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Parking Lot Bike of the week
The toughest part of owning this wild and whacky-cool motorcycle has to be when a bystander without the slightest clue asks you what it is. After spouting off, “It’s a Confederate G2 P51 Combat Fighter” you can’t help but see the still puzzled look on their face as they still don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. I mean it’s not like Confederates are mainstream in any way even though they’ve been around in various versions for the past 25-years. That’s a hugely long time in the custom motorcycle world, but you just have might as well told them it’s a Roosevelt C-Dash 505A Flying Wing as I’m sure they’ve never heard of that one either as I just made it up.
Published in Racers
So, what’s a poor lad to do when you’ve finally got that Sportster of your retro-dreams, a brand new 2016 Seventy-Two, and it’s not special enough for you? Oh I know you’d think Harley’s most serious ode to the choppers of the ‘70s especially when it’s slathered in heavy metal flake paint would scratch that itch. But, no matter how much you scratch with all the retro styling Harley dares to offer, it’s still a production bike and it’s just not special enough to make you feel like you really stand out in a crowd of Sportsters. You do what every red-blooded American would do since the dawn of the 20th century ─ customize the hell out of it.
Over the years I can’t help but notice how big guys love small things. Big guys love small cars although I have no idea why as it’s got to be a tough fit, but I’ve seen a lot of big guys get out of small cars like an Austin-Healey Sprite or something similar and the look on their face shows they couldn’t be happier. No, not for getting out of it, but owning and driving it. Or in my bike shop, the biggest, bad ass bikers would be crawling around the floor trying to play with my shop Chihuahua. That’s something I never ever expected to see, but it always happened. There’s some allure of small things to big guys and this bike is no different.
One of the biggest problems Buell motorcycles tried and failed to over come before its untimely demise back in 2009 was its name. Other than Erik Buell himself, I don’t think anybody was too thrilled buying something called a Buell when it could (and should) have been Harley-Davidson. Yeah, I know they were supposedly two different companies, but c’mon now, what would you rather tell somebody you owned? I’ll give you my first guess and it isn’t a Buell. That’s nothing against Mr. Buell or even the basic idea around his sporty concoctions, but there’s no name like Harley-Davidson to give you street cred and no amount of imaginative re-engineering of the motorcycle that made Milwaukee famous could make up for that.
So, if you’re tuning in and maybe didn’t catch yesterday’s article of the top ten sales of the Mecum Motorcycle Auction in Las Vegas this past January 25-28, you can always time travel back to yesterday via the Internet and read about those six-figure or close-to-it vintage bikes. Today, though, we’ll look at bikes that struck my fancy. Yes, it’s that simple a judging on my part with no pretense as being the absolute best buys or perfectly correct and ready for professional judging. There certainly was a lot to like and you can see them all on www.mecum.com if that’d be more interesting than my choices. Up to you, I’m just plowing ahead and hoping for the best.
Published in 2017 EVENTS
Before you read one more word you must check out Jack Cofano’s photo gallery of this stunning ’48 Panhead to have the slightest chance to understand where this is all going. Go ahead, I’ll wait . . . Alrighty then, you’re back and I’m sure you had your eyeballs doing the eyeball dance over that graffiti/comic book-style Day of the Dead-inspired paintjob. Yes sir, it’s quite a duesy and worth taking the time to really check out as perfect image symmetry is not what this paintjob is about. The approach the artist took in both style and technique are different than the typical work of art airbrushing than can often duplicate the quality of a perfect digital photo. Something different is going on here but I don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?
Published in Bobbers
You know it’s absolutely criminal how some people treat their bikes. I mean, who hasn’t seen a nice late model bike that looks like it spent its life being hated instead of loved? Somehow it’s especially hard to take when it’s a Harley-Davidson that’s someone’s used and abused. It’s its own form of mechanical domestic violence, but unlike the other abuse which has none, it has its good points. Many an unwitting owner has provided the fodder for a nice custom build and that’s exactly what we’ve got here.
Sometimes the story going on behind a motorcycle build is just about as interesting as a beautiful build. Take this retro-modern 1998 Harley-Davidson built by Prism Supply Co. for instance. It’s a clean build using relatively modern bits to make an Old School statement without trying to be the poster bike for that period. When I look at it I see the silhouette of custom bikes that I saw being actively ridden on the street back in the day more than any radical Arlen Ness creation you saw in magazines. In making a more timely reference, it’s more Billy Bike than Captain America and I always liked Billy’s better anyway. It’s a classic chopper profile that’s probably close to what somebody might draw if they were told to sketch a chopper. It’s a nice modern ride with historical style points as part of the deal.
Published in Bobbers
Judging by the response we get at Barnett’s Magazine Online whenever we put up a custom from the single-digit aughts of the 21st century TV choppers, there are still a majority of people wanting some from this crazy late model golden era of outrageous chops. Just when you think the long and long fat rear tire bikes that characterized what a modern custom was are just a note in chopper history, the audience for them still seems to be out there and strong as ever. I often wonder if it’s just chopper lust that never got fulfilled when these bikes were new and too pricey for most to afford. You know, people who had custom fantasies and a taste for the wild side of chopper TV, but were never able to afford it. But, it sure seems that a lot of them never lost the desire for that bike they wished they could’ve built and ridden through a sea of jealous admirers.
Published in Pro-Street
There’s an old British saying you’ve probably heard in passing but never gave it much thought or at least I didn’t. It goes like this ─ “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence in your shoe.” This little ditty I found out has to do with brides, weddings and other stuff I don’t know a lot about, but it fits perfectly here almost describing Ryan Gore’s mouthwatering retro-mod Harley-Davidson Panhead chop he built for the Artistry In Iron Show in Las Vegas to a tee. All of this took place in his shop in Grand Junction, Colorado, Paper Street Customs.
Published in Choppers