed member and have a trelis swingarm. I am going bat shit crazy on this one!
(keep an eye out everybody! We're gonna feature this beast when it's complete!)
TLH: What do you do to escape and get your mind off the shop?
C: The thing I do to escape is hang with the family. My wife is the single greatest person I know and my son is incredible and is the best entertainment out there.
TLH: We're all about gettin lost, what's your favorite route to ride?
C: I absolutely love state route 411. It has these AMAZING roads that split off from it (Salacoa/Johnson Mtn Rd) that are stellar. I actually wrecked on said road at about 65 one sunny day... they are that good!
TLH: How can people get a hold of you to do some work for them?
C: You can find me at...
and the shop blog
TLH: Now, the important questions. Dumbest thing Shop102 has made?
C: Haven't really built anything dumb per-say. All the orders I get are purposed parts. I have gotten some crazy bar designs. When something dumb comes through I respectfully decline and send Paul Jr the biz.
TLH: Evil Japanese Crap or Hell Yeah America?
C: Evil Jap Crap is my favorite, but I love ALL things moto. I am heavily influenced by the old days of road/flat track racing. Get on your bike and ride it. Drop the scene, the attitude, and just ride!
TLH: Are front brakes cool?
C: Front brakes are VERY cool. Nothing like a dual disc set up or a 4 leading shoe drum. The more the better.
I really enjoyed writing this article and getting to know Chad. He's one of those people you meet and immediately feel like you've known them forever. A loving husband and father, a great friend, a great mechanic. A dude that respects the credibility of the past, and understands the importance of the future. If you need anything for your build, if you have a dream, this is the dude to call. Shop102 will make it happen. The community needs more people that think the way he does, that care about people the way he does. I can't wait to see what plays out in Chad's future. I have a feeling it's gonna be pretty big. Thanks again for talking with us Chad, all of us here at The Lost Highways wish the best for your family and Shop102.