The XPress Lid Chopper Sweepstakes: Part 3 Build

Hang onto your asses. This is going to rock your boat, or your solo seat springs. We are building a bike just for you. That’s right. A Cycle Source or Bikernet reader will own this one-off custom at the end of this year. No, I’m not kidding.

This world-class team of builders, lead by Prince Najar, the vast and all-powerful organizer is headed-up by builder/designer Gary Maurer of Kustoms Inc, and Ron Harris of Chop Docs. We have the Texas Bike Works frame, the magnificent Crazy Horse 100-inch engine, and Jules, of Kustoms Inc. hand-made an oil tank. This issue we welcomed another state of the chrome-arts team into the fray, 3Guyz, a manufacturing shop capable of anything. They work out of a former aerospace manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon. Their mantra is as follows: Providing specialized customizing and performance solutions for American V-Twin and sport motorcycles, Smart cars, and industrial clients.

I spoke to Andy, one of the guys, who introduced me to the boss, Bob, and the other guy, John. Around 2004, they needed a springer, and although they were big fans of Sugar Bear, they decided it was time to manufacturer their own.

“We started by building a dozen all stainless springers,” Andy said. “We still have a few.” Then they discovered the need to build springers for builders who sought flexible units for various finishes. Each springer is custom-made for whatever application any builder needs. In this segment, we will reprint the 3Guyz tech on how to measure a roller for the perfect length springer. They also published a tech on tearing a 3Guyz springer down for finish work.

For more details about fork design and handling, take a few minutes to read through their “Fundamentals of Front Fork Geometry” in the 3Guyz.com tech section.

So here’s what Gary was faced with when the word came from Prince Najar, “3Guyz will make us a springer. Order it, will ya.”

Options:

Brake stay(s): Right, left, none or both (we position them, and provide the correct bolt thread based on the brake system you choose). In this case, we are using Hawg Halters.

Handlebar mounts: Standard is ½-inch through holes on 3-1/2-inch centers in the top tree for solid mounting, designed to use any stock Harley risers. You can add bushing mounts, or larger holes for custom handlebar controls. Or a springer can be ordered without holes for risers. Their springers are available wide or narrow.

Axle diameter: Standard is ¾-inch. You can choose to have us provide a 5/8-inch axle for spool wheels if you prefer.

Fork Stops: Standard is external pin stops in the lower tree based on our bearing cup stop set. You can choose to add in our cup and bearing kit, have us provide the internal stop kit, or specify internal stops by providing the manufacturer details about the stop kit.
Brakes: You can provide the distance from the axle to the brake anchor link point on your brake kit, and we will place the brake anchor where necessary to match it. We can also provide a wide selection of brakes from aftermarket suppliers and pre-fit them to your fork.

Fenders: Left fender mounts, off these springers are available to allow adding the fender of your choice (there are too many possibilities to list here).

How to Measure Your Frame for a Springer Front End Build

To build a springer front end specifically to match your frame, we need a few simple dimensions and facts.

All the directions and examples here are based on the fact that your frame uses a 1-inch neck similar to a big twin H-D. If not, you can use this example, but you will have to give us additional information on the length, inside dimension and outside dimension of your neck to determine, if our system will work with your frame.

To start, set your frame up on a riser (blocks, or a jack) to set it at ride height. That is, where you want it to be when the bike is fully finished, and running down the road. It is best to do this with the rear wheel (in this case Ride Wright wheels) and tire (Metzler) installed to allow you to set the lower frame tubes level with the ground, or slightly raised, as some designs prefer.

Mock-up-frame-height. In this example, we have mounted the rear wheel in the frame, and used a frame jack to set the “attitude” of the frame stance. This step is important, as changes to the angle of the lower tubes to the ground can change the neck height, and neck angle as the frame pitches upward.

We typically use a digital inclinometer to establish the neck angle for our calculations to measure the angle within one tenth of a degree. We do not expect everyone to have one of these. We’ll show you a few other ways to get the neck angle damn accurate with common tools

To measure the neck angle relative to the table, we need to zero the device. In the photo above, you can see that we have used a long straightedge set on top of the table surface to average the table surface. This is important because these lift tables are not flat, and we need to establish a flat average surface plane to measure from.

 This illustrates the error we will correct out by zeroing the gauge. This illustrates the error we will correct out by zeroing the gauge.

