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CB750Nut's "Bare Metal Beast"
I picked up 4 or 5 chopper projects from David Mitchell in Indiana about 4 years ago. I had a couple of friends drive out to pick them up and bring them back. They made a road trip of it and had a good time. 

About two and a half years ago I sold one of the C&G frames, a  motor that I had gone through, a rebuilt and synchronized set of carbs, a new key switch, rec/reg replacement, Accel coils, Dyna elect ign, invader wheels, and a short Springer front end that would need to be modified to fit the neck. He decided to take it down to a local chopper shop here in Denver. They charged him over $800 to trade his front end for this Denver’s springer and to half bolt it on. He finally got it back from them about a year and a half later and brought everything back to me to build it. He was done dealing with the V-twin chopper shops and wanted to bring it to someone that would actually build it and get it done.

I put the front end on correctly by spacing the stem and putting new tapered roller bearings in with new races. I put new shoes and bearings in the rear wheel and installed it. The front wheel was installed wrong by the other shop and was not riding on the bearings correctly. I designed a new axle and spacers. My friend Kris Lasnik fabricated them on his lathe. Now I had a roller. I went to install the motor but the mounts were all wrong! Evidentially it was set up for a 550 Honda and I didn’t even notice until now. I called the guy up and had him come over to pick out a new frame. We went through about 10 different rigid frames bolting on his front end and wheels to see how they sat. At the end of the day, he didn’t like any of them. He told me “Hey it’s a chopper, so chop it and make it work.” So that is what I did. I moved the motor mounts and made everything fit. 

I designed and fabricated the forward controls, coil mounts, side stand mount, and rear fender supports. He wanted to mount the headlight under the lower triple tree like my yellow bike, so my friend Levi made the mount for me while we were working in the garage one night. The owner wanted to have rigid copper oil lines instead of the standard rubber ones. In order to do this I designed an oil tank with a built in battery tray, had some custom bungs fabricated, and purchased the fittings from McMasterCarr.  Kris, Levi and I got together late one night and cut all the material, bent the battery tray, and tig welded it all up. The oil tank came out sweet. The owner took the tank to a polishing shop and had it polished to a mirror finish. 

I had Jim at Vintage Cycles in Erie, CO make the custom brake cable and throttle cable. I didn’t have any of the cheap $40 POD air filters on hand so we used a NOS set of K&N filters that I picked up from my neighbor 3 blocks down. I knew the motor ran well because I had it running on my test stand with the carbs and electronics before I originally sold it to him. So it fired right up and ran well. The funny thing is that it had a small oil leak from the valve cover. I had installed a new Cyclex gasket kit and ran the motor. There were no leaks when I sold it. Come to find out, he stored it at his friends house and the “friend” stole the valve cover gasket for his chopper! After replacing the gasket again, I spent a ton of time getting the jetting and air fuel mixture right.  It ran well on the stand, but not as well once it was in the bike and under a load.

I test rode this bike for a few days, to work out the bugs, with no seat - talk about a rough ride. Infact, I rode this bike to my new house with no seat  when I moved. That got some laughs. It had been some time since I finished the initial build and the buyer made a few more payments, but hadn’t called for over two months. I gave him a call and found out that his business was slow and that was why he hadn’t called in a while. To my surprise, he told me he wanted to sell it. I went ahead and bought it back from him. I had made a seat pan and Bitchin Stitchin formed the foam and did the leather work. Jeff Lytle from Gearhead Graphics pin striped it to make it look a little more finished and then off to ebay it went. I hated to see it go, but I guess we can always just build another one right.

I had a load of fun doing this build. It was a great deal of firsts for me. This was the first sissy bar/fender support that I made like this using my home built jig, the first oil tank, first time setting up my own motor mounts, first time using rigid oil lines… I learned a lot and had fun doing it. I guess that is what choppin is all about. Having fun, hanging out, coming up with new ideas, and building cool custom stuff. 

Keep Choppin!


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