When El Pitts of Vegas City Choppers, in Las Vegas, Nevada, set out to build a chopper that would show off just what the City of Sin has to offer, he did it with this big chopper called the High Roller. It was El's first attempt at a full ground-up custom and he did not want to go cheap. It was to have everything he loved in a bike, like a wide rear tire, ape hangers, and a long, raked-out frontend.
El got started with the frame: an '03 Phattail with 45 degrees of rake at the neck, 6 inches added to the downtubes, and an extra 5 inches in the backbone. Then, a 20-over frontend from American Suspension was bolted to the neck, and a Legend Air Ride system found its way onto the swingarm.
To get this chopper rolling down the Vegas strip, a set of Evo Chopper wheels from Weld were mounted with a 21x3.5 placed between the lower legs of the frontend and an 18x10.5 bolted to the swingarm. Both were covered in Avon rubber, with the rear at a wide 240 mm. When it came time to brake, the bike comes to a halt with the help of a set of HHI brakes at both ends.
The time then came to fill the frame with a powerplant. El went with a 120ci Merch motor with Jim's flywheels and rod, along with Ross pistons and modified Merch heads. Then, mixing fuel and air, El added a dual Weber set up on both sides of the motor, one per head, and a Morris Magneto to fire the fuel as a set of exhaust pipes from Martin Brothers handled the spent gases. To get the rear wheel moving, a 3-inch BDL open beltdrive with heavy-duty clutches will mate with a polished five-speed Joey-Z transmission.
The sheetmetal needed to be simple but still have a smooth, clean look. Having no front fender would cut some of the work out. El ordered a West Coast Choppers gas tank with flat-mounting tabs for a quick install, then got started on a one-off rear fender. El took a sheet of 14-gage cold rolled sheet, and shaped it to fit over the tire and flow back along the shape of the wheel. He then took out the cutting wheel, and cut the rear section it to a custom shape. It won't keep the water off his back, but it looks good. The oil bag started out as a Paramount part, but to fill in the space along the frame of the seat pan and the rear fender, El added a little extra metal on both sides.
Everything was sent out to get painted by the hands of Adolfo Gonzalez. After all the molding and shaping was done, it was covered in House of Kolor Multi-Burgundy. As far as the graphics go, Adolfo was only going to add one layer of flame, but before he knew it, the frame and all the sheetmetal was covered in flames and swirl patterns. He then spent a little time on a custom mural on the gas tank.
As soon as everything was dry, it was sent back to El to be reassembled. The frame was filled with the drivetrain, frontend, swingarm, and wheels first. Next, a set of LA Chopper High-Bars was mounted to the VCC risers along with Excel hand controls, a Joey-Z headlight, and a Ness mirror. Then, a set of custom-made VCC foot controls was mounted low on the frame to keep his feet off the road. To be seen from the rear, a Landmark taillight and license plate mount was mounted to the rear end. Once everything was wired up, they hit the start button for the first time to hear the motor purr.
The bike was done just in time for the Laughlin River Run where the bike was a hit; it even made the news as a piece about first-time builders and how they could stand out. It is obvious that this bike stands out.
|Year/Make||'04/Vegas City Choppers High Roller|
|Fabrication||Vegas City Choppers|
|Assembly||Vegas City Choppers|
|Build Time||12 weeks|
|Size/Type||120ci Merch Performance|
|Year/Type||'03/Paramount Phat Tail|
|Stretch||6 inches up, 5 inches out|
|Rear Suspension||Legend Air|
|Extension||20 inches over|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Wheels||Front: 21-inch Weld Evo / Rear: 18x10 Weld Evo|
|Tires||Front: Avon / Rear: Metzeler|
|Brakes||Front: None / Rear: H.H.I.|
|Chrome Plating and Polishing||Custom Polish|
|Risers||Vegas City Choppers|
|Electrical||Vegas City Choppers|
|Fuel Tank(s)||West Coast Choppers|
|Rear Fender||Vegas City Choppers|
|Pegs||Vegas City Choppers|
|Foot Controls||Vegas City Choppers|
|Seat||Vegas City Choppers|