Caleb Owens can build the hell out of a motorcycle. Working out of his epic mancave, the dude has created quite a few original machines over the years, each of them built with the soul intent to ride and ride hard. This time around Caleb went the extra mile and left not a single bit unpolished, unpainted or with old chrome. Aside from the BS1 he built last year, Caleb describes this as his only attempt at a "show quality" bike. Don't take that the wrong way, this machine gets ridden. But the attention to detail and time spent make this old panhead much more than an "attempt." Quite simply, it's the real deal. The subtle details aren't as obvious as a lot of modern show bikes, and that style suits Caleb just fine. Here's Caleb's take on the direction this bike is headed…
"When it comes to customs bikes or most things, my aesthetic tendencies are "organic". I'm drawn to things were the pieces work in combination to make a bigger statement. Flashy paint is great, but if that is all I see then it loses my interest. Contrast is a big one for me too. Complete chrome or polish just gets lost in a wash."
Caleb goes on by saying, "The intent of this bike was to be a little deceptive. At a distance it looks like a nice black and shiny bike, but upon closer inspection you find things you could easily miss if you didn't take your time—kind of like riding."
Bike name: Siksika (Google it!)
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1956 Harley Davidson FL. Original cases, jugs, and heads. Original flywheels and rods. Original jugs were sleeved back to stock then honed to accept 10 over forged Wiseco pistons. NOS super B S&S carb with accelerator pump. Early Customs Cycle Engineering rocker boxes.
Frame: '56-'57 straight leg
Fork: Narrowed Big Twin springer
Chassis mods: Frame is molded and "shaped" at castings and seat post. Springer is narrowed with shaved rockers. Tank is a Wassell that was narrowed and frisco mounted
Tire/wheel size and style: 1.85" x 18" rear Akront rim laced with stainless spokes, wrapped inside a Firestone. Front: 1.6" x 23" 36-spoke front aluminum speedway rim laced with stainless spokes to an early chopper hub
Favorite thing about this bike: Besides riding it, I like that the bike is a bit deceptive. At a distance it's just a nice shiny black bike, but if you take your time and look at it, you'll see a lot of details.
Next modification will be: Switch it over to foot shift for its new owner
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Anything that could be hand-made was hand-made. The foundation for most parts was a stock part that was heavily modified. Engraving on rocker tops, cam cover, magneto, carb, kicker cover, all in traditional scroll patterns done by Mark Cooper. Taillight is a 1948 microphone from a home reel-to-reel recording device. Carb cover is '40s era Ice-O-Mat ice crusher top, polished and engraved. Shifter knob is a hand-turned piece of walnut glazed with photo of my Dad circa 1945'ish. Paint has hand-made scroll designs etched in the clear coat. Mr. Cro was etched in the chrome on the clutch cover
Thanks to: Mrs. Kris Owens, my brothers Chuck and Buck, JD Sansaver, T. Markus Paint, Mark Cooper Engraving, Kiyo, Superior Plating, Concept Powder Coating, Culver City Sandblasting, Culver City Police Dept.; Bill & Harold, Matt & Dean from Dice, Warren Lane
Thanks to Mark Kawakami from Joyrides Art Co. for the intro photo