If Hollywood made a sequel to White Lightning-with Gator McKlusky running small quantities of premium shine on the back roads of Arkansas, and good ol' Gator opting for two wheels instead of his brown Ford Custom 500-chances are he would have probably loved something like the bike before you. Lightweight, nimble like a rabbit, and completely utilitarian, this bike built by Gard Hollinger of LA Chop Rods is less for show and all about the go. Rather than hiding things, and keeping "it" sanitary, as most builders do, Gard let the parts speak for themselves, and took the "let it all hang out there" approach. That's not to say the bike doesn't have clean lines, because it does. Check how Gard ran the rear brake and hydraulic clutch lines tight to the single loop downtube, not with zip ties, but with welded mounts and rubber grommets.
Speaking of Hollywood, if you're up on your biker TV shows, then you might remember a little ditty called Build or Bust (if not, look it up). Anyway, the man behind the series and behind the cigar (seen poking out of the side of the frame in some shots) is Scott Gillen. Gard met Scott through a Bill Wall connection (Bill Wall Leather), and Scott put Gard in front of the camera for the latter part of the first season and about half of the second season as one of the mentors on the show. Having built several frames for Scott to use on the show, Scott took a strong interest in Gard's style and particularly his frames, and asked Gard to build him a bike.
"I built a special batch of these frames for Scott when he was shooting Build or Bust. He loves this frame as a platform," Gard told us. "I find it a bit boring to build on the same chassis each time. I always try to make the chassis be a major factor in the build's overall shape and profile. It's not the most cost-effective or prolific way to work, but then I've been perfecting the 'buy high, sell low' business plan for years."
Tight and light was the mantra for the build. "It has a lot of board track or racing influence and a lot of 'don't try to hide anything' details," Gard stated. "The frontend was particularly tricky. I wanted a super-narrow drag bike look, with a dual-disc setup. Normally for that really narrow look you'd run a spool hub, but I wanted that racy look with the dual disc. So Black Bike Wheels had to make this super-narrow hub with the spoke flanges really close together and they had to spoke it sort of a weird way. Then I used the smallest calipers I could find which were those Harrison billet calipers, and made the caliper mounts out of billet aluminum. Trying to keep the spoke wheel with the 39mm super narrow Mullins Chain Drive Super Narrow Tree Set and still run that dual-disc brake setup was like stretchin' a gnats ass over a rain barrel."
Split tanks/exposed backbone, side-mounted oil tank, custom-fabbed mid controls, a Morris Mag hanging off the 96ci S&S Shovel, a PMRC drag-style throttle and grips, and a lot of bare metal surfaces offset only by what Gard calls a "juevos" white frame give this bike a raw look with racing appeal. "The end result was a fun-to-ride, super-lightweight package that offers more and more detail the more you look at it," Gard said. "But one of the main challenges was the simple act of building a bike for Scott. Anyone who followed Build or Bust knows what 'type' Scott is. Somehow he likes my style and work and I'm able to handle his bulldog-ish personality."
Well, Hollywood hasn't made a decent motorcycle movie since the biker-sploitaion genre went the way of the long-jawed mastodon. Maybe riding the streets of LA will inspire Scott to make the next great biker-flick. If so, I know a few editors who'd love to fight it out for the starring role.
"I wanted a super-narrow drag bike look, with a dual-disc setup. Normally for that really narrow look you'd run a spool hub, but I wanted that racy look with the dual disc."
"I wanted a super-narrow drag bike look, with a dual-disc setup. Normally for that really
Gard fabricated the exhaust out of stainless steel. It's a triple step design with the ends of each section peened over for a cleaner fit/look.
Gard fabricated the exhaust out of stainless steel. It's a triple step design with the end