If you think you have a cool job, you probably haven’t met Rod Brogdon. He’s the Brand Manager for Xtreme Machine, where he designs parts and wheels for motorcycles and travels across the US with distributors and sales representatives for the company. He also helps set up at bike rallies—places like Daytona Bike Week and Sturgis. While the operation is now based in La Palma, California, Rod works from a home office in Jacksonville and spends about forty percent of his time traveling.
Rod’s work with the motor industry began in 1970, when he was living in California, working at a place called Boyd’s. He was twenty-one years old, and he started at the bottom—sanding parts and learning the basics. As time passed, he moved up the ranks, eventually learning how to design wheels and run the shop. In 2000, he and his family moved back to Illinois, and Xtreme Machine was founded in his hometown of Jacksonville.
As of 2011, when the business sold and moved the operation to California, Rod was able to continue his day-to-day work remotely. He uses a program called SolidWorks to design motorcycle parts and wheels (his favorite part of the job—being creative) which can sometimes be a long process. “Sometimes it comes easy,” he said, “But sometimes I get stuck.” To draw out new ideas, Rod sometimes finds inspiration from elements of new cars. “I might see a part of a wheel on a new car that would work, but not the whole thing. I can use that piece and get an idea on where to start,” he explained.
The wheels Rod designs help define a bike’s look and feel. Designs range from talons to flames to a more traditional look, like the “Launch” wheel. Xtreme Machine is much more than wheels, however. They offer accessories like brake calipers, hand grips, deviant handlebars, air cleaners, horn covers and more that create a uniform look throughout the bike.
When he’s not designing or fielding calls from customers, Rod is on the road. He visits the shop in California about four times each year, and spends the rest of his travel time during spring-fall at bike rallies and with distributors and sales reps. “I love my job, and I feel so blessed to have a job I really enjoy, but I do miss my family when I travel,” he said. With two daughters who are now out of school, he’s relieved he at least doesn’t have to miss any school-related functions.
To learn more about Xtreme Machine and the products they offer, visit www.XtremeMachineUSA.com or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/XtremeMachineUSA.