From its inception until about four years ago, the American V-Twin market was based on custom bikes that bordered on being called production. The companies competing in the market were building big-dollar bikes, adding some lights and enjoying the demand for such motorcycles. Well, just around the time the market took a twist toward a demand in lower prices and in more rideable machines, the American IronHorse Motorcycle Company, based in Ft. Worth, Texas, hit the mainstream.
AI delivered just what the market was after, but it left their R&D; team, lead by Tim Edmondson, a little frustrated. Their talented pool of designers and fabricators could easily develop the production bikes that marketing was requesting, but they needed a challenge to keep their edge. To facilitate the challenge, Edmondson decided to do a limited number of signature-series bikes to show the world just what his guys could do.
Over the last few years, the team has built some wild customs, but this year's machine has to top them all. Tim and the crew began with a clean slate, rather than trying to build on any existing AI models. They did it all from the ground up. Starting with a Rolling Thunder catalog in front of him, Tim spec'd out the chassis he wanted. It was a single downtube Softail-style with 38 degrees of rake and 2 inches of stretch in the backbone. This platform would be the perfect place to mount a Ceriani inverted fork in IronHorse billet trees. Doing double duty as suspension and cool-factor equipment, a Legend Air system rides in the rear. To roll the showpiece around, a 21-inch AI Spy wheel with a skinny Metzeler went up front and a 240 Metzeler wrapped 18x8.5 Spy is found in the rear.
Turning their collective attention to the powertrain, the AI R&D; team went a little crazy. They began with a 107ci S&S; motor, then added an EMC blower, and a lot of polishing. Next, they picked up a JIMS six-speed transmission and a 3-inch Rivera beltdrive. With the assembly coming together in the chassis, the crew designed a super-clean cover for the beltdrive as well as some very unique exhaust pipes.
Now it was time to dress up the chassis with metal. A fairly long front fender with angled mounts and points coming off the rear was the first project. From there, a winged effect was done on the front frame downtube, leading your eyes to the flawless one-piece gas tank. Things got a little busier toward the rear. A sculpted rear fender was constructed, blending into the sides of the frame and seat pan -- with points coming off its rear like the front. The oil tank was matched to the frames proportions and small extensions were built to fill any voids in the back of the bike. When the lines were right, the AI paint crew took over to give the R&D; team's work a show-quality finish.
Finishing up the bike was a simple matter of AI bars and risers, Joker hand and foot controls, a Headwinds headlight, and a custom AI taillight. A Danny Gray seat offers a pleasant place to manage the monster power of the 107, and the final piece to complete the project was a custombent rear-mount kickstand. This year, Tim and his team achieved their goal in Daytona by setting the crowd on their ears -- oh yeah, did we mention they built this bike from start to finish in three months? That's fast custom production for sure.