As you can see, what Mike had drawn was a curvaceously fanciful bike that incorporated original thinking and lots of fabrication to produce. The frame is more like an exoskeleton than an internal sub assembly and holds the required motivation pieces like exposed organs. The 8” out and 1” down frame swoops around like Walt Disney animators designed it and there’s not a straight line to be seen besides the required steering head, which hangs at a reach for the horizon 50-degrees. As Mike said about the size of the frame tubing, “It’s very big,” is somewhat of an understatement, the 2” tubing provides a stiff chassis for this spread out ride. Engineering his own swingarm that utilizes a monoshock adapted from a sprint car, he spent more time at his tubing bender until it gracefully mimicked the curve of the backbone before coming to a pointy end. Mounted under what appears to be a seat, it’s adjustable for preload and valiantly tries to cushion the shock of a triangular seat comprised tubing with an underlay of Lauan wood. Asked if it was somehow comfortable in a way I couldn’t comprehend, Mike bluntly said, “No, the monoshock is a very soft ride though. This is a bike you take down to your local bike night and shock everybody or take it to a show and win. It is what it is and it doesn’t bother me.” There’s also a matching wood insert in the swingarm and he said, “I wanted to give it a retro look like a woodie, the headlight I used looked like it was off an old boat so the wood mixed with metal gave me that aspect.”
Joining the fray of the meandering frame tubing is a striking front end straight out of Mike’s gray matter (see Up Close sidebar) that is not just a design statement, but a true working piece that incorporates hard numbers to provide correct rake and trail figures. With everything else he made, I’m surprised that Mike didn’t grab a couple of billet aluminum slabs and carve out his own wheels. The choice of Weld Racing Jet wheels adds a nice delicate touch to the look and helped him to finish this project from napkin to running motorcycle in four real world short weeks, just in time for the AMD Official World Championship in Sturgis this past summer. “I generally build a bike in four weeks,” said Mike. “I usually drop everything else on Earth and spend my life for a month getting it done.” Even though there’s a set of brakes front and rear, there wasn’t on the napkin. “I wasn’t going to do a front brake at all, but decided to go with the Pro-Tranz transmission brake,” he said. “I thought if the chain ever snaps, I’m not gonna have any brake at all and I’m gonna die or I’m gonna wreck the bike and really be peed off! So I took a rear GMA softail 2-piston setup and modified it to work up front.” A 300mm Metzeler does its best to break the chain out back while a skinny 90x21 Metzeler gives the chain a chance up front.
The reason for dual brakes might just be the 120” Ultima mill sitting in the center of this bike. Way more than adequate power is amped up by this big block for runs down to the local bike hangout. In case there’s a highway on the way there, a Trik Shift 6-speed keeps the revs and the vibes down to reasonable levels. Passing along expended torque from the crank is an open belt drive with an outer cover that is one of many intricate religious inspired designs (notice the shift rod) that Mike offers through his website. Doing its best to be like a supercharged church organ with all the pipes but a couple of bass ones removed is the Venom exhaust chosen by Mike to warn the locals he was on the move.
Finding bodywork is not an easy task and the containers for petroleum products are the only qualifying items present. The fuel tank hanging between the top frame rails was knocked out by Mike and gets you where you want to go, but don’t pull out a map and start daydreaming. Originally he planned an under the transmission oil tank, but a Twisted Choppers set at a jaunty angle up front just looked right to him. Everything was powdercoated except the tank that was painted by Mike and pal Brian Hensley.
WOOD N” SHOCK ME is now happily off with a new owner, but thanks to Mike’s dad Jim, he’s still got the napkin where it all began.