The time has come to trim the Top 13, a.k.a The Bakers Dozen, down to remaining Six Pack. We have asked the builders to give us an update so we can check out their progress. This elimination round will be chosen by industry leaders, follow builders, Born-Free and Show Class Magazine alumni. We will announce the final Six Pack shortly and then it’s up to you to crown the People’s Champ at Cook's Corner. Best of luck to all involved, your builds are coming along great!
The story starts with a failed chopper marriage of Candyman and Devilina. She's gone to Japan to be with a wealthy man now, but her daughter is about to be discovered: Evilina. Ha ha.... Cracked paint, patina motor and rusty parts, we call it: Northwest GOLD.
My names Ashley Mitchell from Vancouver BC Canada eh. I am totally crazy about bikes and got into Instagram last year....choppularity, ha ha.. Late one night, Eric Spears from Florida posts a 56khk for sale, phoned him, paypal, and minutes later, the story begins. Eric arranged to ship it to my buddy: Thom Jones in Seattle, because I'm way out in Canada eh. It was around this time Tim from Show Class got a hold of me about some "wizardswire". They posted a call for this year’s "People’s Champ 2", so I threw my name in and a shitty photo of my heavily molded frame. I was surprised and stoked to be included, and even more stoked to make the lucky-13.
Over the last couple years I've gotten super into molded, wild style bikes. This is my first try at building a bike from scratch. What an incredible learning experience, luckily you can just sand and add more bondo. On insta I noticed all these awesome paint jobs Dennis Babin was doing in California, he's was stoked to help paint my frame. My GF and I drove down to this years Chopperfest, while in LA I got JD Sansaver to help me frisco a Hap Jones and weld it onto my frame. I spent another hundred hours on this frame and it was still kinda a turd, but Dennis knocked the paint out of the park.
The motor is the real gem of this project. 56khk, less than 500 produced that year. 55" unit Flathead. Last flatty, first sporty so to speak. I plan on leaving my motor in its original patina condition. I'm very lucky to hang around a legendary HD motor shop: GusShop. Gus is an awesome old drag racing club guy. He lets me sweep, clean, take out garbage, and wash parts.....we are happy my K-model has later style trap door tranny and bolt together flywheels. 54-56 are best K. I'll be rebuilding motor with Gus over the next month. He laughs at me for being in a online bike building contest. Old school dude for sure. A bikes only as cool as its front end. I chose stock rake, 21"/18" and an 8" over all chrome Ceriani, on top: 4" risers and some bitchin twisted "Z" bars. The stance is perfect, tight wheelbase and way up in the front. The sissy bar is an old part from my stash, ebayed a gospel rider cross and chopped and flipped it. The sissy was so rad, I had to blast a evil cross out of the front my frame, called: Evil cooling port. The rest of my parts are just crusty old chopper gold, got a thick twisted kickstand, octagon oil bag, and a rusty old horn. The icing on the cake, and hardest piece to find : the Wico XV1922? Please help if you know of one.
Hope to see y'all at Cooks Corner.
So here’s where I am at guys. I honestly hoped I would be much further along by this second cut but I did my best to get a decent mock up for y’all. I feel confident as the bike sits, its solid and I have a good end game idea of what I want. The basic theme I am going with is a 60s/70s acid show bike crossed with a lifer’s hard ridden chopper. I want to mix a little fancy, with a good solid chopper built to ride. I want it to look really good with some show flair and all that but not too over the top. I’m building it for me, so it needs to be comfortable and built for the highway. That said im not using any high performance parts, but keeping things the way they would have been done back when this bike should have been built.
What’s on the plate for the next couple weeks... I still have a top motor mount to make, im not using that top clamp and I may shorten the bars a tiny bit but I have gorilla arms so maybe not, I will know for sure after I get the foam on the seat and see how it feels. im considering changing the fork rockers, to both funk up the front a little as well as bring the front down a tiny bit, a custom right side foot control, and I also have a couple gussets and some other tidbits to do, but just ornamental stuff. I haven’t decided if im going to chrome the oil tank or paint it to match the frame (please feel free to give me your input, haha) and if I’m going to start the bike before I tear it down (i probably will but I haven’t fully decided yet) then plumbing and wiring. My intention from the beginning here is to go hog wild with the molding and really spend the time on the body work. Fully molded neck, tank, fender, tail light, the works. I’ve done a bit of molding on my last bike and I had a ton of fun with it so im looking forward to stepping that up on this one. I get some inspiration from Ron Finch and Andy Anderson but I don’t want to bite too much from them but just use it to get me going and do my own thing from there, keeping in mind im not trying to overdo it either. I haven’t fully decided on paint yet, but I know im going for some groovy psych stuff, but also keeping it a little subtle, I want it wacky but also easy on the eyes. Its kind of hard for me to post up half done progress, I get worried because its not all there yet and I feel like its looking at a skeleton. but im happy the voting from here on is by builders and not the general public because I know y’all are going to have a better idea of there this is going than the average Joe. I will say this whole experience so far has been really amazing for me and helped me a lot to see things from a slightly different perspective, im learning a lot about the right way to do things, and not to cut corners. There are a bunch of great guys here making really nice bikes and im just happy to be in good company. I will say I am so stoked about this bike and i know when i am done it’s going to be amazing, and I’m going to be really proud of it. After all this build is for Show Class, and this bike is right on target.
