Behold the magic of injection-molded plastics. This machine cost Cycra Racing
upwards of $500,000. That’s a substantial investment.
Another big cost for Cycra Racing is their custom-made molds. This huge chunk of
steel costs $65,000. Fortunately, these molds last many years.
BEHIND INJECTION-MOLDED PLASTIC
We take pride in what we do,
and, more important, we know that
many companies in the motorcycle
industry have the same pride in
their work. That’s how empires are
Cycra Racing is one such
company. Brothers Ken and Glen
Laivins, co-founders and former
owners of Cycra, sold the business
to CV Products Consolidated LLC
in March of 2013. Now located in
Thomasville, North Carolina, Cycra
Racing is at the forefront of injection-molded plastic manufacturing.
Cycra’s huge operation is comprised
of millions of dollars worth of
machinery, state-of-the-art control
systems, massive production and
intense quality control. Cycra products are represented on the professional circuit by JGR Yamaha, Geico
Honda and a host of privateers.
Have you ever wondered how
the plastic on your motocross bike
is made? Perhaps you have, but
most likely the only time you pay
attention to your bike’s plastic
is when installing new graphics.
However, there’s a lot that goes
into manufacturing a single fender.
Behold, a glimpse into the inner
sanctum of Cycra Racing and how
injection-molded plastic is made.
Thermoforming is when you heat
a sheet of plastic and form it over
a mold with a vacuum to hold its
shape until the plastic hardens.
Injection molding, on the other
hand, involves using a mold that
has a male and female side and a
cavity that you fill with plastic. The
hot, nearly liquid plastic is injected
into the mold cavity at high
pressure. Injection molding allows
for high precision and intricate
molding details, such as ribs and
COSTS: Cycra Racing has seven
injection-molding machines, ranging
from 70-ton to 650-ton presses, as
well as thermoforming and CNC
routers. They also have a full paint
facility (Cycra manufactures saddle
bags for street motorcycles under
the moniker Hardstreet by Cycra).
The purchase price for each
injection-molding machine ranges
from $300,000 to $500,000.