Barnett's Magazine (Articles 2011)

The Unknown Road King

Story By Alvoris Vambrosio Photos By Jack “I Wish I Was” Cofano Friday, 17 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 6 ]  | 
Like so many custom bikes we feature from shows where our photo lad, Mr. Jack Cofano, cannot find out who built or owns the custom bike he’s photographing, this one is also Unknown. But, as you might have noticed, I spelt unknown with a capital U and theoretically that’s incorrect except that it isn’t. The radical Road King you’re staring at was built by Unknown Customs in Gainesville, Georgia, with Greg Wingo at the helm. So, what are the odds of one more unknown custom bike built by somebody we know? Apparently pretty good I guess. 

1:1 Scale Hot Wheels Harley

Story By Geronimo Jones Photos By Jack “I’m All Alone And Happy” Cofano Wednesday, 15 November 2017 Comments [ 1 ] Gallery [ 6 ]  | 
Sometimes I feel like I’ve been left out of what most motorcycle riders’ memories of their youth involved things like collecting Mattel’s Hot Wheels and customizing Schwinn Stingrays. I never had any of that stuff as a kid. Not because my parents wouldn’t let me have them, but  because they hadn’t been introduced until I was way past having any interest in them. I was just about to get my first motorcycle when Stingrays came out in 1963. I had my own set of Hot Wheels when they came out in 1968 but mine had a V-twin engine, a real V-twin engine, so 1/64 scale models of funky cars or motorcycles held zero interest for me at the time. As you can easily surmise, I am an old dude.

Another One Bites The Dust

Story By Johnny Pants Photos By Jack “Story Of My Life” Cofano Tuesday, 14 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 5 ]  | 
Just like Queen’s famed chorus everybody knows, another Buell bites the dust. Surprising actually is that there are any left still basically stock as early steel-framed Buell were the donor bike of the early and mid 2000s. I mean, how could you beat dirt cheap, premium components and loads more power than a Harley-Davidson Sportster for a price less than just a Sporty motor by itself?

Count’s Kustoms Traditionally Outrageous Shovelhead Chop

Story By Vincenzo D. Vincenzo Photos By Jack “Speak Nicely About Italians” Cofano Monday, 13 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 8 ]  | 
   Danny “The Count” Koker didn’t need a TV show like his current History Channel show, Counting Cars, to make a name for himself. He already had as Count Cool Rider, horror movie host of Las Vegas’ KVCW’s Saturday Fright At The Movies, and a running legacy of building crazy cool custom bikes and cars. Count Cool Rider morphed into The Count and the rest is history.  

Slammin' Southwest Shovelhead

By Buck Manning and photos by Joe Yezzi Saturday, 11 November 2017 Comments [ 2 ] Gallery [ 62 ]  | 
Given a little time, it’s always amazing how your mind can, to paraphrase an old saying, turn sh*t into Shinola and make something you once felt sucked into an object of desire. For instance, take the infamous 1969-1981 AMF era at Harley-Davidson. Buying a new Harley then was a definite crapshoot as AMF’s total reorganization of production along with a decimated workforce and resulting strikes caused quality control problems that almost shuttered Milwaukee’s Vatican of V-twins forever. Back then I hardly gave an AMF-tagged bike a cursory look other than a few particular models. But, there were actually quite a few AMF-introduced features we take for granted on a Harley today. Oh little things like alternators (’70), disc brakes (’72), cast aluminum wheels (’77), electronic ignition (’78), rubber engine mounts (‘’80), Kevlar belt final drive (’80), and a five-speed transmission (’80) to name a few. Or, iconic production models such as the ’71 FX Super Glide, ’77 XLCR Café Racer, ’77 FXS Low Rider, ’80 FXB Sturgis, and ’80 FLT Tour Glide (if your favorite model was left out, I apologize telepathically). I never thought it could happen, but today I look at an AMF boat tail with lust and not disgust.

Everything You Know Is Wrong

Story By Johnny Pants Photos By Jack “Except Me” Cofano Friday, 10 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 4 ]  | 
  What you see is not always what you get is an old saying that certainly holds true here. On a cursory glance of the .jpg of the right side of this bike I thought it was some cool old crock and decided to check it out. Then I noticed it and felt a bit surprised at myself for not having seen it like some kind of Harley expert would in a half-a-millisecond. The bulbous primary of a Sportster engine from the infamous AMF era was a “Hey!” moment. There was a lot more going on here than some nice old bike. 

Lord Drake Kustoms’ Big Block Kafé Racer

By Buck Manning Photos by Jack “DON’T SPELL MY NAME WITH A K!” Kofano Wednesday, 08 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 15 ]  | 
  So it took me by surprise when I finally noticed that the cool café Sportster (or what I automatically assumed was a Sportster) was not a Sportster at all, but a big-boy, big-block rubber-mount Harley Dyna that had gone under the cosmetic surgery knife of Lord Drake Kustoms.