As you can see, there was an error here. Our floor is sorta flat here as well. Most garage floors at home slope toward the door, and can induce more error. If you are using a lift in your garage, try to set the table across the natural slope of the floor to eliminate that possibility. Most garage floors are somewhat flat side-to-side.

By re-setting zero on the gauge, we get a relative zero measurement as you can see in the photo. By re-setting zero on the gauge, we get a relative zero measurement as you can see in the photo.

After the gauge is set, simply set the gauge across the top of the neck as shown.

The Neck angle measured vertically on this frame, for purposes of building a front end, is 33.7 degrees. The Neck angle measured vertically on this frame, for purposes of building a front end, is 33.7 degrees.

Keep in mind that:

1. The better these measurements are, the more accurately the front end can be built.
2. There are other ways to do this, but this is how we do it.
3. The smaller the neck angle, the less effect small errors have on the length of the fork

Let’s take a look at other ways to measure the angle. A machinist protractor is very inexpensive, and can be used as shown.

Keep in mind here that as we use a level to determine the angle, you must use the same technique on the table to subtract (or add) the correction angle into the measurement for a relative angle.

Another tool to use like this is available at lots of tool stores, and is pretty easy on the wallet. We see it in use in this shot.

Now that we have the neck angle, we need to know how far from the ground the neck bearing is.

We call this measurement Lower Neck Bearing Height. We call this measurement Lower Neck Bearing Height.

Measure from the centerline of the lower neck bearing race (Bearing IN PLACE) directly to the table as shown.

It’s important to measure the lower edge of the bearing in the race, along the centerline of the neck axis.

This one measures 32 and 3/8-inch from the table surface. Try to get within 1/16-inch here.

This allows us to calculate the length of the fork, as long as we know the tire size, type, and brand you will be using. We have a table of “loaded” radius dimensions for most major tire types we can use to determine the distance from the table to the front axle.

With this information, we will build you a springer to fit in the space required, and we will pre-load the springer so that it will settle to this height when it is fully loaded with the bike and average rider weight.

We also use this geometry to select the correct size rocker length and tree selection to provide you with the best steering trail for a safe and smooth ride.

Gary Maurer has been building bikes for years, so I’m sure he has a formula for figuring the springer length or he can follow the instructions here. So, the other crucial variables at this point were the dimensions of the wheels and tires.

I reached out to Ride Wright wheels in Anaheim, California. They manufacture custom wheels, rotors, and pulleys for Harley-Davidson, American Classic, custom chopper and import motorcycles.

“We strive to be your one-stop source for aftermarket custom wheels and tire needs with the hottest styles and various sizes, including super wide or tall rims.”

They make straight, cross, and cross-radial (overlapping) lacing patterns with smooth and diamond cut wire and spoke wheels in 40, 50, Fat 50, 60, 80 and 120 spoke-count styles. They build their own high-polished stainless spokes in diamond cut, twisted, jeweled and blade styles. Finishes include custom colors, powder coating, chrome, and polished hubs and rims.

They also manufacturer steel and aluminum rims. Their soft-lip aluminum rims have no step and are thick enough for engraving or machining.

This is damn exciting, the way this putt is coming together right before our eyes. We now have a complete roller, and soon the sheet metal fabrication will begin under the guidance of Gary, Jules, and Ron. Hang on for the next chapter. And remember you can win this one-off custom chop. Just subscribe to Cycle Source or Bandit’s Cantina on Bikernet.com. Or just fill out the application and keep your money. No purchase is required, but don’t tell the other guy.

….

–Bandit

BIKERNET/CYCLE SOURCE BUILD SOURCES

Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe. Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe.

Xpress

https://mysmartcup.com/

Crazy Horse

http://www.crazyhorsemotorcycles.com/

Texas Bike Works

www.TexasBikeWorks.com


Kustoms Inc.

KustomsInc@hotmail.com

Chop Docs

3 Guyz

www.3Guyz.com

Accel

Accel-ignition.com

Fab Kevin

Evil Engineering

www.evil-engineering.com

D&D Exhaust

http://www.danddexhaust.com/

Wire Plus

http://www.wire-plus.com/

Barnett

Barnettclutches.com

Rocking K Custom Leathers

Ride Wright Wheels

www.RideWrightWheels.com

Rivera Primo

Spectro Oils
www.Spectro-oils.com

Bell
www.moto@rcn.com

Metzeler Tires
www.metzelermoto.com

Hawg Halters
www.HawgHalters.com

Handy Industries
www.HandyIndustries.com

Grip Ace
www.gripace.com


Biker’s Choice
www.bikerschoice.com

Click on the banner quick for more info.

