Good Looks, Nasty Attitude

The First of Many

Grandeur Cycles is a shop in East Jonesville, North Carolina, that makes some really cool production motorcycles. From choppers to pro-street Softails, Mike Phillips has built them all. But Mike wanted to do something a little different, call it more aggressive.

He sat down and planned out the design. Long and low would be the key words for its appearance. Since this would be a production bike, he also wanted it to have rider-friendly handling. Big power is a must for most custom bike owners, so the prototype would need a big motor. All of this was a pretty tall order, and fortunately, his shop rose to the task. He dubbed it Nasty Attitude and got to work making it happen. One of his good customers, Lee Mills, said he wanted the first one built, sight unseen.

Knowing the frame would play a huge part in the looks and handling departments, Mike got his hands on a Rolling Thunder Softail chassis and had his crew rake out the neck to 44 degrees, stretch it 6 inches out, and 2 inches in the downtubes. A 4-inch-over frontend was created to add length to Lee's dream machine; Grandeur's 6-degree raked trees add manageability to the trail. Works Performance Softail shocks sit between the Rolling Thunder swingarm and frame, cushioning the ride in back.

With a frame and suspension to work with, Mike's crew got down to business with the wheels and brakes. A set of Weld's Charger 5 wheels were shod in Avon tires, a 90/100/21 up front and a 250 for the rear. A Braking USA rotor was bolted to the front wheel and a Grandeur rotor to the rear, then both wheels were slid into place on the chassis where Hawg Halters calipers were used to finish the braking equation.

It was at this point that Mike stepped back and inspected his shop's handiwork. He had a great start in the looks and ride-quality departments, now he needed a big powerplant. A 124-inch Evo-style motor was ordered from TP Engineering, and when it arrived, Billy, Mike's motor guy, removed the heads for porting to put even more power at Lee's command. Afterward, the reassembled mill was hoisted into the frame and became the proud recipient of a set of Grumpy's King Pin exhaust pipes, a Mikuni 45mm carburetor, and a Ness Super Sucker air cleaner. Grandeur made the ignition that sparks the fire in the combustion chambers in this power package.

Mike had used a 250 tire for this ride, but he wanted good handling, so when it came down to the driveline, he chose a Baker six-speed right-side drive tranny to send power to the rear wheel -- a very unusual luxury in a production bike. A Barnett clutch and BDL open beltdrive later, and the project almost looked like a motorcycle.

The strong performance package was a done deal, but the Softail was still lacking in appearance. It needed sheetmetal. Grandeur crafted a long single-piece gas tank that curved over the motor and sat low on the backbone to make the Nasty Attitude bike look even closer to the ground. The rear fender was mounted to the swingarm to give it the look of a rigid and fool the unwary. Once a Fat Katz fender was fit to the front, the skin and frame were turned over to Brad "The Kid" Magnus for some really seamless molding, followed by red paint and blue tribal graphics.

Once the painting was finished, the bike just needed some controls and a seat to be called complete. Grandeur made a set of bars with built-in risers with the control cables routed through them to clean up the Joker Machine hand control setups. Billet Concepts pegs and forward controls keep the rider's feet off the ground, and a Headwinds headlight shows him the way when night falls. After the Joker taillight was mounted to the Grandeur license plate mount, Mike built a solo seat pan and sent it off to Hot Tail for padding and a black leather cover.

From start to finish, the Nasty Attitude prototype took just five weeks to build. It seems there's a demand for long, low pro-street bikes that make a ton of horsepower; so much so that Mike had to borrow the bike from Lee to show it off.

8Spec Sheet
GENERAL
OWNER Lee Mills
YEAR/MAKE '03/Grandeur Cycle
FABRICATION Grandeur Cycle
ASSEMBLY Grandeur Cycle
BUILD TIME Five weeks
ENGINE
SIZE/TYPE 124ci/TP
CASES TP
FLYWHEELS TP
RODS TP
PISTONS Wiseco
CYLINDERS TP
HEADS Edelbrock
CAM Crane
CARB Mikuni 45mm
IGNITION Grandeur
PIPES Grumpy's
TRANSMISSION
YEAR/TYPE `03/Baker six-speed RSD
CASE Baker
GEARS Baker
CLUTCH Barnett
PRIMARY DRIVE BDL
FRAME/SUSPENSION
YEAR/TYPE `03/Rolling Thunder/ Grandeur
RAKE 44 degrees
STRETCH 6 inches out, 2 inches in the downtubes
SWINGARM Rolling Thunder
REAR SUSPENSION Softail
FORKS Grandeur
EXTENSION 4 inches over
TRIPLE TREES Grandeur 6-degree raked
WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES
**WHEELS **
Front: 21x2.15 Weld Racing
Rear: 18x8.5 Weld Racing
TIRES
Front: 120-series Avon
Rear: Avon
BRAKES
Front: HHI/Grandeur
Rear: HHI/Braking USA
FINISH
MOLDING Brad "The Kid" Magnus
PAINTER Brad "The Kid" Magnus
COLOR Special Mix Red
GRAPHICS Brad "The Kid" Magnus
CHROME PLATING AND POLISHING Grandeur/Prestige
ACCESSORIES
BARS Grandeur
RISERS Grandeur
HAND CONTROLS Joker Machine
HEADLIGHT Headwinds
TAILLIGHT Joker Machine
GAUGES Ness
ELECTRICAL Grandeur
FUEL TANK(S) Grandeur
OIL TANK Grandeur
FRONT FENDER Fat Katz
REAR FENDER Grandeur
FENDER STRUTS Grandeur
PEGS Billet Concepts
FOOT CONTROLS Billet Concepts
SEAT Hot Tail/Grandeur