Darren Williams stays really busy painting bikes at his St. Louis, Missouri shop, Liquid Illusions. He paints a lot of bikes for local shops and even painted the bike that was on the cover of last month's issue-The Haymaker-for the crew over at Bare Knuckle Choppers. In fact, Darren spends a lot of time on the road with the guys from Bare Knuckle Choppers, and we met him in person for the very first time standing in their booth at The Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota. That was coincidently where we saw Darren's bike for the very first time. Honestly, we spotted the green monster sitting off to the side of the booth before we met Darren. Heck, we didn't even know who the bike belonged to; we just went up to Paul from Bare Knuckle and asked about "The bike with the car carburetor." He knew exactly what we were talking about and pointed Darren out to us-he was sitting on a big comfortable couch in the shade of the booth. We asked him about his bike and he began to explain to us why he built it as we walked the short distance to where it was parked. He said, "My old bike was starting to get hard to find in the parking lot. It was like every bike at my local bike night was starting to look exactly the same to me. So it was time to build something different."
Darren began to point out all of the really unique items, like the fuel tank, the Demon carb, and the one-off intake. We were also eyeballing the Jolly Roger frame, the hand-built bars, custom pipes, and all of the amazing paintwork that looks black in one type of light and green in another. Then we noticed little custom touches like the hand-built grille that fit in the front of the fuel tank. Then we noticed all the dirt. As it turns out, Darren is a man cut from the same cloth that a lot of us are-he would rather spend time out on the road with his friends than sitting in a chair waiting for his name to be called for another dumb trophy. So needless to say, Darren's bike gets put through its paces on a regular basis and it ends up getting dirty-really dirty.
As the sun started to slip into the Western sky, we frantically hit up all of the vendors in the local proximity for some five-minute detailer and a stack of towels (Thanks to Jeff & Christian from Sucker Punch Sallys for saving the day). Within an hour, Darren had his bike all cleaned up and ready for its close-up.
As soon as the last photo was shot, Darren was tearing down the back roads of Sturgis trying to catch up with his buddies who had decided that they weren't going to let a little photo shoot cut into their riding time. We must have seen Darren and his group of friends 10 more times during the rest of the Black Hills Rally, but we never saw them in the same area twice.
Oh, Darren wanted us to be sure to thank Darian Teft, Radical Randy, Mario Audia, and the crew from Bare Knuckle for all their help with the bike, as well as Christian and Jeff from Sucker Punch Sallys for the last minute cleaning products.