Going the Distance Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio Deep inside of us, there’s a joy that comes from doing something the hard way. For most folks, choppers aren’t typically the first choice of motorcycle for road trips. For others, the challenge of taking such an impractical machine the distance is the rush we need to feel alive. Nate Puleo has racked up the miles on “Ol’ Drippy”, his 1992 Sportster XL1200. The chopper has been through a lot of changes over the past year and a half, most notably a major engine upgrade that bumped up the horsepower to performance level. We caught up with Nate to chat about the bike, his garage shop, and traveling around the country on two wheels. First things first, tell me about this engine.Nate Puleo: After watching some videos with my shop partner, Rob, it just so happens that one of the fastest people in the world on Harleys lives only an hour or so outside of Pittsburgh. So I took my engine to Greg Dahl at GMS Racing Engines for more power. They did a heavy port and polish on the heads, competition valves, .030” over bore, Andrews P Cams, Barnett clutch, and more. I needed better fuel flow for this engine, so I went with a big bore Super E carburetor. It’s fucking fast and loud. Where did the Sportster come from and what work has been done?NP: This is actually my first Harley. When I first got the bike almost two years ago, it had a stock front end, different headlight, bars, and more. It was originally built by Tyler Morrow, who did the frame, tins, seat, and exhaust. At the time, I was living down south and stopped at a friend’s shop in Birmingham, Alabama who had a 6-over front end just chilling there. He wanted a shorter front, so we swapped them out. I added different bars, headlight, brake calipers, and a new coil and ignition. The charging system went out, so I had to rebuild that. Tell me about Love Shack Cycles and how your shop got started?NP: I met Rob Hawk a couple of years ago. He’s a master fabricator, and both of us were into bikes and death metal. We were always hanging out and wanted to get a shop together. So when I was in the process of buying a house that had a garage and needed a roommate, I thought who better than Rob. We were able to start Love Shack Cycles this past May. We’ve had a lot of Sportsters come through and hope to get more into machining parts and pieces this coming year. You travel a lot on this bike. What are some of your recent trips and what preparations do you take?NP: I’ve always wanted to travel long distance on a chopper but never had one until recently. I lived in Louisiana for a period of time and would ride around the swamps. I made a trip to Austin, Texas, and South Florida. After moving back to Pittsburgh, I did the Lowbrow Getdown and rode to Fuel Cleveland. About three weeks after getting the engine back from GMS, I left for a trip to Maine for the Deadbeat Retreat. It was about 1,200 miles up and 800 miles back to Pittsburgh because I took a weird route through the Adirondack Mountains on the way there. To prepare for the trip, I put on new tires and made sure most of my pack was just parts and tools. I had a top end gasket kit, ignition, different coil, regulator, extra oil, piston, chain links, and more. For peace of mind, everything was pretty new before heading. What fueled your love for motorcycle travel?NP: I used to hop trains, so this is like the same feeling. It was very freeing and nobody telling me what to do. We would drink a lot and just have a good time traveling across the country to see bands and hang with friends. I got to see most of the United States and Mexico that way. Not too many people can say that. There’s places trains go that nobody else goes. It was beautiful. Any upcoming travel plans?NP: I’m doing the Blue Ride Stakeout next year, and definitely plan on going back to Maine again. Then after getting back I’d like to head out west. The plan is to stop at Pittsburgh after Maine for a week of repairs and preparation, then head down through Tennessee and Kansas before making my way through New Mexico, Arizona, and the up the west coast. If it’s not too cold, I’d like to ride back home through Canada. Featured in Issue 007 1992 HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER XL1200 Built by NATE PULEOLOVE SHACK CYCLES instagram Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
Revelry Custom Cycles Triumph Bobber Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio Brian Petronchak of Revelry Custom Cycles is no stranger to the pages of Pittsburgh Moto. His white 1966 Triumph TR6 was featured in our second issue, and both of his recent builds were displayed at this past year’s Glory Daze Motorcycle Show. This time around we’re featuring his black and silver 1970 Triumph, a sleek bike that was built skinnier and longer than the last Triumph that rolled out of his garage in 2017. What happened between the first TR6 build and this recent TR6?Brian Petronchak: I had a lot of fun building the first one, so I wanted to get another. I picked up the second TR6 on my way home from Fuel Cleveland the first year I was in it with my white 1966. I actually bought it off of Todd from Lowbrow Customs. He picked it up from a swap meet and was going to do something with it but decided to get into a different project. The original idea was to take my time on it, but then after talking with Mikey about putting it in Fuel the next year, I had to get it done in time. I built it in almost exactly one year. What are the differences this time around?BP: I was going for a super skinny look this time. To switch things up, I went with a springer front end. The rear section is a Lowbrow