Working as The Painter at West Coast Choppers (WCC), Pete “Hot Dog” Finlan had seen plenty of bikes roll through the shop’s webbed gates and into the waiting hands of salivating customers. While it was tough to watch a paintjob that he’d just spent days, maybe even weeks on, roll out onto the sand-swept streets of Long Beach, California, working at the prolific chopper shop allowed him the unique ability to “test” out the various WCC style of builds the shop turned out. “I sat on a lot of bikes we built at WCC and decided on this style of bike for myself,” Hot Dog comments.
It turns out that Hot Dog’s style was the quintessential chopper the shop had become known for. Based on the infamous WCC rigid CFL frame, Hot Dog opted for a setup with 32 degrees of rake with 1 inch of stretch added to the downtubes. Up front a 2-inch-over DNA Springer with a custom horseshoe front leg made by Robert Taylor was mounted to the neck. Black Bike 40-spoke wheels helped the chassis become a roller.
To fill out the heart of the frame, Hot Dog decided on an 80ci Evo assembled by Brian Breeland. A Prowler six-speed trans was bolted in place while a BDL open-belt primary was used to tie the two together. Hot Dog had Aki Sakamoto fabricate a set of custom straight pipes that ran at a slight upward angle as they shot towards the upper leg at the rear of the frame. The engine was capped off with a WCC Coffin Air Cleaner assembly.
“Of course the most important part of the bike build was the paint as it provided an opportunity for Hot Dog to create his own rolling business card.”
Since this is a chopper, Hot Dog kept the sheetmetal to a minimum with clean and simple lines. A fender-less frontend would help draw attention to the custom Springer while a reshaped, Frisco-mounted Sportster tank was secured at the center of the frame with some of the backbone exposed fore and aft to accentuate the chopper lines. Directly under the seat, Hot Dog chose to go with a WCC barrel-style oil tank. A WCC rear fender was mounted to snugly fit over the 180mm Metzeler while internal struts help keep the fender stiff and a custom mini sissybar provides support for the back of the fender.
Not even the rocker boxes were safe from Hot Dog’s liquid luster.
Of course the most important part of the bike build was the paint as it provided an opportunity for Hot Dog to create his own rolling business card. After spraying several coats of Burnt Orange Kandy and mini flake, Hot Dog went to town showing off his technical and artistic skills applying 23-karat gold leaf and laying down countless hours of pinstriping throughout the bike.
You would think that working at WCC would put your personal project at the front of the build list, but not so much. Hot Dog says even though he had lots of help from the other guys that were working at the shop with him, it still took him the better part of a year working on the bike at lunch and on Saturdays to get it finished. While it might have taken a lot of long hours, hard work, and 12 months to complete, all Hot Dog has to do now is enjoy the ride. HB