2007 Custom Icon - Is It A Rigid Or A Softail?

The Chopp Shop's Jaw Drop

The optical illusion is revealed. Here you can see how the fender mounted to the swingarm and the top fender separate when the bike is raised.

The air ride switches, starter button, key switch, and gauges are all mounted on a custom license bracket mounted behind the primary.

Look Ma, no brakes! No front brake, no rear brake. The only stopper on the bike is a 4-piston Kart racing-style brake mounted off the inside of the primary, between the primary and trans.

Here's The Chopp Shop crew: David, Eric, Jimmy, and Shannon (from left to right).

In an industry that drastically fluctuates with the economy and people's discretionary funds, making a living as a custom motorcycle builder can be a tough way of life. That is, unless you have built up a strong list of clients who continually show up at your shop ready to hand over a signed check for their next bike. Such is the case for Shannon Davidson, owner of The Chopp Shop in Taylorsville, NC.

Building nothing but super-clean, high-end bikes that'll twist onlookers' heads around as you blow by is one explanation for The Chopp Shop's list of loyal customers. But most likely the main reason why people keep coming back to The Chopp Shop is because it's a one-stop shop, where everything is done in-house, from fabrication to assembly to final paint. Therefore, there's no passing the buck and giving the customer excuses like "Oh, we're waiting for the sheetmetal to come back from the fabricator," or "the painter lost the parts." The customer just walks into the shop and can see the progress of their bike.

The bike you see here is the third bike built for a returning customer, and as Shannon described, one of the best kind of customers any shop could have. "The only specifications we had from this guy were the colors. This was the first time he picked out the colors, and not because we wouldn't let him on the previous two. It was just that he said, 'you had built me some pretty cool bikes in the past; this time let's go with gold and white pearl,' then we had free rein from there."

So where do you start when all you have to worry about is the final colors? Well, for this bike Shannon and his crew started with the wheels. Wheels, you ask? Yeah, not the usual starting point for a build, but they opted for a massive 360mm rear tire out back, and according to Shannon, "Most bikes with a 360 are unorthodox looking. You either see just a huge tire in the back, or the bike is stretched out really long and the rear tire looks so massive that you don't really pay any attention to the rest of the motorcycle. What we tried to do with this bike was make it as short as we actually could. So we put the wheels on the ground, got the frame and built from there. By putting a 23 (inch wheel) up front and ordering a custom 2-inch under frontend with 3-degree raked trees from MeanStreet it kinda gave the illusion of all wheels, with some sheetmetal work in between it. I don't like doing the 360s (rear tire); they don't ride well at all, but some people want them. What we are trying to do is go taller and taller, like we got a bike we just built that's got 26-inch wheels on it, and they're even going to cut a set of 30-inch wheels, if they can get a tire made."

Hidden underneath all the sheetmetal is a Carolina Customs drop-seat, 360, right-side-drive frame with 6 inches of backbone stretch. Even with the raked trees on the frontend, the bike still didn't sit right. So to set the low profile of the bike, the neck was raked out to 48 degrees. As for the sheetmetal, Shannon estimates they have put about 100 hours of work into it. "The sheetmetal is comprised of about four separate components we fabricated. The front fender and the gas tank would be the first two. Then the mainframe section, which leads from the downtube back to the seat/oil tank and the top fender, is the third component. And the swingarm and secondary rear fender (hidden under the top fender when the rear air bags are dropped) is the fourth piece."

Now, I know what you are thinking: "Why does the bike have two rear fenders?" Shannon said he wanted to build the bike to look like it was a rigid. They accomplished that by utilizing a two fender set up, with one rigid-mounted to the frame/main body and one mounted to the swingarm section. As a testament to The Chopp Shop's incredible fabrication skills, when the bike is parked people are so amazed by bodywork they can't focus on just one part, and they usually automatically think it's a rigid. But then when the rider jumps on, hits the switches, raises the bike, and the fenders separate, jaws drop as they realize it's actually a Softail.

SPEC SHEET
BIKE OWNER A Good Customer
SHOP NAME The Chopp Shop
SHOP PHONE (828) 635-1189
SHOP WEBSITE www.thechoppshop.com
YEAR/MAKE/MODEL '07/custom/Icon
FABRICATION The Chopp Shop
ASSEMBLY The Chopp Shop
BUILD TIME Two Months
ENGINE
YEAR/ MANUFACTURER '07/Enginuity
TYPE/SIZE Evo/120ci
BUILDER Enginuity
CASES Enginuity
CYLINDERS Enginuity
HEADS Enginuity
ROCKER BOXES Enginuity
CARBURETOR S&S;
AIR CLEANER The Chopp Shop
EXHAUST Stainless Creations
TRANSMISSION
YEAR/MANUFACTURER/TYPE '07/Baker/
Six-speed
CASE Baker
CLUTCH Primo
PRIMARY DRIVE Primo
FRAME
YEAR/MANUFACTURER '07/Carolina Customs
RAKE 48 degrees
STRETCH 8 inches out
SUSPENSION
MANUFACTURER FRONT Mean Street
LENGTH 2 inches under
TRIPLE TREES MeanStreet
MANUFACTURER REAR {{{Legend}}} Air Ride/
Chopp Shop
SWINGARM Carolina Customs/Chopp Shop
WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES
MANUFACTURER FRONT/TYPE Metal
Motorsports/Don Juan
SIZE-HEIGHT/WIDTH 23x4
TIRE/SIZE Vee Rubber/23 inches
MANUFACTURER REAR/TYPE Metal Motorsports
SIZE-HEIGHT/WIDTH 18x14
TIRE/SIZE Vee Rubber/360mm
CALIPER Kart Style
ROTOR Kart Style
FINISH/PAINT
COLOR Solar Gold/Pearl White
PAINTER The Chopp Shop
GRAPHICS The Chopp Shop
Shannon Davidson
PLATING/POLISHING Chromemasters
ACCESSORIES
FRONT FENDER The Chopp Shop
REAR FENDER The Chopp Shop
GAS TANK∩ The Chopp Shop
OIL TANK Carolina Customs
HANDLEBARS The Chopp Shop
RISERS The Chopp Shop
HAND CONTROLS The Chopp Shop/Nasi
FOOT CONTROLS Wicked Image
FOOTPEGS Yaffe
HEADLIGHT Eurocomponents
TAILLIGHT The Chopp Shop
LICENSE MOUNT The Chopp Shop
SEAT Highrollers