“It’s like a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all of that heavenly glory.”
Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon
All lame early ’70s action flick references aside, much like a good ass-kicking, building a great chopper requires focus. Get too caught up on any one aspect over the others, and you may get lost. If you don’t have a specific look or objective in mind, then it’s easy for the build to morph into something that just isn’t quite right. You see it happen all the time; bikes that look out-of-balance, like they’re headed in several different directions all at once. Juan Perez started this machine with a clear vision of what the finished product should be: a stripped-down, razor-sharp rigid with an aggressive stance that was all business.
Juan started off the build by putting a rolling chassis together. A Paughco frame, blacked-out spoke wheels, and a unique frontend/handlebar setup were the foundation for it. Due diligence yielded an ultra-skinny Sporty tank that fit perfectly with the look he was going after. By this time he’d reached the limits of what he could do in his garage, so he called in the big guns—a dedicated builder. Namely, Maindrive Cycle.
Proprietor Cory Hebert knew this wasn’t going to be a trailer queen. Juan planned on riding the hell out of his chop. Reliability trumped other concerns. Hence, the Evo mill twixt the framerails. Juan Perez isn’t a big fan of chrome, though, so Cory had the covers de-chromed and blasted. Since this was going to be a kick-only machine, a four-speed trans was really the only way to go. Baker had just released its new four-speed, so Cory ordered one up.
Juan didn’t want some leg-stretched-out nonsense, opting instead for mid controls. Cory says, “I had never built a bike with mids before, so I initially wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Looking across the garage at my ’06 Dyna provided all the inspiration that I needed.” He cannibalized them from the Dyna, then adapted them to Juan’s machine. Between the mids and the geometry, this bike has an aggressive riding position but isn’t so over the deep end that it’s no fun to ride. Cory also fabricated the exhaust pipes from stainless steel tubing.
After mock-up, the tins went off to Sonny Boy in LA for colorization. The hand-pinstriping is so focused it looks like it was laid down by a robot. Xian Leather covered the Redtail seat pan flawlessly. “Final assembly went without a hitch,” Cory told me. “And I hid all the wiring in the frame for the cleanest look possible. First start was textbook...couple squirts, couple kicks, BAM! That always puts a smile on my face.” STC