From Stock to Custom

1: Fred kicked things off by taking his 18-inch Biker's Choice wheels and Avon tires to Wheel Works in Garden Grove, California. Wheel Works mounted, balanced, and filled the tires with air before sending Fred on his way.

2: Here's what the D&D; fenders looked like before we got started. Fred noticed that a pocket would have to be cut out of the rear one to make room for the ignition module.

3: The ignition module fits in this housing that was previously bolted to the stock fender.

4: With the bike still on the lift, Fred removes the rotors and the rear pulley that will be used on his new wheels. He also removes the rear fender and places it next to the new D&D; piece. Fred will need to duplicate the cutout of the stock fender to allow placement for the ignition module.

5: Before he does any cutting, the fender is clamped in place and checked for fit.

6: Then a template is drawn on a piece of cardboard to be used as a cutting guide.

7: The lines are traced onto the new fender, and Fred carefully cuts away the area the ignition box will sit in.

8: After the section is removed, the area is smoothed with a rotary grinder, followed by a little filing to remove any sharp edges.

9: The fender is clamped back in between the struts and is carefully measured on both sides to ensure even placement.

10: After the holes are marked, a pilot hole is drilled on the center of the marks. This will be followed by a larger hole to accommodate the 3/8-inch bolts that pass through the struts and hold the fender.

11: We'll be using these lights from HiTech Products on the new bodywork. Today we will, mount the plate frame/taillight assemblies, and the fender-mounted light will go in at a later date -- after Fred gets his hands on a plasma cutter to make a clean cutout for it.

12: Since the axle holds on the HiTech lighting, Fred needs to transfer his stock rotors and pulley over to the Biker's Choice wheels...

13: ...just in time for Larry Prior to drop by and help. While Fred holds the wheel, Larry slides the axle through the HiTech lighting and on through the hub.

14: Now we're ready to move on to the front of the bike. The stock fender has been removed and the Biker's Choice wheel is put in place so Fred can see how the fender needs to be aligned to follow the radius of the wheel and tire.

15: The fender is clamped down, then double- and triple-checked for alignment before the pilot holes are drilled. Remember that you can never check alignment too many times if you want to make sure the job is done correctly.

16: After the pilot holes are drilled, the fender is taken out of the forks, cutting oil is applied, and the final bolt holes are drilled.

17: The front fender is now ready to bolt in. Fred did a great job of aligning the radius of the fender with the wheel and tire -- everything fits perfectly.

18: We wheeled the bike onto the front lawn in order to get a better look at just how fantastic the new D&D; fender looks over the new front wheel.

19: And we also took a photo of the new rear bodywork with the HiTech lighting installed. Once the taillight is installed in the fender and the paint is done, this is going to be one great-looking motorcycle. The rear fender may also receive a little re-arching of the wheel cutout when Fred gets a plasma cutter.

20: Here it is. The tank we stretched for our October 2001 issue and the new fenders are bolted on and ready for paint. We'll continue to track the transformation of the bike to its completion, and we'll pass the end result on for your critique. From the way it looks so far, Fred is going to wind up with one killer custom bike when the dust settles.

Many custom bikes in our magazine, over the years, have been built with store-bought or fabricated frames. Like many of us, you may have lusted over the thought of having such a bike to call your own. As you look over the stock Harley in your garage that you really love, you wonder how you can make it look as good as those found on these pages, but a quick scan of the price sheets of the necessary parts stops you dead in your tracks.

Not every bike we feature began its life as a special construction machine. In fact, many of them started out with a Harley VIN number, just like the one in your driveway. With careful planning and the right pieces, you can transform your bike into the head-turning custom that will be the envy of everyone on your block.

Our good friend and freelance contributor, Fred Reed, decided that even though he absolutely loves his 2000 Heritage Softail, it just looked far too mundane. If you've followed the progress of Fred's bike over the past year, you've seen it go from a stock TC88B, to a 100hp pavement-shredder. Now Fred was ready to take his bike to the next level. He ordered a pair of D&D;/Fat Katz Rapture fenders and new LED taillight/license plate mounts from HiTech Products. On top of that, he will convert his bike from 16-inch wheels to 18-inch ones by installing a great-looking pair of Biker's Choice wheels wrapped in tires from Avon.

We've featured many items from HiTech Products over the years, from its incredibly bright LED lighting products, to the company's super-clean open beltdrive primaries. You may have even seen the first set of D&D; fenders we got our hands on a few months ago for a project, and we can tell you that they are some of the highest-quality fenders we've ever seen -- period. The D&D; fenders are perfectly shaped, with welds as smooth as they could possibly get and reinforcement panels in all the right places.

We dropped in on Fred just in time to take pictures of him installing his new fenders and taillights, which should match his custom stretched fuel tank that we had showed him working on in our October 2001 issue perfectly.

Biker's Choice www.bikerschoice.comD&D/Fat Katz Dept. HB 140 E. McNight Wy. Ste.2 Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 273-2212 www.fatkatz.comHiTech Products (818) 887-0136 www.hitechledproducts.comWheel Works Dept. HB 12787 Nutwood Garden Grove, CA 92840 (714) 530-6681