Many times we come across bikes that have taken over two years to design and build. Actually, it's almost a common occurrence to see that kind of time invested in the creation of a show-winning custom; especially when you factor in the fabrication time and sourcing of various parts you need to purchase from suppliers.
Well, the bike Roland Sands built took less time... no, strike that, it took more time... no wait, it was less... OK, we will explain and you can decide. In case you don't know Roland, he is the designer at Performance Machine, and in an effort to shake things up, he created the Contour wheel. The new design changes the look of billet wheels by transitioning from the standard smooth face to a multi-dimensional style. It took the engineers at PM just about two years to perfect the technique necessary to machine these wheels. As soon as the first two were finished up, they were put on Roland's desk, and two months later we photographed this bike. So did it take two years and two months, or just two months?
Roland started the project with a frame built by Jesse Rooke Customs -- actually, it was almost built. Jesse was welding the last seam together when Roland walked into his shop and started pulling the jig apart. The unique frame is 2 inches under in the downtubes with a 34-degree neck; it's pretty obvious that no additional length was added to the backbone.
As soon as the frame was safe in the PM R&D; facility, Roland and Todd Silicato prepared to give up all their free time to build the bike in less than two months. Why? Because PM had cut a deal to have Speed Television film the process for a show that had a set air date. There's nothing like a little pressure to make a build go smoother. Todd slid an Ohlins inverted fork into a set of PM proto-type triple-trees, then connected a Legend Air Suspension unit to the swingarm. While he was doing that, Roland was busy adding Yamaha TZ250 axle adjusters to the swingarm (a signature of all his bikes) giving some tribute to the racing division he once held the number-one plate in.
The Contour wheels were fit with Metzeler tires -- a 90/90-21 for the front and a 240-18 rear. Needless to say, the rotors and sprocket carry the Contour theme, and this bike sees the first in line of new style calipers from PM.
Powering the small bike is a big motor. Straight out of Wisconsin, the crate that landed at the shop said S&S; 124 on it. The all-S&S; motor was broken down for some paintwork and the addition of a set of AB Tech pushrod tubes. Other changes came from a Roland Sands air cleaner cover and pipes by Todd Silicato. Aft of the 124 is a right-side drive Baker six-speed transmission, and connecting the two is something very exciting: a new PM primary designed by L'il John Buttera. The 2-inch-wide belt is strong, yet keeps riders' legs tucked in tight for a better ride.
Roland had been reading books and watching videos on how to do metalwork for the last few years, so he figured this would be the bike to dive into. He and Todd fabricated the rear fender and surround panel, gas and oil tanks, and handlebars, all the while the Speed Channel cameras were watching. One of the last things done before breaking the bike down for paint was welding a HotMatch Custom Cycles kickstand to the right side of the frame.
Roland sought out a new and upcoming painter for his project, named Chris Wood. At his shop, Airtrix, Chris spent as much time as Roland's tight build schedule allowed molding the metal before applying the green metallic and burnt orange flake to the project. When he finished, it was a mad dash back to the PM shop for final assembly.
To keep the sport frontend theme, Roland adapted a V-Rod headlight to the fork. Next, PM Contour hand controls were mounted to the bars and the last minute adjustments were made to the prototype Contour mid-controls used down below. A Bitch'n Rich seat and Roland's own LED taillight were installed as the wiring was being done. To make the bike just a little cooler, it was wired to have a push-button remote to operate the rear air suspension, and start and kill the motor.
So, with all of this happening in just two months, Roland and Todd were pretty proud of their project. Even with the pressure of a camera following their every move, the bike turned out cool enough to be a cover bike!
|FABRICATION||Roland Sands and Todd Silicato|
|ASSEMBLY||Roland and Todd|
|BUILD TIME||Good question|
|CASE Baker||right-side drive|
|STRETCH||2 inches under|
|REAR SUSPENSION||Legend Air|
|COLOR||Metallic green and burnt orange|
|ELECTRICAL||Roland and Todd|
|FUEL TANK(S)||Roland and Todd|
|OIL TANK||Roland and Todd|
|REAR FENDER||Roland and Todd|
|FENDER STRUTS||Built in|