It's weird how small the world can be sometimes. For example, you could be sitting in an airport waiting to fly back home and to kill time, you decide to buy a motorcycle magazine-even though you never read magazines or even motorcycle magazines for that matter. As you peruse through the mag, you see one of the baddest trikes ever. You quickly find the builder's name and contact info in the article and give the shop a call. As you discuss the bike and ask the builder where his shop is located, you realize he's basically been in your backyard all along. This is pretty much how the events transpired between this bike's owner, Mike Schubiger, and the bike builder, Doug Keim, of Creative Cycles (DKCC) in Wall, New Jersey.
Once Mike arrived at Doug's shop and formalities were exchanged, they quickly began to discuss building Mike a trike similar to the one he'd seen in the magazine. The conversation was actually pretty short, as Mike didn't have too many requests or stipulations other than what shade of copper he wanted and that there had to be some storage on it. With such a short list, Doug couldn't have been happier, as these kinds of customers tend to be the ones bike builders like best-a customer who trusts your judgment and talents and pretty much give you free reign to do your thing.
Little details like polished stainless steel 12-point fasteners securing the flanged tank halves to the backbone help keep onlookers amazed.
Little details like polished stainless steel 12-point fasteners securing the flanged tank
"Mike wanted the very best I could produce," Doug stated. "So I wanted to create something that was not only a true hand-crafted custom, but was also a true rolling piece of art. It had to be something that represented the extreme attention to detail that I put into every one of my builds." For several months, Doug and his crew began laying out every piece for the bike assembling and disassembling, fabricating, tweaking, and modifying until it was perfect. They started with a Pro-Street Frame Works frame with 40 degrees of rake, and 6 inches of stretch in the backbone. Up front a Mean Street Products 42-inch-long 41mm frontend was mounted to the neck. For the rear section Doug used his extensive racing background and, utilizing some parts cannibalized from an existing trike rear end kit, he created a swingarm and independent suspension assembly out of billet bar stock and chrome-moly tubing. "Looking from the back of the bike, you can see all the triangulation we put into the swingarm connectors, there's adjustable heim joints that go from the bottom of the frame to the bottom of the swingarm assembly, and that's to control yaw. And where the shocks would usually sit under the frame is set of chrome-moly bars with inserts and heims so you can control the height of the rear. The swingarm itself is loaded with triangles to offload the energy. Everyone who has ridden it has said it is so smooth, it's like a trike with power steering."
For the sheetmetal, the DKCC team kept the fenders clean and simple with a tire-hugging front fender wrapped around the 21x3.5-inch front wheel, and a pair of matching ultra-wide rear fenders that cover the front half of the two 280mm Metzelers. Details are the key in Doug's bike, and if you notice, all three fenders line the lips of the rims perfectly. For fuel, a set of flanged, split tanks were fabricated and mounted so that the tops followed along the curve of the exposed backbone. While they were in the fabricating mood, the DKCC crew also created a tapered triangle-shaped air cleaner to match the lines of the gas tank.
Along with completely triangulating and dialing in the rear section of the trike, Doug set it up with four 300-pound Koni coil-over shocks.
Along with completely triangulating and dialing in the rear section of the trike, Doug set
The DKCC team kept the bike clean by hiding Mike's requested storage compartments. Under the seat is a pouch for storage and a tray box above the oil tank. Within the sissybar pad is another storage area with a couple tray compartments.
The DKCC team kept the bike clean by hiding Mike's requested storage compartments. Under t
Doug hid the plug wires by running them through the top motor mount, and the ignition switch is at the top of that small snake-like tube peeping up between the rear cylinder and transmission.
Doug hid the plug wires by running them through the top motor mount, and the ignition swit
Housed in the center of the frame, DKCC went with a 96ci S&S mill that was assembled in-house with a few extras, such as some mild headwork and a new cam. Backing up the engine is a Baker Direct Drive six-speed trans, and connecting the two is a RMD Billet/DKCC open belt primary. To give the bike a mean growl as it prowls the streets, a 2-into-1 exhaust was created. "With that pipe we made, that thing sounds badass, like a small-block Chevy," Doug commented.
To meet Mike's two requirements of storage and copper paint, Doug and his team created a storage compartment under the seat and also incorporated a storage compartment into the sissybar. As for paint, Chip from APW laid down a Crusty Copper Kandy on the frame and sheetmetal along with some understated pinstriping and reverse real fire graphics.
Creating such an intricate and detailed machine takes time, but that was fine with Mike as during the 23-month-long build, being so close in proximity to each other, Doug and Mike and their families developed a close relationship and have become good friends.