I don't know about you, but when I think "production custom," my tiny little brain pictures either a Softail or a rigid. You just don't see too many rubber-mount production V-Twins outside the Harley factory. That's exactly what Arlen and Cory Ness have done with their production bikes, though: three machines based on their rubber-mount Y2K-300 frame. "A lot of us ride rubber-mount bikes up here," Cory Ness said. "It's a smooth platform that eliminates a lot of vibration. Not only is that easier on the rider, it's easier on the components, too."
Ever since that chassis was introduced several years ago, the Nesses have promoted it to the hilt. In 2005 they decided to take it into one of the few custom segments their empire hadn't conquered: the production bike. The end result was a family of three two-wheeled siblings with a lot in common, yet distinctly different from one another. Cory told us, "It's something we'd meant to do for years. As dealers ourselves, we saw the success that Big Dog and American IronHorse were enjoying and thought the time was right. We've also learned a lot as dealers and brought that experience to our own bikes."
That's the attitude Clan Ness took when it launched the new line in 2006. They've been happy with the results so far. "We plan on offering 100 to 200 bikes a year. We even created a new company just for the production bikes. It has a small dealer network; we keep it fun and fairly simple," Cory told us.
Last year they saw their first production run, but, never content to sit on their laurels, Arlen and Cory have introduced changes for '07: bigger front wheels; each has a 23-inch (yes, that's 2-3) now, something rarely even seen on ground-up custom bikes. "We changed the rear tire to an Avon 300 with an 18x10.5-inch rear wheel," Cory said. "Everything on these bikes is either Ness or designed especially for Ness, even down to the cylinders on the S&S; motors." As for the future, Cory alluded that 2008 could see a fourth pony in the stable, based on a totally different platform.
The VitalsAlthough they're different from one another, here's a brief rundown of what each of the three motorcycles has in common:Frame: Ness rubber-mount Y2K-300 nMotor: S&S; 124-inch
Carburetor: S&S; Super G
Exhaust: Ness two-into-one with SuperTrapp muffler
Transmission: Ness six-speed RSD
Clutch: Rivera Pro-Clutch
Wheels: Ness 23x3.5-inch front,1810.5-inch rear
Tires: Avon 130/60R-23 front, Avon 300/35R-18 rear
Brakes: Ness/PM six-piston front, Ness/PM four-piston rear, 11.5-inch one-piece rotors
Suspension: Ness 63.5mm forks and billet shocks
Rake: 38 degrees with 4 more in the trees
Warranty: One year, limited mileage