Central Coast Cycles Custom Chopper

Build Or Bust The Second Season

When you think about it, it's phenomenal how far motorcycling has progressed since the early days. Back in 1953, a young Marlon Brando portrayed a biker heading up a band hoodlums as they terrorized the small Central California town of Hollister. That movie (The Wild One), along with countless others, proved to be fuel for the fire as Hollywood vilified and turned mainstream Americans against almost anyone who rode a motorcycle. Well, you don't need us to tell you how much the tide has turned in recent years. Guys on bikes who were feared just a few short years ago are now welcomed into the living rooms of millions of average Americans. Case in point, countless motorcycle shows now air on TV, with many of the central characters gaining near-cult status.

One such show gaining respect and a large number of viewers is the Speed Channel's Build or Bust. February 2006 marks the kickoff of the series' second season.

For anyone who hasn't seen the show, here's the premise. One lucky person is selected to try his or her hand at building a complete motorcycle under the guidance of a professional bike builder. That person is referred to as "the wrench." Said wrench has 30 days to complete the build; if they do, they get to keep the bike. If not, they go home with nothing. Sounds easy, but it's not-those who have seen any of the episodes from the first season know just what kind of twists and turns can trip up even a well-qualified wrench.

Show creator and director Scott Gillen has put together a talented and entertaining cast for the upcoming 13-episode season. Although last year's pro builder was Russell Mitchell of Exile Cycles for a majority of the shows, this year's offerings will include Russell along with a host of other guest builders, including the likes of Gard Hollinger of LA Chop Rods and Scott Long, owner of Central Coast Cycles (C.C.C.).

For 2006 the guest builders will not only assist the wrench but will also build a bike of their own alongside the fledgling bike builder as the show progresses. Needless to say, Gillen expects the professional builder to come up with something very special. When it came to Long's creation, he was not disappointed. Gillen has had his eye on Long for awhile, and when it was decided there would be more builders this year, Gillen jumped at the chance to have Long join the show. The guys at C.C.C. have been building a reputation for putting together some very sweet, no-nonsense rides that bring styling and performance cues from hot rods, classics, and race cars.

The bike you see here was the culmination of efforts put forth by the C.C.C. team of Long, Darin Morris, and Harry Cournoyer. Back at the Build or Bust shop the trio worked long, hard hours as they juggled fabrication and assembly of the C.C.C. Gasser along with taking all the time necessary to give the wrench all the assistance he needed.

Building the dragster-inspired bike began with one of C.C.C.'s own rigid frames, which was comprised of 1-1/8-inch tubing and a 1-3/4-inch backbone setup with no stretch, along with a 45-degree neck. Long's initial vision of the bike was short and tight, with an aggressive-looking frontend. The Harley-Davidson narrow triple-trees and 39mm tubes go a long way in helping the bike achieve that look, as they culminate in a set of chromed lower legs straddling a fenderless 21-inch chrome wheel wrapped with an Avon Roadmaster.

If you've followed C.C.C. at all, you know the company has been building bikes with rear tires smaller than many other shops out there (although a fat-tire bike or two has been known to roll out of its doors now and then). The Gasser would be no exception. Planted firmly between the rear frame-rails is a chrome Renegade wheel measuring 18x5-1/2 inches anchoring a 200mm Avon tire. In an attempt to keep the right side of the bike as clean as possible, a single rotor and caliper were mounted at the front left, while one of Exile's Sprotors (sprocket and rotor combination) mirrored it at the rear.

Back when Long and Gillen initially discussed a possible collaboration, one of the first things out of Long's mouth was his fondness for Shovelhead motors. The C.C.C. rigid frame would be the perfect platform on which to perch a S&S; 93-inch shovel. A fully assembled motor arrived from S&S; complete with an alternator assembly, but that just wouldn't do. Before Gillen knew it, the cam cover was off, and the guys were replacing the alternator with a generator. Once the motor was buttoned back up with a handful of copper-plated fasteners, it was time to heft the mill into its new home. Even without paint on the frame, a blind man could see just how good the motor would look with its combination of natural cases, black barrels, sand-cast silver heads, and chrome rocker boxes.

There would be no question as to what type of primary Long would choose: an open-belt Primo Rivera spinning a Rivera Pro Clutch would be the perfect piece to tie the S&S; mill to the JIMS six-speed transmission.

Controls on the bike are a bit unorthodox; the handlebars look normal enough-a pair of C.C.C. Z-bars (rotated downward 180 degrees) support a pair of hand-control levers from ISR. If you have never seen these before, check them out-they're high-tech, adjustable pieces available through LA Chop Rods (www.lachoprods.com). The left lever operates the clutch in normal fashion, while the right lever is plumbed to an adjustable proportioning valve that operates both the front and rear brakes simultaneously. When you look down at the mid controls, you will notice there's nothing down there but P.M. pegs. That's because shifting is controlled by two small buttons on the left side of the handlebars; one button is for upshifting, while the other is for downshifting. It works via an electrically controlled Pingle shift actuator mounted by the rear cylinder on the primary side of the bike. When the up- or downshift buttons are engaged, the electric shifter actuates the shift linkage as it momentarily cuts power to the Mallory Uni Lite ignition, allowing for full-power, no-clutch shifting. Long also attached a small T-handle to the linkage to facilitate shifting into Neutral.

Being the pro builder on the show definitely has its perks, since the pro is able to showcase some of his talents. The wrench, on the other hand, is just trying his best to get a bike together that he can fire up at the end of the show and, if all goes well, bring home with him. This is where Darin got to shine, as he fabricated the entire one-piece gas tank and short, close-fitting rear fender complete with a very slick-looking one-piece fender strut that attaches to the frame with quick-pull release fasteners. A small C.C.C. oilbag completes the sheetmetal as it hangs just behind the seat post.

With no time to spare, the last details of the bike were knocked out before the frame and sheet-metal were handed off to Kenny Morris from Hot Rods and Hogs for paint and graphics. After a quick molding session Kenny primed everything, then laid down a base of silver, which included a generous helping of large flake. Next he filled his gun with red candy and sprayed coat after coat until the paint showed the desired depth. Other than the clearcoat, Kenny was done with everything but the tank. In order to give the top of the gas tank a bit of a different look, a pearlescent flake was sprayed over the top of the tank prior to knocking out the C.C.C. logo on the sides.

Some of the final items finding their way onto the bike were a Bill Wall leather seat, LA Chop Rods license mount, short S&S; velocity stack, and the handmade C.C.C. drag-inspired two-into-one Jet Hot-coated exhaust pipe.

Well, Long and his crew got their bike done...so how did the wrench make out? Looks like you'll just have to tune in to see what happened. Check out www.buildorbust.com for the exact time and dates the shows will air.