Owning a custom bike -- a true custom built from the ground up with your own two hands -- is a dream for many people. But that dream usually stops when they realize that they don't know where to start or just what they will need to do to go from the land of production bikes into the world of customs.
Skeeter Todd, a pretty talented bike builder in his own right -- and the guy who decides on all the new products that go in the Biker's Choice catalog -- decided to help everyone in the above dilemma by putting together the new Ventura Bike-In-A-Box kit.
The kit, based on a new FXR-style Daytec Skulker frame, includes everything you need to build a bike except a motor, a primary, a transmission, and a taillight. Things get even more appealing when you check out the suggested retail price for this kit -- less than $8,000. Skeeter built a version of the chassis kit to haul around to all the shows Biker's Choice went to this year, but wanted to see how far someone could go using the Ventura as a starting point. This is where Dave Perewitz enters the picture.
A Ventura kit was sent to Dave's Cycle Fab shop along with a note from Skeeter asking Dave to stick to the basic design of the bike, but naturally customize it a bit. Perewitz loved the idea and went right to work starting by throwing the Skulker frame up on the lift. Geometry for the frame is conservative, geared more toward a rideable custom with only 1.5 inches of stretch and 35 degrees of rake. It gets a 46mm Style Glide fork and polished triple trees up front, and a pair of Progressive Suspension shocks connects the swing arm to the struts.
To roll the bike around, the kit includes a pair of Style Glide Ventura billet wheels: 18-inch in the front and 17-inch in the rear. The rear wears a reasonably big -- but still good for cornering -- 180. Slowing down a speeding Ventura is accomplished with JayBrake calipers and Style Glide rotors, front and rear.
Speaking of a speeding Ventura, Perewitz took no chances on this bike being passed by anyone when he installed a T.P. Engineering 107 in it. The fully polished beauty has T.P. cases, wheels, rods, pistons, cylinders, heads, and valves. Actually the only non-T.P. components used to power the Ventura are a Crane ignition, a Mikuni carb, and a Samson exhaust. Backing up the monster motor is a Twin Power five-speed transmission and a BDL open belt primary with billet covers.
Perewitz started getting ready to be a little creative when he opened the boxes containing the sheetmetal. The fenders in the kit are West Coast Choppers products; the gas tank is a Style Glide; and the oil tank comes from Daytec. Dave and crew did their magic by bending, shaping, and adjusting the lines of the bikes until Perewitz was happy with it. Then the frame and metal pieces were molded to look as smooth as liquid. After the base purple was shot, some intricate, brightly colored graphics that included the Biker's Choice logo were added.
Perewitz opened the last box in the kit and pulled out Biker's Choice bars, risers, hand and foot controls, a speedometer, a headlight, and JayBrake pegs. All he needed to install after that was a Perewitz license bracket and a Corbin seat; the bike was then ready for its public unveiling in Laughlin last year. Reaction to the bike was great, and Skeeter's newest project started flying off the shelves. But that only makes sense when you look at how cool the Perewitz version looks and how little it really has to cost to build one.
|BIKE-IN_A_BOX SPEC SHEET|
|Build Time:||two months|
|Yeay/Type:||'01 Twin Power|
|Gears:||Five-speed Twin Power|
|Rear Suspension:||Progressive Suspension|
|Triple Trees:||Style Glide|
|Wheels, Tires and Brakes|
|Hand Controls:||Biker's Choice|
|Fuel Tank(s):||Style Glide/Perewitz|
|Foot Controls:||Biker's Choice|