As maiden voyages go, Glen Sauer of Sauer's Garage will tell you the baby blue bobber seen here gave him one hell of a ride...or more accurately, one hell of a fall.
Ready for the bike's inaugural shakedown run, Glen stomped his weight down on the vintage popsicle-style kicker pedal only to have the new 93-inch S&S; shovelhead kick back into his leg with enough force to fracture bones and tear tendons, landing Glen on his back and putting the bike's first miles on indefinite hold.
"When I first got it done I was having trouble getting it running right, so I took it over to R&R; since they had done the top end for me," Glen said. "Their mechanic over there, John, is like 250 or 260 pounds and he didn't have any trouble kicking it over, but when I got it back he had set the timing marks for him and I set it all up the same way, but obviously it didn't work out quite right for me."
To make matters worse, Glen tore the MCL in his opposite leg in the process of hobbling around trying to heal the original injury. "The bike just sat in the corner for a few months," he said. "I still haven't actually ridden the bike. John from R&R; has put quite a few miles on it, but I've never ridden it."
For all the bad mojo surrounding his newest creation, Glen still beams with pride over the ultra clean look and subtle nuances that make his "Ankle Breaker" more than just another bobber.
"I just really wanted something simple and clean," Glen said. "This one goes against the flashy high tech trend and holds it own in a timeless fashion."
Wanting something familiar but altogether different, Glen traveled to Killer Chopper in Henniker, New Hampshire and collaborated with owner Josh Ford to create a unique no-stretch wishbone frame with a modest 30-degrees of rake using thick-wall 1-inch tubing throughout with a 1.250-inch backbone. The result is a nostalgic looking frame with enough rigidity to handle the twist created by the aforementioned joint-crushing power plant.
With the frame blueprints drafted, Glen and Josh realized Killer's offset Springer wasn't going to allow for proper trail, and so a new inline prototype was created and is now offered as part of Killer's regular product line.
To the frame and forks, Glen bolted up a set of Black Bike chrome 40-spoke billet hub wheels wrapped in Avon rubber. Glen then spun up some wheel spacers in house to blend the hubs seamlessly with the springer in the front and the unique rear dropouts he'd borrowed from late friend Johnny "Chop" Vasco.
"I hate frames with the big axle blocks with the billet covers," Glen said. "I don't see the point in hiding all that stuff.
When it came time for the tins, he tried on a whole shelf full of tank shapes with the frame but kept gravitating back to the tried-and-true Sporty peanut-style.
"We've got all the tools to build any tank we want," Glen said. "But I just sort of dig the old Sporty peanut."
With a tank picked, Glen again called on his West Coast friend Johnny for a little advice on the mounting. "I sent him some pictures of the bike mocked up with the tank mounted a couple of different ways. He kept telling me to mount it up on top of the backbone Frisco-style, but I told him no way. So I dropped the tank right down on top of the engine with a real deep tunnel. I told him it was anti-Frisco-style."
Glen added a sight gauge to the side of the tank to let him know when the further-reduced fuel cell was about to run dry, and topped the whole thing off with a scavenged Mickey Thompson automotive wheel spinner for a gas cap. The rear fender, sissy bar, and rear mini pegs were fabbed up by Sauer's Garage to give Glen a two-up option, as were the stainless forward foot controls, cueball shift knob, and Sauer's Garage signature tapered shifter arm.
With the foot inputs out of the way, Glen again used a scatter gun approach when it came time for handlebars, creating several sets only to shelve all but the 16-inch built-in riser units you see here. "I'll spend more time thinking about ways to make it look like I didn't care," he said. "Make it look like I took the easy way out."
With the bike back in pieces, Glen dropped seat pans off to Brad at Deadwood Choppers for the clean tanned leather work. The paint scheme-melding '50s hot-rod inspired scallops with an even older color pallet of baby blue and off white-was laid down by Jeff Thomayer of Alpha Body Works, while pinstriping on the tank and fender was handled by Phil Sealy.
"In the end we got a cool little bike that holds true to our simple and clean style," Glen said. That and a limp he'll always be able to blame on the bike that kicked him back.
|BUILD TIME:||NINE MONTHS|
|AIR CLEANER:||SAUER'S GARAGE|
|CLUTCH:||PRIMO/HYD FOOT/SAUER'S GARAGE|
|PRIMARY DRIVE:||PRIMO 2-INCH|
|YEAR/TYPE:||'05/KILLER CHOPPER/SAUER'S GARAGE WISHBONE|
|WHEELS,TIRES, & BRAKES:|
|BUILDER/SIZE:||BLACK BIKE/21X3 DROP CENTER|
|BUILDER/SIZE:||BLACK BIKE/16X4.25 SHORTY|
|COLOR(S):||BABY BLUE/OFF WHITE|
|GRAPHICS:||JEFF THOMAYER/JEFF SEALEY|
|REAR FENDER:||SAUER'S GARAGE|
|SISSY BAR:||SAUER'S GARAGE|
|GAS TANK:||SPORTY/SAUER'S GARAGE|
|OIL TANK:||GEORGE/SAUER'S GARAGE|
|HAND CONTROLS:||SAUER'S GARAGE|
|FOOT CONTROLS:||SAUER'S GARAGE|
|LICENSE MOUNT:||SAUER'S GARAGE|