Like most people out in the working world, you often go through a few jobs before you find the one you really enjoy. Mike Robinson of Monroe, Georgia, was no exception. He had been working around bikes for a long time, but for the most part, he only painted them. When the last shop he was working at closed down, he found himself looking for a new job. A shop that he had done work for in the past, Lee's Custom Choppers, called him about a job - this time it was about building bikes, not just painting them.
Mike knows how to strip down a bike for paint and put things back together, but now he was going to be involved in custom builds. He worked with Kyle Lee for two years, and finally Mike felt that he was ready to build a custom chopper for himself. Mike loved the look of long choppers, so he ordered a KraftTech rigid frame with 48 degrees of rake at the neck, 4 inches of upward stretch, and 2 inches added to the backbone - classic chopper geometry. Mike knew that his rigid chopper needed the older look of a springer, so a 12-inch-over Paughco Springer was just the ticket. Mike got his hands on a set of Trinity wheels from PM - a 21-incher up front and an 18x5-incher for the rear. Both were covered in Metzeler rubber, with the rear being a 200. To bring this chopper to a halt, PM calipers and matching rotors were used at the front and back of the bike.
Now that Mike had a good place to put a motor, picking the right size was the hard part: should he go monster or mild? Kyle told Mike that there was an S&S; motor in the back of the shop that needed to be rebuilt and he could have it. Wasting no time at all, Mike started to turn the 96-incher into a 103-inch beast. With help from long-time wrench Bruce Gower, they ordered a complete 103-inch top end, including stroked S&S; flywheels and rods, along with new pistons and cylinders. Bruce modified a set of H-D heads using all-new S&S; valves, and a set of stock H-D rocker boxes were re-chromed. To take full advantage of all the power from the motor, an S&S; Super E carburetor with a Wimmer Machine air cleaner and a Dyna 2000 ignition are used. A set of exhaust pipes from Grumpy's exhales the carbon monoxide. Mike then built a five-speed gearbox, using an H-D case filled with Andrews gears, and linked it to the motor with a 3-inch BDL beltdrive and BDL clutches.
It was now time to put some skin on this chopper, so Mike grabbed an Independent gas tank from the stock room and mounted it to the frame, along with an oil bag from Roadhouse Choppers. The chopper was going to be fenderless in the front, so fabrication time was spent on the rear. Everyone in the shop had some input on how to do the fender, and in the end, a 9-inch-wide blank was cut down so it would hug the tire. The next task was to make it look like something medieval, so the rear was cut into points and cold rolled steel was added to the edges to give the fender more strength. The fender needed some kind of support to mount to the frame, so a sissybar was the way to go. David Burk, the shop machinist, made a custom bar that looked as good as it worked.
It was then time for paint - Mike's specialty. He molded the frame and fender to get a smooth surface for paint. Next, some special metallic green was mixed for the basecoat and covered with some ghost flames in a lighter shade of green. Then, Stanley Minish striped in some flames and filled them with purple pearl, and pinstriped the edges with some Old Yeller number 5.
Mike made good use of his time while he was waiting for the paint to dry by fabricating numerous custom pieces. He started with low Z-handlebars, a shift linkage, spinning dice on the lower motor mounts, a custom taillight with built-in LED, and a license mount. At about the time that the paint was dry, Mike was ready to wrap this chopper up. Placed on top of the Accutronix risers were the custom Z-bars along with Arlen Ness hand controls, and grips. The foot controls were from V-Twin, but all the brackets were LCC. Fit just behind the gas tank was a custom seat from Rolling Relics, and a Ness headlamp finished it up.
The timing was just right for this chopper, it was completed at the same time we were out covering a story in Atlanta. We saw this bike and immediately asked to shoot it. The funny thing is, Mike was late for his own bachelor party because of the photo shoot. He was not going to miss out on an opportunity to be featured in STREET CHOPPER - he said he could always have a second party!
SpecificationsGeneralOwner: Mike RobinsonYear/Make: '03/chopperFabrication: Lee's Custom ChoppersAssembly: Mike RobinsonBuild Time: 10 months
EngineSize/Type: 103ci EvoCases: S&SFlywheels;: S&SRods;: S&SPistons;: S&SCylinders;: S&SHeads;: S&SCam;: S&SCarb;: S&SIgnition;: DynaPipes: Grumpy's
TransmissionYear/Type: '96/five-speedCase: H-DGears: AndrewsClutch: BDLPrimary Drive: BDL
Frame/SuspensionYear/Type: '00/Paughco Springer Rake: 48 degreesStretch: 4 inches up, 2 inches outSwingarm: RigidRear Suspension: Low tire pressureForks: PaughcoExtension: 12 overTriple-Trees: Paughco
|WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES|
FinishMolding: Jon KnightPainter: Mike RobinsonColor: Green/purpleGraphics: Stan MinishChrome Plating and Polishing: S&H; Road House PolishingPowdercoating: None
AccessoriesBars: Lee's Custom Choppers Risers: AccutronixHand Controls: Arlen NessHeadlight: Arlen NessTaillight: Lee's Custom ChoppersGauges: NoneElectrical: Lee's Custom ChoppersFuel Tank(s): AccutronixDash: NoneOil Tank: Roadhouse choppersFront Fender: NopeRear Fender: Lee's Custom ChoppersFender Struts: Lee's Custom ChoppersPegs: V-TwinFoot Controls: V-TwinSeat: Rolling Relics