COLUMBIA — Holding a cup of tea in one hand and a laser pointer in another Norm Wilding, shines the laser onto the side of a dissembled motorcycle.“That's interesting,” he says in his distinctive British accent, “normally I have to cut a hole in the fairing, but this bike doesn't need that.”
Sighing, he moves the laser pointer and its stand to the other side of the motorcycle and starts again.
Tucked behind an air conditioning business off of Interstate 70, Wilding builds custom, show-quality motorcycles for clients across the country from his shop, Mid Missouri Motorcycle Customs. Working out of a nondescript red garage, Wilding, 61, builds his customers the motorcycles and trikes of their dreams.
Growing up outside London, Wilding got his first motorcycle when he was only 12. Since he was not old enough to ride it on the streets, he rode through the woods and fields that surrounded his home. He learned to work on the British bikes of the era and eventually moved into NHRA Drag Racing where he became the European champion in 1990.
In 1991, Wilding moved to Florida to continue his drag racing career in the United States. After competing across the country for another 6 years, he settled in Columbia in 1997 after meeting his wife, Linda.
For the past 35 years, Wilding has made a reputation of building high quality custom motorcycles and trikes that often receive national attention.
Wilding prides himself on being a “one-stop shop,” providing services such as design and custom metal fabrication, body work and custom paint jobs as well as basic motorcycle service.