Inspired by the true "old school" bikes like those of the early 1900s, Tony Quinones of Wicked Image wanted to build a vintage style bike using a modern H-D chassis and drivetrain. "All of the early motorcycles looked like bicycles with big wheels and engines," Tony said. "I had wanted to build a retro vintage style bike out of a newer Harley, but not a 'bobber.'"
The mirrors are a new design for Wicked Image and are called the Vintage. They are 3-D machined from a solid block of aluminum and chrome plated.
The mirrors are a new design for Wicked Image and are called the Vintage. They are 3-D mac
With the economy putting the ground-up custom market on the skids and people turning to "good deals" or utilizing their existing bike for custom projects, Tony decided to go with a Sportster as the base platform, and show what can be done with the MoCo's tried and true model. "I chose the Sporty because you get the most bang for the buck, and good aftermarket Sportster parts are hard to come by, the big name builders usually overlook them," Tony stated. "We wanted to use the bike as an R&D project to develop Sportster parts, and to make a smaller bike bigger.
Tony scored a super-low-mile and unmolested '04 Sportster off of Craigslist and immediately went to work developing a kit to get the big-wheel look of dual 21s on a Sporty.
"The basics of the kit are a 4-inch stretched Wicked Image swingarm, longer belt, rear fender, and a new seat," Tony said. "It now has the same wheelbase as a Softail and the stretch makes the bike more comfortable for 6-foot-tall riders. Of course you need the 21-inch wheel out back, but you don't have to spend the big money on billet wheels. A spoked 21x3.25-inch rear wheel with a factory 21-inch front wheel will work just fine.
Russ Wernimont helped out by fabricating a pair of fenders that tightly hug the narrow 21s.
Russ Wernimont helped out by fabricating a pair of fenders that tightly hug the narrow 21s
Aside from the rear 21-inch kit, Tony and the Wicked Image team continued customizing the Sporty by using Radiantz LEDs and an H-D conversion for the run/brake/turn signals. They relocated the license plate from the rear fender to off of the left shock mount. "This license bracket is now part of our product line," Tony said. "Some of the other parts we made are the brake and shift linkages, and the pegs. We may make similar style parts for production in the future. Frankie Serrano of FSD Exhaust made the pipe for us based off a rendering we sent him. For a guy in Florida to make an exhaust for a bike in California off of a rendering takes some talent. A good friend, Jim Smith of Smith Designs, did the paintwork. Jim is the painter for the Metal Mulisha freestyle MX riders. You can see his detailed airbrush work on their helmets and vehicles. Jim and I collaborated ideas and we decided to replicate the paint scheme of a 1915 H-D. Jim hit it spot on. For me it's the combination of the vintage paint and the big billet wheels that make this bike. This bike is comfortable, agile, and hauls butt."
"People often either love or hate Sportsters. I have had a few haters say 'I would ride that,' and the Sportster lovers now have a few more parts available to them," Tony stated. "It's always challenging to design and manufacture parts that your average home mechanic can install. With many custom projects the parts may have quirks to them, where only the builder knows the order in which parts can come apart or go together. We have worked out the bugs to make our parts easy to use and easy to install. I'd like to give a special thanks to Dee Johnson and his partners at Monte De Oro winery in Temecula for letting us use their facility for this photoshoot."