Russ Wernimont is a cutting-edge fabricator with over 26 years of custom metal fabrication experience. With a passion for design along with pride of craftsmanship, Russ Wernimont Designs is engineering some of the most in demand Harley-Davidson aftermarket parts in the industry, once again setting new standards in custom fabrication.
In some ways the Russ Wernimont Designs formula is simple; “Small modifications can make a big difference.” RWD’s light kits are a good example; Cat’s Eye turn signals or the Maltese Cross Headlight are often just the beginning of a customer’s work on their otherwise stock machine. From there they can move to choosing any one of more then 11 front fenders to mix and match with RWD rear Fenders or custom Tanks. They may even choose to go with the whole Harley Bagger set-up from RWD.
Go big or go little, the Russ Wernimont Designs philosophy is for their customers to pick and choose in order for them to create their own custom for themselves, their own vision.
We had a chance to spend a few minutes with Russ himself and get an inside look at his optimistic perspective on the motorcycle business today.
Russ Wernimont: “I started in race car design and fabrication with Robby Gordon and Scott Taylor. Motorcycle fenders started through Don Vesco in 1992.”
DS: How long have you been with Drag Specialties and what is that relationship like?
RW: “Since 1994; through Don Vesco I met Stan Fox who sent me to Tom Motzko. Drag is simply the best in every aspect of doing business.”
DS: What are some of your favorite products and creations?
RW: “I like the Harley Bagger replacement parts. Our parts take a bike that I didn’t care for and turned it into my favorite daily rider.”
DS: What are your favorite customs that you’ve built or been involved with?
RW: “Jim Smith’s 145” Daytec Frame Custom. This build was an open book for RWD to create what it wanted and the customer was ecstatic.”
DS: What’s the best thing about being in the motorcycle business?
RW: “The people you meet, set aside making a living. I’ll borrow a quote from an old racing buddy… ‘Memories, Friends and 8x10’s.’”
DS: When you’re mapping out a new product, how do you draw your inspiration? Where do the ideas come from?
RW: “After you take the general direction of the public, custom, bagger or what have you, I like things to be functional, safe, and flowing to compliment the bike you have. I hate afterthought parts that are stuck on.”
DS: Do you still get to ride?
RW: “Not as much as I would like. Life and family keep me busy.”
DS: If you could own any bike in history what would you pick and why?
RW: “Don Vesco had one of his early Manx Norton roadracing bikes and because of its history and my friendship with Don that is the bike I would want.”
DS: What is your company’s business philosophy?
RW: “Russ Wernimont Designs provides a service. Quality parts at a fair price delivered on time. A happy customer is our goal.”
DS: Anything you want to add or have always wanted to say…?
RW: “Speaking to dealers and customers I’d like to say that RWD sees the future is to modify your stock Harley. We have and will continue to develop user-friendly kits to develop your Harley-Davidson into a custom ride that will set you apart from the crowd. We want to help you build a bike you will be proud to own.”