RPM Choppers Angel Of Death

Who Says You Can't Get A Bike Done In Two Weeks?

The only thing in common between any of the bikes Rich designs is how the rear fender comes to a point.

With some modification, Rich was able to install an Exile twist clutch and still keep the super-clean look he wanted.

Rich Mauro was sitting at the bar one day in his hometown of Newburgh, New York, thinking about how fast the Daytona rally was approaching. Concerned that he didn't have enough bikes to take and ignoring all the people hanging out around him having a good time, he sat staring at a napkin, doodling. Rich thought he would just throw something together out of the spare parts lying around the shop. It never crossed his mind to build something from the ground up with only two weeks left.

Rich's buddy Buck suggested he do just that-build something from scratch, something original. With each turn of his Wild Turkey-soaked mind, the doodle on the napkin became more elaborate, and pretty soon Rich had the makings of a one-off chopper before him. He knew what he had to do. The next morning, hangover and all, he had to start work.

Rich has been around bikes all his life. His father and brother were both heavy into motorcycles, and he grew up working on dirt bikes. Rich is a welder and fabricator by trade, and he began years ago out of his garage, fabricating parts for friends' bikes such as handlebars and exhausts. Pretty soon everyone wanted something fabricated, so Rich decided to go professional. He opened his own shop, RPM Choppers, about five years ago.

With only two weeks remaining before the Daytona rally, Rich knew he had to move fast. With the help of Buck, he kicked around some design ideas and got started on the build. He designed some wheels and sent the drawings out to Rowe Machine in Wallingford, Connecticut, to get them made. It was a tall, time-sensitive order, but Rich knew the guys at Rowe Machine could handle it.

This bike was going to be different. Rich doesn't have a signature look, and he doesn't want one. His only trademark is all his bikes have a point on the rear fender. Other than that, the style changes every time.

He started by fabricating a frame from scratch with 52 degrees of rake and 5 inches in the backbone. For suspension, he decided on American Suspension with 6 degrees in the triple-trees and integrated brakes. Rich also decided that the bike was going to be long and low. He also wanted a super-clean look by hiding all the wiring and not putting anything unnecessary on, like mirrors or turn signals.

Within five days the wheels were cut and chromed, so Rich drove up to Wallingford to pick them up. For rear brakes he went with an Exile Sprotor, and used a fully adjustable proportioning valve for the front and rear so a brake lever wouldn't be needed. With the twist of a knob, the power to both brakes can be adjusted as needed. To eliminate the need for a clutch lever, Rich called up Exile and ordered a twist clutch. The problem, Exile said, was that it could only be used for a right-side-drive bike, which this wasn't. However, Rich knew he could make it work. When he put the twist clutch on, it was hitting in the basket where the pull sleeve is, so he machined the aluminum and changed the cable to a heavy-duty bike cable. Problem solved; it worked like a champ.

When it was time for paint, Rich knew he could rely on his friend Justin Barnes at JB Graffix to get the job done. Again it was a tall order. Rich needed the bike back from paint as soon as possible because the deadline was fast approaching. Justin had it done in a mere four days.

The final day of the build turned into an all-nighter, and they didn't have time to shower or even wash their hands before throwing the bike in the trailer and heading south toward Daytona. Rich and Buck had crossed through the borders of three states before they stopped to use the restrooms and wash up. Driving straight through, they arrived to set up their booth and the girl that welcomed them commented on how bad they smelled. They finally got their showers, and the rally went smoothly after that. The bike was a hit and everyone loved it.

After Daytona, they had the bike at a local show where a guy wanted to buy it and would call in a couple days. Rich didn't think much of it. He'd heard that line many times, but sure enough, the guy called and came with cash in hand the next day.

SPEC SHEET
GENERAL
SHOP RPM Choppers
PHONE (845) 561-2045
WEBSITE www.rpmcustomchoppers.com
YEAR/MAKE/MODEL '06/RPM CustomChoppers/Angel Of Death
FABRICATION RPM
ASSEMBLY RPM
BUILD TIME Two weeks
ENGINE
YEAR/ TYPE/SIZE '06/107
BUILDER TP Engineering
CASES TP
CYLINDERS TP
HEADS TP
ROCKER BOXES TP
CARBURETOR Mikuni
AIR CLEANER B&D;
EXHAUST RPM
TRANSMISSION
YEAR/TYPE '06/Baker
CASE Baker
CLUTCH Karata
PRIMARY DRIVE Billet 4-U
>FRAME
YEAR/TYPE '06/RPM Choppers
RAKE 52 degrees
STRETCH 5 inches
SUSPENSION
YEAR/MANUFACTURER FRONT '06/AmericanSuspension
LENGTH 6 over
REAR N/A
SWINGARM N/A
WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES
MANUFACTURER
FRONT/TYPE Rowe Machine/RPM Choppers
SIZE-WIDTH/HEIGHT 21x3 inches
TIRE/SIZE Avon 120/70
CALIPER American Suspension
ROTOR RPM
MANUFACTURER
REAR/TYPE Rowe Machine/RPM Choppers
SIZE-WIDTH/HEIGHT 18x10.5 inches
TIRE/SIZE Avon/{{{300}}}
CALIPER Exile
ROTOR Exile Sprotor
ACCESSORIES
FRONT FENDER RPM Choppers
REAR FENDER RPM Choppers
GAS TANK & CAP RPM Choppers
OIL TANK RPM Choppers
DASH N/A
GAUGES N/A
HANDLEBARS RPM Choppers
RISERS RPM Choppers
MIRRORS N/A
HAND CONTROLS Exile Twist Clutch
FOOT CONTROLS Billet 4-U
FOOTPEGS Billet 4-U
HEADLIGHT Headwinds
TAILLIGHT Pro Fab
TURN SIGNALS N/A
LICENSE MOUNT Pro Fab
SEAT Psycho Seats (gator)
ACCESSORIES
FRONT FENDER RPM Choppers
REAR FENDER RPM Choppers
GAS TANK & CAP RPM Choppers
OIL TANK RPM Choppers
DASH N/A
GAUGES N/A
HANDLEBARS RPM Choppers
RISERS RPM Choppers
MIRRORS N/A
HAND CONTROLS Exile Twist Clutch
FOOT CONTROLS Billet 4-U
FOOTPEGS Billet 4-U
HEADLIGHT Headwinds
TAILLIGHT Pro Fab
TURN SIGNALS N/A
LICENSE MOUNT Pro Fab
SEAT Psycho Seats (gator)