Rigid Custom Chopper Project and an Indian Larry Story
by David Molina
hardtail custom chopper
My Rigid Custom Chopper Project, and and Indian Larry Story and Jesse James Story...
If I tell you how long I had this project you would most likely scream. I sold my custom sportster and I bought the motor for this project used back in 2000. I was already married and a kid on the way, was not making much money at my job so really could not invest money in it as much as I liked too. Tip money here, bonus money there, my next purchase was a hardtail wide tire frame I bought new, being that it was 2000, wide tire bikes were very very few, I thought I was gonna have the newest thing out there, yea right!
I must back up a bit here. Back when I was a kid there was this bike shop called Dilligaf Cycles in Queens NY run by a man called Eddie Lights. It was a few blocks from my school I use to past it every day, I started cutting class just to hang out there (not a good thing kids stay in school) anyway he had a few mechanics working for him and would let me watch or even clean up after them (got paid with stickers and tee shirts)which I didn't mind. One of the head mechanics there at the time was the one and only Indian Larry. This was in the mid 1980's. I continued spending as much time there as I could through out the years never getting paid but working just the same. I saw it as free school and the right to be cool as hell ha ha! Back in those days bikers were bikers not flip flop wearing weekend warriors and I learned more from these guys than you could ever learn in any motorcycle school, after awhile they started letting me be a parts changer: carburetors, brakes, pipes, basic stuff which I thought was the coolest thing ever (still not getting paid now Eddie was just being a cheap ass lol) but again loved it anyway. My love for the biker world is overwhelming. I miss those days a great deal. Back to my project sorry for the story but had to be told...through the last 10 years have been slowly very slowly purchasing parts I needed to complete my dream ride hanging out with bikers all my life I know what the best products are at least by my opinion I bought a stock Harley tranny because even though the rest of my parts are after market I wanted a custom Harley not just another new name ride I think it's funny how some so called bikers have all the Harley merchandise (tee shirts, boots, leathers etc.) and ride some custom ride with no Harley parts what so ever, true bikers are a dying breed, anyway bought a S&S super E carburetor now lets talk about carbs. The best way to know what the best carb is go to any bike event, show, toy run
etc. See who's got what on their rides. I promise you at least 75% will have an S&S of some sort it is just a great carb simple and powerful and nice looking to boot.
All my controls, brakes, rotors, rims, are performance machine another great product, I decided to go open belt on this bike which is 4"I use a product Karata Enterprise belt drive and used Barnett clutch (scorpion), custom made my own sissy bar and front fender which is not much of a fender but looks cool as hell. My rear fender is another story. I heard of this guy Jesse James out in California that make fantastic fenders (this was before the series on t.v) called him up actually spoke to him and ordered my rear fender, cut the hell out of it to go with my sissy bar. I wanted to paint my own bike. I painted plenty of friends bikes with canned spray paint and always looked good, so I spent a couple of needed dollars for parts on spray equipment instead turn out to be a good investment paint job came out fantastic. I use basic ppg paints for it's cheaper than house of color bullshit. After prep and priming I sprayed on my base-coat which is sort of a blue can't remember the exact color to lazy to go read the can. Anyway my wife is an artist and together we came up with some great tribal designs, laid out our design masked the rest sprayed on a silver metallic, this is the cool part, after removing tape and paper we came up with another idea what if we tint the clear with the base color which was blue, we then proceeded to spray 3 coats of clear till we got the effect we were looking for. I must say the paint job looks like I paid thousand for it. Meanwhile it cost me $400 in paint and supplies. My pipes are from wicket brothers. Another cool thing I did was order a dual caliper bracket for my rear breaks. Over kill but again cool as hell. The bike as we speak is about 90% complete. I need to figure out the wiring, seat pan, ignition. I might leave that to a shop to take care of. I've been looking for a mechanic willing to help me finish it, but no luck. I moved to Georgia a few years back and have not met any true bikers yet. The bottom line is this; even though it's been years in the making I would do it again. Building my own ride has had it's ups and downs plenty of wrench's flying across the shop. But the friends I have made and the things I did to learn more is well worth it. As soon as I finish this bike I will find Mr. Eddie Lights and we will ride hitting every freaking bar we pass. I hope you have enjoyed my story as much as I did writing it.