Two Brothers Build a Shovelhead Chopper Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio The term “brotherhood” is often referenced when it comes to motorcycle riders or even biker clubs. Typically this is associated with the trust or respect of one another. In the case of this 1975 Harley-Davidson shovelhead chopper, two brothers with a common interest worked together over a winter to create something from the ground up. Growing up, Nathan and Ryan Cipoletti always wanted to build custom bikes, but the rule at home was no tattoos or motorcycles. As soon as the eldest brother Nathan moved out, he picked up a 1976 Honda CB650. The bike mostly stayed in his basement, covered up just so Mom wouldn’t see it. At the time, Nathan was also working with and building cars. A number of custom track-series Hondas, a bagged Nissan 350Z, and a BMW E36 were just a few of his projects. The brothers later caught the chopper bug when a lot of their friends started building them. Nathan traded his Honda CB for a basket case Ironhead Sportster, but later swapped it for Ryan’s 1988 Evo Sportster. Ryan was set on a big twin, so he then traded that Ironhead and some cash for a 1975 Harley-Davidson FX he found on Craigslist in Amish Country, Ohio. After Ryan hustled his way to the bike he truly wanted, they began building the chopper over the winter. Nathan owned a garage nearly ten miles away from where he lives in Weirton, West Virginia. Being that they both work at the same place, they would stop by the garage on their way home and spend a few hours a night working on the bike. “I immediately built the bike in my head when I first bought it. I just waited for the right time and money to begin putting it all together,” Ryan explained. All of the work was done in the garage with a MIG welder and limited resources. Nathan did most of the paint work. Ryan hand-polished the handlebars and sissy bar. They used a Haifley Brothers hardtail kit and a custom seat by Dan Collins of Old Gold Garage in California. Ryan found a ten over narrow springer front end online, adding that he got very lucky when it fit up perfectly. The exhaust was originally a gooseneck Paughco system that they had to chop due to an error that caused the exhaust ends to point in opposite directions. Things got tricky with the oil tank. The original was a side fill that didn’t work. After finding an old panhead oil tank at a swap meet, they cut the top off of it, welded it into the other, and filled the sides in. Ryan named the old chopper “Crohn Shovel” because of his Crohn’s disease, something he was made aware of in high school. “This bike has a lot of meaning. It’s almost like a first born because it’s the first truly custom bike we’ve built,” Nathan said. After putting in the hours over the course of a few months, the Cipoletti brothers ended up with something they can both be proud of. Special thanks goes to the entire Choppers to the Grave crew for their help and Fred Marino for helping with the paint. Left to Right: Nathan and Ryan Cipoletti. Featured in Issue 003 1975 HARLEY-DAVIDSON FX CHOPPER Built by RYAN & NATHAN CIPOLETTI instagram.com/chip15 <instagram.com/chip_dip Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
One-of-a-kind Hand Painted Jackets & Accessories Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio Through painting, sculpting, photography, and fashion, Masha Vereshchenko has been immersed in a wide range of art forms throughout her life. The journey to Pittsburgh started when she moved from a small city near Moscow to Detroit at twelve years old. From her experience, Detroit was a very dangerous place that required both a hardened demeanor and a little luck. This jarring environment grew on Masha, and she developed an attraction towards the chaos and drama. These different life circumstances and surroundings helped shape Masha’s creative growth, and she eventually left Detroit to attend the Pittsburgh Art Institute for special effects. She quickly became uninterested but stuck around the city doing art. Intrigued by photographing Pittsburgh’s drag culture, she developed her own style of “club kid” makeup. This landed her modeling jobs with fashion designers in New York City and a Vogue Italia photoshoot featuring Susanne Bartsch, the famous club promoter and nightlife icon. In addition, Masha worked with the talented artist and designer, Muffinhead, modeling an outfit for a book he’s working on. In September 2017, Masha took her skills as an artist and started Electric Catfish, a new project that will excite anyone looking for something different in Pittsburgh. What immediately struck our interest was her hand-painted jackets, gloves, and accessories. As she described it, “I hustled for a while, then got the idea to play with jackets and jewelry. I consider myself a jacket whore—they’re hard to resist.” Typically she will find used jackets to work with. Other times customers will provide her with the jackets, giving her an idea of what they might be looking for creatively. The work can take anywhere between a week to a month, and the price depends on the work involved. Leather jackets are great, but a completely custom leather jacket is even better. So check out the Electric Catfish Etsy store or Instagram page, and contact Masha for a quote. Featured in Issue 003 ELECTRIC CATFISH Masha Vereshchenko etsy.com/shop/electriccatfishshop instagram.com/electriccatfishshop Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
