Black Out! - From The Editor

Read about contents of magazine - Black Out - From the editor.

A black cover? Ever since fellow editor and former colleague Greg Friend ran Johnny Chop's '79 F.U.L.H. Shovel against a black background on the cover of the October 2004 issue of STREET CHOPPER, I've been dying to run a black cover on HOT BIKE. Jim Nasi's "Sangre Azul" seemed like the perfect bike for a black cover; it's menacing, yet elegant. Between the photography and hard work put in by our art director, Ron Huber, I think we struck black gold. it looks like something straight out of Frank Miller's Sin City.

If you don't know Jim's work, you do now. And while this sinister beast is somewhat of a departure from the typical bikes Jim builds, the fit, finish, eye for detail, and sexy lines are exactly Jim's style. That's just the front of the book; we've got a lot more exciting bikes and tech inside. Take, for example, this month's "Pick of the Pen" selection. Bike owner "Smurf" was hesitant to paint over his factory 100th Anniversary tones, but after an A-hole with a nail decided to add his own pinstriping to Smurf's RG, the decision became much easier-and that was the start to his transformation.

We don't see too many custom Dynas, so when we come across one, we make sure to jump on it, like this damn fine Dyna from Jim Bortles of Carolina H-D. Dynas aren't normally known for their looks, but Jim's magic hands created a real head-turner. Now going back in black, we've also got one of the sickest Road Kings we've seen in a while. Aside from the extensive metalwork Jeff Delisle did on this bike, he really thought this build through and put together a quality list of parts for a badass bike. On the extremely custom side of things, check out Tempest Cycle's "Pointless" bike. Take a look at the frame: There are no lower rails to cradle the motor. Don't look too close, though-you might lose an eye.

As for tech, we've got an in-depth article from Mr. William Denish on cylinder heads. William will educate you on how to make the most out of your next cylinder-head purchase. This guy knows power theories, and we're glad to have him on our side. Renowned bike builder Matt Hotch is in on a new battery, and this thing is proof that good things do come in small packages. We've seen the Tek Battery crank over a high-compression 113ci Patrick Racing motor for more than two minutes without even slowing down (the only reason he stopped was because the starter got so hot that it began to smoke).

We also have the wrap-up on our HOT BIKE bagger build by Arlen and Cory Ness. This bike has some really cool parts from the Ness facility. Don't worry, though; next issue you'll see the full feature. In the overhaul department, our '96 Softail Springer gets a new, skinnier look with a set of split Sportster tanks from Kustom Culture Cycles. Do you need some new wheels for your ride? We have more than 40 of the best wheels the industry has to offer.

Lastly, and this is the one I'm the most excited about, we have an article highlighting 18 baggers that are ready to roll off the showroom floor and head to Sturgis, Daytona, or wherever you want to go. Baggers are a hot business right now, so we scanned the industry to see who was building turnkey touring models, and let you get a glimpse of what's available.

Once again, it's another packed issue, and I just wish we had more pages to include everything we had lined up for this mag. Lucky for you, though, there's always next month-you won't be disappointed.Until next time,Eric