If you're an avid HOT BIKE reader, then you know that we've featured quite a few bikes built by Jerry Covington and his Woodward, Oklahoma, -based shop, Covington's Cycle City (CCC). If you've paid attention, then you've probably noticed that all of the shop's bikes are top-of-the-line custom pieces of machinery.
A few months back, Jerry got some breathing room between builds, and was able to poke his head out of his shop and check out what the rest of the custom motorcycle industry was doing. What he noticed was there were plenty of shops building nice bikes that would fall into the median price range of the custom market, but there weren't too many people building cool-looking bikes in the lower price range.
After a brief discussion with his crew, Jerry decided to put together an old-school-looking bike that any motorcycle enthusiast could afford, with a price tag of about $18,900. Within a couple of weeks, Jerry had acquired enough parts to build about six retro bikes, then made a deal with his crew. They could each build a bike and ride it until it sold, then receive a bonus. With two huge incentives hanging over their heads, the CCC crew jumped into turning the pile of parts that Jerry provided them with into rolling machines.
Maybe it was the money or the opportunity to ride a free bike for awhile, but Dusty Brown was the first one to get a bike up and running. Dusty started by putting the rigid frame from Mid-West up on his workbench. With 34 degrees of rake in the neck, and 2 inches added to the downtubes, Dusty could tell this would be the perfect foundation for an old-school bike - especially once he slid the Paughco springer frontend into position.
The next components he added to the rigid were a pair of 60-spoke wheels. The front was a 21-inch hoop shoved inside an Avon whitewall, while the rear was a 16x5.5-incher covered in a very rare Dunlop 150 whitewall. Stopping is taken care of with CCI calipers and rotors mounted at both ends of the bike.
To help keep the price of the bikes down, yet make sure that they were still reliable, Jerry purchased brand-new H-D Evo motors. Completely satisfied the 80-incher would put out plenty of horsepower for the rigid, Dusty secured it to the frame. To get optimum performance out of the stock motor, the H-D carb was re-jetted, then a CCI air cleaner and Santee straight pipes were added for that old-school chopper sound. Dusty finished up the driveline portion of his build by adding an H-D five-speed trans, a Primo clutch, and an enclosed primary he was provided with.
Dusty knew this wasn't going to be a project that required the extensive fabrication or heavy modification they normally do at CCC. Instead, Jerry had compiled a collection of clean and simple parts that would accentuate the classic lines for these bikes. Skipping over the front fender, since it wasn't really necessary (plus the bike just looks cooler without one), Dusty mounted the rear CCC fender so it sat high above the rear 150, and showed off the bright-white sidewall.
The back of the bike was given a more nostalgic look, with the addition of a pair of vertically mounted CCI fender supports. Nothing screams retro louder than an early H-D Sportster tank, so that was the obvious choice for this ride. Lastly, to mix things up a bit, a chromed softail-style oil tank from Mid-West was mounted directly below the seat.
With the sheetmetal taken care of, Dusty was now ready to add some color to the raw metal. Not wanting to get really flashy, he decided that covering the frame and sheetmetal in all black would maintain the classic look of the bike. The frame was sent out to Performance Coatings in Oklahoma City, to get covered in black powdercoat. Dusty took the fender and gas tank over to the CCC paint booth, and covered the pieces with several layers of black. Although he liked the all-black look, Dusty felt that some retro '50s-style pinstriping would really set the bike off, so the fender and tank were sent over to Lucky's 7 for some graphic work.
As soon as he got a hold of the painted parts, Dusty quickly began the final assembly by mounting a set of 15-inch ape hangers from Mid-West, and 3-inch CCI risers to the frontend. The ends of the bars were treated to Drag Specialties controls, old-school white grips, and a pair of V-twin's Maltese Cross mirrors. Down below, Dusty bolted on a set of Thunderheart forward controls and pegs. He used a headlight from Drag Specialties, and a V-twin side-mount taillight to take care of all the lighting. After only one month of building, Dusty secured the Le Pera springer seat to the frame, and was ready to enjoy riding his "free" bike.
Unfortunately for Dusty, his riding time was cut short. Within a week of completing the bike and riding it around town, someone saw the retro ride and just had to have it. However, on the bright side, he did get the bonus for selling the bike. With the bike selling so fast, Jerry instantly knew he had hit on a great idea - a cool-looking old-school bike that just about anyone can afford.