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Fuel Cleveland

A motorcycle show featuring motorcycle builders, rare bike owners, painters, and photographers, honoring the industry and it's crafts by carefully curating it and presenting it to the interested masses. The show takes place in an industrial warehouse just blocks from Lake Erie, providing the perfect urban, gritty setting for this Great Lakes focused show. It is a free event. The Great Lakes region is filled with manufacturing, machine shops, and automotive industry. Despite the foul winter weather, or maybe because of it, gear head ingenuity abounds. Fuel Cleveland aims to drag seldom-seen rare motorcycles and top-quality custom choppers together, along with photography and paint work by some of the top artists in the motorcycle community, to be shown off to like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts. For more information check out the website and give us a follow on Instagram.

Content Posted by Fuel Cleveland

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Brian Petronchak - Revelry Custom Cycles


Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series Profile:

Name: Brian Pentronchak
Shop: Reverly Custom Cycles
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Build: 1970 Triumph TR6c

11.21.17 - Intro


We met Brian Spentronchak at Fuel Cleveland 2017, he brought with him to the show a beautiful 1966 pearly white Triumph TR6 that he had finished up a few months prior to the show. He randomly reached out to us via email with some great pics of the bike and we couldn't say no to him because the bike was done so well. Also, let's not forget to mention Brian is probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. A couple months ago Todd at Lowbrow Customs was selling a pretty beat up Triumph chopper for really cheap. Brian swung by and swooped it up before anyone even had a chance to look at it and told us he wanted to build it for Fuel. With us knowing what Brian brings to the table with his talents, we happily extended the invite again to Brian for a "Triumphant" return and for him to unveil this build on July 28th, 2018 at Fuel Cleveland.  


Words from Brian:
I've been riding dirt bikes since I was 7 years old, which led to racing motocross up until I was about 18. After riding and racing for all those years naturally I wanted a street bike. I bought my first crotch rocket when I was 19 and had a blast riding with friends doing stupid shit like riding 90mph wheelies on the highway and ripping the amazing twisty back roads here in Western Pennsylvania. After literally breaking my neck a year after buying my first street bike I decided to take a break from riding for a few years.
Brian's first Harley - 2008 Street Bob he modified.
I eventually picked up a Triumph speed triple and got back into riding and fell in love with motorcycles all over again. At this point most of my buddies rode modern Harleys and I was curious to see what they were all about so I picked up a 2008 Street Bob. I really fell in love with the laid back riding and just enjoying having the wind in your face and without having to be riding balls to the wall. I've worked in a custom car shop for 15 years as a installer/fabricator so fabrication and designing parts is something I'm familiar with just in a different way. I built some custom parts for my Dyna such as handlebars, exhaust, and a few other things but never did a full build. I started building bikes after visiting a friend in Florida for Biketoberfest about 3 years ago. I had never really been exposed to the vintage chopper scene until then and after going to a few shows and seeing how much soul these old bikes have I immediately fell in love. 
1966 Triumph TR6 Brian Built and showcased at Fuel Cleveland 2017 - Photo by: David Carlo

When I got home from that trip I started trolling Craigslist for something to build and found a bunch of Ironheads and Shovelheads but I've always had a love for the vintage Triumphs. I eventually found a 1966 Triumph TR6 so my wife and I drove across the state to Harrisburg and picked it up. It was my first full bike build and I was a little intimidated at first but after I got the ball rolling it all just kinda came together. Places like Lowbrow Customs made it very easy to build when it came to getting parts such as weld on tabs, threaded bungs, and all the other pieces it took to build. When the bike was finished I returned to Florida to visit my buddy for bike week very proud of the bike I built but had no idea how many other people were going to love to. It won a few awards and even got a full feature in Cycle Source magazine. 
When I got home from that trip I found myself constantly working on my friends bikes building exhausts and doing other modifications and even making custom parts for people who had seen my work and that's when Revelry Custom Cycles started. It's not a full time thing mostly just my friends and I drinking beer, getting loud, and building motorcycles which is where the name Revelry came from. Although things have dramatically calmed down around here since my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world this past summer. 
The TR6c purchased from Todd was beat.

