A First for HOT BIKE

A Taste of the Code of the West

"There's a major element missing in your book, dammit," Buster said, pushing another Jack on the rocks under my nose. "There's no girls in HOT BIKE. What's up with that?"

I looked into his glaring, half-blitzed eyes, at his stocky form, and the rainbows of ink running down his arms. "Women are everything," he continued. "We ride and build choppers with women in mind, right?"

I looked past him to the tall, smiling blonde barmaid bending over the deep sink wearing a low-cut, soft knit top revealing gigantic, soft-as-clouds curves of a fresh set of bolt-ons. He was right, but just before leaving the vast HOT BIKE headquarters, a tightly wound woman recognized me in the chromed elevator.

"You're Ball, right," she snapped. I looked at her business suit that fit like a cop's uniform. "I know about you. Don't put women in my magazine." I noticed that she was wearing a gold Harley pendant around her tight muscular neck. I moved around her as if she was a hired assassin and I was her target. Hell, I'd only been on the job for a week.

"Are you paying attention?" Buster snapped.

"Yeah, I'm paying attention," I said, looking at the blonde whose smile made my heart shift gears.

"Well, whatta ya think?" Buster said guzzling his beer.

I thought long and hard while my eyes traced the bartender's every voluptuous curve. She was so hot, ice-cold beer boiled before her hand left the bottle. He was right, but HOT BIKE had avoided girls for seven years, and plenty of riders read it. I couldn't turn the whole applecart upside-down in one issue.

"What the hell is there to think about?" Buster pushed. "Women and motorcycles go together. Building a chopper is all about turning a dull, lifeless stock bike into something sexy, like a woman, get it?"

I took a shot of Jack and squinted through the dim lights and smokey haze of the bar. I heard motorcycles roaring up outside and in walked a short, slender woman wearing a full-on, tailored black leather outfit, carrying an all-black, polished full-faced helmet with a yellow 2-inch fluorescent stripe running down the center. Her hair was closely cropped and she had dark eyes as sharp as bar darts. It was the elevator assassin. She'd come to find her mark. Dammit.

I looked at Buster and began to point, while I thought about Bree's hot file resting precariously on my teetering desk. The file contained this feature and Bree, the hot schoolgirl model who posed for Performance Machine, motorsports covers, calendars, and for John Covington of Steed Muscle Bikes in Phoenix. She was as hot as an August run to the Badlands. And she looked just right aboard John's 300 Avon-based performance muscle bike with the red devil girl painted on the tank. It all seemed so nasty and appropriate in the same blistering image. That's two sexual goddesses against one bad-assed chopper.

"It's you," the assassin women spat. "Did you hear what I said on the elevator?" She was surrounded by a large group of uniformed riders.

I looked at Buster, who looked at her.

"Do you agree with me?" she asked directly, her dart-like eyes boring into me.

"About what?" Buster stammered. He was downing his sixth beer.

"No women in my magazine," she said, as if it was an order.

"What magazine is that?" Buster questioned. "Cops On Bikes Monthly?"

"HOT BIKE, dammit," she snapped.

Buster was an old-school boy from the Los Angeles street gang scene. He didn't back down to anyone. "Wait just a minute," Buster shoved his mug of beer aside and stepped nose to nose with the equally short woman, although he outweighed her by 100 pounds. "HOT BIKE has been without women for seven years. That's long enough."

I could smell a fistfight brewing and I didn't like the odds. The assassin and 15 uniformed riders, against drunken Buster and me. I looked at the blonde package behind the bar and thought about Bree aboard that bitchin' stretched performance motorcycle.

John's been in the business for 20 years, building bikes in the desert, and he focused all his attention on bikes with a muscle-car flare: all performance and reliability. She was straddling one of John's Steed, 300-VM Appaloosa choppers. It's an all-new '05 Steed muscle bike with a Steed trademark single-shock Monoglide suspension on its proprietary 300 Avon tire chassis. He runs an All-American drivetrain, featuring an S&S; 111-inch engine, a Baker RSD six-speed transmission, heads-up digital instruments that include a tach, speedo, odometer, trip-meter, and all indicator lights hidden in the mirrors. This bike was special-ordered with red powdercoated rims on 60-spoke wheels, among other Steedly details, including the graphic paint by Steeds artist Rick Wescott.