Aeromach
www.aeromachmfg.com
 

Ride Wright Wheels
www.ridewrightwheels.com


Biker Pros
www.BikerPros.com

The XPress Lid Chopper Sweepstakes: Part 2 Build

Kustoms Inc. has been around awhile, in the Detroit suburb of Grand Ledge.
Kustoms Inc. has been around awhile, in the Detroit suburb of Grand Ledge.

Hang on for a chance to win this bike. The odds will be terrific, so step up and enter, or subscribe to Bandit’s Cantina on Bikernet.com, or Cycle Source Magazine, and we will take care of your entry into the drawing towards the end of the year. In the meantime, grab a beer and enjoy this build process monthly on Bikernet, or on the crumpled pages of Cycle Source magazine.

Last issue, we discussed the myriad of top-notch components flying at this build, and how Jason built the frame, at Texas Frame Works, around the master’s configuration and the pre-bent contoured backbone. The master is the boss of the 28-year- old shop, Kustoms Inc. and Evil Engineering, Gary Maurer.

Gary recently took possession of the Texas Frame Works rigid frame, the magnificent Crazy Horse 100-inch engine, the Baker transmission, Accel electronics, and of course, an Evil primary drive system.

“I like to design the sheet metal and frame around the complete drive line,” Gary said. He has a build theory based on the major components in place during the frame and sheet metal design process.

This time, the frame was built behind his configuration, then in went the engine and trans, so he could design sheet metal befitting the lines of the frame and make it cup the engine and trans. He asked Jason to stretch the frame to allow him the space to install the battery behind the trans and in front of the fender.

“I like to build bikes with the battery under the transmission,” Gary said, “but they’re a bastard to work on.”

In this case, the bike will be built as an everyday rider, so ease of maintenance is a major consideration. Here’s the twist of the month, and a major element in the formula behind Kustoms Inc’s success. Gary opened his shop in 1982 as a part-time endeavor. He was 22 at the time, and shortly after, he kicked it up to full-time in 1983. About that time, a 16-year-old high school sweetheart wandered into the shop and enjoyed the vibe. Julie Gilford started answering the phone. Her family taught her work ethics and didn’t allow her to sit around on her cute ass.

Gary made most of his cash flow by repairing and painting Grand Ledge Post Office Jeeps and building race cars. Since the shop consisted of Gary and usually just one helper, Julie picked up tools, cleaned the shop, then started to perform mechanical duties. In 1985, Julie graduated from Grand Ledge High School, and Gary dodged child-endangerment charges.

 

 

Over the next couple of decades, Julie became adept at all aspects of fabrication aside from welding (she doesn’t like the heat), and manipulating the lathe (it broke Gary’s wrist recently). Together, they built 100 ground-up professional racecars, all the Baker fat tire kits, and won best-engineered cars at multiple drag meets. His cars set A Dragster, and Top Funny Car records. “Moon Eyes still runs my ’32 Bonneville roadster,” Gary said. One of his cars was listed in the top 10 Streetrodders of the year a few years back.

Julie grew into a major fabrication team member within the tight Kustoms Inc. crew. She built frame tables, fabrication jigs, and runs the mill with her long deep brunette hair pulled into a tight bun. “If she took on welding and running the lathe, I would be out of a job,” Gary said humbly. They have worked together for 28 years so far, and she rides. Three years ago, she hit a deer, but that’s a harried tale for another time.

So Julie jumped at the chance to dig in on the first fabrication build project for the Bikernet/Cycle Source Sweepstakes build, the oil tank. Kustoms Inc. offers several hand-built oil bags. They manufacture a couple of sizes in a donut configuration, with a hole down the center. They also offer a couple of sizes in this oval shape. Julie cuts out the end plates and then forms the oblong, barrel-like exterior. Gary machined mounting bungs using stock Harley gas tank rubber mounts to fasten the oil bag to the frame securely.

Julie drilled the holes in the tank for mounting bungs and oil line fittings. Gary ran the feed line to one end, the return line at the other end, and the vent line near the filler cap. They also drilled and positioned the drain cap bung and the filler cap bung.

