Covington SpeedsterBack in the April '06 issue we tested the Speedster from Covington Cycle City, one in a series of five different bikes in Covington's bobber line. For those of you not familiar with Jerry's work, Jerry, wife Kathleen, and son David have been building custom motorcycles for a long time.
While Jerry realizes he could build bikes for less money, his customers demand high quality, and he provides it through the use of as many American-made parts as possible. The Speedster is no exception.
The Speedster begins with a proprietary American-made frame design and is built with 2 inches of stretch in the 1-1/4-inch downtubes. The 1-1/2-inch backbone is tied to the 34-degree neck with minimal plating, but the entire arrangement is beefed up with an additional 1-1/4-inch piece of tubing connecting the downtubes to the backbone.
Sheetmetal on the Speedster is slashed to just the basics, consisting of only a small flat rear fender supported by a set of flat steel chrome struts, a side-fill chrome wraparound oil tank, and a 2-1/2-gallon Sportster-style gas tank.
Motivation for the bike is provided by none other than the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Covington buys natural-finished 80-inch Evo engines from the P&A catalog and bolts them in place in the frame just in front of a five-speed transmission from Baker Drivetrain. Dressing up the drivetrain are a few nice touches such as a round chrome air cleaner, a set of drag pipes, an oil-filled oil-pressure gauge, and a Harley starter. Completing the all-American affair is a 3-inch BDL open beltdrive dressed up with one of Covington's finned, three-hole billet covers.
Our test bike wore an optional two-tone paint job complete with gold-leaf graphics (the up-charge for this is $850). All the frames come standard with a powdercoat finish. The bikes are available directly from Covington's Cycle City or through one of the company's six dealers (as of press time). All the bikes come with a one-year warranty.
Riding the Speedster is a blast-the seemingly small 80-inch motor gives the little bike all the power it needs, and rolling on the throttle brings the motor's rpm up quickly, although there is always the option of hopping it up! Sitting on the bike, you get a good feel, as the locations of the seat, bars, and foot controls give you a slight forward-leaning position. Once you get the bike up to cruising speed, you observe nothing unusual in regard to handling. If you have never ridden a bike with a Springer frontend, you will notice it does not feel as smooth as a telescoping frontend.
If you are in the market for a bike that won't cost you an arm and a leg and will help you rediscover how much fun riding can be, the Speedster may be just what you're looking for.