Barnett's Magazine (Articles 1993)

Indian Larry's "Daddy-O" The Rat Fink Bike

Story by Buck Manning and photos by Rodent and Rolling Chrome Friday, 24 September 2004 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 5 ]  | 
Inspiration can be defined as someone or something that moves the intellect or emotions of another and prompts action or invention. Flying high above the earth on a jet back to New York City, Indian Larry was inspired to dedicate his Biker Build Off project as a tribute to the late, great Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. Big Daddy was an early influence on him by virtue of his outrageous artwork, magnificent mechanical creations, and Bohemian lifestyle. “I had designed 99% of the Rat Fink bike by the time the plane landed and after discussing my idea with Paul, 95% of that design stayed in the bike at the end,” said Indian Larry. “I like everything about that bike, Roth was so in your face with his art and lifestyle and that’s what this bike is too. I’m very happy how it turned out,” said Indian Larry.

A tribute to the Sportster

Story by Diana Learn and photos by Greg Shepherd of Photography by Greg Friday, 24 September 2004 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 18 ]  | 
James and Derrick of Extreme Trailers & Choppers in Umatilla, FL love Sportsters.

Perewitz Softail Mardi Gras

Story by Buck Manning and photos by Mark Langello Friday, 24 September 2004 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 74 ]  | 
Sleepy little towns can hide some strange goings on, things not immediately visible on a quick, first observation. Thirty miles south of Boston, Massachusetts is the quiet town of Bridgewater, home to a small state college and a tidy town square. Not much else appears to be happening of any great significance there, but oh you would be so wrong. No, it’s not a setting for a Stephen King novel or a made for TV tragically fictitious love story, although it could be. If you’ve watched Discovery Channel’s Biker Build Off 2 you’ve already visited there- sort of. In that Billy Lane/Dave Perewitz episode, one can’t forget that snow covered driveway scene where a Harley, headlights on, pulls up to an unassuming building in the dark, wee hours of the morning. That building is in Bridgewater and is the home of Perewitz Cycle Fabrications where Dave Perewitz is continuing to make his mark on the custom world. All this wonderful silliness started way back in 1967 when Dave tore apart and customized his first bike, a just bought ’64 Sportster. It hasn’t stopped since. Bridgewater has never been the same. In nearby Connecticut, Gene Zordin gets to ride the beautiful tree and stonewall lined country roads on his Perewitz ‘04 Softail-Stealth featured on these pages. His appreciation of Cycle Fabrication’s motto of “Art in Motion” led him to purchase this stunning PPG red ride as an endorsement of Dave’s personal custom theory, “My bikes are meant to endure as art, investment, and a reliably powerful ride.” The twisting back roads flow smoothly between old farms and the TP 124-inch engine, Dave’s favorite, has the strong pull of power needed to bring them closer together. How close depends on how much Gene dives into the throttle. Luckily for him, it’s easy to tell exactly how much throttle he’s using as the new Perewitz/TCX Signature series pipes instantly relay that information. Not only do they add to the windswept look of the bike, but they are excellent performers as well. Dave insists on that, “I don’t do crazy stuff, I want every bike to be a real rider and so do my customers, they really use them. One hundred percent of them are riders and driven daily.” Well, as often as that sometimes-awful New England weather allows. The Baker RSD six-speed transmission always provides the right gear for these back road excursions and for fast highway cruising when you’ve aimlessly wandered too far from home and you’ve got to get back there quickly “or else.’’ We’ve all used up our excuses for why we cruised too far and too late so it’s nice to be able to hit the highway and crank it on and live to make the same “mistake” again and again. Power from the engine to the tranny is by BDL and finally to Dave’s signature Right Side Drive. Putting all this power to pavement is a clean set of tri-spoke (actually six spokes, but harmoniously working in pairs) 18-inch wheels by PM with a meaty 250 Avon in back pushing a 110 Avon in front. When it’s time to call for Mr. Wizard because that curve outlined by a stonewall is fast approaching, PM brakes step up to the plate and safely control the action through PM hand and foot controls. “My customers often don’t know what they really want or need when they first come to me for a bike. I try to work with them, but I’ve been doing this a long time and I know what works and what doesn’t and take it from there,” said Dave. The exact opposite of Bridgewater is New Orleans, home of that infamous pre-Lenten party known as Mardi Gras. This annual festival is loud, filled with crazy floats and wild, colorful parade participants in various stages of transgressions, legal and otherwise. Festive to say the least. Mardi Gras is a very apt name for this custom with it’s striking paint by Jay and Dave and the very complex artwork by Keith Hanson. This gorgeous paint job is displayed on a sleek Perewitz tank with an air cleaner design that gracefully mimics its’ lines exactly and graceful fenders by Dave and Russ Wennimont. All this is supported by a Daytec soft tail frame with a Daytec oil tank contributing to the mix. And what a stylish mix it is, topped off by a Perewitz taillight on one end and a Headwinds head light with mini, design-complimenting, turn signals on the other. New England’s frost plagued roads are tamed by the clean Joey Perse forks and EMS rear suspension. Reasonable custom frame geometry makes it all a pleasure to ride at any speed. “I don’t get to ride as much as I’d like to now with the way things are going crazy, but when I do I want it to be comfortable and reliable. My Biker Build Off bike ran flawlessly from Pensacola, Florida to Dallas, Texas and that was only built in thirty days. My customers expect theirs to be perfect and they get it. My whole crew here works hard and everybody cares about what they’re doing, I respect all of them,” said Dave. With all the care in building and attention to the smallest details, like it’s namesake, Mardi Gras is always ready and able to party. Dave’s had quite a year and things are only looking better for the future of Perewitz Cycle Fabrications. Business is booming. Biker Build Off 2 showed millions of viewers why he is such a highly regarded custom builder and quite a character, too with his “wicked” sense of Yankee humor and a unique New England accent delivering his lines. “I had a great time and look forward to doing it again, especially the ride after. Yeah, we New Englanders sure know how to have fun,” Dave said referring to the extrovert group of accompanying riders from his shop. Being named Easyrider and V-Twin magazines “Best Custom Fabricated Bike Builder” for 2003 hasn’t hurt either. “Yeah, it’s a different world now than when I officially started my business in 1974, everything’s so high tech and costly and the quality of the work is amazing. I still enjoy every minute of it though and look forward to the future,” said Dave. To this end, he’s preparing his new 12,000 square foot shop for it’s grand opening this September. “I still don’t plan to do more than the 12 to15 customs a year I already do now, they’re so time consuming to do,” said Dave. He does expect to be able to handle more Internet sales of parts and apparel along with an anticipated growth of walk-in customers and mail order. Helping out with all of this growth has become a family affair with Dave’s wife, Susan, his son, Jesse, and daughters, Jody and Jaren also working at Perewitz Cycle Fabrication. “I’d just like to thank my entire crew, everybody’s contributed to our growth and success. Yeah, they’re a great bunch of people,” said Dave. Personally, I’m kind of surprised he forgot to mention his beloved shop dogs, Smitty and Sebago, so I’ll thank them for him. Like Mardi Gras’s owner, Gene Zordin, if the idea of “Art in Motion” appeals to you also, you can contact Perewitz Cycle Fabrications at www.perewitz.com or call them at 508-586-2511. Tell Dave we sent you, he’d get a kick out of that.

Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party

Story by Buck Manning Friday, 24 September 2004 Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
Story appeared in the September-October 2004 issue of Barnett's Magazine.

Redwood Run 2004

Story by Darla Pyles, Rolling Chrome Friday, 24 September 2004 Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
Story appeared in the September-October 2004 issue of Barnett's Magazine.

12th Annual Swiss Love Ride

Story by Sedrick C. Mitchell Friday, 24 September 2004 Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
Story appeared in the September-October 2004 issue of Barnett's Magazine.

Blue Agave Perewitz Style

Story by Mark Masker and photos by Frank Avonzo Monday, 24 May 2004 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 22 ]  | 
Ron Landers’ hardtail bike is like great tequila—it runs smooth and sneaks up on you (minus the nasty hangover in the morning). As Dave Perewitz’s fabrication point man, Ronnie has ample motive and opportunity to build just about any bike he wants but when it came to his personal ride, he chose to make this clean rigid with the look of a slammed softail.

Echelon Fusion

Story by Diana Learn and photos by Mark Langello Monday, 24 May 2004 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 37 ]  | 
Its been years since Robert Brown, the founder and president of Echelon Motorcycle Company has had a bike of his own. You know what they say – the plumber’s sink leaks, the mechanic’s car doesn’t run and the bike builder doesn’t have a bike of his own. Robert decided that it was time to change that. He also realized that some Echelon R&D was in order, so the project was scheduled.
It takes a trusting soul to turn over a large chunk of money to a builder with only a promise of “trust me, you will love it.” It takes even more extreme trust when that money is exchanged long distance, and the customer can’t check up on his project.

Wizard Rocket Ship

Story Tim Hanlon and photos by Don Rogers Monday, 24 May 2004 Comments [ 0 ] Gallery [ 20 ]  | 
When your nickname is the Wizard you had better be able to back yourself up with some skills. Judging from the images of this wacked out hardtail rocket ship. Bob Phillip of Bob Phillip Design can certainly claim that title.

V-Twin Expo Review

Story by Diana Learn Monday, 24 May 2004 Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
Story appeared in the May-June 2004 issue of Barnett's Magazine.

International Motorcycle Show

Story by Eric Bass and photos by Alfonse Palaima Monday, 24 May 2004 Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
Story appeared in the May-June 2004 issue of Barnett's Magazine.

San Francisco Rod, Custom and Motorcycle show

Story by Eric Bass and photos by Sarah Theiss Monday, 24 May 2004 Gallery [ 0 ]  | 
Story appeared in the May-June 2004 issue of Barnett's Magazine.
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