Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dago's Speed Shop-Part 2

The second bike I shot was his 68' Sportster XLCH he had built along with his nephew. This was a build that allowed Rene to work along side his nephew and paved the way for his nephew to a new career. “I ended up with the motor from another deal that I had. The motor, the frame and the chrome swing arm were also other parts I had. I bought a bolt on hardtail and when I bolted it on it just looked terrible, it just didn’t flow at all. So I said “fuck it” and stuck it in the corner and worked on other projects. Then one day I was looking on eBay and came across this Sportster frame. It’s actually a 70’s Corbin frame and it’s kind of rare. I was like “Dude! Look at that frame.” Rene had just found his frame for the bike and he had to have it. “Once I got the frame I just had to build it up. It all came from the frame. That whole thing happened because of that frame and everything just evolved from there.”

Some of the parts Rene fabricated were the sissy bar, handle bars and the oil tank. “The story behind the oil tank is I made a round oil tank out of some mini scuba tanks. I just cut the ends off them and I spent so much time in getting them together. After I got it all together and put it up there on the bike it just didn’t flow with that tank and the angles of the bike.” So Rene put that oil tank aside and worked on another one that fit the look of the bike. “I had already built the pipes so I had to modify that oil tank to fit and I liked the way it looked.” The cap on the oil tank was also modified to match the cap on the gas tank.” The front rim is a Hap Jones WM1, side mount Bates headlight, Morris Fairbanks magneto, the rear fender is a stock narrow glide where Rene cut the center out. The seat is hand made out of leather. “Scott Craig did the paint and Danny D did the hand lettering on the tank.” Rene had originally had the tank painted and put the factory stickers on it. “It didn’t look right so I had it redone. We stripped it down and Danny hand painted the lettering on it. He staggered it to match both sides.”

The bike took about 6 months to build and is currently featured in DICE magazine. It also took first place at the Grand National Roadster Show. “I was just happy it was there and was surprised it won.”
Rene wanted the Sportster to get recognition not only for himself but for his nephew. Building the bike together was a great bonding experience between the two. Rene wanted his nephew to know that good things can come out of a bad situation. After the bike was done Rene had talked to his friend Eric over at Advanced Design Fabrication about his nephew. He told Eric that his nephew did good work and he has now worked with Eric for about a year. “Everything works out for a reason.”

Final part tomorrow.

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