The concept for ChopCult was simple; create a community for like-minded folks that enjoy all things two wheels. A place where people can share their build progress, meet friends and make a few bucks selling their wares. Member Vince Nygra has been using the site for his ground up builds and reached out to me a while ago to be featured. I appreciate his patience and craftsmanship.
Photo by Carlos Reyes
Well, I guess this is the second bike I’ve built, after building my first one 3 times. First big twin, first shovel, first bike for someone else. My father-in-law owns it and it was sitting in his garage for a while; I knew he wanted to do something with it but never had the time. Approaching fall/winter, he asked me if I wanted to rebuild it for him, hell yea I did. We talked about a few ideas, nothing set in stone; basically he wanted a black and silver bobber/short chop style bike.
The whole build was pretty fun. I thought for sure he wanted to leave it a swing arm frame, so I was trying to look up swingarm rear end ideas, and while going through pics with him he asked if we could just do away with the shocks and make it a rigid…fuck yea we can. A few months into the bike, probably just getting things started with fabricating, I found a lathe on Craigslist from some crazy Asian dude. We texted back and forth for a few weeks, and I ended up trading a bunch of stuff I had laying around for a 13” South Bend Lathe. That definitely opened a whole new world for stuff I could fabricate in my garage for this bike. I’d never used one before, but with the help of Youtube and Special 79’s videos, I got through making the forwards, all the pegs, kicker pedal, a bunch of spacers, shaved legs, some slugs, and lots of wasted metal.
The whole thing was basically built up in my old garage. If you really pay attention, there’s a lot of one off pieces on the bike. All the polished aluminum parts have a clear powder coat to prevent oxidation. After 3 tries trying to fit the 21’’ front rim in my garage oven and fucking it up, I paid the $30 to have it coated, made up some ghetto angle iron wheel truing stands to lace and true the wheels. For the tins we just decided to clear the bare metal. I hung a bunch of tarps, sanded and cleaned the surface, and went to town with a few cans of spraymax 2k. I’m really happy with how the bike came out, and I really love all the contrast of black and silver, and the stance.
Owner name, location: Owner- Gary Wilson- Portage, IN
Builder- Vince Nygra- Portage, IN
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 79 Shovel
Frame: Stock with modified santee hardtail
Fork: 35mm, shaved lowers and trees
Tire/wheel size and style: Spokes, 16 rear, 21 spool front.
Favorite thing about this bike: Stance and Contrasting colors
Next modification will be: Change up the seat.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Zombie Performance Bars, Wargasser Spool, one off; forwards, pegs, kick arm (idea stolen from OLDSTF), cut up open primary with electric start, Buell brake, fire extinguisher oil tank, steam hose exhaust cover
Thanks to: Gary and Linda Wilson for letting me cut up their bike, Greg Callender for teaching me all about bikes and answering all my dumb questions along the way, and my wife for not minding too much that I spend most nights in the garage.
To read about this bike build from the ground up, check out Vince's thread