 

I've never been good at putting my ideas on paper so for me building a bike is a trial and error process just trying different things until I find something I'm happy with. My plan for the bike I'm currently building is more of a lane splitter style trying to keep everything real tight and skinny. I enjoy bikes that are over the top but that's not really my style, I'm more of a "less is more" kinda guy. I love clean and classy with details you really have to look for spread throughout the bike. 
So far I have mocked up a Lowbrow Customs tank, fender, and bolt-on hard tail. The frame has been cleaned up and the motor is getting ready to be rebuilt. I've built a custom exhaust using 2 of the Biltwell build your own kits. I bent up a small sissy bar and I am now in the process of building some handlers and getting the spring seat mounts done. I still need to do all the final welding because everything is just tacked on for now and then I will be sending the tins over to Steve Hennis for paint.



Make sure to follow along with Brian and his every move with this build via his Instagram page @revelrycustomcycles. We will also post updates through out the months leading up to the show of his progress on this thread. We eagerly can't wait for the unveiling of this 1970 Triumph TR6c at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018!

Stripped down and cleaned up the frame, also used a Lowbrow Customs Bolt-on hard tail kit.
Motor out getting ready to get rebuilt.
Vertical oil bag.

 

Mock up is getting closer to being complete. I have to finish all my welds to get ready for paint & chrome.

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Kelley Runion - Champ Co Supply


 

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series Profile:Name: Kelley Runion
Shop:
Champ Co. Supply
Location: Howell, MI
Build: 1959 Panhead

11.13.17 - Intro


Kelley Runion stopped by Lowbrow Customs a few weeks ago on his way to make a trade of a life time. What was that trade you ask? How about a freshly done 2005 Sportster chopper for a 1959 Panhead, yeah I'd make that trade too. We were immediately intrigued by the whole idea and asked Kelley to keep us in the loop. After getting the bike he hit us up and told us he was able to lock down the trade and acquire the Panhead! With such a cool story, Kelley not only being super talented but a great family man and the bike looked like it could be something really amazing we had to extend the invite for him to be apart of Fuel Cleveland 2018. We absolutely can't wait to see what Kelly and his 3 boys come up with on this build, start'em young as we always say. 

Words from Kelley:
Everyone that knows me knows that I have dreamed of one day building a Panhead. Didn't matter what year, just a Panhead. Well, that day has come but it took a journey to get here. 


Kelley's sons putting in the work on Kelley's first ever build.
The '59 Panhead


Modifying my bikes and later building them started out of necessity and later turned into a passion. That same passion has already been handed down to each of my three sons who each in their own way have a heart for bikes, both riding and wrenching as well as knowing the history of what got motorcycles to the place they are now. Ive been blessed to be able to blend family time with what I love to do and being invited to be a builder for Fuel Cleveland has definitely given me some street cred with my dudes. They'll be following my build thread with eagle eyes to catch a glimpse of themselves in action. They have been a pivotal part of my previous two builds and i'm stoked to have their input on the '59 as well.


The '59 made its way to our garage recently through trade. I had just finished building an '05 chopper and for some reason got it in my head to scour craigslist for anyone selling a panhead for under 10g. I must have sent out fifteen or so requests across the entire US to see if anyone was interested in partial trades. As you can imagine...they weren't, except for one dude. One crusty old biker in Virginia had a panhead sitting in his kitchen for the last 2 years. It belonged to he and a buddy and since his buddy passed he just let it sit. He had seen the bike I built on social media and after hearing from me was down for the trade. Had to sweeten the pot with a couple of guns I no longer shot but it didn't take long for my middle son and I to load up the sporty in the back of the truck to make the trek 12 hours away to Virginia. We made a pit stop along the way at Lowbrow Customs to pick up some swag but other than that it was east bound and down. Needless to say we made the swap and here we are.

