Attention Hot Bike Readers! We would like to start by asking you, the reader, to help us with your ride submissions. There is no shortage of Readers' Rides coming across the editor's desks; however, only about 1/4 of them can be used. The reason: bad photos, little or no info about the bike, and even worse, no contact info to get better photos or the needed bike specs. So before you put a stamp on that envelope or send out that e-mail, make sure that you have filled out the basics: Your name, phone number and/or e-mail, where you're from. Then fill out specs such as: motor, trans, frame, wheels, paint and so on. Last, a brief history about you and your bike. Now that you know exactly what we're looking for, we can't wait to see what you're going to send in. Thanks!
My Ride My Way
Diane Stekl of Ringwood, Illinois, had been a back seat rider on her husband Mike's bike for years until the day she had to have her own bike. Diane started out on an 883 Sportster then when she outgrew the bike (not in size,) she found a used '04 Dyna with 350 miles on it. Even though she was looking for a Road Glide, the Dyna was too good of a deal to pass up. So with all the money Diane saved she and her husband Mike turned it into a touring Dyna. She added saddlebags and a fairing and then had it painted to show her love of clowns.
The "Special K"
Ian Smith, from Augusta, Georgia, was not on a cereal diet when he came up with the name Special K. It was just what stuck as soon as he saw the bike. The folks at Sinkhole Customs built it, and once Ian got the bike home he added a few things to make it a bit more special and then he had it pinstriped by Von Hot Rod. It was the little things that gave the bike an old hot rod look that made it so special for Ian.
Is It A Sportster?
Jimmy Haboush, from Sycamore, Illinois, got his hands on this '97 Sportster and wanted to customize the bike so that at first glance you wouldn't know it was a Sportster, he also wanted to do the work himself. Jimmy started with a new stretched tank and rear fender, then a set of handlebars, and Vance & Hines pipes. He swapped out the stock cast wheels for a set of spokes and as he was waiting for all the chrome parts to return he sent the sheetmetal over to Von Raknid Custom where his brother-in law Spider covered the tins in shiny red candy.
Chicago Night Train
My name is Anthony Reed; I live in a suburb of west Chicago. I can never leave anything alone; it seems I've always changed or personalized everything I have ever owned. I have become more passionate about motorcycles than ever before and love the idea of tweaking bikes. I like the lines of a Harley, it gives you an excellent canvas to start with. My '07 Night Train was customized in my garage, the only items that were farmed out were the paint, powdercoating, and chrome. It started late November 2006 with suspension, paint, front wheel, and your typical bolt-on parts. Everyone thought I was crazy to tear apart a brand new motorcycle, I think it had a couple hundred miles on it the first time.
Over the next two winters I tore the bike apart again and did a little more. I could only do so much every year because of time and money, mostly money. The winter of 2008 is when I jumped head first into this project and figured I was going to finish this bike once and for all. Once stripped down to basically the frame I got started on the motor. I sent the heads out to get machined for compression releases and then for some mild clean up. Meanwhile I was able to get the cams, pistons, and jugs installed; once the heads came back I was able to button her up. Next was the suspension, brakes, clutch, brake lines, throttle cables, clutch cable, controls, pegs, grips, wiring, etc. The paint was a design that I had come up with and the red pinstripe around the flames was air brusher Rick Bendi's idea.
There were many days when I looked around the garage, saw all the parts and wondered what I had gotten myself into. Now that the bike is done I look back on the days when nothing went right and I just laugh. I guess it's the nature of the beast.
My main focus with this bike was balance. I love the Night Train because of the black accents but don't like the complete blacked out theme. Same goes for the chrome with me-too much and it looks gaudy. I like a nice balance between the two; I think it makes different things stand out and pop more.