It was a foregone conclusion that Martin "Roadside Marty" Davis would grow up riding bikes. Not only did his dad, Shelton Davis, prowl America's roads on his H-D back in the day, but his mother rode along on her own Ironhead Sportster, even when she was pregnant with Marty.
Later on, Shelton opened his own custom chopper shop in the '70s. It was a modest operation, but it helped Marty learn his way around the inner workings of a motorcycle. And while the shop closed down, Shelton packratted away vintage parts for future projects.
Fast forward to 1992. Shelton searches through his collection and pieces together a '65 Panhead motor as a present for his son. Little does he know (or maybe he does - parents always seem to know more than they let on about their kids) just how far Marty will take that mill: first as a '60s-style chopper with a long springer up front, reincarnated later as a dresser with an electric starter, and finally as the angry road warrior you see here.
And a lot happens along the way. That first project in '92 was a collaboration between father and son with a ton of knowledge passed from elder to younger. The present version was a team effort as well, but it also illustrates just how well Marty learned his lessons since. As he puts it, the chopper was designed to be "big, mean, nasty, and in your face - like me, I think."
However, Marty also wanted the bike to be a classic bobber, and luckily Shelton's garage is practically a bike museum. They scrounged through it and dug up some interesting dirt: a '51 Hydra Glide front end which Marty restored, 16-inch H-D wheels with drum brakes, an old H-D rear fender, and old stock controls, among others. Most of what didn't come out of the garage came from either V-Twin Manufacturing or Paughco, both of which are known for old-school replica parts. The restoration work ate up a lot of time, but without Shelton's invaluable assistance and expertise there's no telling how long it would have taken to get the job done.
When the bike was ready for color, Marty didn't want to go the glossy route. He wanted mean and nasty, and he got both courtesy of Thermodyne Powdercoating in Pensacola, Florida. They dressed his machine in black then added red flames with white pinstriping to set it off. Final assembly followed, and a while later he made the run to Daytona where he was cool enough to let us shoot it.
Local riding, however, isn't all Marty has planned. He made this chopper so he could ride the hell out of it, starting with the Steel Pony rally in New Orleans. And when he's not riding to events, Marty's running a little bike shop with his father called Shelton's Hawg Shop. Their next collaborative effort? A flathead 80 chopper. If it turns out as good as this one, we can't wait to see it.
|OWNER||MARTIN "ROADSIDEMARTY" DAVIS|
|FABRICATION||MARTY AND SHELTON DAVIS|
|BUILD TIME||FOUR MONTHS|
|BUILDER(S)||MARTY AND SHELTON DAVIS|
|PUSHROD TUBES||H-D WITH SKULL COLLARS|
|FINISH||WRINKLE BLACK RATTLE CAN|
|TOP/SIDECOVERS||H-D WITH PAUGHCO KICKER COVER|
|PRIMARY DRIVE||PRIMO BELTDRIVE|
|FINAL DRIVE||O-RING CHAIN|
|YEAR/TYPE||'51/H-D HYDRA GLIDE|
|WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES:|
|TIRE||MAXXIS CLASSIC GANGSTER,WHITEWALL|
|BRAKE||H-D HYD. DRUM|
|PAINTER(S)||RONNIE "EASY"ALFORD AND BOB EVANS|
|GRAPHICS||ALFORD AND EVANS|
|FRONT FENDER||V-TWIN MANUFACTURING|
|REAR FENDER||HARLEY REPOP CHOPPED|
|GAS TANK(S)/CAP(S)||3.5 GALLON FATBOBS/H-D|
|OIL TANK||PAUGHCO WRAPAROUND|
|HANDLEBARS||10-INCH PAUGHCO APES|
|FOOT CONTROLS||H-D, ROCKER CLUTCH|
|LICENSE MOUNT||MARTY AND SHELTON DAVIS|
|SEAT||K-MODEL REPLICA BY V-TWINMANUFACTURING|
|ELECTRICAL||MARTY AND SHELTON DAVIS|