Garwood Custom Cycles & Susan G. Komen
In the custom bike game, the competition between media outlets is gangster when it comes to locking down a new bike to shoot and feature, especially those bikes associated with a charity.
Unfortunately most of them seem to forget the story behind the bike or what happens after the bike has been featured, awarded, donated and is simply no-longer the flavor of the month. Not us.
For the past several years Garwood Custom Cycles (Lexington, North Carolina) chooses a charity for their annual custom build projects. In 2011, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was selected as their charity to support with a custom 2006 Kawasaki 636 to raise money via a raffle for their local Susan G. Komen for the Cure chapter with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Susan G. Komen NC Triad.
Upon completion of the build, the Kawi spent a year on tour appearing at events including the International Motorcycle Show, the MIRock Series and other mid-Atlantic shows and events campaigning to raise awareness and funds for this truly deserving cause with an opportunity to win this magnificent machine. This is where the story behind the bike gets interesting.
The drawing was announced on May 5th during the NC Triad Race for the Cure. Unfortunately, when raffle winner Michael Hulm’s (of Belle Plaine, Minnesota) winning ticket was pulled, he was nowhere to be found. The following day, Steve Garwood (Garwood Customs co-owner) contacted Michael’s wife to congratulate him on the win, only to discover Michael was en-route back to the States from his National Guard tour of duty serving in Kuwait. When Michael finally returned home just a mere two days after the drawing, his wife was obviously overjoyed to have her hubby home. However, with all the excitement of his return, the message of winning the bike was inadvertently confused with a beater-bike Michael purchased while on deployment. So poor Michael never received the news of winning the raffle. After a couple of days of settling back in, Michael decided to check out Garwood’s Facebook page to see the results. To his amazement he saw his name as the winner. In complete disbelief and thinking he was being punked, he quickly called Garwood Customs for verification. Yes, he was indeed the winner.
“I noticed the chance to win the bike while on deployment, but never thought I would actually win” said Michael. “ I purchased two tickets primarily to help support the cause” he continued. “Winning such an incredible bike was a dream come true. I’m proud to ride the streets and serve as a rolling campaign to bring awareness and support to this charity. Plus, with all the custom work such as the LEDs, the air-ride, the 240-rear, extended swing-arm and chrome accents I get stopped all the time for pictures and questions. It’s incredible and I’m truly grateful!” He continued enthusiastically. Looks like Michael’s ticket strategy paid off.
Throughout the year long pre-drawing campaign, Garwood Customs literally reached more than 80 thousand in this outreach effort. The bike can now be seen rolling through the streets of Minnesota and at various shows and events, continuing to serve as a lasting campaign to bring awareness in hopes of one day eradicating this life-threatening cancer from our worlds.
For more of Garwood’s Custom Cycle’s outreach and custom bikes, check out and “Like” their Facebook page. Also, check out our video of this fascinating bike: youtube.com @ThrottleLife.