Hauler

n 2008, my bike, Kooler Shaker, won the big Devon show in Paignton and then it came out as the best 'old skool' chop at the prestigious Bulldog Bash too, but the sad cancellation of many shows in 2008 because of unfounded fears about gangland rivalry' probably stopped it from gaining greater success.

With this in mind, you may be wondering, why I would want to mess with what a few judged as perfection. Well, it's a difficult question to answer because there are a whole load of reasons behind my chop 'n' change madness, but if s probably because as a blogger and 'Net nerd I drool over bikes and cool parts and styles late into the night on a brain numbingly, arse achingly daily basis. Add to that die fact that I broke my leg in spectacular style skateboarding in October 2008 so I had no choice but to spend even longer in front of die computer screen during my recuperation. Soon I was goggle eyed, noting and scheming, costing and dreaming, building an offshoot of my bike to keep things fresh in 2009 and beyond.

I'd had the bike built by Benny at Boneshaker Choppers using a Flyrite Smokin' Gun frame and an 883 Sportster motor so all that was right, I just needed to change the look. To kick things offl got in contact with Jaymes Schmidt at Blue Moon Kustoms in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This guy does unbelievable work and seemed like the best painter to choose. I wanted some old school lace work, fish scales and a rising sun airbrush and card job, and what he came up with in the colours I'd visualised really blew my mind. It is not only the three panels diat are crazy, it's the little kriss kross taping work in between and the detail on the bulges to the underside. The man is a sick genius!

The new handlebars were a from Benny. He's a real generous bloke and, when I picked up 'Kooler Shaker', he threw in these nickel-plated T-bars and the mini Sportster tank - it was as if he was saying 'one day, lad, you'll want to change the look of that motorsickle so here's a starter for ten to get you up and running!'. Incidentally I cut a half an inch or so off each end to make them ridiculously narrow and the same amount off the throttle sleeve and the 'grips. Then I realised the levers looked too big so they also went under the blade.

I tried to choose parts I liked, but which didn't break the bank. Some people are going nuts at the moment for old Bates seats and vintage Anderson foot pegs, but I say what does it matter what the writing says under your foot peg? Will that rare old perished Avon Speedmaster 2.75" front tyre gonna hold up at 90 mph? I tell you, eBay has a habit of sometimes bringing out the worst in people!

The headlight is a part I have always drooled over. The original Triangle headlights are chopper antiques and diey are one of those sought after, silly money, pumped up auction gems I'm talking about. This Triangle headlight is a newer reproduction and a bit chubbier than the '70s version, and die amber lens is my own handiwork with turn signal bulb paint and an art brush.

The rear tyre was next. Off came the Avon as I wanted to try a Coker Firestone replica, the twin white striper being my favourite. O

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