Dickinson motorcycle shop rides into national spotlight

If any bike enthusiasts out there see Wes Annable cruising around town on a hot-off-the-assembly-line green custom bagger motorcycle, they should know one thing.

If any bike enthusiasts out there see Wes Annable cruising around town on a hot-off-the-assembly-line green custom bagger motorcycle, they should know one thing.

"I'm driving it now, but it's for sale," Annable said.

The owner of Patriot Custom Cycle on West Villard Street in Dickinson, Annable has a knack for building eye-catching motorcycles from the ground up. Besides his newest emerald creation, Annable also recently had two of his custom-built bikes featured in national motorcycle magazines.

A 2008 Harley-Davidson that was retooled by Annable into a sharp-looking copper-and-chrome splashed bagger was featured in the June issue of "Road Iron" and a bobber-style bike, dubbed the "Grasshopper" is showcased in the current issue of "American Iron." Annable and his friend and associate, Kevin Wojahn, teamed to create the latter.

"This year we built five bikes," Annable said. "We only build them in the wintertime. I enjoy the building aspect of it and the custom work that goes into it. I come up with an idea and just run with it. Things can change three or four times before something is finished."


Though he runs a full-service shop that specializes in Harley-Davidson maintenance and repair, Annable said what he enjoys most is visualizing a concept for a motorcycle and making his idea come to life.

Going up against some stiff competition, Annable took home an honorable mention award for one of his baggers at the "Donnie Smith Bike Show" in St. Paul, Minn., last year.

A former U.S. Army medic, Annable opened his shop in 2009 after a long military career and has been receiving a steady increase of local and national exposure ever since.

"I get calls from New York, Canada, all over," Annable said. "It's getting to the point where people know me nationally. I don't turn stuff like that down. But, at the same time, I don't care about it, either. This started out as a small, local business and if it ends that way, that's fine with me."

One local rider who is more than satisfied with the work Annable and the employees at his shop have done for his bikes over the years is Jerry Mayer of Dickinson.

"I've had a lot of different repair and custom work done with Wes," Mayer said. "He's done a lot of custom work -- putting on bars, cables and other special parts -- on my Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. He can really dress something up and make it look unique. Wes is building me a pro street right now and I'm very excited about that."

With the weather becoming nicer and Memorial Day weekend here, the shop is busy with projects as bikers scurry to get their machines in top shape for the summer riding season.

"It's non-stop busy around here," Annable said. "On nice spring days when the sun is out, you can't even keep up. I'm sure some of it has to do with the oil field customers in the area, but, believe it or not, a lot of the bikes that I've built for people have been for locals."


Annable said road king-style bikes have emerged as this season's trend, although said trends are always changing.

"Custom motorcycles is a market that changes every two or three years," Annable said. "Being in North Dakota, because we're a little smaller, it takes a couple years to catch up with what's going on nationally. Ever since I was a kid, I've always been on motorcycles -- I can't imagine doing anything else."

As far as the new bagger that took Annable more than three months to build -- the one he's currently riding -- any potential customers might want to act fast as he said a customer was scheduled to look at it this week. If it's gone, however, there's no need to fret, he said.

If a rider can dream it, Annable said he can likely build or customize it.

What To Read Next
Get Local