When Harley-Davidson's first Sportster debuted back in 1957, it portrayed a tough and rebellious image that was refreshing to many who were turned-off by the factories bloated FL big-twins. Encouraged by buoyant sales, Harley released a stripped down model known as the XLCH the following year (CH stands for Competition Hot) and from then on, Sportsters have often eaten Big Twins on the street and track performance wise. Troy Banks' lightweight 1998xxxx XL1200cc powered chopper dubbed "Mind Bender"continues that lineage, this rip snorting psychedelic looking chop is an unquestionably fast Big Twin killer! The motor sounds powerful, deep, and healthy with its high compression pistons, trick heads, radical cams, Andrews gears and Barnett high performance clutch.
Jimmy Dell (JD) Womack, of JD's Custom Cycles in Winter Springs, Florida, built this little green metal flake beauty, as well as taking care of all of the engine upgrade work. When I caught up with Troy, he was just putting the bike through its paces for the first time on its inaugural shake down run, during Biketoberfest in Daytona, Florida. I guess that he was enjoying himself as he wore a bolt on smile. I wasn't the only one to be smitten by this cool ride, Troy entered it into a few custom shows while he spent time at the World's most famous biker beach, gleaning First Place Sportster at the hotly contested Willies Tropical Tattoo Custom Bike Show, and Runner Up, Best of Show at the Boardwalk show.
The only brake on Troy's Sporty is this six-piston Tokico caliper which also was a perfect spot of painter Steve-O to leave his mark.
The only brake on Troy's Sporty is this six-piston Tokico caliper which also was a perfect
Troy was introduced to JD, his soon- to-be, bike builder, in February 2009 at a Rumbler's Car Show in Orlando, Florida. The following week, Troy started ordering parts for the build. Even though, this was to be his first custom motorcycle, he had a crystal clear vision of what he required from the style of the frame to the 4-inch under Springer frontend and 23-inch speedway style front wheel. As the parts arrived, JD swung into action building the mock up.
A '98 XL 1200cc Sportster engine was chosen for the heart of this project, due to the fact that they come tuned to provide a gutsy flat torque curve delivery of power that provides responsive performance. With some engine upgrades and a lightweight hardtail chassis, Mind Bender is capable of ruining many a big bore, Big Twin owner's day. It is fast out of the lights, and even faster through the smooth Andrews gears. Who cares about top speed? This bike is built for thrills, and the ability to humiliate the unwary.
The frame is a Javier Mendoza fabricated Kraft Tech rigid, with modest 30 degrees of rake. The frontend is made up of a chrome-plated DNA Springer and attention grabbing 23-inch spoked front wheel with a knobby Bridgestone front tire that gives you a hint of the bike's aggressive nature. The 23-inch spoke front wheel and knobby front tire have long since been championed by fellow Floridian bike builder of merit, Warren Lane, and this is where Troy first set eyes upon what he would later request for his own build.
As with any modern high-tech custom bike build tackled today, the list of components pretty much read as a who's who of the industry. Parts came from suppliers such as LA Chop Rods, Led Sled, Performance Machine and S&S. I will not bore you by listing everything component by component, you can always check out the specification sheet if you want to know such information. I'm more interested in the style and the detail work that went into the build. I wonder, for example, just how many people notice that the frame has been modified just behind the headstock? By punching a window into the neck, Jimmy has kept the slender sleek tones of the bike intact. It's a lot of time consuming work to achieve, but necessary if you want to produce perfection.
Hopefully that shot glass was properly
White rubber pegs and grips add some nostalgia to the custom build.