There has been a lot of buzz about this coming for a while, but if you are into choppers / hot rods / skateboarding / photography / lowbrow art / surfing / alternative cultural history, or just want to spend some time soaking in one of the coolest mags around, Issue No. 1 of "Autocult" is now available, if you are lucky enough to find one.
Getting closer to finishing the tank for Alex's brat-style sportster. The tank has already been narrowed and shaped a little, but we decided that it needed a little more height up front, and needed to be cut down a bit in the back so that it sat up a little more on the bike.
Alex and Lee, bending and shaping the extensions for the front of the tank:
Alex, checking out the riding position (tank hasn't been finished yet, and still hasn't been trimmed at the back):
After shaping the extensions a little more with a softbag and mallets, Lee welds it up:
Here is a comparison with a standard sporty tank - you can see how much taller and narrower it is:
Marking out how much of the rear to cut off, after the front extension has been added:
Lee, (after rechecking the cut marks about 15 times) cutting off the rear part of the tank to level it off:
(mostly) finished tank. Still need to put a bit of cut-out in the very back of the tank where it will sit on the frame, but you get an idea of the position now:
This month, Street Chopper magazine has a four-page feature on Rob's bike (plus a cool two-page photo of him kickstarting it in the opening contents page of the magazine). Very cool article, with photos by Rémi Thériault. The whole issue is great - I don't think I can recall seeing so many cool bikes in a single magazine issue. Since Jeff Holt took over the reigns, Street Chopper just seems to get better and better.
Dice Magazine looks like it is going to slay with this one. For those stuck inside for the long Canadian winter, this (along with the El Diablo Ride DVD from Lowbrow, if they ever actually make it available) should keep the chopper fire burning until riding season comes back around
Alex, who plays drums for a band in Ottawa, came in and wanted to draw attention away from the vag on his sportster. When he isn't drinking PBR and shopping at Urban Outfitters, Alex has been cooking up ideas from the Japanese "Brat Style" bikes from guys like the guys at Crazy Orange MC
With that in mind, he whipped up this cool sketch and brought it in. He said he would have liked to have gone with one of the short, crazy turned up rear fenders, but was worried that might throw too much spray on to his pants, and as a card-carrying hipster he can't afford to let those skinny jeans shrink and get any smaller.
So here is the "before" image - a nice little scoot, but not really going to light any fires:
Here's a quick first mockup, with some cut-down Progressive shocks, and positioning the gas tank. The plan is to go with a 21" up front, cut the tank down smaller and more narrow, and fab up some cool window bars.
Here Lee has taken 1 3/4" out of the centre of the tank just to try out the width. The plan is still to cut some height off the bottom of the tank and reshape it a little to make it smaller as well:
For years, I have loved the VR engine, inspired by the VR1000 race bike, but I have never really liked the long, heavy unwieldy chassis that Harley has insisted on putting it in.
A couple of builders have made a stab at seeing what that powerful engine would be like in a chassis that actual handles, and I have to admit I like the idea a lot. (I particularly like the first one, which makes the radiator a lot less obtrusive). What do you think?
Pretty rad, considering the number and quality of the bikes at the Greasebag show. Rob's bike was picked as one of the twelve trophy bikes. There were no categories, no 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc... and the only criteria was the judges decided it was cool. I think extra points were awarded for riding the shit out of the bike. The best kind of show.
The bike actually got a huge amount of attention while it was down South, and some of our friends are featuring it on some of their sites as well:
I can honestly say that I have not seen so many cool bikes in one place at the same time. Between the bikes that turned up at the Dice party in Boston, to those on the ride, to those that showed up later at the campground, and finally to those at the bike show on Sunday (many of which weren't even entered in the show itself), the weekend was choc full'o' bad-ass choppers.
Wayne, from Acme choppers, was one of the major sponsors at the show (which was held at Acme choppers itself in Laconia). I have to send special thanks to Wayne, who got me back on the road after the regulator failed on my Panhead. This is Wayne's personal Panhead, which used to belong to his uncle:
If you haven't visited Acme Choppers, Wayne's shovelhead is worth making the trip to see just by itself:
Rob rode down for the Greasebag this year. After the party on Friday night, the pack met up and assembled in Boston, then did a 200km ride up through the Massachusetts and New Hampshire countryside before arriving at a private campsite in Laconia. I don't have any pics of the group ride, but it was a sight to see 70-80 vintage choppers riding in formation up through the small towns, scaring old ladies, making babies cry, and exciting the local talent.
Assembling for the ride:
Walter (from Kickstart Cycle Supply) and Magoo (from Biltwell) sharing some laughs en route:
Arriving at the campsite:
Just to get an idea how cool an event this was, the sponsors provided free beer and food. That's right, FREE BEER.
These guys kept us laughing all night (at least until the "guests" showed up courtesy of the Choppahead crew)