This is the third installment of the SPS, HOT BIKE, and Bikernet.com build for my brother, a U.S. Army soldier who has fought numerous times in Iraq. Being a 17-month build from conception to completion, this was one of the most rewarding projects I had ever attempted in my life. I had initially planned on building a rat bike in my garage and giving it to my brother, but that plan escalated into a full-out custom bike build that soon left my baby skills in the dust. Kent Weeks of Lucky Devil Cycles jumped aboard, and cracked the whip until the build was done. We both spent many sleepless nights finishing this project, but he did most of the actual work as I snapped pictures and talked his ear off.
The final assembly took three days, with one for final adjustments. We rode the bike on the fourth and fifth days before SPS came through town to haul her to Daytona for Biketoberfest. Enjoy as I take you through a couple of stages finishing up the build. The next issue should have a few pics of the presentation as well as a full feature on the finished bike.
1 >The paint was sent to Kirk Taylor of Custom Design Studios in California. When he asked what type of paint job we wanted, I told him blue and black with scallops. He returned something a little more detailed than I had envisioned, and I thank him greatly for that. The small amount of silver pinstriping mixed with the silver lettering is what convinced us to paint the frame silver instead of black; everybody has a black framed bike.
2 >Kent Weeks balancing the wheels. I didn't realize when I started the build that the wheels had to be balanced with the rotors attached to the wheel. So before starting the final build, we took care of the wheels. After we balanced the rear wheel, we had to take the rotor off of the wheel to install the caliper onto the rotor, then placed it all on the wheel as an assembly. Because of the tight fit between the 16-inch wheel, the rotor, and the caliper, we had to grind away part of the H-D caliper to allow it to fit onto the rotor without rubbing the wheel. Just one of the many small tricks that go into building a bike from the ground up. It also helped that I had a builder in my corner to help "fix" all the times I got a little enthusiastic with the grinder.
3 >The Wide Glide frontend courtesy of Bikernet.com. This was the first time we saw it on the bike, as it had arrived after our initial mock-up. We realized quickly that we needed to lower the frontend. Luckily, I had a lowering kit in my garage from a recent project with a buddy, so I confiscated it and brought it back to the shop so we could continue with the build. We started the final assembly on Wednesday evening after I got home from work because we needed the bike finished so Sucker Punch Sally's could pick it up on Monday. Time was definitely tight. We had reached this stage by midnight, but we had a long way to go.