Thanks so much for your time.
This particular build started off with just a set of wheels that I knew I would end up building a bike around, and this ended up being the perfect opportunity. I picked up the magnesium kimtabs, and while they were collecting dust, I was lucky enough to trade some fabrication labor for a 73 FX basket frame motor and tranny right before entering in The People’s Champ. My goal for this build was to mix elements from drag racing, land speed racing, and chopperdom, to build a low, mean chop that's fun to ride. I started by modifying the frame and swingarm for a modern monoshock setup, and also stretched the panhead swingarm a bit. The engine is magneto-fired, and turbo fed.
The superglide boat tail looks right with the swingarm stretch and lower stance. I'm currently in the middle of making the entire girder front end (trees and all) using 4130 round tubing and also streamline tubing for the legs. Also currently working on all the turbo system tubing. Next after that will be the oil and fuel tanks. Mid controls with foot clutch and hand shift will be used alongside a Primo belt drive and pro clutch. I know that in the following pics, it doesn't currently look like much. What I can say though, is that I've built a bike on a timeline before, and I know I can have this done for BF6, and I think it deserves to be there. It'll be a long trek from Connecticut, but I'll make it happen. It's a little odd trying to sell myself to guys that I admire, but that's the name of the game. I hope you guys can see the same final product I see. I post progress periodically on Instagram (@chopemup) but here are just a few so you guys can see where it's at currently.
Thanks for your consideration.
Well... I spent a shit load of time finishing my motor, but it came out so damn beautiful! It took some time because there weren't any corners cut or cheap parts used. It has to get me to California, so I had a constant reminder to do it right. I loved building this motor too, and I could go on forever but I'll just say that I think I'm holding onto this thing for a while.
I'll be onward with fab for the next few weeks and I have some pretty weird ideas to try out. Still have to do so much, but I'm going to get the bike done ahead of schedule so I can squeeze in at least a thousand break-in miles before I head west.
Thank you, Show Class. It's been an honor fellas!
Unfortunately all the hardest and most time consuming aspects of my build are and have been in the works since the last update so I have no real noticeable progress to showexcept for the real single loop frame with mounts instead of the thinwall mock up, and a rear and front wheel change. New front is a Harley lester with a Bridgestone Spitfire.Rear is still a Hoosier tire but now its on a solid aluminum front runner. So to do my best to describe the build in detail:the frame is 5" up, not much out and about 27 deg rake. Designing a swingarm with a seat/fender section that doesn't look like dog shit on a 5 up single loop was a bitch but thefinal design will keep a high and tight aggressive chopper stance. it will be true to the original concept from the last round of voting.
Basic design concepts:
The motor is a 2006 Buell XB12 about to have a top end rebuild including chamber, valve, and cam work. The oil will be part in the frame part in a smaller tank which shouldcontribute to better cooling, the bars are low bend moto style with a slight rise. It will be mid control with a 2 in 1 stainless exhaust.The rear hub is a 2 piece bolt together with harley patterns over a front runner centerline aluminum drag wheel.I'm keeping it belt drive but it's extended over stock for the swing arm I'm running.
Final finish design concepts:
I love and respect old vintage cars and trucks and Harleys but my affair with Evo sportster/Buell for this build stems from reliability and speed. there won't be much chrome orpolishing or even metal finishing on this bike, more black and natural metallic finishes in the right places with quality performance parts that I can rely on. The time and effortput into this bike goes towards engineering and executing and the final look, rather than ornamental metal detail and finishing, though every part has and will probably be overlythought out and reconsidered.This year there wasn't one Evo besides this in the mix so it's pretty awesome to know that people (including the organizers) have given it as much consideration as they have sofar. I know it's definitely not the iconic Showclass or Born Free bike but it for sure is a chopper in every aspect and it will look as fast and mean as it will ride.
Thanks for this great oppurtunity!