Archives: 2006 Sik N Twisted BIO Custom - Cybernetic Visions

James Manning's BIO Cuts No Corners

James Manning had an idea for a bike that he could practically see burning in his imagination. Specifically, he wanted to take his appreciation for dark bio-mechanical art and imagery and incorporate it into the trickest Pro-Street custom imaginable. He had the idea and the dollars to see his vision through, but the one thing missing was the building and metalcrafting talent to make his dream a real rubber and metal vehicle.

Luckily for him, his close friend Jason McReynolds had all the missing pieces. For his part, Jason had waited for a build like this to come along. His shop, Sik N Twisted Psycles, is known for more straightforward choppers with simpler designs, but he was itching to get a piece of a build like this one.

For Jason, this project was living the dream. Just a few years ago, he was building bikes out of his garage at night while making his living shaping sheetmetal by day. Most bike builders enjoy the challenge of building the bike a customer lusts for within a specified budget; it's a complex balancing act, choosing either the highest quality components or trading out some lower-end stuff to add little bits of trickness in other parts of a build. But there is something special about being loosed to do your worst with few constraints.

Artistically, the overall BIO look was a happy marriage of Jason's sheetmetal skills and local Vegas airbrusher Glass (of Glass House). Jason's execution of James' vision called for bent tubing and curving lines punctuated by sharpened points. Despite all of these unconventional shapes, the bike still manages to flow from front to rear. A subtle addition to the tank, rear fender, and even the forks are raised "vertebrae" protruding from the smooth surface and accentuated with paint. They're like something out of the Alien movies, as torn and disembodied parts crop up all over the long machine, melded with more mechanical imagery of screw threads and various exaggerated metal struts. The integrated approach paid even better dividends of the parts of the bike that are not traditionally painted (at least to this extent) like the bars, forks, and frame.

The look of the bike may have been central to this build, but it was hardly the whole story. In the quest for maximum trickness, air suspension was spec'd for the front and rear of the bike: Platinum Air Bleed Feed in the back and an American Suspension Springer leading the way. As is the case with so many high-end customs these days, there is no kickstand, since you can just drop the bike to the frame rails. Naturally, a really fat rear tire was needed as well, so a Metzeler 280x18 was wedged under the fender. Tying all of these elements together was a heavily modified Mad Wrench Heavy Hitter Softail Frame. LED taillights were grafted directly onto the swingarm.

The bright jewel that powers this machine is an all-billet Patrick Racing 113. A pair of Mikuni 42mm carbs feed the beast, while flat black Martin Brothers pipes transmit hydrocarbons to the ozone layer. A Baker right-side five-speed throws the power to the tarmac and uses a tranny brake to help clean up the rear wheel.

The rest of the bike is a blend of some of the smoothest components the aftermarket has to offer, mixed with Sik N Twisted's signature pieces. For instance, the foot controls are a set of Sik N Twisted's own pegs grafted to a set of PM's Contour Controls.

The result is a Sik blend of post-apocalyptic theme bike and straightforward show-bike pavement ripper. Despite the hundreds of hours in the one-off airbrushed paint, and a reported value deep into six figures, this bike is a runner. By keeping the fat rear tire on the low side of 300 and utilizing an air suspension setup that can raise the bike up to a decent ride height, the very exotic-looking machine can actually use its 130+ hp motor to its best advantage.

When he first met his new traveling companion, James could only stand in mute amazement, grinning from ear to ear. The bike has special meaning to him with its exposed bones and veins, matching his tattoos and the art in his home in silent tribute to a brother he lost years ago.

Well, not that silent.