BELIEVE me, this chopper’s design has created many reactions. ‘How the fuck do you ride it?’ is the first one that comes to mind.
I built this bike to look crazy. The only way to get what I wanted was to forsake an easy riding bike. Billy Lane in the States has turned out some pretty wild looking choppers so I guess I wanted to build something with my own style, a little old school and unorthodox. The clip-on bars, foot clutch, hand shift, the big stretch, make my chopper damn hard to ride so it’s not a bike anyone can get on and take for a blast. I had to basically learn the pros and cons of riding it.
I love riding this bike because I built it to my specs and, realistically speaking, I am the only one who can hop straight onto it and ride off with no hassles.
Many of my personal touches went into this bike, just favourite things I have enjoyed in the past. I put those fond memories into it, one of them being the style of paint which is very reminisant of the older-style ski-boat glitter-paint jobs. The rest I will just keep to myself because they are my memories and meanings.
Spokes are the only way to go with a bike like this so what better than to put 80 of them in both front and rear wheels with an Exile rear caliper and chain drive setup. The front caliper is PM.
When I first built this chop and assembled it, I rode it for about eight months in raw steel. It’s what I do with all my bikes because if you have any problems with guard clearances, or things you want to change, there are no dramas with destroying the paint work. Just cut out and add or take away anything you want—it’s like drawing a sketch in pencil before you colour it in. Be patient and do it this way and it will pay off big time in the long run.
The Baker right-side-drive transmission has been a big plus for me, allowing me to run the big 300 rear tyre. A TF 2000 three-inch primary belt transfers the engine drive to gearbox.
John Casson of MCAS was a major parts supplier in the building of this bike (thanks John and Ty). Pieter Van Straalen helped me out with the Radius 124-cubic-inch motor when I gave it a little more than I should have (I do that).
I also want to thank Joe from Bad Image paint, Billet Racing for the custom nose cone and Bad Ass trim for the seat.
This is truly a made-to-spec custom chopper with a little bit of new and old. I really don’t think I could ever let this one go. It’s like that first bike you wished you never sold. It looks so good going down the road and that is exactly what I wanted to achieve. Good design and looks come at a price—the slightly difficult riding style pales into insignificance compared to the buzz I get from riding it.
words by Stu