The first Harley-Davidson motorcycle Hani Ataya of Orange, CA, ever owned was a '96 Fat Boy. He purchased the bike at Westminster Harley-Davidson in Westminster, CA. Hani said he preferred Westminster H-D's old-fashioned atmosphere in comparison to the giant Harley boutiques that reminded him of Home Depot stores. It wasn't too long after Hani rode his Fat Boy off Westminster's showroom floor that he started the customizing process with chrome accessories and high-performance goodies for its 80-inch Evo motor.
For the next eight years Hani's '96 Fat Boy served him faithfully, never missing a beat. On the morning of April 13, 2004 (the day before Hani was to get married), he took that Friday off to ride north with some friends from Michigan who were out visiting the West Coast for his wedding. His friends rented three bikes from Orange County Harley-Davidson, and then the group rode toward Hani's fianc's Malibu home. Halfway there, the four decided to stop for a quick beer. When the foursome returned a half an hour later, there were only three bikes parked where they had left four-Hani's Fat Boy was history.
The next bike Hani bought from Westminster H-D was an '04 Road King. Although he was satisfied with the Road King, watching the biker buildoffs on TV was starting to give Hani-and his friend Mike Nadasky-the bike-building bug. In their search for a source to learn more about constructing a bike, the two discovered that the HOT BIKE West Coast Super Show was coming to town. Once at the show, all it took for them was a quick walk down vendor's row before they spotted a row of bikes sporting the profile they were after. The booth they were in front of was Xtreme Cycle Designs of Orange, CA. Looking closer at Xtreme's custom frames, Hani recognized one he'd spotted before on a bike that Matt Hotch had built. The fledgling bike builders discussed what they wanted in a bike with Xtreme's owner, Travis Hill, and before they knew it they both had rollers-well, at least everything they needed to build a roller, except for the wheels.
The two decided they would prefer to source their wheels from Performance Machine. The next step for them was to locate a place to build their bikes. Their friend "Cozmic" Joe Filardi offered to let them set up a workspace at his fabricating shop in Santa Ana, CA. Hani and Mike soon discovered that things don't go quite as easily as on the Discovery Channel, and the build was starting to drag on. Hani realized that a lot of the trick stuff he wanted to do on his bike would turn out better if he sent it to a professional shop. One of the things he wanted to do was incorporate his rear turn signals into his swingarm section. He found out that the shop responsible for the setup he liked was located in San Bernardino, CA, so he gave John Esposito at Intense Creations a call and headed out with his swingarm. When Hani arrived at John's shop and saw the quality of his work, he decided he didn't want to play bike-builder anymore. He loaded up all of the components he was collecting for his bike and hauled them out to Intense Creations.
When John first opened the doors of his shop, his specialty was providing custom paintwork for a lot of the shops in the Southern California area that built bikes. It wasn't too long, however, before John stopped taking in custom paintwork from the other shops and joined the list of builders in his area. John mocked up Hani's frame, then determined where he needed to hang all the brackets and mounts. With the mockup process out of the way, John metal-finished the Xtreme Cycle Design frame, tank, and fender for the next stages. Before shooting primer on the bare metal, it was ground on and then molded with polyester filler. John molded in the gas tank as a removable unit and frenched in the seat-pocket area to house a custom seat that Ron Mangus covered in leather, complete with a stingray insert.
The last steps of the bodywork included a repetition of block-sanding and primering. As soon as John had the bike's frame and sheetmetal dead straight, it was time for paint. As he tried to choose a color for his bike, Hani discovered that paint chips didn't give him a very good idea of how the color would look in real life. At the suggestion of friends, Hani headed off to some car dealerships and looked for a color he liked. At a BMW dealer he spotted a new Beemer in Toledo Blue and decided that was it. John used PPG products to paint Hani's bike. When it came to the graphics, Hani left the choice entirely up to John. Strangely enough, unaware that Hani worked at Oakley, John said he was thinking about using a circular pattern similar to Oakley's logo.
John stated that when it came to supplying parts for the construction of the Xtreme-based bike, Hani insisted on using the only best parts they could obtain. For the powerplant a 114-inch Evo motor from Total Performance was selected. To spark the monster, a Crane HI-4 ignition system triggers a Nology ignition coil that John concealed in the tunnel of the gas tank. Legend says that you can blow the barrels off a V-Twin motor if the top motor mount is absent or weak. To ensure this would never happen, John custom-fabricated a super-heavy-duty top mount that resides below the coil. Induction and exhaust are handled via a Mikuni carb and a set of pipes from Martin Brothers. Spanning the gap between the chromed six-speed Baker transmission and the TP motor is a primary drive from Sputhe. The TP's dry-sump oil supply is fed from an Xtreme oil tank for which John custom plumbed hard lines during the course of the build. Once the drivetrain was set into place, John moved toward the rear of the bike and focused on the rear wheel and brake setup. From the very start Hani was insistent on using Performance Machine components anywhere possible. He cited high quality as well as preferring the styling PM products offer. The rear PM 18-inch wheel was wrapped with a beefy Metzeler 240 tire. For braking, a PM drive-side disc-brake setup hides discreetly behind a PM rear pulley. Up front (hung on an Xtreme glide frontend), a PM single disc brake handles braking chores while mounted on the left side of a 21-inch PM wheel shod with a Metzeler tire. Slung in between the 6-degree triple-trees rides a beautifully chromed Headwinds headlight. To guide the bike, John mounted Xtreme handlebars capped on each end with PM clutch and brake controls. Visible directly in front of a Matt Hotch flush-mount pop-up gas cap rests a Dakota Digital speedometer placed at the center of the handlebars.
To finance the completion of this bike, Hani sold off his Road King, and he never regretted it. In early January 2004, just as John Esposito was finishing up the bike, the Easyriders' Pomona bike show arrived in town. When it was all said and done, Hani's bike took Second place in the spectator class. When we asked Hani if he had any regrets about deciding to have his bike built by a professional, he said, "Hell, no-my friend Mike just finished his bike, and I've been riding mine now for over a year. It was definitely worth every penny."