CHRIS IS A builder by trade so he’s pretty damn good with wood. Working on motorbikes, however, is a different story.
“My dad infected him with his love of bikes at about five-years-of-age,” said Chris. “However, the mechanical side of my learning was very scarce.”
Chris knew we was taking on a lot building this chopper but he also wanted to learn more than just the basics.
“I went down to Mid West Motorcycles in Brisbane and bought one of their Black Cloud rolling frame kits as a starting point. It wasn’t a whole kit; the parts I didn’t want got left behind. I ended up with a frame with a zero rake but stretched 2 inches in the back-bone and 4 inches in the front tubes. The 8-inch-over front-end also stayed along with the Iron Cross wheels with matching discs and rear pulley, plus the front and rear guards.”
Chris wanted a fully-polished engine and eventually settled on an Ultima El Bruto 113 inch Evo engine which produces about 125 hp at the rear wheel. This was hooked up to a BDL primary and clutch that now hangs off the Jim’s five-speed gearbox. BDL also got the nod for the forward controls and the disc calipers. The chromed steel oil tank and the stretched Sporty-type fuel tank are aftermarket items. Chris wasn’t too sure who made these because the brain cells were a bit dead after looking at so many catalogues.
Now it was time to put the bike together. We all know the best place to build a bike is in the shed, unless you can talk the missus into letting you use the lounge room—the missus wasn’t too happy about the idea—at first!
Most of the parts went together quite well but some had to be modified.
“I shaped the rear guard with a grinder and files, made a heap of brackets and even wired the bike myself, but the hardest part was the handlebars. I wanted to hide the throttle cable so I went to my friend’s shop, CCS Custom Welding, and we came up with a design which I then made up from 1.25 inch tube. It was bitch to do but well worth the effort.”
Finally the bike was ready for paint so all the parts went to another friend who runs Panels R Us where a straight Nissan blue colour was chosen and applied with a minimum of fuss.
“I wanted a standard colour as the bike is ridden all the time and if the paint gets damaged it can be fixed easily.”
Once the paint came back all the parts went together with the addition of some Zodiac lights and a set of Vance & Hines pipes that finished the bike off nicely.
“It was good to get the bike finally on the road—plus the missus was happy to get the lounge room back. I learned heaps from building the Blu-Chopper and would like to thank all my friends and other people who helped out with parts, services and information. The next one will be heaps easier to build for sure…”
words & pics by Keith Cole