Don't Call it a Comeback Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio Pennsylvania ranked fifth among all states in rider crashes in 2017. Motorcycles are dangerous. We’ve heard this far too often. What’s more dangerous? Other people in cars. Getting into an accident isn’t something you can plan for, especially if you’re unfortunate enough to get rear ended by a drunk driver. After living in Pittsburgh for only two months, that’s exactly what happened to Travis Gaines on Stanton Avenue while riding his 1979 Kawasaki KZ400. His back was fractured, and his bike was crushed. I wouldn’t call that a very welcoming incident. Travis originally picked up the bike for $750 near Cleveland when he was living in Sharon near the border of Ohio. Jason Slemmer from Tired Cycles did some of the work on the bike, including the front and rear fenders, rear frame hoop, and the seat design. Travis added a new triple tree clamp and clip-on cafe bars. After the collision and his recovery, Travis decided to fix up his KZ400 starting with the reconstruction of the rear end. New wheels were necessary, but he kept the original tank with all of the scratches from the accident just as a reminder. The side covers were ruined, so Mothership Moto on Penn Avenue installed a set of pod filters and worked up a pair of rear set foot controls, improving the rider position. The battery box fit nicely under the seat, along with many of the electronics. His back still gets sore from time to time, but Travis is happy to have recovered and fixed up his cafe racer again. He’s still fairly new to town, so it’s been exciting to discover new roads to ride. Stay safe out there! Kawasaki's KZ400 outsold Honda in the 400cc twin market in the 1970s. Featured in Issue 003 1979 KAWASAKI KZ400 CAFE RACER Owned by TRAVIS GAINES Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
Focusing on the Finer Details Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio To me, it’s always great meeting younger people that are interested in building custom motorcycles. It’s even better when they build something truly impressive. On his own time and in his own garage, Andrew Frederick slowly put together this meticulous 1973 Honda CB350G that he calls “Princess”, simply because it requires a great deal of love and attention. This was his first true custom build and took roughly seventeen months to finish—hence the number seventeen on the tail. Andrew grew up racing motocross, progressing from a Honda CR80 big wheel to a Yamaha YZ125. Later, he became interested in super bikes and eventually developed an appreciation for older bikes. His story about acquiring a box of dusty parts is probably relatable to many who have ever started from scratch. “A friend had a Suzuki GT250, and I was helping him polish some aluminum pieces. He told me about a project that I would be interested in that was in ‘perfect condition.’ All I had to do was come by tomorrow with $100, and it was mine,” he mentioned. “So I swing by the next day, and we go to his friend’s house. It’s all in boxes and bins in poor condition for the most part, but for $100 I couldn’t pass it up. I took it all home and sat on it for a little while to think of some ideas. There really was no rough sketches or anything. I just got started with the motor, and it went from there. After polishing all of the cases, I put in a new piston and rings, ported and polished the exhaust ports, had the head decked, and adjusted the carburetor.” That was just the start. To accomplish perfect measurements, Andrew built the bike using the Golden Mean—a mathematical equation often used by architects. This helped avoid the tank or tail sitting too high and created the perfect height. The tail is in proportion to the tank, and the seat is in proportion to the tail. Both rims were completely despoked and polished, as well as new chrome all around. The wiring harness was built from scratch to reduce clutter and any excess wires. Andrew went over the entire frame, smoothing over all of the welds. A solid pan was added underneath the subframe to work as the rear fender, along with a ram air duct for the regulator-rectifier cooling. The fuel tank was moved forward to get rid of the void near the neck. This adjustment also helped the custom-made lambskin seat and fiberglass tail fit seamlessly against the