I ORIGINALLY thought of building a chopper on one of my trips racing sprint-cars in America, and after the work and effort I put into my sprint-car racing, I thought, ‘Hell, I can do that,’ and so the storey unfolds and the construction began.
As this was the first bike I was going to built, I asked Adam from APL Performance in Windsor to help me out. His technical advice — showing me the tricks of the trade like where to drill holes for all the internal wiring — truly helped me out a lot. Building this bike was so much easier for his knowledge.
The frame, tank and swing-arm I purchased from Xtreme Cycle Design in California. it is a six-up and four-out stretch frame with 46 degrees of rake and an extra six more in the trees.
I did all the fab work on the bike; moulded the neck and front down-tube of the frame; cut and reshaped the rear swing-arm; moulded the rear fender into the seat.
The oil tank was originally a standard horseshoe style which I cut and added sheet metal work to give a more aggressive yet flowing look to the bike.
All the wiring was done by me; running the wires through the frame so everything was hidden from the human eye; same with the front brake, clutch, and rear brake using all hidden lines to give it a clean look.
Also I cut and reshaped the front fender.
I made all the stainless steel brake and oil lines using swage-lock fittings. One oil line took me approx 14 hours before I was satisfied with the look of it!
The seat-pan was built by me and upholstered using cowhide and sheepskin leather by David at Top End Interiors in Condell Park here in Sydney.
The custom handlebars were built both by myself and Adam from APL Performance Bikes.
The exhaust I purchased from Miami Exhaust in Florida, but once it arrived, I did not like the look so I cut, reshaped and welded it back together.
The bike runs an airbag rear-suspension so you can dump it for that low and aggressive look.
I ran an internal ball-bearing throttle set-up to keep everything clean and uncluttered.
The hand and forward controls are all Accutronix Tribal series along with PM brake and clutch levers, and Wildwood calipers.
A Headwinds headlight from America gives us the light at the end of the tunnel when riding through the night.
The engine is a 120 ci Enginuity ‘smoothie motor’ which I believe is the only one of its kind in Australia. I purchased it out of Colorado in America. This engine was the top choice for motors in the American series Great Biker Build-Off due to its hidden spark plugs and smooth top-rocker-boxes which are all bolted internally to keep everything clean.
I also ran small 5 mm diameter plug wires with electronic compression release valves.
A polished 45 mm Mikuni carb was installed; also running a Crane ignition coil assembly.
The bike runs a billet primary and a four-inch wide Karata belt and housing with a Rivera Pro Clutch set-up.
I installed a Spyke super-torque starter. I don’t run an ignition key; just a toggle switch to turn on the accessories and then hit the button to fire her up.
The six-speed trick shift gearbox was fitted with a sprocket and chain. Originally I was going to run a belt-drive, but due to space restrictions, I changed over to chain and I am pleased that I did.
The rear sprocket was machined by Pedro at Prozac Choppers in Melbourne. I sent him a wheel design which he copied and cut out the sprocket on his CNC machine for me — an excellent job.
The paint work was done by Joe Web from Bad Image at Windsor. I gave him an idea of the theme I was going with, and the colours, and pretty much let him do his thing — the end result is superb!
The final assembly was done in my old man’s office at our race car shop. I managed to finish it at 2 pm on the eve of the Meguiar’s MotorEx. At the show I won Best Elite Bike which, considering this is my first bike, I was proud to achieve such a high accolade.
I guess I was able to build something to this standard right off the bat due to my sprint-car racing background and knowledge of manufacturing our own sprint-car parts and chassis repairs and modifications. There isn’t a lot of things I can’t make whether it requires TIG or MIG welding, one-off custom parts, or just modifying anything I can do it at our shop.
To look at a bike, there doesn’t seem like there is a lot involved, but it’s what the normal person doesn’t see — all the hidden stuff and details that take forever — that make a successful custom bike. Bike builders deserve a lot of respect for their patience. Trust me, I lost mine a few times!
My sprint-car racing is my love. I have raced in America where we ran our own team based out of Brownsburg in Indiana managing to claim a few victories.
These days we concentrate on racing here at Sydney’s Parramatta City Raceway where we are a regular top-five contender. Two seasons ago we ran second in the overall season championship winning the Grand Final round of the series. Along the way we consistently ran top-three podium finishes claiming numerous dash victories and fast time qualifying awards.
This year our racing team will do approx 50 races Australia-wide giving our sponsors maximum exposure and value for dollar as we travel countryside with our huge 46 ft long semi-trailer decked out with everything we need to go racing at this elite level. As always, we welcome aboard any potential new sponsors to the sport.
Sprint-cars are like chopper big engines — big noise and big fat rear tyres — the two just go hand in hand. My engines produce insane power — 900 hp in a car that weighs 600 kilos — the power-to-weight ratio is just crazy.
Lastly, I would like to mention one of my best mates, Scott Darley. Scott was the person who taught me how to TIG weld in the first place, and without him, I would never have been able to build one of the sleekest choppers in Australia. He was always interested in seeing how the bike was progressing. “Mate,” he’d said, “that is one bad bike. You’ve become a top welder and fabricator.” Unfortunately, Scott tragically lost his life in a sprint-car crash here in Sydney at the age of 28 and never got to see the finished masterpiece. Our very last sprint-car race together was the Grand Final round of the Track Championship which I won and Scott finished second. It doesn’t get any better when you’re at the top of your game with your best mate. To him I say, “Rest in peace, mate.”
You’ll see more photos of Marty’s Chopper at Sarah with Elegance.
Photos by Wall 2 Wall; words by Marty Periodic