"Things get a little sick and twisted up front too when you look at Pitts' custom-made handlebars."
"Things get a little sick and twisted up front too when you look at Pitts' custom-made han
Let me just say, my mother's a saint. Everybody loves her, and she doesn't have a bad thing to say about anyone. That said, I was a little ashamed when I saw Afrodisiak here.
El Pitts made a chopper so cool, it made me want to slap my mama.
Only for a second though, then I remembered how my folks put up with me as a teenager and the guilt set in. After that, I took a longer look at Afrodisiak, taking in all the big and little things that make it a great combination of `70s sex appeal and minimalism that sums up funkadelic in a long, rigid-framed package.
El wanted to do a bike like this one for years but various obstacles stood in the way, mostly, other people wanting him to make what they wanted. El loves `70s lowrider style. That's where he comes from, and if he had his way, he'd build nothing but long, low funk machines like this. When a friend of a friend, Rod Clark, came to El and told him, "Build me whatever you want," El took him at his word, with gusto. He turned the self-indulgence dial to maximum and went to town on Afrodisiak, pouring in every `70s nuance he could think of into it.
El added a little soul to his flow with the Oil Sheen oil bag he created, that looks like an old aerosol can.
El added a little soul to his flow with the Oil Sheen oil bag he created, that looks like
In the beginning, there was a BMC frame, and it was good. El gets a lot of his chassis work through Big Mike, so it's no shocker he had Mike fabricate the low, rigid, raked-out skeleton that holds this chop job together. "It started out with 42 degrees of rake, but that didn't look right for what I wanted, so we punched it to over 55 degrees," El says. Factor in the 4-inch stretch in the spine, and you get a platform that really kicks the mammoth 40-inch over Sugar Bear fork set even further out. "Overall, it's about 11-feet long," El said. This being an old breed chopper, the wheels and tires were kept spoked and skinny, just like back in the day.
You won't find too much of El's own handiwork on the frame, though. He marked his territory in other ways, mainly the bodywork and handlebars. El gave this bike a long, teardrop gas tank that flows tight into the solo seat. Right below that, he placed the aerosol-can style oil bag to up the street cred. Mounting a front fender was out but the backside was a different matter. El created a tire-hugging shorty with twisted supports that just screams classic. Things get a little sick and twisted up front too when you look at Pitts' custom-made handlebars. As for the grips and pegs, Schwinn-style, just like you'd expect to see on the streets of Cali, circa 1975.
Bicycle grips were just one nod to the Age of Disco, though. Metal flake paint was huge back then, and it's alive and well on Afrodisiak, too. Buck Wild zapped the frame and sheetmetal with a cool blend of teal, blue, green, silver, and purple coats that come together and make this peacock strut with maximum swagger. The stripe job is a blast from the past, too, and not just limited to the gas tank and rear fender. Buck twisted it all over Afrodisiak's long frame. It's just one of the ways El chose to make this machine flow together so smoothly.
The profile is exactly what El wanted but with any custom bike project there are always flaws or regrets, some big, some small. In this case, that would be the motor. No, it works just fine. We're talking about aesthetics. You'd be hard pressed to find an Evo motor like Aphrodisiak's in 1975, unless you had a time machine in your garage. A true `70s chop with a "modern" motor would pack a Shovelhead. Most of the time, builders make these nostalgia bikes with modern mills as a concession to ridability. Not so, here. In fact, El told us he went the other way, giving up ride quality for looking cool. Pimpin' ain't easy and neither is looking good, right? So why an Evo engine? ìI wanted a Shovel but there were snags,î he informed us. "I was also under a deadline to get the bike done for Rod. It needs a Shovel, though." He did what he could to classicize it, though, using a kick-starter and header-wrapped pipes to give the S&S motor some vintage chopper style. Hopefully he'll have that Shovelhead in time for Afrodisiak 2. Assuming, of course, there's someone else out there who wants El to make another long, sleek `70s bar chopper. Or maybe he'll finally get to make one for himself next time.
Editor's Note: El Pitts gives a shout out to everyone who was part of the project. Sugar Bear, Buck Wild, Matt Booth, Zack Airthe, Brian at TPJ, the BMC crew, and of course, Rod Clark.
The mad fro. Jewelry maker and artist Matt Booth of Room 101 created this one off Afro skull gas cap.
The mad fro. Jewelry maker and artist Matt Booth of Room 101 created this one off Afro sku
El's jus' kickin' it.