This bike's journey started with a phone call to David Arbuthnott from Chino prison. Homeboy on the other end of the landline asked Dave to go check out a bike for him. The inmate asked Dave to give the bike owner (Homeboy#2) some stuff, seal the deal, and pick up the bike. Homeboy#2 said, "the stuff was good, but your bro was supposed to paint my truck too." Dave told Homeboy#2 he could paint the truck, but he wouldn't be happy because he never painted anything in his life. The bike deal was off and Dave went home and waited for another call from prison to tell his friend the news. When he called, Homeboy said he thought some of the deal would be a problem, but wanted to try anyway. Homeboy wanted to keep the bike in the family so he told Dave to try again and try and pick it up for a little more cash and stuff. Again, Homeboy#2 and Dave couldn't reach an agreement but the story didn't end there.
A few months later Homeboy#2 called Dave saying he had to split out of town and he was ready to cut a deal. So, for 700 bucks Dave picked up the '64 Sporty powered scoot with high-mount tank and long frontend. Dave rode it for about a year then hit the road up to Frisco from SoCal. On the way with a chick on the back, the tranny blew up after dumping the clutch in a drunken stupor. The bike sat in Dave's garage for 15 years while he continued to visit Homeboy in jail.
Then Dave met Slim at the Ink and Iron show in Long Beach, California. Dave saw some of Slim's stripped down bikes and liked his style. Dave brought the Sporty to Slim for ideas to get the bike back on the road. Slim said, "Kick those narrowed H-bars up and fix the tranny and you have a perfect barn find Frisco chopper." Dave said he dug that idea, but everybody was doing Frisco-style chops and he wanted something a little different. Dave wanted the bike built in Slim's style and asked him to take on the project. That was that-they shook hands and Slim brought the bike home and started to chop away. They decided to keep the swingarm and motor mounts and part of the backbone and downtubes to preserve the DMV tag. In a spare bedroom at Slim's pad, Slim broke out the Makita grinder and MIG welder and started cutting and torching up the frame. Slim deraked the neck and framed down the backbone. A hardtail section was then made that used the stock swingarm.
The gas tank is an ATC 250R tank that Slim chopped 5 inches out of the center and retunneled it. Dave had to rein in Slim on the tank fab as Slim has a tendency to make his tanks really small. You have to have enough gas to get to the bar and back. This is also the second oil bag that Slim has made for this bike. Slim dished and decorated the 12-inch ball that holds the oil. All of the detailed ornamental work on the seat, tank, and fender were done by Slim.
At first Dave didn't know what to make of the unique rear fender with the tiny triangle holding LEDs for brake and running lights. Now he loves it. Slim made the handlebars that hold the left-side throttle and tasty throttle guides. The old Sportster had a right-sidefoot shift, so they kept it on the right and made it a jockey shift with a right-side foot clutch. Dave rebuilt the brakes and kept the stock wheels with the big drum brake up front. His friend, Donny, who cut his teeth at Denver's Choppers, rebuilt the four-speed tranny with a new mainshaft and a few shims.
There's so much to look at on this bike. Detailed attention was paid to practically every inch of the entire motorcycle. Take a look; you'll see why Dave dug Slim's work from the first meeting. SC
WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKESFRONT
'39 Service Truck