Last year, several months before Daytona Bike Week, Tony Cenzi, the owner of Cenzi Motorcycle Company located in Spencerport, New York, had some breathing room between bike builds and was finally able to get started on a bike that he had been planning on building for himself. Before he even picked up a wrench, Tony had one goal in mind: to have the bike done in time to cruise around on while in Daytona. Since this was going to be his own personal bike, Tony wanted to take it to the extreme by using a Patrick 125ci motor and a 280 rear tire.
A few days before he was ready to start the build, a soon-to-be customer by the name of Rick Gollel cruised up to the shop on a production custom bike. Rick told Tony that although he liked his production bike, he wanted something a little more radical with a huge fat-tire and lots of power. Even though he resented it in the back of his mind, Tony told Rick about the bike that he was planning on building for himself, and Rick was immediately intrigued. After a long discussion, Tony made a deal with Rick that he would design and build the bike to his liking, then sell it to Rick after Daytona. Rick agreed and left the shop so that Tony could get started.
The first thing Tony did was put the Thunder Cycle Design (TCD) drop-seat frame he had picked out for the build up on a lift. The frame featured 40 degrees of rake in the neck, 7 inches of stretch in the backbone, and a 2-inch-under downtube, perfect dimensions for a pro-street-style bike. Next, he bolted a set of TCD 3-degree raked triple-trees to the neck, followed by an inverted 63mm 2-under frontend. In order to keep the rear of the bike nice and low, Tony bolted in a Legend Air Ride suspension system. He was able to get the frame off the lift and rolling around the shop with a pair of Weld wheels. A 18x3.5-inch front and an enormous 18x10.5-inch rear, with the hub offset to run a right-side drive setup, were bolted in place. Both wheels were wrapped in Metzeler rubber with the rear supporting the 280 that he had been dreaming about. In the braking department, Tony went with Weld rotors and PM calipers, with the rear running a drive-side assembly.
The next step in the build was the one thing that Tony had been longing to do for quite a while: set a 125ci Patrick Racing motor between the framerails. Once the motor was in place, Tony stood back to admire the billet monster, and tried to imagine what it was going to sound and feel like when he fired it up for the first time. After daydreaming for a while, he bolted on a Mikuni carb, with a Wimmer Machine intake, and a Thunder Cycle exhaust system to help accentuate the motor. A Baker right-side drive six-speed transmission was bolted in behind the motor and a Rivera enclosed primary was used to tie the two together.
Even though he knew he wasn't going to keep the bike for himself, Tony didn't hold back when it came time to add the sheetmetal. After massaging a Wernimont front fender to fit snugly over the front tire, he began fabricating a stretched gas tank to cover the backbone. However, to dress the tank up a bit and draw admirer's attention down through the drop seat section of the frame and towards the back of the bike to the massive 280, he recessed the top of the tank 1/4 inch. Next, he made a huge rear fender with some LEDs incorporated into the rear of it. Then, he welded the fender to the back of the frame, and filled in around the seat pan area so that it all looked like one piece. Tony didn't want to mount the oil tank under the seat pan, so he fabricated an air dam that would also do double duty as the oil tank. After several long days of molding everything together so that it all flowed together seamlessly, the bike was finally ready for paint.
The frame and sheetmetal were shipped to Arizona to the skilled hands of well-known custom painter, Mike Learn. After a brief discussion with Tony, Mike had a good idea of how he wanted the bike to be painted. Mike started by covering the raw metal parts with coat after coat of Pearl Root Beer. Next, in a nod to old-school tradition with some modern styling, Mike spent hours delicately laying down some gold and silver leaf in tribal patterns along the sheetmetal and frame. When he was satisfied with his work, Mike shipped the parts back to Tony so he could start final assembly.
Once he had the bike back to its pre-paint status, Tony fabricated a set of handlebars with built-in risers and a Dakota Digital Speedo gage molded into the center of the bars. On the ends of the bars, he added JayBrake hand controls and Ness mirrors. Down below, PM forward controls were mounted, then he bolted a Headwinds headlight between the triple-trees, while behind the primary, he added a Cyril Huze license mount/taillight. Lastly, Tony secured the custom-made seat from Carl's Seat Covers to the frame, and he was ready to head to Daytona.
When he took the bike for its first ride in Daytona, Tony immediately got a huge grin on his face, because the bike sounded and rode better than he had imagined. Tony rode the bike as much as possible because he knew as soon as he got back, he'd be turning it over to Rick. Although he didn't get to keep the bike for as long as he would have liked, getting it photographed to be featured in HOT BIKE more than made up for it.
|FABRICATION||Cenzi Motorcycle Co.|
|BUILD TIME||Six months|
|SIZE/TYPE||125ci Patrick Racing|
|STRETCH||7-out, 2-under downtube|
|REAR SUSPENSION||Legend Air Ride|
|WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES|
|Rear: Metzler 280|
|MOLDING||Cenzi Motorcycle Co.|
|CHROME PLATING AND POLISHING||Niagra Plating|
|FUEL TANK||Tony Cenzi|
|OIL TANK||Tony Cenzi|
|REAR FENDER||Tony Cenz|
|SEAT||Carl's Seat Covers|