After building precision racecars for a couple of decades, fabricating custom motorcycles is all about fun. “At one time, I had to hide my motorcycles when the car guys showed up,” Gary said. “Now the car guys want a chopper to match their racecar.”

Sure, bikes have always been the bottom rung, low-class outlaws. It never changes.

Don’t miss the next episode. They bought a set of ’90s, 3.5 gallon, H-D fatbob gas tanks. Julie will form the pieces to eliminate the dash dish and make them pure flat-sided tanks. Gary will mount them on either side of the frame so the frame will be visible down the center.

“This bike will be built to ride, but look cool,” Gary said.

Don’t miss the next episode, or a chance to win this puppy.

 

 

Sources:

BIKERNET/CYCLE SOURCE BUILD SOURCES

Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe. Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe.

Xpress

https://mysmartcup.com/

Crazy Horse

http://www.crazyhorsemotorcycles.com/

Texas Bike Works

www.TexasBikeWorks.com


Kustoms Inc.

KustomsInc@hotmail.com

Chop Docs

3 Guyz

www.3Guyz.com

Accel

Accel-ignition.com

Fab Kevin

Evil Engineering

www.evil-engineering.com

D&D Exhaust

http://www.danddexhaust.com/

Wire Plus

http://www.wire-plus.com/

Barnett

Barnettclutches.com

Rocking K Custom Leathers

Ride Wright Wheels

www.RideWrightWheels.com

Rivera Primo

Spectro Oils
www.Spectro-oils.com

Bell
www.moto@rcn.com

Metzeler Tires
www.metzelermoto.com

Hawg Halters
www.HawgHalters.com

Handy Industries
www.HandyIndustries.com

Grip Ace
www.gripace.com


Biker’s Choice
www.bikerschoice.com

Click on the banner quick for more info.

Aeromach
www.aeromachmfg.com
 

Ride Wright Wheels
www.ridewrightwheels.com


Biker Pros
www.BikerPros.com

The XPress Lid Chopper Sweepstakes: Part 1 Build

Part 1: The XPress lid Chopper Sweepstakes


XPress lid by Smartcup has sponsored the build of a custom chopper that you can win from our partners at Bikernet.com and Cycle Source Magazine. If you don’t win the chopper, you can win many fabulous prizes.

Win A Custom Chopper Motorcycle

Win A Custom Chopper Motorcycle

You Could Win this Bike, this Year–a Complete One-Off Custom Built Chop
By Bandit, with images by Prince Najar

That’s right. You can enter by filling out the coupon, subscribing to Bandit’s Cantina on Bikernet, or to the Cycle Source Magazine. With a Crazy Horse 100-inch engine, and a frame from Texas Bike Works this build is already flying together.

From issue to issue you’ll see your motorcycle being built on the pages of Bikernet and Cycle Source. You’ll witness Gary Maurer from Kustoms Inc. and Ron Harris from Chop Docs bend sheet metal, create one-off components, and shoot one of the sickest old-school paint schemes that you have ever seen…

Gary's shop, Kustoms Inc. in Detroit.
Gary’s shop, Kustoms Inc. in Detroit.The team will carefully select components from the best in the industry, including wheels from Ride Wright, electronics from Accel, leatherwork by the master, Howard H. Knight, and controls from Tim at Grip Ace.

“Also, please look at Barnett clutches and let me know what you need,” Prince Najar said. He’s the manager of this process and partner at Biker Pros, who is working closely with our builders, editors, and suppliers.

“Also, Blacksmith Baggerville is interested in creating one-off pegs, brake pedal, grip, internal throttle and air cleaner,” the Prince said.

The parts list for XPress lid chopper build, including a Fab Kevin seat pan and hinge, expands daily.

Fab Kevin and Gary Maurer negotiating. "You got the shit, Kevin. I got the briefcase," said Gary holding the Evil Engineering clutch hub hostage.Fab Kevin and Gary Maurer negotiating. “You got the sh%t, Kevin. I got the briefcase,” said Gary holding the Evil Engineering clutch hub hostage.

Gary Maurer plans to split a set of stock fat bobs, modify them and mount them to the Texas Bike Works frame. He will take possession of the frame and Crazy Horse engine this week while the Prince searches high and low for forks cups, a springer front end, tires, rear fender, rear axle, final chain drive components, forward controls, a battery, a Mikuni carb from Rivera Primo, a primary drive system, an air cleaner, front and rear brakes, and the list goes on. Of course the Prince plans on using the D&D performance exhaust system.