tank. So, why seafoam green? He explains, “On such a small object, I think you should have bright colors. I wanted something that pops or sticks out. I believe that when building a bike, you should have three primary colors. I chose seafoam green as the predominant color and used 24K gold leaf for the decals and the brown on the frame as the two complimentary colors.” Some additional custom parts were the adjustable rear set brackets. Andrew made these with different labeled holes in order to change positioning. The rear brake light was formed out of a mold, casted in acrylic, and then fitted flush into the tail section. A 3D printer was used for small details such as the rear shock caps and accents on the top of the front forks. The decals were made by Andrew, while the paint was done by his father, Brian. After all of the work and effort, Andrew’s Honda CB350 cafe racer was a huge success with features in Cafe Racer Magazine, Thunder Roads Magazine, and more. It has been displayed and won awards at different bike shows around the region, including first place in Cleveland at the International Motorcycle Show and second place in Chicago at the National Championship for Progressive’s Ultimate Biker Build off. If you want to check it out yourself, catch it as part of the Fuel Cleveland custom builder show in late July. You won’t miss it. Just look for the only seafoam green bike there. Featured in Issue 003 1973 HONDA CB350G CAFE RACER Built by ANDREW FREDERICK www.afcsignals.com instagram Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
Tuesday Bike Nights Words by Ryan Zapko — Photos by Alexa Diserio As the weekend passes, many of us have to wait another five long work days before festivities reign again. Want an excuse to break the rat race monotony and exercise that moto waiting patiently in the garage? Jergel’s Rhythm Grille Bike Night, one of the region’s long-standing gatherings has your Tuesday night fix. Jergel’s, conveniently located just off of Route 79 in Warrendale, has been rolling out the red carpet for motorcyclists for the previous six years. They play host to an average of 300 motorcyclists weekly between May and September, providing drink and food specials, vendors, local radio station personalities and giveaways from 102.5 WDVE/BIG 104.7, and 50/50 raffles benefiting Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. Billed as one of western Pennsylvania’s premier music venues, it comes as no surprise that Jergel’s fills its 17,000 square foot facility with live bands every bike night as well. Celebrate a monthly ladies bike night or arrive on the last Tuesday of every month for the special experience of meeting Pittsburgh’s King-of-Cool, Donnie Iris, as he serves drinks in the separate cigar bar. An additional benefit to the bike night arrives soon in the form of a brand new Indian Motorcycle dealership sharing a corner of Jergel’s 3.5 acre spread. Live rock and roll, great food and drink, a large covered patio, and hundreds of fellow motorcyclists makes Jergel’s Rhythm Grille a perfect excuse for a two-wheel Tuesday. Featured in Issue 003 JERGEL’S RHYTHM GRILLE 103 SLADE LANEWARRENDALE, PA 15086 www.jergels.com facebook | instagram Words by RYAN ZAPKO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
One Thing Leads to Another Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio Do you know what’s enjoyable to sit and think about sometimes? The evolution of our own personal interests. Time has a definite influence over our curiosities. In John Wagner’s case, the progression that led to his interest in choppers makes perfect sense. Dirt bikes led to skateboarding, which led to cars and more motorcycles. There’s a good chance this sounds familiar to many of you. Let’s get started by rewinding this story to the beginning. John’s father first put him on a motorcycle when he was four years old—before kids in his neighborhood even rode bicycles. “I remember exactly what happened because I still have a photo,” he explained. “It was an old Kawasaki mini bike, which was still a big bike for me at the time. My uncle was sitting on the back of it, basically controlling it for me. We were cruising along when he just stands up, and off I go. I didn’t even realize he got off the bike. When I wanted to stop, I would just fall over.” Fast forward through the skateboarding years to when John became heavily involved with cars. After doing some time attack racing, he was introduced to drifting in 2003. “I instantly thought this was like skateboarding with cars,” he mentioned. Car drifting immediately clicked, and it took off from there. At first, he would borrow cars to do drift competitions, driving to and from the events in the same car. John worked endlessly to continue his drifting career, and eventually went professional for a period of time. Now you can catch him running the drift events at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania. This