The Motor
Here's the plan unless I change my mind...which I've been known to do; We're starting with a '59 panhead motor bored .60 over. We've got a '58 4 speed ratchet top trans that we will run with a rocker clutch and jockey shifter eliminating the hand control and mousetrap that came with the bike. Turns out after cussing the frame which I thought was either a 54 wishbone or at worst a repop that underneath all of that bondo and atrocious welding was an OEM '48! The frame is kinda like that dude that you can't stand until you find out he's a good welder and builds bikes then you're like "oh, he's kinda cool, just different!" The plans are to either narrow up a set of 3.5 gallon fat bobs or to run Lowbrows WX tanks and try to retro fit a harley dash. I wanna see the rocker covers and I'm just not ready for stock tanks just yet. Maybe when i'm old-er. Planning on narrowing a repop hinged rear fender and running it without the lower section and unless I sell one of my kids and can afford an OEM springer ill run a Mid-USA replica. The plans are to try and maintain some of the stock look of the bike with some obvious additions and take aways. Ive had this vision in my head for years and I hope to be able to pull it off.


It's an honor to be a part of Fuel Cleveland and I hope this bike in some way represents the spirit of what its all about. Long live the dude in his garage that just figures it out.

Make sure to follow along Kelley's every move with this build via his Instagram page @champcosupply. We will also post updates through out the months leading up to the show of his progress on this thread. We eagerly can't wait for the unveiling of this 1959 Panhead at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018!

The Trade an 2005 Sportster for a 1959 Panhead!
Stripped down revealing how cruel the 70's were to stock frames

 

"Seriously...why?!" - Kelley

 

While cleaning the 70's off of the frame came to find out it is an OEM 48!
Getting it clean and figuring out what needs to get cut off and what needs to be replace. Trying to keep as much of the original frame as I can


Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Carlos Amador - Daily Driver Choppers

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series Profile:
Name: Carlos Amador
Shop: Daily Driver Choppers
Location: Denver, CO
Build: 1967 Gen Shovel Bobber

11.6.17 - Intro


Carlos Amador hailing from Denver, Colorado is an up and coming builder who has the drive and passion for building high show quality motorcycles that you can still ride every single day. His craftsmanship and creativity are top notch and his work speaks for itself, not to mention he has won multiple awards for his first two builds. When Carlos came to us with his plans on what he wanted to build for Fuel Cleveland, we couldn't have been more excited to extend the invite and see his vision become a reality. 

Words from Carlos:

Being invited to Fuel Cleveland is a honor, especially being a rookie builder who just graduated welding school in May 2015. I've always been into motorcycles as a kid, with a grandfather and a uncle that rode bikes when they where young especially my grandfather who rode a lot after WWII on his Harley-Davidson Flathead. I rode a lot of dirt bikes when I was younger but didn't get into riding choppers till I was older. I told myself I'm not riding something stock and that I would only ride what I built with my own two hands. So after graduating school I did an apprenticeship at bad ass Industries where I built my first bike called "The Daily Driver" which was featured in Cycle Source. That bike was the beginning and inspiration to opening up my own shop and the name Daily Driver Choppers just fit well. My second build was called "The Ringmaster." Which received a bunch of awards this past summer and I couldn't be more happy on how it came out. The bikes I build are not just for show though, they are truly riders, I rode "The Daily Driver" to Born Free from Denver and then to Sturgis 2016. The Ringmaster's motor is still getting broken in since the rebuild but I plan on doing some long trips and putting on the miles on that 10ft chopper.

