Soon after the excitement of being accepted as a Chop Cult contributor came a huge wave of panic! I realized that I had no idea where I was going to find more bikes to shoot, since I am relatively new to the scene. Luckily, via the power of social media and some good luck, I got in contact with Stephen Dietzman to shoot some killer images of his sick ironhead. I stumbled upon this beauty during the Brewtown Rumble, which was held back in May at the historic PABST brewery here in Milwaukee. I posted an image of his bike on Instagram looking for the owner and within hours I had Stephen’s contact info.
A couple of weeks after getting in contact with Stephen, we finally found time to do some riding and snap photos of his bike, which he calls “Starster.” I walked into his shop and instantly knew that he was the kind of guy I could hang out and ride with. After about 45 minutes of bullshitting about bikes and punk bands, we finally got on the road. Our first stop was a well-known Milwaukee site: the Summerfest grounds. I snapped off a few photos there, and then we rode around for a bit. We stopped on a side road right under the Hoan Bridge to finish off shooting for the day. The more I got to know Stephen, the more I could sense his passion for bikes and the chopper scene. He is very in touch with the essence of biking and building. For him, it’s not about the frills or the fame; he’s just a humble dude that works his ass off just to have a little fun at the end of the day. Stephen has been riding since he was 16 (6 years now) and got this bike right about the time he turned 17. He got the bike bone stock and rode it around for about a year until a fellow member of the Cheaters Car Club, Rome, offered to paint the killer star pattern on the bike. After the paint job was done, Rome decided it should be called the Starster. Stephen isn’t sure he wants to keep the name, though.
Getting that paint job was really what fueled this build. Stephen said it was what made him actually finish the build, since he had to dissemble the bike to get it painted. He has been riding the bike in this form since then, minus the time he had to switch to a different star patterned tank because the first one sprung a leak. For now, he is content with the bike and just wants to keep riding it. Someday, he plans on fixing the brake light switch that just blew off when he was riding around the not-so-well paved streets of Milwaukee. Even though he isn’t making any big changes on the Starster, he has two other projects he is currently working on; a 1978 Shovelhead and a 1968 Triumph that I know I will be snapping photos of when they are complete.
Owner name, location: Steve Dietzman, Bay View (Milwaukee), Wisconsin
Chop Cult Member profile: cheatersteve
Bike name: Starster (named by Rome Urbaniak, the painter.)
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1977 Ironhead. Top End By Competition Cycle in Butler, WI
Frame: Was totally stock when bought. Stock 1977 front loop with bolt on hardtail kit I found on craigslist for 80 bucks and welded on myself.
Fork: Stock dropped 2” shaved and polished Tire/wheel size and style: Front: 21” Spool Hub AVON Rear: 18” Dunlop
Favorite thing about this bike: The custom made seat my friend put together for me. She has never let me down! Always starts when I need her to and never stops running.
Next modification will be: FLAT BLACK…. but not really, just going to enjoy it as is for a while and maybe fix the broken brake light switch someday so I have a brake light.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Just because your bike is a piece of shit does not make it period correct. I have been riding bikes going on 6 years now and have owned this Ironhead for going on 5 years. The bike has been in this form for about 4 years, minus the time when I sprung a leak in the gas tank and had a different star patterned tank.
Thanks to: My Mom, Ronza, I would not be the person I am without your love and support. My Dad, Dennis, for giving me the opportunity to build this bike. My Ol’ lady, Jules, for believing in what I love and always sticking by my side! Bill, for always having an answer to all my questions. Rome Urbaniak for laying down some killer paint! Mike Rasmussen (Bombs Away Photography), for the amazing photos! My good buddy, Evan, who deserves just as much credit for this bike as I do. And all you other dirtbags!
Your social media links- Instagram cowboybuttsdrivemenutts