Posts tagged Harley Davidson

What made you transition from a Honda to a Harley?  

I was ready for a change in riding style. For the longest time I was really into the scrambler and cafe style bikes and the shadow VLX was a very interesting platform to tinker with at the time. However, that motor was too weak for me and the bike wasn’t an appropriate set up for camping trips.

I really got more into choppers when I started riding with the LNSPLT guys. They made hardtails and suicide clutches seem super fun and easy and I had an itch to learn a different platform. I needed something cheap with a big motor, low-tech, sketchy, and garage builder friendly.

What do you like about the transition? What do you hate?

There is a lot that I really like about the bike itself, but I really like that I have been meeting a lot more people in the Sacramento area that are into choppers. Building this bike has introduced me to a lot of really nice people and really fun events. I also like that there is so much information readily available out there for old Harleys.

 I kinda hate that I moved on so quickly. Kinda…

Between the two, which bike do you enjoy working on and why?

I never have to work on the Honda because it’s so reliable so I guess I’ll have to say the Harley haha. I’ve put a lot of work into the shadow to make sure it is solid. I am now trying to get to that point with the Harley, which is proving to be very elusive! It is true that these things take a lot of attention to keep them happy. I will complete some maintenance items over the winter that will hopefully keep more oil on the inside.

Who or what inspired your build?

I was first inspired by the builds over in Japan. I first saw a photo set of some really tough, dirty looking bikes with car tires and open primary chains. I wanted something sketchy and exciting and I wanted to do as much as I could on my own. The “Final Form” has changed a lot in the short time that I’ve owned it.

You’ve recently competed and won the Lnsplt Build-Off. Can you tell us about your experience?

I started this build about 3-4 months before the build off. I wanted to give myself a ton of time to learn everything and that meant that I had to get it running reliably before I started any customization. I was pretty stupid with it too. I would go out and ride with no tools and no AAA , so of course, I got stranded. I broke everything that was put in place by the previous owner besides the frame and fork. My goal was to expose all of its weaknesses and build it up my way.

My “vision” for the entire process was all over the place. I couldn’t settle for anything and I would daydream about different combinations of parts. Often I would proclaim that I was going to do something specific for my bike and then end up with something completely different. For example, I didn’t mean to paint my tank this way. I was trying to do a tank with half stripes and half polka dots but instead, I got frustrated in my inability to tape things off correctly and just ended up with what you see now. So many people hated my tank, especially Brian.

The Lnsplt Build-Off is just a friendly competition that serves as a reason for people to complete their builds. All of the builders have their own idea of what is cool/pretty/whatever so it was really exciting to see the builds come to life. I was surprised that I was voted the winner because the other entries were so solid and detailed. I’m really glad that the trophy stays in Sac!

What are your plans for the bike?

My next plans are to dig into the tranny and the motor to do some maintenance work. I need to address some oil leaks and also make sure that things are adjusted properly.

Any tips for people building old bikes? 

 Yes. Don’t start down that path unless you really like the challenge. I personally find it meditative to take my time in the garage. Also, make sure your bike runs before you chop it, hahaha. SBFFSB (Shovel Bros Forever, Forever Shovel Bros)

Check out Dennis’ old bike HERE.

How did you transition from a car guy into a bike guy?

Initially I sold my first car which was a Nissan 240sx (Missile Car) to get a Harley VRSCD Night rod, but like most young adults my parents disagreed and opted for me to get a new car instead. I ended up with another RWD platform to mess around with and once my credit had been established I was able to purchase my Harley. I am still a devoted car guy in the process of building the engine of my car so that I can create a drift machine. Dorifuto!

You ride with the San Jose Bobbers dudes and they all have Hondas, what made you decide to go with a Harley?

Because Murika. At first I wanted to build a shadow but I wanted something different yet still in budget. I’ve always been infatuated with Harley Davidson and their long history in the motorcycle industry. The body lines are aggressive, the displacement is impressive, and the sound is obsessive. #vtwinning.

You’re Asian, why didn’t you get a sports bike?

Eventually I hope to own one but in the meantime I need something reliable and comfortable at the same time. I commute ~100 miles a day and nothing suits long commutes like a cruiser. Once I’m more financially stable, I hope to own each type of motorcycle that would be my dream garage.

Have you had any close calls on your bike?

Plenty, just like all riders have. Being constantly exposed is the risk we take when rolling on two wheels. That’s what makes it fun. Many close calls are from riding in the rain, where visibility is at its lowest. Loud pipes really do save lives. If they can’t see you, hopefully they hear you. I do get the occasional cut offs and I just compensate with the middle finger.

What do you love most about riding?

The nonstop thrill when possibilities are endless, the smell of exhaust fumes invading your nose, the cool crisp breeze that passes through as you ride against it, the adrenaline pumping faster and faster as you roll on the throttle, the vibrations from the exhaust growling as if you are an untamed beast. The feeling of freedom, the joy and the excitement is unexplainable. You just have to ride and you’ll know the feeling. It really doesn’t matter what type or how fast your bike is. It is definitely a great feeling and that’s an understatement.

What do you hate most?

Well other than the consequences of a collision, nothing at all. I ride rain or shine.

I like how you didn’t keep your bike stock, what are your future plans for the bike?

I want to start focusing on the small details on the bike like having the bolts/nuts dipped in brass, cleaning up the handle bar assembly, new levers, new controls, internal wiring etc. I’m also debating whether or not I should go with a springer front end. For now I just want to do what I can that fits my budget but I do someday hope to turn the 73.4CI into a monstrous 90CI with the hammer performance kit.

Do you have any tips for beginners that are planning to ride? Should they buy a cheap piece of shit and fix it up or buy a new and reliable bike?

Do what you can. If you’re someone that’s mechanically inclined, then fixing an older bike will be much cheaper than fixing a new bike. There are consequences when getting an older bike such as breaking down or just things breaking so be cautious when purchasing. I love bikes new and old so for me it doesn’t matter. I only went with a new bike for the reliability. One big downfall for modifying newer bikes is the depreciation factor, if you want to hard tail or do any type of custom welding to the bike the value will drop vs when you modify an older bike the value rises (depending on how good your work is). They do have alternatives such as complete frames that way you can keep all the stock parts untouched. Know what you are getting into and get an owner’s manual. The way you treat your bike is a reflection of yourself so be patient and meticulous.