Carlos and "The Ringmaster" at Born Free

For Fuel Cleveland 2018 I was thinking of doing a simple clean Bobber style motorcycle inspired by one of David Mann's photo that I love. It's not going to be exact and I'm going to put little bit of my twist to the bike as well. As far as paint and my own twisted fabrications that I'm going to do, it should come out killer and something a little different. I found an old frame that I have been cleaning up and fixing up over the past couple of weeks. I will be making my own controls etc.. And for the motor I'm going to use a 1967 Gen Shovel. Well, I hope everyone enjoys the holidays, I'll keep sending in updates and hope you follow along with my build. See you all at Fuel Cleveland 2018
Make sure to follow along Carlos' every move with this build via his Instagram page @dailydriverchoppersllc. We will also post updates through out the months leading up to the show of his progress on this thread. We eagerly can't wait for the unveiling of this 1967 Gen Shovel at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018!
David Mann inspirational sketch Carlos is basing his build around.

 

It always starts with a frame.
Shaping the neck, and making a window.
Back bone fixes
Taking shape and getting the basic ideas.

 

Fuel Cleveland Official Merchandise Available Now!


With such a high demand at this past year's Fuel Cleveland for merchandise, we decided to make everything available for sale online at Lowbrow Customs. We ran out of a few sizes and designs pretty early in the day and we know some people were pretty bummed they couldn't grab the exact style they wanted. So here's another chance to still grab that shirt, hat, beer koozie, or patch you really wanted! 

We brought back our "Fuel Cleveland Logo" shirt from show 2 and made for the very first time "The Guardian" design available in a women's tank top! Proceeds from all merch sales will help keep Fuel Cleveland 100% FREE to attend. With your help we can continue to make Fuel Cleveland the best vintage motorcycle/art/photography show it can be for years to come! Thank you again for everyone's love, support, and kind words over the past few months about this year's show. It means the absolute world to us. See everyone July 28th, 2018 for another Fuel Cleveland!



-Mikey Revolt

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Announcement


It's official, the next Fuel Cleveland will be held on July 28th, 2018. We have secured the same location at the Ingenuity Fest building at 5401 Hamilton Ave. Cleveland, OH. Planing is on its way and we can't wait to see each and everyone of you there. Tell a friend and pass it a long, Cleveland is the only place to be at the end of July!

Also if you are an artist, photographer or bike builder and would like to possibly be featured in next year's show, please email a detailed description about yourself, your art and or bike along with some photos of your work/bike to fuelcleveland@gmail.com.


Fuel Cleveland 2017 Weekend Info


Fuel Cleveland 2017


Date: 07.29.17
Show hours: 12pm - 8pm
Cost: FREE!

Coming from East 55th st. and or Hamilton Ave, the show entrance is off Marquette St. Look for the large Fuel Cleveland banner and open gate. There is only motorcycle parking allowed inside the gated area and we ask that you leave Marquette St. open for motorcycle parking only as well. Cars may park on any other side streets including Hamilton Ave.




Pre-Party & Show Class Magazine After Party



Pre-Party Info
Date: 07.28.17
Party Hours: 7pm - 1:30am
Cost: FREE!

Show Class Magazine After Party Info
Date: 07.29.17
Party Hours: 8pm - 1:30am
Cost: FREE!






Fuel Cleveland 2017 Pre-Party and After Party Info



The night before Fuel Cleveland on July 28th come join us from 7pm till last call at Hoopples bar 1930 Columbus Rd. Cleveland, OH. Beautiful views of downtown Cleveland right by the Cuyahoga river, good people, and cheap drinks what more can you ask for.

After the Fuel Cleveland ends on July 29th, make sure to head on over to Goldhorn Brewery a block away from the venue. We will be joining our friends at Show Class Magazine to party out the rest of the evening. Goldhorn Brewery is located at 1361 E. 55th St. Cleveland, OH There are two parking lots along with ample motorcycle parking inside the brewery's garage doors. Good food, great beer, music, cee-lo games for prizes with Show Class Magazine and much much more.

Hoopples is on the corner of Columbus and Franklin.
Goldhorn Brewery Is on East 55th St. a block away from Fuel Cleveland.


