Hardtail Custom Tetris

Nathan Ekstrom turns a parts pile into an awesome custom

Playing “parts pile Tetris” yields some terrific custom motorcycles. Nathan Ekstrom and Jayne Krabbenhoft own this 2010 Harley-Davidson-powered custom hardtail, which was the child of their ingenuity, skill, and the parts they had lying around. It’s almost like Chopped for fabricators instead of chefs. “We needed to do something with all the parts laying around, and around here, the winters are long so it was something to do,” Nathan said. “I built the bike during one winter and left it raw. I wanted to ride it one season without dressing it up with paint or chrome to get all the bugs out of it.” The following summer he put about 5K miles on it, riding to Red Lodge, Montana, Sturgis, South Dakota, and about every weekend to the local lake country. It rode and ran really well throughout the summer with minimal problems, proving itself a reliable road runner. It was not, however, a finished motorcycle. That came next winter when Nathan tore it down, tweaked it, and sent it off for paint and chrome. “A lot of people tried talking me out of painting it but I had my ‘rough bike’ already,” he told us. “This being the first one I built from the ground up, I had a certain way I wanted it to look, and I’m glad I went through with the finish work.”

Harley-Davidson Evo

Paughco frame meets Harley-Davidson Evo engine for good times.

Shooters Images

kick only bike

In order to get the Mooneyes oil tank to fit, Nathan Ekstrom cut the starter mount of the tranny and primary, so now it’s a kick-only bike.

Shooters Images

old DNA springer front end

The front end is an old DNA springer that was 4 inches over, until Nathan shortened it 8 inches. He also bent the front loops and had the springs made for it.

Shooters Images

custom painted gas tank

Mike Wanner laid down a mix of root beer, red, and gold colors to make this hardtail an eye-grabber.

Shooters Images

Coker treads and spoke wheels

Coker treads and spoke wheels run the hardtail down the road.

Shooters Images

1999 Evolution powerplant

The 1999 Evolution powerplant is mostly a Harley-Davidson affair, save for the custom pipes, S&S Super E carb, and Mooneyes airbox.

Shooters Images

motorcycle front ornament

The front ornament was cast by a local friend, Lyle Landstrom of Landstrom’s Foundry.

Shooters Images

motorcycle rear wheel

Not much clutter on this bike, and the rear wheel’s no exception.

Shooters Images

foot controls

The foot controls are some round stock and 1-inch pipe held together by glass doorknobs.

Shooters Images

Custom harley-davidson evo

Nathan also made the fender struts and hand shift lever, which he twisted up and put a glass doorknob on.

Shooters Images