Color Splashed Bad Boy Bobber

Written by  Story By Todd Brady Photos By Jack “Up State New York Away!” Cofano Saturday, 12 August 2017 15:57
Published in Bobbers
Color splashing is a photographer’s technique that takes a black and white photo or video and adds (usually) a single splash of color to highlight an area or thing(s) they wanted you to see. It seems to have been used often in TV commercials where they’re trying to make what they’re pushing stand out. Even though you might think that’s what’s going on here after looking at the lead photo with it’s purple splash grabbing your attention, it’s not. That’s exactly the way the bike itself looks in real time, the background was just black- and white-ed out like an old photo.The purple splashes are real.


   To me anyway, purple is one of those dangerous colors that can make or break a paintjob. Use the wrong hue or maybe too much of it and it’s only satisfying to purple freaks of which there are quite a few of you out there. Many times I had people ask, “What Harleys have you got in purple?” That was the most important question, not what model or the cost, but was it available in purple. There are a very few colors you couldn’t give me on a motorcycle (are you listening brown?) if it was a good enough deal, but overall I’ve found I could live with a lot of ‘em and maybe even eventually like them. Purple is on my watch list, but I’ve got absolutely no qualms with what’s been done here. 

    The rest of this build is absolutely peachy as far as I’m concerned. The hardtail frame, the stance, the modern springer, the cool seating for two and, of course, those nutty-cool aggressively curved apes all set the stage for a nice build. The proportions are right and nothing looks like it didn’t have thought behind it before being used. The highly-chromed DNA springer only adds to the bad boy attitude and looks. You may have never owned or even ridden a springer, but you know they’re cool and that’s all that counts. Everybody loves a springer like everybody loves a classic Panhead. I know I do. 

  I wish I could have read the engine numbers to see what the hell it is, but I can’t. I do think this a nicely built up V-twin from the looks of its tidiness and builder care in presenting it to its best. I’m still a little on the fence about the purple engine touches, but, hey, I didn’t build it or own it so that’s just personal opinion. It’s not a deal breaker by any means as I’m sure I could acclimate to liking the purple bits after the first good twist of the throttle. 

   The sound coming out of those twin stepped-header exhausts that curve all around like a couple of symmetrical snakes has got to be voluminously satisfying except to the local constables and maybe a neighborhood or two. In case you didn’t notice, this is not a stealth machine and would be its polar opposite. I like that. Same goes for the ultra wide open belt primary. There’s no pretense of this just trying to be an exact Old School build and the open belt drive brings its own bad ass hot rod vibe to the build front and center. Mile-high apes, big-ass motor, open pipes and a big open belt primary say bad boy without saying a thing. 

   There’s no front brake, but there’s no hand shifter/foot clutch setup like you might expect to find on a tough guy build like this. I can see it would be a long reach from the apes to a hand shifter so maybe that’s the reason. Or maybe the owner rides this enough that conventional shifting won out over the badness aspect. Just looking at this bike it really seems to be about being easy to ride and enjoy bopping around urban streets while trying to keep your inner hooligan side in check. Sometimes you just gotta go a bit crazy and hoon it up. Can’t fault a guy for that, can ya?

   I do really dig the purple spoked wheels and that surprises me. I’m not a flashy guy, but those pretty wheels could change my mind. The bigger-than-classic-size 23-inch front wheel does not look the least bit out of place in a traditional build. Like I said, the builder maintained good proportions and good taste especially in the wheels. Modern rubber with a sporty profile might not look Old School, but it’s gotta ride and steer really nice. Since riding is still what it’s all about to me in the first place, I actually prefer tires like this for what they can do in a tight curve versus a cool looking classic tire like a Firestone Deluxe Champion

  Out back another similarly finished and appointed wheel, this time an 18-incher, allows the use of a tire that’s a Goldilocks –perfect width for looks and handling. This bike should really be able to scoot around town, not just parade around. A big as rotor and caliper provide the only braking other than engine-braking you’ll find on this bike. Under the right conditions it’s okay, but otherwise give me two brakes anytime. It does look like there’s a provision on the purple front hub to add a rotor and maybe finish the rest of the setup in the future. 

   The builder made a very smart and good-looking rear fender choice and it’s cut nicely to fit. There’s actually adequate protection for the passenger that the builder prominently made a part of this whole deal. I still like seeing people ride two up and having a blast. But the piece de resistance of this whole build for me is the fuel tank. 

   I love repurposed Harley-Davidson fuel tanks from their long-lost Italian Aermacchi takeover. The shape of any of those two-stroke tiddler tanks just seems to fit big bikes better than small ones. This tank which is off an early ‘70s 125cc Harley Aermacchi Rapido looks killer especially in the deep gloss black it’s finished in. It really brings out the shape and the complexity of a design that seems so straightforward at first glance. It looks great, it’s finished great and it’s a genuine Harley piece from a period long forgotten. 

   So here’s to you purple guy. You not only built a good looking, nicely made and nice riding bobber in always lovely black and chrome, but you knew exactly how to liven it up and make it a one of a kind custom without going overboard. I’d love to see what you’re building next, but I got a feeling you’re a little too busy riding the living hell out of this bike every chance you get. Your blued header pipes are not something to be ashamed of, as far as I’m concerned they’re your badge of honor.

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