Christian Newman



What comes to mind when you think Buffalo, New York? Cold, tons of snow, small town, mediocre football, and probably a handful of other non exciting details. Buffalo is probably not even on most people's radar. For me that's the complete opposite, I see Buffalo as staple in the midwest custom culture scene. From extraordinary artists, to amazing hotrod builders, photographers and even a handful of brilliant bike builders, Buffalo is home to a ton of talented hardworking people. One of those talented people in particular that I have had the pleasure of getting to know more over the year's is Christian Newman. I first learned about Christian and his motorcycle building wizardry when putting together the first Fuel Cleveland. He was the very first bike entry in a contest we were throwing to fill the last spot of the show via social media. One look at the Turbo Shovel and it blew not only my mind but Tyler, and Jesse's too! It's said that a persons bike represents their character and I can tell you Christian's bikes do just that. He is probably one of the hardest working people I know and his visionary outlook on not only his design of bikes but life itself is extremely refreshing to see.

When Christian told me his ideas of the Knucklehead as he was starting to build it, I immediately extended the invite for him to show it off at Fuel Cleveland. To see where the bike started and to where it is going, it is safe to say that this bike is going to be one for the ages. A bike that will be remembered by all and revolutionizing the game of building custom motorcycles. Christian has made the final 6 in this year's Show Class People's Champ contest with this insane build and I couldn't be more stoked for him! With countless hours that no human should ever spend on one motorcycle, I hope he doesn't just take home first place at the Show Class Party but at Born Free too!
 
 I had the chance to sit down with Christian the other day and ask him a handful of questions, and even I learned a few things I never knew about him, enjoy!

-Mikey Revolt

 

Christian's Turbo Shovel that was featured at the very first Fuel Cleveland.


Who or what got you in to motorcycles? 


C: My dad bought me an RD100 when I was about 12 years old. It was a street bike but I rode it off road anyway. I remember laying on the floor of my bedroom looking through the Dennis Kirk catalogue and trying to find dirt tires that would fit it. My first street bike was also my dad's first street bike that we reclaimed at a garage sale for 10 dollars. He was the first owner, a CB550. After riding it in stock trim for a few years I began to mod it. That was my first motorcycle project.

 
 Did you have an crazy stories when you first learned to ride, did you keep that bike for a long time or do you still have it?
 
 C: That CB550 that my father had purchased new in 1975. He sold it, then we came upon it at that garage sale. I jumped it and rode it home. No license no tags. It was the first time I ever rode on the street. I still have the bike and probably will never get rid of it.
Christian's CB550. Photo by: Kyle Cuviello


What's Buffalo's motorcycle Scene like?

C: While I've been into motorcycles for a lot of my life, I was pretty far removed from any "scene". In the past 4 or 5 years though the scene has been ramping up steadily. I know of a couple cool choppers floating around the city. A few years ago I didn't know of any.
Buffalo, NY


What do you do in your spare time when it's not motorcycles? Not that you have much...

C: There really isn't much time for anything else. The building process actually consumes more hours a week than my full time job. Spending time with my GF and her son is about all I have time for aside from bikes.
Christian's first bike a CB550. Photo by Kyle Cuviello


Who or what do you find inspiration from?

C: I try to draw as little inspiration from the motorcycle scene as possible, which is pretty hard to do when you live and breathe it. I find myself looking at a lot of old industrial equipment, modern lighting fixtures, architecture, etc. I get a lot of pleasure in devising alternate methods of doing things that are already "established". Occasionally this comes at a sacrifice of a small degree of efficiency. I don't want function to follow form, but I do want them to work together.


What is the most challenging thing for you when it comes to building and designing a bike?

C: It depends what day you ask me. Sometimes it's just motivation to get out there and do it. It's such a massive time investment that when my friends are out having fun, I'm alone in a dark shop grinding (literally) away. Other days it's just working through a design block. Often, it's forcing myself to remake or redesign a part that I have spent lots of time on because it isn't exactly what I want.
Christian's Sportster has tons of modified parts including these crazy extended Lowbrow Customs Fork Shrouds.


Are there times you find yourself designing a part and they just don't work out the way you envisioned it or is always as flawless as it looks?

