What do you name your bike when your A-list of brothers is Barry, Foy, Pete, and Chris from Accurate Engineering, “club” members Rogue and Buzz, Scott from Corrupted Concepts, Billy from Choppers Inc., Nicky from Nicky Bootz Customs, and Wayne, Jeff, and Tree from Southern V-Twin? The only appropriate name I could think of for this bike was “Guilty by Association.”
I knew that this machine couldn’t be a typical blockhead mill that I slapped some store-bought parts on and called a custom bike. Although, most all the parts are re-pops and modified store-bought pieces, I can assure you that every part other than the tires and headlight was subjected to a grinder, lathe, mill, or welder.
The project took about two years because like most of us in the real world, I had to buy the parts as I could afford them.
Since the beginning, I had a distinct idea of the overall design of the build and received most of the influence, guidance, and assistance from the mob of pals mentioned above.
I remember the first day of the build rather clearly. The neck cups didn’t fit right, and I decided to go with Timkens versus ball bearings. The frame was crooked, so out came the Sawzall and from the very beginning of screwing with this bike, I knew it would be a fight to the finish.
When I was installing the wheels, no store-bought axles could be found, so a stick of 150 ETD 7/8-inch chromoly became custom axles.
Further into the build it was obvious that absolutely nothing fit correctly on this setup, so I was blessed with full use of a machine shop as well as aid from the mill and lathe masters Foy Clenney and Barry Wardlaw. They both put me up many a night and fed me. Let me also tell you, Barry does a mean load of laundry as well. Talk about true brothers!
“This bike was a true inspiration from the bikes I used to see in years past, and now this style seems to becoming more popular every day. It’s the real-deal, the kind of shit that the gray-beards grew up riding.”
“This bike was a true inspiration from the bikes I used to see in years past, and now this
On the engine build, Barry left no stone unturned and put all his love in the 93ci Panhead with every trick in his book. Not only is it cosmetically beautiful, it’s chock-full of functionality and performance to boot. My man Bert did me right by supplying a Baker Franken-Tranny with N1 shift drum. The only thing I had to do was strip it and paint it black to match the motor. I also machined a straight kicker from a connecting rod out of a Chevy V8 engine. For my booty duty, Duane Ballard made the custom seat. On the top, Duane tooled my five-point therapy plan, which consists of bikes, fishing, guns, archery, and whiskey. To top it off, he also included my nickname.
This bike was a true inspiration from the bikes I used to see in years past, and now this style seems to becoming more popular every day. It’s the real-deal, the kind of shit that the gray-beards grew up riding. I am glad to say that the old guys sure do get a kick out of seeing this style machine outside the bars around town.
The bike handles like a dream, is perfectly balanced and rolls like a bicycle. It’s my first foot clutch bike and although it keeps me busy, it’s a thrill-ride that made it all worthwhile. When someone asks if it was hard to learn to use the jockey shift, I state the truth: it takes about five minutes to figure it out; about the same as a manual car. Though I have built many bikes in my day, with what I have gone through getting this bike on the road and the camaraderie of friends old and new gained during the completion of it, I have a feeling that this one is going to be a keeper. HB