Chop Doc’s Choppers Old School Chop

By Vincenzo D. Vincenzo Jr. Photos by Jack “Old School Before Old School” Cofano Tuesday, 07 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 10 ]  | 
  Old School, Old School, Old School. I hear it all the time from people describing their custom bikes. “It’s got an Old School look.” It’s got an Old School feel.” It’s got Old School paint.” “It’s got Old School touches.” Whatever. If I let my imagination really go wild, I can see what they’re trying to intimate to me, but often what they’re talking about is a personalized late model Harley-Davidson like a Road King with a fishtail exhaust and some pinstriping or a Sportster with very tall ape hangers and short header wrap open headers. Not exactly what I think of when I think Old School, but what do I know anyway?

It’s Not What You Think

Story By Alvoris Vambrosio Photos By Jack “I Prefer Knuckleheads” Cofano Monday, 06 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 7 ]  | 
Sometimes it doesn’t take too much to lose interest in checking out a chopper. Could be a color you hate or a style you don’t care for or maybe just finding out what you thought was something is not that something at all. There’s also a good chance finding the deep, dark secret doesn’t mean a thing to you either. I think that’s exactly the case you’re looking at here. 

The Red Phone’s Ringing

Story By Tyler Durden Photos By Jack “Movie Editor” Cofano Thursday, 02 November 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 6 ]  | 
  Sitting in my office innocently staring out the window at nothing in particular I’m lost in motorcycle thought. The soundtrack of a rumbling Harley-Davidson Milwaukee Eight 117 engine running through my head from a recent ride to nowhere in particular keeps me entertained until the red phone ringing brought me back to earth in an instant. It’s a direct line to the 32nd floor office of Barnett Harley-Davidson’s General Manager Mark Barnett. Nervously picking up the phone, I immediately hear, “I want more mildly-modified Harleys!” followed by a click and a dial tone. The boss has spoken.

Vintage Never Grows Old

Story by Buck Manning and photos by Horst Rosler Tuesday, 31 October 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 16 ]  | 
Back when Y2K was the feared catchword of the day because flipping the calendar over to 2000 was supposed to wreak havoc on life as we knew it, a couple of Deuces were unleashed on the public. Dos Deuces? Yup, the first one was the much heralded introduction of the Harley-Davidson’s new Softail chassis with a counterbalanced Twin Cam 88 that famously featured the first Motor Company-stretched tank along with the fattest rear tire ever offered by Harley, a humongous 160mm x 17! Yeah, I guess that’s not gonna impress anyone today, but there were other over-the-top style points like the smooth chrome dash panel and another factory first, chromed fork legs. Willie G. got all kinds of accolades for bringing such a radical project to production. The FXSTD left a legacy of people who either still speak of their Deuce with respect and the hope of owning a future classic or a majority that didn’t give a damn. Deuce DNA lives on today in the gas tank of the Rocker, which has ably taken over as the current love/hate Harley factory custom. Oh, right, the other Y2K Deuce was Rob Schneider as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo whose movie tagline kinda fit what most H-D critics felt about the FXSTD, “He's not very good looking. But when the lights go out...he's still not very good looking.” Well that’s probably not fair to Willie G., but there were a lot of unloved new Deuces sitting on showroom floors before their final demise in 2007.

Twelve Feet Of Rompin’ Stompin’ Freewheeler

Story By Fidel Sassoon Photos By Jack “Chillin’ On The Veranda” Cofano Sunday, 29 October 2017 Comments [ 1 ] Gallery [ 7 ]  | 
    Well it’s about damn time Barnett’s Magazine Online is featuring a custom trike and it’s even better it’s based on a Motor Company-built trike and not a conversion. We’ve been hoping to feature more custom trikes especially since the introduction of Harley-Davidson’s Tri Glide and especially the sporty Freewheeler model, but they’ve been a little far and few over the past couple of years.

Copper And Black Heart Attack

Story By Tyler Durden Photos By Jack “I’m Back!” Cofano Friday, 27 October 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 6 ]  | 
 Apparently you readers and Facebookers have gotten the attention of Barnett H-D’s GM, the always affable Mark Barnett, with your call for more lightly modified Harley-Davidsons versus the wild and whacky radical customs we often showcase. Now it’s never been clearly defined to me what those people were asking for. Is it a selection of nicely bolted-on chrome bits with a wild and loud exhaust or is it fairly-warmed-over stockers that involves more than a small wrench and screw driver to customize?

2017 Las Vegas BikeFest ─ The Bikes Part Two

Story And Photos By Jack Cofano Thursday, 26 October 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
The Las Vegas BikeFest has always showcased some of the best custom motorcycles in the country. This year was no different. The Artistry in Iron Master Builders Championship has always been a premier bike show at the BikeFest but there was much more to see.

2017 Las Vegas BikeFest ─ The Bikes Part One

Story And Photos By Jack Cofano Wednesday, 25 October 2017 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
The Las Vegas BikeFest has always showcased some of the best custom motorcycles in the country. This year was no different. The Artistry in Iron Master Builders Championship has always been a premier bike show at the BikeFest but there was much more to see.
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