What I do know is that this bike called I.R.I.S. built by Bronson Willard of Southern Metal Choppers in lovely Austin, Texas, kinda falls into that chicken versus egg thing, but not in the usual way. And “NOOOOOOOO!” before all you self-righteous keepers of the true riding faith start pecking away at your key boards of eternal death, this bike was not built for cross-country touring or fast day rides or the occasional bar hop or even riding at all. Well at least in this dimension as we know it. It’s not even really a show bike either unless you happen to be a big video game company like Twisted Pixel Games who wanted a 3-D replica of a bike they intended to be the digitized star of a not-yet released video game called LocoCycle. First a quick bit of back ground on I.R.I.S. (Please note this background is all untrue as far as real life goes, but unequivocally correct in cyber world according to Wikipedia.) “It graduated from Big Arms Academy’s School of Assassination as valedictorian. The bike can perform over 40 forms of combat and speaks 50 languages. It can also travel a mile in 20 seconds (180 mph) and can cloak.”
All that video stuff aside, Bronson was in his shop one day minding his own business when the reps from Twisted Pixel and Legacy Effects (known for their work in more movies you know of than you can shake a fake stick at) approached him about making their digital diva come to life as we know it. “The bike was already created by Twisted Pixel for a video game that was already in progress, so we had to keep true to their design. It was difficult because of working with a video game design and a special effects company that was in California. They flew to Texas and scanned the frame and motor we had made, so we could work together states away,” said Bronson. “We had to modify the first original frame layout to match up with the body Legacy Effects came up with to fit the form. And also modify it again to fit the body once it got to Texas. We were on a time crunch and only had a few days to finish it when the body showed up.”
Like all things Hollywood, time was of the essence as Bronson said,” Legacy Effects help of making the body saved us time and helped get the bike done on time. The hardest part was the front end and the dual wheels. We made the front end completely out of 2.5” aluminum bar stock. It was hard to figure out how to make it, but it was dead on.” In case any of you are wondering for some reason, there’s supposedly a 650cc engine underneath there somewhere and my totally-uninformed guess is it’s from a Suzuki Savage. Hey, I’m just totally guessing, but it is a single-cylinder so packaging might be a little easier in the tight confines of this complex shape. If I find out I’m completely wrong on that guess, I will hold my head down in shame for 30 seconds and then go on with whatever I do in real life which is about as exciting as what a Suzuki Savage does in real life.
All right all you keepers of the truth, now you want to know is this a real bike and is Bronson Willard a real builder. The answer to the first question is true to a certain extent. This bike does exist in the world we live in and is on exhibit at Twisted Pixel in Austin, Texas. Here’s a little LocoCycle preview for you game freaks.
Yeah, I know this is not a typical article of the day, but I gotta give Bronson Willard and Southern Metal Choppers credit for being cool enough to make a buck or two during some not-so-easy times. Bronson’s no one-trick pony and I bet this bike is finished a lot better than most Hollywood–type props. As far as how this bike is to ride, Bronson says tongue-in-cheek, “You will have to play the game to see how it handles.”
Be sure to check back into www.barnettharley.com tomorrow when we showcase what we’d have to now refer to as a conventional build from Southern Metal Choppers and you can see the fine work Bronson turns out on custom motorcycles that have never been a valedictorian or able to speak 50 languages. Yup, just a custom motorcycle that you not only lovingly look at in your garage with a cold one to accompany you, but a bike you can rip through the gears on to. In the meantime, you can check out http://southernmetalcustomcycles.com/ for yourself and make up your own mind.