Founded in early 2004, Engenuity Motors Intl. LLC has quickly developed into a serious engine builder. There are several sizes of engines in the catalog, plans to move to a bigger facility and a top-secret clean-sheet engine under development.
Founder Mike Garrison, who is also the primary designer and manufacturer, has been a biker since he was 15. After several years as a race car engine builder, he started producing private label motorcycle cylinder heads in 2000. "I finished a run of 500 cylinder heads," he says. "Because I had already invested in the machine tools I looked around for different products to make."
He first offered a top end kit for V-twin engines. "That got me some recognition, and then I was approached by a company to make heads and cylinders for a project they were doing."
Building a complete engine was a natural progression; Garrison had already produced many of the parts. Engenuity's first complete engine was the 147 cid twin-cam V-twin. "That engine has a narrow niche market," says Garrison. "It gives the builder bragging rights."
The next engine, a 120 cid unit, was introduced to give Engenuity access to a wider customer base. The 120 "has been a very good seller for us -- we sell 3:1 of those versus the 147."
In addition, the shop, currently located in Littleton , CO , is on schedule to introduce a 100-cid V-twin engine at the Hollister Independence Rally, Hollister , CA , July 1-3. This powerplant is "intended for the custom builders who don't really care about cubic inches, they are just going for the looks."
Many of today's top bike builders have sourced Engenuity for the powerplant, one of the most significant -- and most obvious -- components on their bikes. But the engine must not only look nice, it's got to perform, as well.
Every engine at Engenuity is hand built. Parts for the 147, for example, that are made in-house include the cylinders, heads, and the rocker boxes. Components such as the cases, timing covers, rods and pistons are outsourced.
While some assemblies such as heads may be produced in advance, they are shelved until the engine has a buyer. All components are gauged or balanced and every completed engine is hot-fired on an engine stand. The lifter preload is set, and the timing is roughed in.
Because Engenuity's shop sits at just under 6,000 ft. elevation, "if we set it where it runs good up here, the engine won't run good at sea level," says Garrison.
The engines arrive at the builder's shop in a specially molded shipping container. "We try to produce a good product and stand behind that product," says Garrison. "Sometimes that means listening to a guy complain before we can figure out the problem. That's customer service."
Garrison has big plans for the not-so-distant future. He recently partnered with Tom Palmer, who has a background in leasing and financing, and who assumed the role of Engenuity's operating manager.
The company is planning to introduce a brand-new engine at next year's V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati . "All I can tell you is it will be a work of art like everything I try to do," says Garrison, "but very innovative when it comes to the mechanicals."
This summer the firm will be moving to a new building that will allow it to put more machine tools on the floor and add to the population in the shop, which is currently at two, Garrison included. The new facility is closer to Denver , in suburban Wheat Ridge , which Garrison expects will make it easier to hire highly qualified help.
After the move, Garrison's next thrust will be getting Engenuity's products EPA certified. The goal is to provide a certified powerplant at a reasonable price for smaller custom builders.
"Given the contracts that we are negotiating right now, we are going to need to be building 1.5 to two engines a day," says Garrison. "By putting more people on the floor we can still maintain the quality."