Like most of us, Dan Tedder of Capistrano Beach, California, grew up with a passion for cool bikes. Dan knew just how to satisfy his desire and that was to harness his talent and passion and customize his first Harley. Then another...and another...and another. It seems, however, that every time he finishes his painstaking task of creating one, someone comes along with a fat wad of cash and he watches his prize ride away with a different owner, leaving him with a new budget to start all over again.
We recently met Dan showing off his latest chopper at a local biker gathering place nestled in the scenic canyons in Orange County, California. Dan was ecstatic that we were interested in featuring his ride, and didn't mind giving us a detailed tour of this bike you see before you. As we were making our way around his bike, he told us all about it and how it came to life.
It all started, as you can imagine, on the day his last chopper was sold. Dan was counting his cash; he began to plan his number 3. This time around he wanted to combine the classic bobber look with modern power and rideability. So, wasting no time, the very first phone call was placed to TP for one of their top-of-the-line dyno-twisting 114-inch Pro Series motors. Add in a Mikuni HSR45 carb and Thunder Heart ignition, and he ended up with a combination that produces 114 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque to the rear tire. After his new beast of a motor arrived, Dan and his friends carefully uncrated it and placed it on his coffee table. For the next hour or so, they all just sat around it, mesmerized. The show polish was breathtaking, and the huge cylinders...ARGH! Even the TP Engineering engraving on the ignition cover made for an excellent centerpiece in his living room.
As his motor sat on display, safe and warm, UPS and FedEx Trucks were making frequent deliveries. When the DNA Specialties Softail frame with 36-degrees of rake and 1-1/2-inch backbone stretch came, Dan was amazed with how clean the welds were. He chose not to clean them up, but did make a few adjustments on the seat location to make for a little more leg room. He then sent it out to Drezek Engineering out of San Juan Capistrano for the first of a long list of parts to be powdercoated. The color of choice was low-sheen black, which was intended to give the bike a rattle-can flat black look but with the modern, very durable, and chip-resistant technology of powdercoating. All this was accomplished prior to shoe-horning in the monster of a power plant.
Next, he installed a Trick Shift six-speed close ratio transmission with overdrive for high speed runs with the big boys. To connect the two, Tedder went with a BDL 3-inch open belt drive primary with enough offset to allow plenty of room for the drive belt to clear the fat 7-inch wide rear meat. To connect the dots electrically, a wiring harness from Thunder Heart was installed that had a crankshaft sensor for the TP engine. Once all this was in place, Dan had assembled a proven combination that should provide plenty of years and miles of reliable tire-smoking power.
Up front, Dan installed a DNA Specialties 2-inch over Springer frontend that he had powdercoated to match the rest of the bike. To put a contrast to all that black, the springs were plated in show chrome, as well as the 12-inch mini apes and 6-inch risers. To complete the bars, chrome-plated hand controls with a pair of cool mirrors from Mirrors.com were installed, and a pair of chrome billet grips from DNA Specialties fit nicely into the package.
For rolling stock, a pair of DNA spoke wheels were laced with stainless steel spokes to DNA red powdercoated hubs. A Metzeler ME880 front tire was then carefully spooned on. Out back, a matching DNA powdercoated wheel wrapped with a Metzeler ME 880 tire made for a perfectly matched pair. To but the brakes on this 100-plus mph hot rod, Dan went with DNA calipers and rotors front and rear.
Now things were looking good and going just as planned. Dan focused his attention to sheetmetal to complete the look he was after. First, the all too important gas tank had to be chosen. Dan knew that this was to be the centerpiece, kind of like the star above a Christmas tree. It had to make a statement and strongly support the look he was after. This was to be what the bike was all about, and with the old school chopper/bobber look in mind, there were only two options Dan could envision. But he had to choose between a peanut tank and a teardrop. He tried both and settled with a 3-gallon peanut mounted up high on the backbone, but not until after it was powdercoated-you guessed it-low sheen black.
To shield road debris from the tires, Tedder ordered up a pair of fenders from DNA. The fat rear fender was cut back for the look he was after. He topped it with an old school "limp sausage" taillight, but not before he custom installed his own LEDs. You'll notice no front fender, because the bike just plain looks better without it. So there's a freshly powder coated skinny fender on a shelf in his garage making for a permanent dust collector until either his next project or...
Nothing says bobber like a Springer seat, so little time was spent in choosing an Ultima 13-inch seat with show-chrome springs. Dan's wife Tina told us that he got a little too anal on installing that seat, but the end result looks great. Once the assembly was completed, little time was wasted in doing what he meant it to do-ride it. So with a couple squirts of the accelerator pump and a push of the starter button, Dan Tedder's cool chopper came to life, and what a sound! Those shotgun pipes and monster motor sounded great. He swung a leg over and left a long black stripe out the garage for the first shakedown ride straight to his favorite hangout, Cooks Corner, which just happens to be where we first spotted it. Well, the rest is history, and the project was a success, but because there's only provisions for one, it looks like he'll have to build a new bike for his lovely bride. Think there might be a Mrs. Bobber in the works? We'll let you know.