The brothers are starring in an upcoming Discovery Channel series called "Motor City Motors" that they hope not only will turn around their struggling business, but also provide a boost to their economically challenged hometown.
"I think the show will bring some attention to Detroit and all of the possibilities here _ all the available jobs, all the intelligent people that are here and are out of work or are struggling with their job or aren't getting paid enough," James Kaye said. "I'm hoping we can really make a difference."
Each hour-long episode follows the Kayes and their dad, John, as they work to build a one-of-a-kind vehicle over a five-day period. And the stuff they're building goes way beyond the typical custom bike or car.
In one case, they built a "Festevil," a kind of a hamster wheel with a 1991 Ford Festiva in the middle. The Kayes removed a three-foot section from the center of the body, then set the subcompact car inside 10-foot steel rings with independent braking for each side.
Series producer Eric Lange said eight of 13 episodes have been shot, and the first one will premiere early next year.
"It was a win-win situation for them. Their bike shop was hurting. And this was a chance to bring Detroit builders in and give a little back to Detroit for them," Lange said Friday at an open house for media, officials and businesses.
The brothers are given a challenge and a team of workers on Monday and get five days to make it a reality.
In addition to the Festevil, the Kayes also turned a 1929 Model T into a hot rod and transformed a 1992 GMC Suburban into a pothole filler with a 10-foot nitrogen spring-loaded arm, rotating hot box, 500,000-BTU torch and hydraulic tamping front end.
"We throw big challenges at them, which I always love. It's 'can you do this?' That's all," said series creator Thom Beers, whose Original Productions also is responsible for "Deadliest Catch" on Discovery Channel and "Ice Road Truckers" on The History Channel.
The Detroit Brothers _ both in their 30s _ take pride in being from Detroit and hope the show trains a spotlight on the men and women who represent today's car culture.
"It's been hectic, terrifying and amazing _ a really surreal experience," Dave Kaye said.
On the Net:
Detroit Bros. Custom Cycles: http://detroitbros.com/777/
Discovery Channel: http://dsc.discovery.com/
Original Productions: http://www.origprod.com/