The term “Bare Bones Special” takes on a whole new meaning when applied to this bike designed by Tako of Sickasso Cycle Creations of West Hollywood, Florida. Starting with a special Race Innovations “Spinal Cord” softail frame, Tako heavily modified it by cutting part of the backbone out and making it into a drop seat frame. Leftover spinal cord was modified into an oil tank mounted directly below the seat, keeping the skeleton feeling alive. “We cut off the swingarm and made it a rigid,” said Tako. How understated, the bones theme was continued with what appears to be real shinbones and fibulas now holding the back wheel in place. The look and feel of old bones has been captured in the heavily textured, cracked bone finish applied by SCC and covered with a flat clearcoat for an authentic bonafide effect. I may want to stare at the frame’s finish, but I sure as hell don’t want to touch it. It really does look like it was made from something dug up from the ground and I don’t mean iron ore.
The other main design element is the beautifully formed and heavily chromed rib cage that encompasses the human organ inspired containers underneath. Hey, did I see that thing breathing? Sure looks like it could. Actually, supplying combustible fluid to the very healthy 124” TP engine is what this “organ” is all about. That show piece of an engine, with its stunningly beautiful, chromed skull air cleaner, should bellow through its Martin Brothers Slickstas exhaust (is this the only “stock item” used other than the tires?) All that TP power is connected to a six-speed tranny by a wide belt drive, with an intricate skull and bones design belt guard, which spins that massive rear wheel. Tako had Paughco (sorry, couldn’t resist) supply the majority of front end parts with the airy springer and very tall apes contributing to the overall stripped bones look. The skull design wheels by Xtreme Machine are stopped by PM brakes in the back and Paughco brakes back at the front. I doubt they’ll see a lot of use, but just in case…
Normally I’m not a big fan of gold plating, usually a bit too much for my taste, but in this case it doesn’t seem out of place. Contrasting nicely with the chrome and polished pieces, its subtle effect softens the potentially hard metallic look. I think I know where Tako borrowed this successful look from, “Arlen is my idol, he’s the king of bike building as far as I’m concerned,” stated Tako. No surprise there. Attention to the tiniest detail is also Ness-like. Whether it’s the bony hand shifter, the sculpted foot controls, or the wild kickstand acting as useful jewelry, nothing’s taken for granted. The thin red, skull-emblazoned seat by Hi-Tech upholsters the frame elegantly and also gives its owner, Eddie Marin of Davie, Florida, a place to park his ass. Look closely and you’ll see a restrained skull background in the deep red paint on the tire hugging rear fender and the gas tanks. This bike just draws you in to see all the details and, like I said, the details’ details. Keep lookin’.
The Bones Bike has done exactly what it’s supposed to, winning first place at the 2005 Daytona Rat’s Hole Show for Most Unusual Bike. Why is that not a surprise? What is a pleasant surprise is that it also won a trip to Germany for Tako and his creation to be shown to a whole new audience and the industry respect that comes with that.
“Open the door, I’m coming,” said Tako. What he was really referring to is that we’ll all be seeing a lot more of him and Sickasso Cycle Creations in the future. You can take that to the bank (say hi to Tako for me when you get there).
Obviously, Tako is not your average custom builder. He didn’t build this bike to tour Grand Teton someday or to run to the store for a six-pack, he built this to win shows and gain some fame and notoriety for himself as a designer and builder of outrageous two-wheeled machinery. Tako, you’ve accomplished the first part of the fame and notoriety thing.
For more info on Tako and Sickasso Cycle Creations, speak with the man directly at 954-985-2467 or meander on over to his website at www.sickasso.com. Don’t let his home page image intimidate you, he might hate that I say this, but he’s a really a nice guy.
You Say Picasso, I Say Sickasso…
I don’t know about you, but I love being wrong when it’s in my favor. Case in point, I’m checking out the website of Sickasso Cycles for this feature story and the first thing that pops up is a rather large, very muscular fellow with a shaved head, tattoos, a bit of bling, and apparently he’s telling me he thinks he’s number one, but he’s using the wrong finger. Directly underneath his picture it states, “WE BUILD ATTITUDES CAUSE WE CAN!” And I gotta interview this guy? Man, if I screw up, he’ll kick my ass.
Well, I was dead wrong as Tako turned out to be articulate, funny, intelligent, and above all, a very cool guy who knows where he’s been and where he’s going. Originally coming from a none-too satisfying background in auto body repair in New York, Tako got to learn the skills needed for more imaginative projects than collision repair. He moved on to custom cars, eventually getting featured in magazines like Car Craft before moving to Florida where he dabbled in custom motorcycles. Not for long. Acquiring customers for his customs came rather easily and soon it became a pleasurable full time occupation. Sickasso Cycle Creations is the end result of a long journey that I think is only beginning. Mark my words; Tako is destined to become a household word in the custom business (especially the TV world) as he is a fascinating character who makes you want to experience more of him. Right now he’s on the fringes of TV stardom and he’s totally into becoming a superstar of custom motorcycles, “I want to become a household name like OCC.” I don’t have any problem with that and I wish anyone hoping to ride the current wave the very best. Abuse the privilege, as long as the bikes still come first.
I don’t think, for all his humorous, but sincere self-promoting, that Tako is not going to take care of business first. He only builds about four bikes a year as he insists that, “I don’t have to be on TV to build bikes. Even when customers ask me to, I refuse to build a bike like the last one, I‘m not into getting stuck in a particular ‘style,’ I want to be able to do whatever I want. All my bikes are totally different.” One look at his website will show you how he hasn’t pigeon-holed himself into a style like some famous builders have. “I want to be the best, not just good. No cookie cutter bikes for me. I’m not interested in production numbers, that’s not why I got into this. Building bikes that stand out is what’s important,” said Tako. Yeah, Sickasso is “Taking Care of Business,” Elvis would have been proud.
Armed with the showmanship (and physique) of a good wrestler and the imagination and skills of a great builder, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Tako and Sickasso Cycle Creations in the near future whether on TV or in magazines. Tako puts it best, “The door has been opened and I’m coming in.”