Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
8. Why a jockey shift? I think Rich told me you never rode one before and you just jumped on the bike for the first time and was gone!
- They always looked more fun and dangerous to me, and they are. Plus, I like clean handlebars. Yeah, I tore off on my bike the first time I rode it. I had ridden a lot before that moment, but I built this chop to ride, and hell if I wasn't going to lay into it. Really, that was more 27 years of built up anticipation, rather than anything having to do with the jockey.
9. Unlike a lot of custom bikes, this one gets ridden. Where have you taken it so far?
- Well, I've ridden it to through Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and all over Colorado. Roughly 1,000 miles in every direction from Denver, most on more than one occasion. I see no point in show-bikes, I love art and I understand that that is a part of the whole custom idea, but motorcycles are meant to be ridden.
10. With a lot of riding on that you put on the bike what repairs have you done to it?
- I keep the fluids,chain, belt, and carb well maintained and try to keep everything tightened up, but it's a rigid. Mounts have busted, chains have worn out, the headlight bucket has cracked(multiple times), the carb has had minor issues, gaskets have blown, shifter splines have worn down, master cylinders have been re-built, shit's fallen off, sprockets have worn out over time, grommets have been torn up, I've altered the oil tank mounts, the bird-shooter pipes have been repaired on more than one occasion, sissy bar/fender mounts have been altered, and my axle has fallen apart. But, it's a rigid, my first build, and it's ridden pretty damn hard - no major engine, tranny, electrical, or handling problems. The way I look at it, these issues only enhance my knowledge of the bike and what to change this next time around.
11. What are the future plans for the bike?
- Well, I'm in the process of changing it for this coming riding season. Basically, I'm making it more practical for long trips, as well as a few changes in the sheet-metal and paint. I'm also giving the engine a little more power with a different cam, lifters, and pushrods and better handling with a Race Tech suspension kit for the front. A few trick things, but mostly traveling, appearance, and performance changes. Nothing that's needed, the bike's been bulletproof for the most part, just wanted changes to keep my creative juices flowing.
12. Was this your first bike you built?
- Yes. I stripped down and worked over my '86 FXR with my dad quite a while back, but this was my first ground-up build.
13. Any interesting stories you have riding the bike on any of your long bike runs?
- Man, you know there's a lot of crazy, delirious stories I have from being out on the road. Some so dumb that you'd have to have been there to understand. The road does unusually things to your state of mind after too little of sleep, and too many miles and late-night parties. Weather, encounters with the police, break-downs, close-calls, exhaustion, and some of the most interesting people I've ever met. Not to mention riding through and camping out at some of the coolest places in the USA.
14. Wasn't the first long ride you did on it was after you just finished it and rode it out to Calif to the Sinners 4th of July party?
- Yeah, I finished it in the Fall of '08, put a bunch of miles on it before the end of June of '09 to break it in and fix any "bugs" before taking off too far on it. I hadn't had very good luck riding to L.A. on my FXR before that, but the chop ran like a top and the rigid wasn't too hard on my body. My ass prints were cemented into my thin-padded seat though.
15. When your not wrenching on bikes with Rich what do you do?
- I tend bar at a place called the Sundown Saloon in Boulder, Colorado. An old smokey pool hall and one of the busiest joints in town(sell more PBR than any other bar in America, which basically means the World). It's a college town and cash is king, so certain benefits come with my occupation. I love my job.
16. You have any other hobbies you like to do?
- I'm just getting into engraving. I recently took CJ Allan's 3-day engraving class, which has given me the knowledge and tools to excel at it with more practice. Art, mostly sketching. I shoot and edit all of my riding trips on video, which has been a fun way to get creative and re-live my trips. And, hitting as many good concerts as possible. Other than that, I try and get outdoors as much as possible when I'm not involved with bikes or slinging drinks, which is pretty rare. The mountains offer a lot of kick ass activities that I've gotten into or tried since moving out West. I love Colorado, it's an adventure junkie's playground out here year-round.
17. Any plans to build another bike?
- I've been looking at a Pan for sale here in Denver. I've changed my mind on what I want next so many times but I'm not gonna rush it, these things take time, and money. Taking long trips every month from April through October doesn't help my bank account either. So, until I start another project, I have two great bikes to ride anywhere I want in the meantime.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
1. Your mom had told my wife when she placed a order for Joyrides that your dad and uncles were into motorcycles. I'm assuming they were a big influence on you and is that how you got into motorcycles?
- My dad has always been my biggest influence. I remember rides in the car as a kid and having Harleys go ripping past us and my dad always saying, "that's the sound of music kids". He and my mom took their honeymoon on his Sporty back in 1971. He got a Superglide the next year, chopped it, and he and my mom would take off on a regular basis traveling around, meeting random gypsy bikers along the way. I grew up looking at pictures from their younger days out on the road. I was hooked from a very early age. Also, when I was young my uncle Perry had a crotch-rocket and got into road-racing, which drew a lot of attention to me as a kid.
2. Where were you born and raised?
- Stevens Point, Wisconsin
3. What's the motorcycle culture like where you grew up?
- All states have a flower, flag, animal, etc. I like to think that Wisconsin has it's own State Motorcycle, Harley Davidson(heard a rumor that WI state legislature was actually trying to pass this?). The roads and scenery in Wisconsin are great 6 months out of the year. Windy and hilly roads and really dense, green forests that'll hypnotize you in the fall. There isn't much traffic, there are great back-roads all over the place, and camping in the North-woods is something I miss the most about Wisconsin.. On the other hand, the weather can get severe and there are a lot of deer. In all, it's a good place to learn how to ride.
4. Why did you chose to move to Denver?
- My big brother, Benny, moved out to Denver 8 months before me. I was working shitty temp jobs back home after college, living with my folks. Benny had an extra room out in Colorado and over Thanksgiving break in '05, he persuaded me to move out West. It didn't take much...
5. How did you hook up with Irish Rich?
- It's a long complicated story before I had even considered moving out West, but after talking with my brother about moving, I planned a trip out West with a bunch of friends to ski/snowboard and party in January of '06. Being familiar and admiring Irish Rich for some time before that, I emailed him ahead of time asking to, at the very least, meet him while I was out in Denver visiting. I didn't hear back from him for over 2 weeks, so, like all of the other builders I had contacted for work prior to this, I accepted rejection pretty easily. Until about 2 weeks before heading out, he got back to me and said to get ahold of him when I got to Colorado. I called him and went over to his shop and we hit it off. After talking, he said I could start working with him as soon as I moved out West. I moved out to Denver less than a month and a half later. I could never repay him for all he's done for me.
6. How long have you work with him? How much have you learned from?
- It'll be five years this spring. I've only been part time due to other jobs I've had, but, now I'm only slinging drinks at night - leaving days to get in the shop more than before. I can't really put into words most of the knowledge he's passed onto me. My dad presented bikes to me, Rich is perfecting them to me. I've had much more of a respect for the history of motorcycles(not just choppers) after working with him. I've also become more patient, in doing things right and being meticulous in the tiny details that make a large difference between a well built motorcycle and a motorcycle that's more of a toilet than a mode of transportation. But really, Rich is an encyclopedia of motorcycle knowledge. I brought a bike manual over to his place when I first started working with him and he responded, "I'm your fucking manual". If, before I die I can understand half of what he has in his head, I'll feel more than satisfied.
7. What made you want to build the 08 Custom Bike?
- My childhood. I've always dreamt of having a chop and living the biker lifestyle. It was only a matter of time. Rich helped accelerate the process.