CycleFinish started as a hobby for Bobby Keith, first painting race bikes and then moving on to street bikes to eventually doing bodywork and gas tank repairs that look identical to original condition.
Bobby Keith on CycleFinish
I've been painting and doing body repairs for about 15 years. I picked up the skill during high school working on cars and then on motorcycles. The painting and body repair skills crossed over and I was customizing and repairing bikes for friends and myself.
Fast forward a couple of years and I had an alright job at a mutual fund company and was club racing with the AFM and entering the occasional AMA 250 GP National. As I progressed as a racer my painting skills also improved. At that time I was painting for friends and for the teams that I rode for; I was not painting professionally.
Today CycleFinish consists of myself and Josh (Junior) Ringheimer working in our new location in Menlo Park. With an investment into our new shop and new equipment, we are running better than ever.
1998 was not the follow up racing season that I had in mind due to various reasons so I decided to work on the painting business full time. The shop was taking off at the time and I was doing a wider range of work for racers and dealerships in the Bay Area, from San Francisco to San Jose and the East Bay. There's no doubt that my racing played a big roll in this as I knew most of the dealers from racing9
The first team that I painted for was Scott Gray's Michelin team in 1993. In 1994 I rode for Ed Toomey's team and painted a couple of 250 sets for Jimmy Filice. I painted for Jimmy again in 1995 when he was a part time rider on the Cine Camera 250 team along with my me and Jason Paden. It wasn't until the 1996 that I started painting professionally. That year was very important to me because I made a very big decision; I quit a 'good job' in the financial industry and pursued my racing career.
Painting motorcycles (mostly racebikes) became my part time job to support me between races. The year was 1997 and if there were two indications that this was my best year as a racer they would have to be first: that I finished 2nd in the 250 GP championship behind Rich Oliver, and second, that I didn't have to offer my painting services as a negotiating tool to get on a team. I landed a spot on Team Zero Gravity that season with Ben and Eric Bostrom and they had Airtrix as their own painter.