Things have definitely changed in the custom motorcycle industry. Well, maybe not so much changed as the industry has just reverted back to its roots of taking a stock Harley and completely giving it a new look, just as the early customizers and bike builders used to do. While customizing or rebuilding a stock Harley never went out of fashion, the prevalence of aftermarket frame manufacturers and a high flow of discretionary income made scratch-built/ground-up custom builds the hot trend for many years. Now that all the money trees have been whittled down to toothpicks, and the big-bucks bike builds have slowly withered away, enthusiasts are looking into the corner of their garage at that old Harley they stored away and envisioning a new life for an old friend. In fact, that’s pretty much how this bike came to be.
“This bike was built for a customer, Ryan Perez, who called about a bike we had built called the Brasshole,” says Todd Silicato, owner of Todd’s Cycle. “However, we had already sold that bike. Ryan mentioned he had an ’04 Softail, and I told him since his bike was already paid for, insured, and registered, we should convert it into something sort of similar to the Brasshole, and he was all for it.”
Once the bike arrived at Todd’s shop in Huntington Beach, California, it was stripped down to just the drivetrain sitting in the center of the frame. Unnecessary tabs and mounts were then knocked off and holes were filled in to give the frame a smoother look. Mock-up started with a Marzzochi inverted frontend mounted to the neck. Next a Dyna wheel was placed between the legs so that Todd could get all the measurements and spacing he needed to run PM radial-mount brakes and a 23-inch PM Heathen wheel in Avon rubber. Out back a matching 18-inch wheel was installed along with a brake/rotor combo.
With the stance and braking handled, the next task was adding some skin to the project. Figuring that the 23 up front would attract more attention completely exposed as opposed to covered by a fender, Todd moved on to covering the rear wheel. To match the exposed look of the front Todd wanted to show off as much of the rear tire as possible but still keep the mud, rain, and road debris from slinging up Ryan’s back, so the fender supports were sawed off, then a blank fender was cut and trimmed so that it would only cover about one third of the front of the rear tire. The fender was then trimmed to perfectly match the radius of the tire and mounted with an arched fender support coming off the axle plates to secure the rear/top, while the front/bottom was secured to the bottom of the swingarm. When it came to the gas tank, Todd didn’t want to build the exact same tank that was on the Brasshole, plus he didn’t think that a Frisco-style tank would look right on this bike. So he crafted a flat bottom tank that had a nice smooth contour and sat low on the backbone.
While the engine and trans were left stock, Todd made a 2-into-1 stainless steel exhaust that he routed as close to the frame as possible to give Ryan plenty of canyon-carving ground clearance. On the left side a PM Contour beltdrive was added, then Todd installed a set of PM mid controls, the left side mounted in the center of the primary and right side was secured to the trans.
Todd handed the sheetmetal over to Chris Wood of Air Trix who laid down multiple coats of red, orange, black, yellow, and green, then topped it all off with some pinstriping. With the sheetmetal back in hand, Todd completed the final assembly, and called Ryan to pick up his new old ride. While the bike wasn’t an exact replica of Brasshole (who would want the same custom bike as someone else anyways), Ryan was very pleased with the outcome, and has spread the word to his local riding buddies that Todd is the man to see if you want to breathe new life into your old Harley. HB
|Bike Owner Ryan Perez|
|Shop Name||Todd’s Cycle|
|Shop Phone||(714) 901-4516|
|Build Time||Three months|
|Air Cleaner||Todd’s Cycle|
|Triple Trees||Todd’s cycle|
|Wheels, Tires, And Brakes|
|Color||Red, orange, black, yellow, green|
|Rear Fender||Todd’s Cycle|
|Fender Struts||Todd’s Cycle|
|Gas Tank & Cap||Todd’s Cycle|
|License Mount||Todd’s Cycle|