Brian Sims of San Diego wanted to build a custom motorcycle unlike any other out there. Sure, you’ve heard that cliché before, but because not many people start with a Buell engine platform that would eventually end up in a custom rigid one-off frame, Brian is close to accomplishing that very feat.
“I wanted the work and craftsmanship put into the bike to speak for itself versus a lot of flashy chrome. The frame, gas tank, and rear fender are powdercoated to show there was no bondo used for this build,” Brian states. A lot of guys feel using bondo is a way to cut corners, and in this case Brian took the road less traveled.
Brian grew up around dirt bikes and had a couple of his own. He’s also been inspired by trophy trucks and has been around off-road racing for years. He wanted to mesh the styles together with this build and he did so with the box frame and dirt bike handlebars and ASV levers.
Brian bought a Buell because he liked the style of the front brake. Buells are racy motorcycles and that’s exactly what he was looking to achieve: a racy rigid that would blow any other bike away off the line.
“I wanted the work and craftsmanship put into the bike to speak for itself versus a lot of flashy chrome. The frame, gas tank, and rear fender are powdercoated to show there was no bondo used for this build.”
When he got the Buell home, he immediately took it apart and took measurements from the motor to design the frame. The only pieces that would remain from the Buell were the motor, front suspension, and wheels. “The frame was designed on Auto CAD, then cut from 4130 chromoly plate on a water jet machine. I rolled some of the pieces then TIG-welded all of the individual pieces together, fitting each piece together with precision,” Brian recalls. He also plumbed the frame with stainless steel hard lines with A-N fittings to flow the oil to the motor. Brian designed the SIMS triple clamps for better riding. He also used his own SIMS overlay plate for added strength. “I only did a 35-degree rake so the bike would be very stable and controllable. I also built the 2.5-gallon gas tank with flat sides to go with the contour and shape of the bike,” Brian says. For a little extra cushion on the seat pan, Brian installed a Fox downhill mountain bike shock for added comfort since it is a rigid. The seat is topped with 1/4-inch handtooled leather. Being that Brian didn’t want a carbureted bike, he kept the fuel injection for reliability. Expelling the Buell’s spent gases are one-off pipes that Brian made to get a different sound. He then wrapped the exhaust to add a little bit more of an edge to the bike’s theme. Being that Brian is a die-hard San Diegan, he added little touches to the bike to represent his hometown. “On the motor I made a custom cover to reflect ‘SD,’ which is where I was born and raised,” Brian says. Keeping with the dirt bike theme, Brian had to ditch the belt and go to a chaindrive. And for the proper ergonomics, Brian concocted some custom mid-mounts for better body placement.
The frame and wheels are powdercoated candy blue. Also the gas tank, rear fender, and headlight are powdercoated in black with a light wrinkle finish. The black and blue scheme represents how Brian leaves his opponents feeling after leaving them in the dust off the line. Nice work, Brian! HB
Brian built the custom pipes and covered them with high-temp header wrap for an edgy look. He also made sure to represent his hometown with an “SD” engine cover.
Brian built the custom pipes and covered them with high-temp header wrap for an edgy look.
The Fox mountain bike shock provides a little more cushion for the seat pan.