deep passion for drifting and nearly thirty years of skating subsequently sparked thoughts of motorcycles again. After buying a few different bikes, John developed an itch for choppers and decided to build his own. “I bought a 1988 Harley Sportster that was in perfect condition off of some older biker. The guy stressed how he took great care of it, but was bummed to hear that I was going to immediately tear the bike apart in less than twelve hours,” John said, explaining that he really only cared about the motor and rear wheel. “I had it in my head what I wanted it to look like and just slowly began to piece it together. I started with a Paughco frame and a four-over front end. Justin at High Noon Classic built the custom seat. Everything seemed to go smoothly besides the handlebars. I probably bought six different sets before Migbaron Kustoms expertly whipped up the perfect bars.” The fabrication and paint was done by Jimmie Caldwell at I-concepts, who took John’s visions and made them a reality. Zack Williams from Bridge City Chop Shop and Roll-On Cycle was also a big contributor to the build. When the chopper was almost finished, Zack fixed some technical issues and ultimately got it running. The one thing that John wanted to avoid throughout the build was settling on something that didn’t quite look or fit right. While that mindset leads to a garage full of useless parts and pieces, it often pays off in the end. It’s no secret that choppers aren’t the most practical or comfortable motorcycle to build. Regardless, this Harley not only became John Wagner’s favorite bike to ride but also an appropriate representation of how each of our passions motivates the next. In this case, sometimes it all comes full circle. Featured in Issue 003 1988 HARLEY-DAVIDSON XL1200 SPORTSTER CHOPPER Built by JOHN WAGNER instagram Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
Date & Time Saturday, September 1, 201812pm - 5pm Location Zone282525 Freeport Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15238 Admission TBA Facebook Event Page email@example.com The 9th Annual Steel City Mods vs. Rockers vintage motorcycle and scooter rally is being held September 1, 2018 from 12pm-5pm at Zone 28 in Pittsburgh. One of our favorite events of the year, Steel City Mods vs. Rockers features many different custom motorcycles and scooters, a pin-up contest, live music, and demo rides. Pittsburgh Moto will have a vendor table with copies of the new issue Number 003, t-shirts, and accessories available at special discounted rates.
Date & Time Friday, September 7, 20183:00pm until close Location Celebrations Bar & Grill8110 Steubenville Pike, Imperial, PA 15126 Admission Free Facebook Event Page firstname.lastname@example.org The first annual Pittsburgh Moto Outpost End-of-Summer RideOut is a motorcycle meetup for those with a passion for two-wheels. Located sixteen miles west of downtown, this year's event is being held Friday, September 7 at Celebrations Bar and Grill in Imperial, Pennsylvania. Show off your ride, socialize with other enthusiasts, and enjoy endless food and drinks on Celebration's open-air outdoor deck. There's a huge paved parking lot, so plan your ride and bring your friends. If you're coming a distance and don't want to ride all the way home, get a room two miles down the road at the Fort Pitt Motel. DIRECTIONSThere's tons of fun roads to map out, but the easiest ride from Pittsburgh would be to take take I-376 W towards the airport. Take exit 60A onto US-22 W towards Weirton. You can then take either the Hankey Farms, Imperial, or Noblestown exits onto Steubenville Pike, which is the road Celebrations is located on. HOTEL INFORMATION Fort Pitt Motel 7750 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale PA, 15071 412-788-9960 Located 2.5 miles away
Date & Time Sunday, July 1, 2018All Day - Starts at 1:00pm Location Bull Pen Rustic Inn301 County Park Rd, Avella, PA 15312 Admission Free Facebook Event Page email@example.com Join us Sunday, July 1 for the first annual Pittsburgh Moto Summer Rideout at Bull Pen Rustic Inn. We will have the first copies of issue Number 003 available for a discounted rate. Bring your bike and spend the day with fellow enthusiasts at this motorcycle meetup, enjoying food, drink, live music, and more. The Bull Pen Rustic Inn has an indoor and outdoor bar, along with a large deck and gazebo. Located west of the city in Avella, Pennsylvania, Bull Pen is far enough away to give you a good reason to get some buddies together and go for a ride. DIRECTIONS Coming from Pittsburgh, head west on I-376. You can go a number of different ways depending on whether you want backroads or highway. From I-376 you can either head out to US-22 E and jump on PA-18 OR take I-79 S to PA-50. Check out a map to find the most ideal ride for your location.
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