High caliber custom work: Lil' Evil opens in Perham
For the owners of Lil' Evil Inkorpor8ted, a new motorcycle service, repair, and custom build shop in Perham, "it all stems from a passion for motorcycles."
Whether they're creating a completely unique, from-the-ground-up bike or simply changing a tire, the guys at Lil' Evil are all about service - "keeping the customers riding away happy."
And they know how to do it.
Owner and 'wrench,' Greg Larson, has also been working on custom bikes for years: "I've always been mechanically inclined," he said.
Kurt Peterson, in charge of design and fabrication, is an industry veteran, with nearly 20 years of experience in the design, manufacture and marketing of motorcycles. He's known - even razzed - for his meticulous attention to detail and constant testing and double-checking of his work.
"I don't ever want anybody to have a problem and get stuck on the side of the road because of something I did," he said.
As motorcycle enthusiasts themselves, Larson and Peterson "want customers to feel the way we do when we get on our bikes; we treat their bikes the way we'd treat our own."
As the two worked together on a custom bike last summer - a "Lil' Evil" that later became their shop's namesake - they felt the time was ripe to turn their shared dream into a reality. About six weeks ago, Lil' Evil Inkorpor8ted opened its doors.
Larson, who was already living in Perham, quit his factory job in Detroit Lakes in order to "throw myself into this."
Peterson, who had been camping and visiting friends in the area for years, saw a need for a shop like this in Perham, and couldn't wait to move here.
"It's a nice community, and a great place to live," he said. "Over time, it became evident that this is where I wanted to call home."
In the past, Peterson has worked with some of the finest companies in the American V-Twin aftermarket, including Drag Specialties, American Iron Horse Motorcycles, Custom Chrome International, and others.
With Larson and Peterson combining their talents, the result at Lil' Evil is high end quality, with reliable repairs and custom products that look like something straight out of a TV show.
"The caliber of the work we do here is like what you'd see in California or the Twin Cities," said Peterson. But now, local motorcycle enthusiasts don't have to travel that far to get these kinds of services.
There's a strong customer base in this area, the guys said, as well as strong community support: "I think the community's been starving for this for awhile," Peterson said.
Despite being so new, Lil' Evil is already pretty busy. The shop had its busiest week yet the week before the Ronald McDonald House Ride, the guys said, with a lot of late nights worked to get a high number of bikes ready for the ride. The abundance of special motorcycle events like that in this area, they said, is one of the reasons they knew a shop like Lil' Evil was needed here.
To try and avoid high surges of maintenance work at the start of summer - and to provide customers with a helpful service - Lil' Evil will be offering winter storage. For a small fee, the shop will store and maintain bikes over the winter, so they'll be ready for riders right away in the spring.
Peterson said they do other little things that most shops don't, too, such as pick up bikes that aren't running or provide rides to customers whose bikes are in the shop.
Their goal is to build a customer base - whether it's someone who spends $20 a month on basic necessities or the kind who'll drop a lot of money on the occasional custom job.
But no matter who walks through the door at Lil' Evil, or why, it's Larson and Peterson's goal to make sure they walk out happy.
"We don't tell anybody what they need," said Peterson. "It's not the talking we're about, it's the listening."
Lil' Evil is located on the northeast side of Perham. For more information, call 346-5341 or visit www.lilevilinkorpor8ted.com. The shop also has a Facebook page.