Jeff Holt was kind enough to ask me if I wanted to get involved in something new they were doing to make the Hot Bike Tour a bit more interesting. He handpicked 14 builders from all over the United States to build a bike and ride it on the Hot Bike Tour. This was Jeff’s idea to do a build-off like the old Biker Build-Off series, where the builder had to actually ride the bike, about 1,000 miles total, to be eligible for the prize. I’ve been to enough bike shows to know that a lot of showbikes weren’t built to be ridden. I dig the fact that these bikes need to have show and go.
The most challenging part of the build was deciding what to build. I didn’t want to just build a motorcycle. I wanted to do something different, so I decided on a custom trike.
After talking about doing a trike I had several people trying to talk me out of it, but I wanted to do something different, and if I didn’t do the trike now, I would never get it done.
I had a DFT trike kit rear end I bought a few years ago with the intentions of putting my Uncle Mark back on the road after a bad accident. He told me as much as he wishes he could he ride again he just couldn’t do it anymore, so it sat. I also had old extended Harley Springer front end lying around that I knew I wanted to use, along with an engine sitting on the shelf I pulled from another bike a year ago. Those were the main pieces I was going to use to make this work. I’ve never built a trike before and knew this whole project was going to be a challenge. I called my buddy Kevin Klemick over to see if he was interested in helping with this build, which he agreed.
We started from scratch, making the frame to the specs I measured up in mockup stage.Once the frame was done, it was time to figure out a gas tank. I had several gas tank options, but they weren’t doing it for me. I have a very talented friend, Dan Vice, who was willing to help and tasked himself to make the gas tank.
We took the trike apart, threw it in my van, and headed up to Green Bay to Mark’s Academy of Metal Art and Shaping. We brought the tank shape from my house, and the sheet metal was then shaped and formed on Mark’s Baileigh Industrial power hammers.
Once the tank was complete it was time to do the tail section.
I didn’t have an actual vision in my head, but I knew it needed to be bold. Using round stock and a torch, Kevin and I started shaping the rear section, and as time went on and it started to take shape and things started to flow. After the round stock was done we covered it in sheet metal.
The engine is a 96-inch Twin Cam motor converted over to an S&S case with evolution mounts. Before assembly the engine cases and heads were sent for powdercoat and then the heads sent off for diamond cut. The intake is an out-swept Rivera manifold with a polished Mikuni 45 and a Bare Knuckle Choppers glass velocity stack.
The rear end is a DFT Trike kit that was modified for a rigid frame. The rear end is an Independent suspension setup with coil over Progressive Suspension 430 shocks that David Z. at Progressive hooked me up with. The front end was an old H-D springer from a friend of mine that was stripped and re-chromed, along with the rear end half shafts, sway bar, pivot brackets, and handlebars. The bars were made using Cro’s Nest trees that Caleb from Cro Customs sent me and some Biltwell bars they hooked me up with.
Frank at Speed Dealer Customs came through and made some generous offers as well by supplying the pegs, grips, gas cap, and breather bolts. The taillights were made using trumpet exhaust tips and Biltwell taillights. I designed tapered stainless spacers for the front end to cover the bearing seals that my buddy Ron Jr. spun for me. I then made the seat pan from fiberglass and foamed and shaped it before giving it to Adam at Pierce Street Seat Company.
Having a deadline on the build made things most difficult because I knew I needed to make time for the tins to be sent to California for paint. I’ve had Casey Johnson (Headcase Kustom Art) paint some bikes for me in the past, so I decided to choose him again for this build. This time he used Paint Huffer metalflake with House of Kolor Root Beer paint with a lace design.
The frame I had painted by my local friend Steve “Herman” who normally paints my frames. The only difference was I showed up with the frame and paint this time because I specifically wanted House of Kolor Black.
Other details and functions of the bike consist of a hand shifter, hydraulic foot clutch, no front brake, and an internal throttle keeping the handlebars clean. The passenger pegs were machined and slotted for spring-loaded hidden passenger pegs, as well as a hidden oil tank under the transmission.
The front wheel is a 21-inch 60-spoke spool hub, and the rear wheels are 16-inch 60-spoke Dayton wheels with standard car tires.
The Hot Bike Tour was an experience I’ll never forget. There were a lot of emotions going into this, and a lot of ups and downs on the way, but it was cool to meet and ride with the builders, as well as meet new people along the way. The Hot Bike Tour really put the bikes to the test. I didn’t expect to win this and didn’t even enter it to win.
I took it as an opportunity to challenge myself and to do something completely different than what people expected. I’m honored to have been chosen and surprised to have won. I’m looking forward to next year!
|Bike Owner||Mike Rabideau|
|Shop Name||Majik Mike Designs|
|Shop Phone||(262) 880-1211|
|Shop website||[email protected]|
|Build Time||8 months|
|Year/Manufacturer||Harley-Davidson Twin Cam|
|Cases||Twin Cam S&S Evo Mount|
|Rocker Boxes||H-D/diamond cut|
|EFI/Carb||Polished Mikuni 45|
|Air Cleaner||Bare Knuckle Chopper Glass Stack|
|Primary Drive||Ultima 3.35 Open Belt|
|Year/Manufacturer||2014 MM Designs|
|Manufacturer||Front H-D/Extended Springer|
|Rear||Suspension Independent/Progressive Shocks|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Manufacturer Rear||DFT Trike kit|
|Color||Gold Base/Root Beer|
|Painter||Casey Johnson/Headcase Kustoms|
|Graphics||Candy Lace/Silver leaf/Pinstriping|
|Gas Tank & Cap||Dan Vice/Speed Dealer|
|Oil Tank||MM Designs|
|Handlebars||MM Designs/Cro’s Nest|
|Foot Controls||Hydraulic/MM Designs|
|Headlight||MM Designs/4 in.|
|License Mount||MM Designs|
|Seat||Pierce Street Seat Company|