Location: Buffalo, New York
Bike Year / Motor: 1990 / Mild build 80" Evo with Racedyne heads and a Morris magneto
What have you done? I will be honest in admitting that I entered this competition at the behest of my friends and jumped head first into it with very little direction. 8 weeks ago, I had only a frame, rear wheel, transmission and a dream. I work a full-time job not involving motorcycles, and I just moved into a huge 1870's farmhouse and am still in the midst of settling in, so time is a commodity. I've tried to set aside an hour a night after dinner to chip away at the build. In that timeframe, I was able to source a magneto, some custom rocker boxes, front wheel (that matched my rear wheel), vintage spun aluminum oil tank, hand controls, an engine, and front end/brake components. The rear wheel was formerly a dual disc front wheel so I had to machine the hub to accept 3/8" bolts to fit the sprocket. I shaved the fork lowers, extended an old set of oem cast risers, and assembled everything to the point you see it today.
What do you have left to do? Oh man, where do I start??!! All of the major fabrication is complete but there is still a lot to be done. Next week I am going to disassemble the engine and split the cases, vapor blast everything and rebuid with the best components that I can afford to ensure reliability and longevity. I plan on riding the hell out of this thing! I also plan on making a custom 2-1 stainless exhaust. The paint job will embody a rugged '90s aesthetic to match the aluminum CCI wheels and performance components found on bikes of this era.
Any problems so far? My original plan for this bike was to use this generator shovel engine I'd had sitting around for a few years as the heart of the drivetrain. I bought it a few years ago from some local dude who was recovering from a stab wound in his abdomen due to a drug deal gone bad. That alone should have been an indicator as to what I was getting myself into, but I bought it anyway, and there it sat on a shelf collecting dust for years. When I got accepted for People's Champ, I envisioned using this generator shovel engine. However, upon inspection, I discovered several issues and missing parts. Considering the time constraints of People's Champ, I opted to abandon the shovel motor idea and pursue building the evo chopper I've always envisioned. Thankfully my buddy Tim Statt had an evo softail basket case collecting dust that he let me buy for a fair price, even delivered it!
Favorite part of the bike so far? My favorite part of the bike is the fact that it's a single loop framed, mag driven, kick-only EVO, baby! This thing also looks like it can kick the ass of any other bike I own, so I love that about it!
Favorite part of the competition? My favorite part of this competition is the hustle it gave me to spend my time constructively. I've also really been really enjoying the "social" aspect of this competition; shooting ideas off of others, getting constructive criticism, making goofy videos.... Beyond that, it's also pushing me to expand my skillset in the shop. I'm really enjoying this whole process and hope that the party continues all the way into June!
Want to give any shout outs? I want to thank @benjeff for the single loop Intruder frame and kicker pedal, @sickcycles_al for the front wheel, @Gigastatt for the engine, @ctnewman for the tech support, @lowbrowcustoms for the fab parts, @morrismagneto and @fnacustomcycles for the deal on the MM74L, Wayne @1wreck1many for donating the Racedyne rocker boxes, Chris @spokeanddaggerco for the custom rotors and @silvernaut.shop for the unwavering support
Finally, I'd like to express my gratitude to my dear friend Charlie Brenon, for allowing me to acquire his estate before his passing in September of 2023. Charlie was a life long biker and a chopper builder dating back to the late 60's. I'm sad to say that he didn't get to see me finish this bike but I know he would be stoked on it. Love ya, buddy.