C: I should have read all the questions before answering any of them. Yeah, that happens ALL the time. I scrap lots of stuff. I spent 2 weeks making some foot controls for my Shovelhead a few years ago before realizing that I didn't account for belt clearance and had to scrap everything. These days I will often make chicken-test parts to test function before making a part that has tons of polishing time in it. My process generally involves polishing before welding, so a fucked up weld will totally ruin a part that I have days of work into. Sosa Metalworks posted something recently about this and I completely understand his feeling.
B-side of Christian's Turbo Shovel.


What is your favorite piece or pieces you enjoy making or fabricating most?

C: I like small jobs where I can have a finished part at the end of the day, whether it be a bracket or a bolt, or just any small component. These aren't my favorite pieces at the end of the build, but they are the easiest to get motivated to do. It's hard to say ok, today I am going to spend 10 hours sanding some parts" and 10 hours later you just have some parts that are maybe a little smoother but not necessarily ready to use and need a lot more work.
Where is one of the best places you have been to on one of your bikes?

C: Riding west from Portland to the coast was really incredible. The road we were on was incredible (Alsea highway) and breaking through the trees to the ocean was just breathtaking. Actually just immediately stopped my bike, sat down in the dirt and stared west over the Pacific.
Photo by: Brandon Fischer
Have any crazy stories you can share from the road trip you took last year with Andrew Woz and Brandon Fischer?

C: Man, Andy got clipped by a car and went down. Trashed his bike, but didn't hurt him too much. I still think about that every time I'm on the bike.

Changing Brandon's softail drive belt in a field in Sturgis with minimal tools. Primary parts all over a damn field.

Meeting @Bluetodd in a Fred Meyer parking lot was really awesome and changed the whole last leg of the trip for the better.
Always the go to guy when fixing stuff. Photo by: Brandon Fischer




Where is one place in this world you would like to see and haven't yet?

C: Base jumping has taken me all over the world, but I've never been to south America. I think some day I would like to ride there. Another thing I've always wanted to do was ride along some of the routes that Sal took in On The Road by Jack Kerouac. It's my favorite book. Some day.

Christian base jumping... whoa!





Whoa man Base jumping thats crazy... what go you into base jumping? What is the experience like?

C: Hmm. Well I went to an event called bridge day, saw base jump in real life, got inspired and spent the next year prepping to do it. Time does sort of slow down when you are jumping. It's really a pretty incredible experience but I think I miss the times not jumping more. Like the hikes and the lead up to the spots where you jump, building up the anticipation. And you're usually sharing that experience with someone. Often someone you don't know all that well but you develop a bond because you're about to do or just did do something that can kill you in a heartbeat, so I think about those times more than the actual jump. What got me out of base was my good friend Ian dying. I might do it again some day, but I can't build bikes at the level I am and do base too. Base requires a lot of currency, planning and training and I just can't do that right now.

Can you tell us a little about this iconic Knucklehead you have been building for this year's People's Champ and will be bringing to Fuel Cleveland? 

C: I wouldn't call it iconic, but that's flattering. I've been thinking about doing the external drive and the open kicker for a pretty long time so I've been working through it in my head. It was nice to get it out of my head and onto paper and then subsequently into steel. Rene from Mercury Moto really pushed me into building the fork. The original plan was a telescopic fork. I've been learning so much as I've been building this. Gotten a lot better at polishing and welding, too. Stainless is pretty difficult to work with, but it sure makes machining aluminum seem like a breeze.
Christian has been building this 1940 Knucklehead for Show Class Magazine - People's Champ 5. Photo by: Jesse Ladowski

Photo by: Jesse Ladowski

Photo by: Jesse Ladowski




Just one example on how Christian see's things differently. Photo by: Jesse Ladowski
I know you are a vegan, what's your all time favorite dish that you would recommend everyone to try?

C: Ethiopian food. Every time I suggest this to people they make some dumb joke about it, starving people or eating dirt. But Ethiopian food is unique, delicious and very flavorful.