"You bastard!" the assassin snapped at Buster and the pushing started. I stepped between the pair and her army. I had to back his play. One on one is the code.

Something on her shiny leather coat caught Buster's eye. "You ride a Sportster?"

"Yep," she said, still fuming, but the cold wind lifted from her taut sails. "Do you?"

"Yeah, an '02 883," Buster said, and I could swear that in the dark bar I witnessed chemistry in their eyes.

Her leathered army turned and headed toward the bar. I turned back and the two bantered like old pals about Sportster mods and weekend rides. As I sipped my Jack, one of the muscled riders picked up the bartender, and Buster, with his new friend on his arm, slipped out for a ride. I was alone with a few cubes of melting ice, a shot of Jack Daniels and my thoughts of Bree and John's chopper. Whatta you think?

GENERAL
Owner John Cadzow
Shop Name Steed Motorcycle Company
Shop Phone (480) 661-1990
Website www.surgicalsteeds.com
Make/Model Steed Appaloosa 300-VM
Year 2005
Fabrication Steed Motorcycle Company
Assembly Steed Motorcycle Company
Build/Rebuild Time Months
ENGINE
Year/Size '05/111ci
Type S&S; Evo
Builder S&S;
Cases S&S; Polished
Flywheels S&S; 4.1-inch stroke
Rods S&S;
Pistons S&S; 4.1 inches
Cylinders S&S;
Heads S&S; polished elec. comp. release
Valves S&S;
Rockers S&S; Roller Rockers
Rocker Boxes S&S; chromed
Pushrods S&S; hydraulic
Pushrods Tubes S&S;
Cam(s) S&S;
Lifters S&S;
Carbureter Mikuni HSR45
Air Cleaner Steed Hypercharger
Ignition Crane Hi-4
Exhaust Steed Dusters
Finish Polished
TRANSMISSION
Builder/Year/Type Baker/'04/Six-speed
Finish Polished
Case Baker
Top/Side Covers Baker
Clutch Rivera
Primary Drive brute III
Final Drive 1-1/2 belt 32/65
Gears Baker
FRAME
Year/Type '05/Steed 300 Monoglide
Rake 40 degrees
Stretch 5 out, 8 up
Molding Steed
Finish Steed
Swingarm Steed 300 "Cobra"
SUSPENSION
Front
Builder Steed
Year/Type '05/Steed/CGB Inverted legs
Modifications None
Triple-Trees Steed
Rear
Year/Type '05/Steed Monoglide
Modifications None
Shocks Steed
WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES
Front
Size/Type 21x3/Steed
Tire Make/Size Avon 120/70x21
Hub/Spokes Steed
Calipers(s) Wilwood
Rotors(s) Steed
Rear
Size/Type 18x10.5 Steed
Tire Make/Size Avon 300/35x18
Hub/Spokes Steed
Caliper(s) Wilwood
Rotor(s) Steed
FINISH/PAINT
Color(s) Silver
Painter Steed
Graphics & Artist Rick Wescott
Molding Steeds
Chrome Plating/Pol. Royal Plating
Powdercoating None
ACCESSORIES
Front Fender Steed Appaloosa
Rear Fender Steed VM
Fender Struts Steed
Gas Tank(s)⋒(s) Steed VM Chopper
Oil Tank In Dyna Transmission
Dash None
Gauges Steed
Handlebars Steed Fatty Streetbar
Risers Steed
Mirrors Digital Heads Up Display
Hand Controls {{{Mustang}}} 96+
Foot Controls Steed-UMI
Footpegs Steed
Headlight Tradewinds
Taillight Steed LED
Turn Signals LED Louvered light
License Mount Steed, brake anchor
Oil Cooler None
Seat Danny Gray/Steed
Electrical Steed
Coil dyna (2)
Starter dc-tech