“Even though I am Italian, I am crazy for the chopper chicks and for the psychedelic sounds of the ’60s.” States Frankino, owner of Chopworks out of Tornio, Italy.
The man is a dyed-in-the-wool nostalgic worshipper of the wild ’60s way of life and he’s very keen on everything that marked the spirit and tradition of the choppers in that period of time.
The Astro Zombie represents a turning point back to his roots: the creation of ground-up hand-built choppers. Firstly, the whole project was sketched out on paper, not with some CAD program on a computer. To be a proper raked and flaked chooper, the bike had to be very long and not too high. To create such a design, Frankino fussily drew a sketch of a very narrow and long girder fork with a crazy frame. Once Frankino was happy with the design he started building the frame and girder frontend using all 1-inch tubes.
Looking at old Street Chopper magazines for inspiration, Frankino knew that the heart of the motorcycle just had to be English, so the final choice was a ’65 BSA powerplant. The choice of a 21- and 16-inch Invader wheels were a given and was purely the starting point of Frankino’s trip towards the Astro Zombie’s galaxy. Once the roller was done, Frankino created one-off items for the bike reminiscent of Ed Roth’s like a “Rotar” and “Mysterion” an astro filter, pegs, shifters, clutch lever, pull-back bars, and pipes that look like they are from another planet where LSD is breathed instead of air. Topping off the fab work was Frakino customizing of a lowly gas tank that was lurking around the Chop Work’s warehouse for years.
After all of the fabrication had subsided, the decision about the paint came about from a trip into the metalflake psychedelia. After much deliberation the funky-assed paint was sprayed by Frankino’s good friend Roberto La Rogna of Custom Design. The icing on the cake has to be the Jimi Hendrix-inspired purple velvet-lined saddle.
As a final result, Frankino created a psychedelic tribute to ’60s science-fiction B-movies, and above all, a celebration of all the nostalgic, totally hand-crafted-between-’60s-and-’70s choppers seen right here in this magazine.