bolt-on hardtail. This one is stretched four inches compared to the stock length on my white bike. The exhaust was an important part. I see a lot of the same exhaust systems at different shows I go to, so I wanted to do something outside of the box for this. It was put together with two different pre-bent Biltwell kits with a lot of cutting, tacking, breaking it apart, and so on. It took me about two weeks off and on. Paul’s Chroming out in Evans City, Pennsylvania chromed it. Was the bike stock when you got it?BP: No, it had a generic hardtail on it, but I cut that out. I also had to redo the entire motor because it was shot. Did you notice any difference in the ride compared to the white bike?BP: This one seems to ride a lot nicer. I don’t know if it’s the springer or the geometry from the four inch stretch, but it’s a lot softer. The spring seat and a combination of other little things probably help, too. Do you feel you have a particular style when it comes to builds?BP: I don’t really believe in having a style. I guess I just really like old Triumphs. Some people develop a certain style and that’s cool but I try to mix things up a little. The idea of building the same bike with subtle changes over and over just seems boring to me. Any shoutouts or help with the build?BP: The motor was done by Jag Old School Choppers in Ormond Beach, Florida. Steve Hennis at Flamethrower Customs in Doylestown, Ohio did the paint work. Lowbrow Customs hooked me up with parts. Chris Leduc from Long Island, New York bent and shipped different pieces of tubing that I used to make the handlebars. Has it been difficult juggling the shop with the new addition to your family?BP: At first, I was all in for doing jobs for people. It was fun, then we had the baby. In the back of my mind, I knew how time consuming the baby would be, but I didn’t fully grasp it at the time. Now I understand. With this bike, it was hard to get it done in time because of how busy I was with our daughter. Down the road I’d like to put more effort into it, but for right now it’s just great spending time with my family and riding whenever I have the time. Plans for your next bike?BP: Right now I’m doing a CB350 cafe racer for my brother-in-law. For my own next bike, I’m thinking about a Harley Evo chopper. The shovels and pans are awesome, but it’d be fun to switch it up with an Evo. I want something I can just get on and ride. Featured in Issue 007 1970 TRIUMPH TR6 Built by BRIAN PETRONCHAK REVELRY CUSTOM CYCLES revelrycustomcycles.bigcartel.comfacebook | instagram Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
TRIUMPH BRINGS THE PARTY TO THE ACE HOTEL Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio & Shawn Mehaffey For the past few years, Triumph Motorcycles has organized a tour around the country to promote their new lineup. Pittsburgh has been one of the stops, and this year we were lucky enough to swing by the party at Ace Hotel in East Liberty on November 20 to check things out. The Gym was filled with great food, friendly faces, and a bunch of new Triumphs, but a few special models were unveiled throughout the night. Wrapped in a lightweight, carbon fiber body, the new 2020 Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition features Triumph’s highest power and torque-producing 765cc engine ever. For those that enjoy ripping through Western Pennsylvania’s windy roads, the aggressive Street Triple RS has been upgraded with major performance and design updates. Lastly, the muscular Rocket 3 has been redesigned from the ground up, taking the crown as the world’s largest production motorcycle engine at 2500cc. After the event, I was fortunate to chat with Triumph America’s Marketing Director, Adam VanderVeen, about what the company hopes people take away from the experience and why you should consider riding away on one of the new Triumph models. Triumph has been organizing annual promotional tours throughout North America for years now. What do you hope people take away from the experience?Adam VanderVeen: My goal for the Triumph new product tour parties is that people have a memorable evening and authentically experience the Triumph brand, culture, and lifestyle in addition to our latest motorcycles. Whether in the form of curated shows, parties, or anywhere in between, the evolution of events over the past decade has helped introduce new groups to motorcycles. What do you think has led to this demand, and has it boosted brand awareness?AV: I can’t speak to the overall trend, for Triumph however, hosting new model reveal parties has been an opportunity for us to invite motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy an evening with Triumph Motorcycles in a non-sales environment. After hosting these types of events for several years in a row, I’d like to think we’ve given people a night filled with bikes, brews, food and fun, that’s memorable, and one they’re looking forward to coming back to, but with a few extra friends the following year. I’m not sure if there was an existing demand, as I know people still attend traditional motorcycle shows and visit their dealer, however we felt it was important to create interest in these type of events as a way of more intimately interacting with riders, and giving them a tangible experience with not only the latest Triumph Motorcycles, but just as importantly an experience with our brand. Why should custom motorcycle enthusiasts or builders consider purchasing a new Triumph model?AV: A Triumph is the perfect bike for any custom enthusiast because you’re starting with such a high quality and beautifully designed motorcycle canvas. You can highly modify any motorcycle to your taste, but for your overall riding experience, it’s really important to start with a bike that already meets all of your needs, and then let your imagination run wild to make it your own dream machine. Any other news from Triumph we should look forward to in 2020?AV: Nothing I can mention at this time, but there are always exciting product and brand announcements in the works. Photo by Shawn Mehaffey Photo by Shawn Mehaffey Photo by Shawn Mehaffey Featured in Issue 007 TRIUMPH BEST OF BRITISH TOUR NOVEMBER 20, 2019 ACE HOTEL120 S WHITFIELD STREETPITTSBURGH, PA 15206 www.triumphmotorcycles.com facebook | instagram Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO & SHAWN MEHAFFEY