What was 13 year old Christian like? What would you tell 13 year old Christian if you could go back in time and give yourself some words of wisdom?

C: 13 year old Christian was focused on school and making things. I think around this time I had bolted two bicycles together to make a 4 wheel bike. I had built an elaborate tree house in my dad's backyard with many planks and bridges and floors. I modified a lawn tractor to be a wheelie machine. Made a giant wooden dinosaur that I could sit inside of and control the arms and head. I've always been a tinkerer and always will be. I wouldn't tell 13 year old Christian not to change a damn thing, actually.
Surfs up! Photo by: Kyle Cuviello


What kind of jams do you have blasting when you are working on a bike?

C: I listen to the same shitty late 90's early 2000's hardcore I have been for the past 20 years. I like what I like, I guess.

If you were deserted on an island and you could have only one thing with you, what would it be?

C: Probably a hatchet. Mostly because I really loved the book Hatchet as a kid and always wanted to try to live like that. Seems like a good time to try. In the book the main character is a young boy who gets stranded in the wilderness with nothing but a hatchet.

Are there any life mottos or codes you live by?

C: Sounds clich, but just WORK HARD. Don't bother doing something if you're going to half ass it.

Anyone you would like to give a shout out to or thank?

C: BA Enterprise for helping me with the motor work.
A.Titan machine shop for making me a few parts for my build here and there.
Andy Zion for paint.
Ginger McCabe for upholstery.
Rene at Mercury moto for inspiration.
All my friends who have helped me out here and there.
Photo by: Jesse Ladowski
You can follow the madness / progress of Christian's build on Instagram at @ctnewman and make sure to check out the finished insanely beautiful Knucklehead at this year's Fuel Cleveland Show on July 29th. I'm sure you will see Christian rolling around on one of his other crazy bikes and at the show so be sure to say hi to him if you see him walking around!

Cole Rogers - 138 Cycle Fabrication

While walking through the motorcycle section of the Piston Power Show two years ago, I stumbled upon this insane looking Sportster. My eyes were locked onto it from across the walk way and I couldn't stop myself from walking towards it if I tried. The front end was like nothing I had ever seen before and the stance was so low. Right beside it was another one with a similar style but an Ironhead. With all the normalcy that show gives, there where these two diamonds hiding in the rough. As I finally fought my eyes to look away, I saw Cole standing there by his table. I immediately walked over to shake his hand and tell him how amazing the bikes were and how much I enjoyed every detail. The dude couldn't of been any nicer, humble and very knowledgable, it was an instant bond made and I'm glad to call him a friend today. With so much talent and beautifully built machines it was a no brainer to ask Cole to bring one of his bikes to show at Fuel Cleveland on July 29th.

I sat down the other day with Cole and asked him a handful of questions to try and get to know the man behind the brilliance even more, here is what came of it. Enjoy.


-Mikey Revolt


photo by: Michael Lichter

Tell us a little about yourself...


C: My name is Cole Rogers and I started my own shop called 138 Cycle Fabrication in 2007 after building bikes at home and working at other shops. In 2001, I started working full-time in motorcycle shops. Before that I was a tool maker, welder, general fabricator, and electronics tech. I took every art class in school and still dabble a little with painting and drawing. I skateboarded a lot as a kid and listened to the Punk that goes hand in hand with it.




What does the 138 stand for in 138 Cycle Fabrication?



C: It is a song called "We Are 138" by my favorite band, The Misfits. It's a song that can be interpreted many ways but it's basically about non-conformity.

What got you into motorcycles?

C: When I was a kid, we lived 2 houses in from a main road that was used by bikers to get to a place called Gilberts Party Barn. This was the mid 80's so the Harley craze had not taken off yet. I would hear the bikes coming and I would run to stand as close to road as I could to watch what seemed like thousands of bikes go by. I would always look for the choppers. For some reason, I thought they were the coolest things in the world. Fast forward to 16 years old. My older brother had a BSA. When it quit running he told me if I could fix it I could ride it. I rode my skateboard to the library to check out a service manual. I got it running and I was hooked.




