We all know the Harley and custom motorcycle community is filled with people doing good deeds, helping each other out when in need, and most of all, brotherhood. Actually, it's the brotherhood that pretty much sets us apart from much of the rest of the world. The bond runs so deep that even amongst bike builders there's no hesitation to call upon one another for help with a build. In fact that's sort of how the bike you see here built by Bryan Schimke of TPJ Customs came to be.
"After some mudding, the bike was no longer silver and black, it was brown."
"I met Gordy, the owner, through Kirk Taylor of Custom Design Studios. Kirk was building a bike for Gordy and the Artistry in Iron show in Las Vegas," Bryan told us. "Right around this time, Kirk's main mechanic had just gone out with a hip injury, so Kirk called me up and asked if I could help him out." Having known Kirk a couple years, and both Bryan and Kirk having a deep appreciation and respect for one another's work, Bryan had no issues lending Kirk a hand. "When I rolled out to help with the build, Sturgis was only a week or so away, so it was a pretty tight deadline." While helping out at the shop, Bryan met Gordy, who mentioned they had a house in Sturgis that Bryan could stay at with them if he wanted. Never one to miss an opportunity, Bryan loaded up and was on the road.
While in Sturgis, Bryan realized he and Gordy had something in common, a strong interest in WCC style bikes. "I was riding a bike I had done based on a CFL frame and Gordy was on a WCC bike that Jesse had built for him," Bryan said. After a couple of days of hard riding, Gordy asked Bryan if he would be interested in building a bike for him, and once again Bryan didn't pass up the opportunity.
Bryan used a set of rubber Pro Taper MX grips to keep with the look and feel of the bike.
The 2-inch BDL beltdrive was cut, smoothed and drilled out for the compact TPJ mids.
"Gordy had a few ideas about cutting up a CFL frame and making it a swingarm style frame. He wanted it to have a sort of motocross style to it," Bryan stated. It seemed that opportunities just kept knocking, as Bryan had a solid background in motocross and used to rip up tracks and back roads on a 125. And it's from his motocross background that Bryan has incorporated the "keep it light and minimal" aesthetic into his custom bike builds.
For this build, Bryan started with a 2 up, 1-inch out CFL frame. He set it up in a frame jig and began cutting away the rear section just behind where the trans mounts. He then made some side plates for the swingarm, then fabricated a motocross style swingarm out of some rectangular DOM steel tubing. Next, he made some mounts for a set of Fox Air Ride shocks with 3 inches of travel, which he snaked, from his good friend and fellow bike builder Satya Kraus of Kraus Motor Co.
Keeping with the clean, simple, and narrowed look that all his bikes are based on, Bryan took a king Sportser tank, cut a pie shape out of it, made a new tunnel and mounts, and popped a Kraus Motor Co. gas cap on top of it. "The rear fender was made in-house and the bomb oil bag/battery box was also beat into shape in my shop as well," Bryan said. "Gordy told me all he wanted was mid-controls and mid-sized apes. So I made a set of apes about 6 inches tall and then added a set of my TPJ mid-controls with custom pegs." Take a look at the mid-controls. Talk about minimalistic, they are super compact and tight against the bike-nothing obtrusive or over extended off the bike here. Bryan knows how important it is to keep a bike's proportions on the slim side, especially when splitting lanes in Cali. "I use the front door to my shop as a guide. If I can't easily slip a bike though there, I know it won't make running traffic in California."
Gordy wanted a reliable powerplant, so they went with an 80ci Evo, and with the lightweight stature of this bike, the stock mill would have plenty of juice. As for the pipes, well they are similar to a set Bryan made for one of his shop bikes with a few tweaks thrown in. "The seat pan is one of my favorite parts, it's really comfortable and holds you in the bike," Bryan said. "The great leather piece on the pan was done by OB from Beaver leatherworks."
Once the mockup was complete, Bryan took it to the only guy who paints his bikes, Kirk. "I picked a couple of colors, and Kirk worked his magic. Once again Sturgis was looming ahead, so Bryan only had a few weeks to assemble the bike and break it in before delivering it to Gordy while they were in Sturgis. "When I arrived at the house in Sturgis, Gordy was eager to get on his new ride. But after some begging and pleading, he let me ride it here and there to 'break it in' some more,'" stated Bryan. "It rode like a dream. It had the badass stance of a CFL with the added benefit of a suspended rear section for jumping curbs and smashing the back alleys to get around traffic in Sturgis. One of the rides I went on just happened to be the night of a really bad storm and I got stuck in the mud at the Chip. Well, after some mudding, the bike was no longer silver and black, it was brown." The next morning, Gordy didn't pass up the opportunity to give Bryan a hard time by pointing out all the spots Bryan was missing as he cleaned the bike. But it was all in good fun, and both Bryan and Gordy were very pleased with the project. "I want to thank Gordy for his build. He wasn't just a new customer, he has become a great friend."