High Roller Cycles Custom Chopper

5/8 Off-100-Percent Bad

They say racing improves the breed, but does that include smoky burnouts in a bike-show parking lot or hauling ass through the curves on a twisty mountain road? For Dave Boyd of Oakdale, CA, the owner of this '05 special-construction FXR, the answer is a resounding "yes!"

When he was a youth growing up in Northern California's Bay Area, Dave's gearhead saga commenced in 1971 with the purchase of a '63 Montgomery Wards Riverside 50 for the staggering sum of $9.

It wasn't much longer after he made his investment that Dave was racing anything he could get his hands on. From ATVs and go-karts to dirt bikes and sports cars, Dave was tearing it up. He wasn't real picky about what kind of surface he was racing on, either. His venues ranged from county-fair dirt tracks to national events at the world-renowned Laguna Seca race course in Monterey, CA.

Simultaneously with his racing activities, Dave pursued a career as an environmental manager. Today, Dave and his business partners collectively own Clearwater Environmental. It's a big-time operation with more than 50 semi-rigs hauling haz-mat materials cleaned up from ecological disasters all over the western United States.

During the course of solving an environmental issue with the owners of Chopper Guys Biker Products in Vallejo, CA, Dave got the opportunity to check out the company's line of aftermarket replacement frames for Harley-Davidsons. Dave was so impressed with the quality of the products that he was inspired to build a motorcycle using one. In particular, he liked the Chopper Guys' interpretation of the Eric Buell-designed FXR frame and selected one as his platform.

At the tail of the 1-1/4-inch, 0.125-wall cold-rolled steel frame Dave mounted a swingarm that he stretched 3.5 inches. The extended swingarm eliminates the stubby bobtailed look inherent in stock-wheelbased FXRs, and its longer footprint enhances the bike's ability to ride more smoothly. Looking forward, the front frame legs have a built-in 2-inch stretch, and the standard 28-degree rake is kicked out to 33 degrees. Dave says the additional rake increases high-speed stability while sacrificing very little in low-speed agility.

Without exception, a key issue for any serious racer is a vehicle's wheels, tires, brakes, and suspension. Dave held to this notion front and rear by mounting Metzeler tires onto Renegade Monterey wheels and brake rotors with GMA brake calipers to bring it all to a fast stop. For suspension, the chores were halved into two brands. On the front rests an Arlen Ness billet Wide Glide with 1-inch-under fork tubes. On the rear hangs a pair of 418 Progressive adjustable billet shocks.

Drawing on skills learned as a race-car builder, Dave fabricated his own gas tank and side covers from scratch as well as modifying fenders available through the Custom Chrome catalog. The gas tank was hand-formed the old-fashioned way by beating numerous pieces of steel sheetmetal over a shot bag and then TIG-welding them together. The process entailed shaping and grinding each piece until it was a finished vessel that holds 5.2 gallons of gasoline. When it was time to create his side covers, Dave pounded and drew sheet aluminum over a wooden buck to produce his finished parts. The front and rear fenders started out as Jesse James products but feature so many pie-cuts and welds that it's likely not even Jesse could identify their origin.

Beginning with the FXR-style frame, Dave enlisted the expert services of Maas Brothers Powdercoating in Livermore, CA, to have the formative influence on the direction of his bike's paintjob. Maas Brothers selected a deep ebony base-powder color and then melted on a coating of fine aluminum powder that created an iridescent silver cast, which was then buried under a heavy clearcoat.

Dave then turned to Kreative Koncepts in Modesto, CA, to come up with an exact match in wet paint for the tank, fenders, and sidecovers. The preference was a deep, pure black under silver pearl from House of Kolor. Before the final coats of House of Kolor clear urethane were hosed on, Horacio Ramirez painted flames on the body parts in silver Bass-boat flake and then pulled stripes on the edges.

Any similarity Dave's bike might have to Harley-Davidson's original EVO-powered FXR ceases when it comes to his powertrain. For propulsion Dave selected an '05 Twin-Cam A punched out to 95 inches. Notice in the detail shots how the motor has rounded jugs and uniquely shaped heads. Dave chucked the jugs into his trusty South Bend lathe to turn them down and invested numerous hours reshaping the cylinder heads by hand. The Twin-Cam, when equipped with a special two-into-one exhaust system Dave fabricated, pulls 115 horsepower on the dyno. A large part of the credit goes to the wizards at BC Gerolamy for their high-flowing CNC porting job.

Gear changes are handled via a Baker six-speed conversion kit stuffed into an '05 Road King transmission case. Being the fanatic Dave is when it comes to handling or overall performance, he offset the FXR's motor, tranny, and primary 5/8 inch to improve the bike's balance. Since Dave completed his bike, he has put more than 3,000 trouble-free miles on it in a very short time.

The response to Dave's Twin-Cam-powered FXR (named "One-Eyed Jack") has been so good that he has developed a bike kit based on it. The production One-Eyed Jack features a one-piece stamped-steel gas tank, fenders, and side covers. The choice of motor and transmission is left up to the kit's builder. For more information about One-Eyed Jack kits, contact Dave at High Roller Cycles and tell him HOT BIKE sent you.