What was your very first build? What was the experience like, and the challenges you faced?
Anything you would do differently now that you know more on that first build?


C: I graduated from high school and one of the first things I did was start looking for a project. I bought a 1970 triumph engine, an old Columbus Customs Springer, and the front half of a frame from a guy named Limey R.I.P. Finding the rest of the parts was frustrating. That's when I realized to build the bike I wanted I was going to have to make some parts and learn to weld. I worked at a tool shop so I asked one of the welders to teach me how to weld. I was able to finish the bike and it was an amazing feeling to ride something I had built. I learned a lot from that first build. The most important thing I learned is RED LOCTITE! The only thing I would do differently on that first build knowing what I know now would be weld on the hardtail instead of bolting it on.

Photo by: Michael Lichter



What is your all time favorite build you have ever done?


C: My favorite build, is a bike I named "Salvador". It's a 1975 Sportster with the transmission cut off. I had seen it done before and had always wanted to do it my way. The ones I had seen always looked cool but they did not look right fitted to a big twin frame. This bike was for me so I could do anything I wanted with it. I had just sold my '58 XLH to a guy in Australia. It wasn't for sale but he threw out a number I could not turn down. This is the bike I will be bringing to the show.

Can you talk a little about your signature front end design and how that came about?

C: I'm not sure where the idea came from. Maybe old bicycles or other builders attempts at building something similar but I had a plan. I measured a ton of springers and stock front ends just to get some general dimensions. I drew up all of the drawings for every part and then took the design to my dad to look it over. My dad is literally a rocket scientist. He worked in solid rocket propulsion at Wright Patterson Air Force base for 32 years. He took a look at my design, made a few small changes and told me to get busy. I built the first one with low expectations but it turned out amazing. It rides like a new narrow glide. I call it the Bullet Girder but it is really a knee action front end. I got a patent on it in 2010 and it is the favorite of my customers.



What is your ultimate dream machine that you wish you could own one day or do you already own it?

C: I already have my dream car. I have a 1959 Corvette that my Grandfather bought new, then it was my Dad's and now it's mine. It has never been "restored". We only fix or replace things that wear out. My Dad says it runs and rides the same as it did when it was new. My dream motorcycle would be to build a bike with an Ariel square four engine.



Is there a certain style you look for when building or does it change build to build?


C: I don't try to fit into a certain style. I just build what I think looks cool. I guess I have my own style. A lot of my bikes have a similar look because I'm always trying to build what I think is perfect for each customer..




Who or what inspires you?

C: I think a lot of my inspiration comes from early race bikes. They were small and stripped down and there is just something about them that kind of calls to me. The craftsmanship of street rods inspires me to really focus on the fit and finish of my bikes. And of course old punk rock inspires me to just forge ahead. Fuck what's happened in the past. Let's live now.



What is the process like for you when building a bike? How long does it usually take?


C: My building process starts with the frame. I think about what I want the overall stance of the bike to be and then I set the jig up where I think it will best match the stance I want. After the frame is done I put the drive train in, the back wheel on and set the ride height. I really don't have a plan further than that. The bike then kind of builds itself after that. My builds usually take 3 to 4 months.

What is one of the biggest highlights, awards or things you done in your career that you are proud of?


C: The biggest highlight of my career was winning the International Master Bike Builders Association national championship.










Are you a movie on the couch or going to the theater type guy? 

C: I'm a movie on the couch guy unless it's a Syfy movie like Star Wars. I have to see those in the theater.

Name one band that is always on repeat in your garage.

C: The Misfits

Any life mottos or words of wisdom that you live by?


C:You only live once. Live in the now!

Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to or thank?
 

C: I would like to thank my wife. Without her I would be nothing. My daughter for being my BFF and my dad for always saying "just do it yourself".




Make sure to check out Cole's bike "Salvador" and his booth at Fuel Cleveland on July 29th and be prepared to be blown away by the craftsmanship of his work!





         
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