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Parking Lot Bike of the week
Not everybody is rolling in dough these days even though things have been on the up and up economically for a while now. Sometimes things just run a bit tight now for a lot of us who do their best to get by, but aren’t flush with cash or credit as they once were. Just because you don’t have access to huge funds doesn’t mean you can’t have a custom bike that’ll bring on the eyeballs while actually functioning as daily transportation. Sure, some of it may come down to how much work you (or your friends) are capable of, but even then there are ways to build a hot rod runabout you’d be proud to call your own.
Some builders’ bikes become more than just one more custom ─ they become a brand cementing a look that you can tell who built it in a nanosecond or so. For example, picture an Indian Larry or an Exile Cycles build in your head and you’ll know what I’m trying to get at. There’s a definite distinctive-style going on, but no two bikes are the same. But you know one when you see one. There’s nothing wrong with that at all as it’s not just doing the same thing over and over, but it’s an aesthetic that the builders truly live by. And just because I said they become a brand, it’s got nothing to do without selling out. They build what they see in their head and trends have nothing to do with it.
Published in Ultra Customs
First off, no, this is not a custom street tracker or a custom in any way as we think of now, but a factory custom from 1953. It’s also one of Harley’s least known models that often gets mixed up with Sportsters even though that model wasn’t due to debut until 1957. Back in 1952 Harley-Davidson introduced the new sporty K model to go head to head with the British bikes that were invading America at the time with many of the same innovations they brought with them. Oh, you know, things like suspension at both ends of the bike, light weight, good handling and the newest Harley-Davidson “innovation” of unitized engine construction with the engine and gearbox as one. Triumph, BSA, Norton, Matchless were put on notice that The Motor Company was not going to let this invasion go unanswered.
Published in Racers
My name is Peter Ström and I am 54-years-old from Stockholm, Sweden. I have a few bike-builds behind me – I built my wife’s FXR trike, a Sportster chopper to myself and a Sportster bobber with a lot of engraving on for my daughter. Every one of them has been well appreciated and featured in a number of custom motorcycle magazines around the world.
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