“Let your wings fly for now,” Gary said to the Prince in his best motivational sounding voice, modulated by Jack Daniels and soaked in wisdom by some of the best Georgia moonshine.

Ron Harris, being question by Bob Kay, Bikernet investigator, during Detroit shops tour.
Ron Harris, being question by Bob Kay, Bikernet investigator, during Detroit shops tour.
“Wait,” Ron Harris said, “I have a special request. I need a Goldwing Windjammer fairing.”


“Thanks for reminding me,” Prince Najar said. “I found one, if Maurer will let go of his, then we’re all set.”

Gary Maurer with Jason Ferguson of Texas Bike Works initially designed the hand-built custom frame. Gary sent to Jason a custom bent backbone down to Texas. It features a 1 ¾-inch formed DOM steel tubing arched backbone to be integrated the frame. Jason is an MMI graduate who cut his teeth in Southern California with Johnny Pag and the Biker’s Dream folks in 1993. After the Dream fell apart, but with a great deal of hard knocks experience, Jason peeled out to the Lone Star state, and drove in his stakes in 2006, on the outskirts of Dallas/Fort Worth, in Granbury, Texas.

He spent five years perfecting his first frame jig and has been hand fabricating specialty frames for two years. The fabrication bug inspiration came from the first Motorcycle Mania Discovery show by Hugh King. He watched fabricators work shrinkers/stretchers, English wheels, shapers, and benders, and was suddenly intrigued to try his hand with steel manipulation.

Gary bent the curvy rigid backbone and shipped it to Jason. Jason added 2 inches of stretch up and out, plus an additional 2 inches in the rear. He included 34 degrees of rake in the neck. The rest of the 1 ¼-inch tubing design was up to Jason to enhance lines of the frame and make her flow.


“I don’t have a roller to fabricate those soft bends,” Jason said. But I’m sure that tool rests heavily in the back of his mind. As a kid, his dad was a biker, and Jason was inspired by Arlen Ness digger styles. He hopes to build frames, rollers, and complete bikes around Panheads, Shovels, and Sportsters. His next bike project involves a generator 1966 Shovelhead and a bone stock, never touched Arlen Ness original chassis.

Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe.
Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe.


So there’s talented crew for the XPress lid Bikernet/Cycle Source Sweeps biker project, and I would be proud to own any bike built with a Jason Ferguson, Texas Bike Works frame, Fab Kevin components, Crazy Horse engine, and by the crazy team of Gary and Ron. But wait, who the hell is that title sponsor? We are very fortunate to have this coffee company sponsor our build. XPress is a custom French Press coffee cup lid technology, by Smart Cup. Have you heard of French pressed coffee? Well, Smart Cup designed a portable cup that makes a French pressed cup of strong Joe whenever you want it. Over the months ahead, we’ll show you how it works and delivers a superior cup of crushed beans on the go.

Hang on for the next report, and don’t forget to enter.

–Bandit

BIKERNET/CYCLE SOURCE BUILD SOURCES

Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe. Click on the XPress logo for a hot cup of Joe.

Xpress

https://mysmartcup.com/

Crazy Horse

http://www.crazyhorsemotorcycles.com/

Texas Bike Works

www.TexasBikeWorks.com


Kustoms Inc.

KustomsInc@hotmail.com

Chop Docs

3 Guyz

www.3Guyz.com

Accel

Accel-ignition.com

Fab Kevin

Evil Engineering

www.evil-engineering.com

D&D Exhaust

http://www.danddexhaust.com/

Wire Plus

http://www.wire-plus.com/

Barnett

Barnettclutches.com

Rocking K Custom Leathers

Ride Wright Wheels

www.RideWrightWheels.com

Rivera Primo

Spectro Oils
www.Spectro-oils.com

Bell
www.moto@rcn.com

Metzeler Tires
www.metzelermoto.com

Hawg Halters
www.HawgHalters.com

Handy Industries
www.HandyIndustries.com

Grip Ace
www.gripace.com


Biker’s Choice
www.bikerschoice.com

Click on the banner quick for more info.

Aeromach
www.aeromachmfg.com
 

Ride Wright Wheels
www.ridewrightwheels.com


Biker Pros
www.BikerPros.com