While wandering around the Dublin mob choppers party back in march, we came across a pretty sharp chop parked out in front of the main building. While wandering around the Dublin Mob Choppers party back in March, we came across a pretty sharp chop parked out in front of the main building. The bike looked vaguely familiar, though we couldn't place where we'd seen it before. Upon going through photographs later on, Ernie recognized the lively looking bike as the Belfast Bombshell-a bike we happened to have on file. When room opened up for a feature, I jumped right on it and fended off the editorial assistant for writing duties (he's still recovering from his wounds).
The Dublin Mob boys hail from San Diego, California, and refer to themselves as working class heroes: The ordinary guys putting in their time without the shine and glamour that sometimes comes with the big names and bling bikes. They're interested in expression and improvement, and are never afraid to tear something apart and redo it if they think they can make it better. A lot of the Dublin Mob bikes (and four-wheeled vehicles) seem to follow this artistic mindset, which perhaps embodies the working class in its idealized form: doing the job and doing it well, often going above and beyond the call of duty, often for very little reward. "Most of our builds, chop or hot rod, have some kind of theme running through them," says Shannon McKnight, owner of DMC. "Just not in an annoying, overdone way." They are influenced by a stout Irish background, particularly great-grandfather McKnight, a smuggler in the 1800s.
Dublin Mob's attraction to history is matched by an interesting past of its own. Shannon started the shop when he was young so that "We could have a cool club that incorporated old cars, choppers, and the occasional pint." Their shop and the surrounding property is peppered with the aforementioned choppers and some pretty rad-looking vintage automobiles. "Our motto is 'it's a brotherhood,' so we basically look out for each other and have fun." This fun includes the shop's annual Paddy Ride, a definite group style that's been described as "the Elvis of chop shops with a bit o'grease and Irish thrown in," and a method of bike building that focuses on detail.
The Belfast Bombshell is "a tribute to the Auld Sod and the hard-working people it produced," says Shannon. "We're not a bolt-on shop." The Dublin Mob isn't big on flashy stick-on parts; one look at the Bombshell should be enough to confirm that. The bike sports a pretty spare frontend; what's necessary is there, and if you don't need it, you won't find it. The Bombshell, while striking in her simplicity, has something surprising along those lines to point out: a 12-gauge shotgun with double-barrel side by side action serves as the shifter. After cutting 2 1/2 feet off the barrel and trimming the stock down to a pistol grip, the gun would hardly be legal if it were newer, but as it's about a hundred years old and uses black powder, the shop's gotten away with it. "We saw it at a pawn shop and knew it had to be a shifter," Shannon said. "It went with the theme of the bike: No front brake, suicide shift, open primary, ape hangers-kinda like Belfast, Ireland-to hell and back."
The 19-inch Dublin Mob apes draw the eye back upwards, giving the Bombshell a rakish profile and jaunty stance. That's the defining characteristic of this bike: the way she cuts through a crowd is based purely on the simple looks and posture. The taillight was snatched from a '51 Ford; rear suspension is found in the leather-wrapped seat. Shannon pays particular attention to the seats on all Dublin Mob bikes, even tooling the bottom. "Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it shouldn't be finished," he says. "I use a variety of nautical knots and basket weaves to finish the lacing on the seats. Every time I go down to the leather shop I learn something new." Power is sucked up from a Harley-Davidson 80ci Evolution engine and channeled through a 1974 four-speed transmission to the Avon tires.
The Bombshell didn't set out to win beauty contests, though plenty of people have stopped in their tracks for a look at the shifter and the seat. A cop once stopped them for half an hour just to check her out ("He dug it, and nobody was taken away in cuffs.") The paint is simple, the design is not revolutionary. There's not a lot of shiny things tacked on. Still, there's something about her that will stick in your memory-and you'll instantly recognize the Bombshell the next time you see her. That's the goal of Dublin Mob, according to Shannon: "It's all been done before, but you can tell when it's been done by Dublin Mob."
|OWNER:||DUBLIN MOB CHOPPERS|
|SHOP:||DUBLIN MOB CHOPPERS|
|BUILD TIME:||THREE MONTHS|
|AIR CLEANER:||DUBLIN MOB|
|EXHAUST:||DUBLIN MOB "BLEED FROM THE EARS"|
|PRIMARY DRIVE:||3-INCH BDL|
|STRETCH:||A LITTLE BIT|
|SUSPENSION:||WHAT DO YOU THINK?|
|REAR:||YES, FROM THE REAR IS GOOD|
|WHEELS, TIRES, & BRAKES|
|FINISH / PAINT|
|COLOR:||SATIN BLACK/LIME FOREST GREEN|
|BELTDRIVE PAINT||DUBLIN MOB|
|HAND SHIFT:||12-GAUGE SHOTGUN|
|REAR FENDER:||DUBLIN MOB|
|FENDER STRUTS:||DUBLIN MOB|
|GAS TANK:||CCI/DUBLIN MOB|
|OIL TANK:||CCI/DUBLIN MOB|
|HANDLEBARS:||DUBLIN MOB 19-INCH APES|
|MIRRORS:||TURN YOUR HEAD, DUMMY|
|LICENSE MOUNT||DUBLIN MOB|
|SEAT:||PAN & LEATHER-DUBLIN MOB|