Long, Low, & Narrow Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Kurt Diserio Those who love the thrill of drag racing and the style of old choppers probably have a thing for diggers. If you’re unfamiliar with digger choppers, just think prism or geometric tanks, powerful engines, and often very wild paint jobs. These stretched and narrow bikes exploded onto the scene and filled the pages of many custom motorcycle magazines throughout the 1970s thanks to a name that needs no introduction: Arlen Ness. When family friend and motorsports painter, Fred Marino of Wellsburg, West Virginia came across what could possibly be an original Arlen Ness build, I had to go check this thing out. The bike is somewhat of a mystery, but with Fred’s extensive background in all things wheels, the origins of this beautiful Honda will eventually come forward. I visited recently to talk about how he ended up with it, what kicked off his interest in choppers, and his history with drag racing. What first attracted you to choppers and their unique style?Fred Marino: When I was young, there was a TT track and a local motorcycle gang showed up. One guy’s panhead wouldn’t start because they were dumping beer down the tall pipes in the back. After the bike lit, it all shot out and rained beer. That was it. The next day I got a jean jacket and cut the sleeves off, took my mom’s sweeper pipe and ran it up the back of my bike, and shit-canned my front fender. When I started painting bikes, choppers were all I would do. How did you come about this wild machine and who built it?FM: I first found the CB750 on eBay. A guy used it as artwork, just sitting in his living room in Toldeo, Ohio. He eventually decided to make it run, but it was way more work than he could do. We’re not sure of the year but know it’s early 1970s. The story is that it’s supposedly a real Arlen Ness bike built by the man himself. It’s the right painter, the right time period, and all things seem to point to it being an original. The only thing we’re convinced isn’t original is the oil tank. My friend, Joe Mendel, and I are checking on the front end. Arlen built five of these springers in his shop as a prototype of whatever. During production he left the work to outside companies. We don’t know for certain about the front end just yet. Since you’ve bought it, what work has been done, and what are your plans?FM: The bike has been in Joe’s shop where a lot of the work was getting it to run. The motor was rebuilt. It’s going to be an ongoing project that I will restore slowly. I don’t want to change much, just fix up some small stuff—maybe have the chrome re-done but will leave the paint as is. Since you’ve bought it, what work has been done, and what are your plans?FM: The bike has been in Joe’s shop where a lot of the work was getting it to run. The motor was rebuilt. It’s going to be an ongoing project that I will restore slowly. I don’t want to change much, just fix up some small stuff—maybe have the chrome re-done but will leave the paint as is. Tell me about your history with drag racing and what drew you to this style and period of bike.FM: I started racing when I was fifteen at PID (Pittsburgh International Dragway) driving a friend’s car. Later, I tried road racing a bike and loved it, but drag racing was me. I raced the International Drag Bike Association for a couple of years, and did really good. I traveled with Frank Rayburn and got a couple runner-ups and a few semis. I’m still racing a rear-engine dragster with an eight-second bike and will also be doing some vintage drag bike racing. As far as the bike, I just love the look of diggers and that they’re similar to drag bikes—low and stretched. Back in the day there were guys that would come to drag races using a chopper frame. It was the easiest way to do it. Arlen Ness wasn’t the only guy who made these, but he started it. At times, he was building twenty bikes a year. It was a passion and his bikes were artwork. I’ve wanted one for a long time. Do you still drag race?FM: Yeah, I raced two weeks ago. I go to places like Quaker City, Keystone, and Columbus. Bike drags are back big, and I’m going to try to make most of the races next year. There are guys older than me still doing it, so that gives me confidence. Featured in Issue 006 1970s HONDA CB750 DIGGER Owned by FRED MARINO Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by KURT DISERIO
Specializing in Custom Choppers Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Erin Fitzgerald & Kati Zmenkowski If you happen to have a copy of issue Number 004, you might connect the dots. Josh Howells had a feature in that issue of his shovelhead chopper that has since been given a facelift. He’s also started a shop on Forbes Avenue with friend Andy Mak called Uptahn Metalworks, where the two have been turning out custom fabrication work, choppers, and more. I asked Josh some questions about the shop, their projects, and the local community. When and why did the shop get started?Josh Howells: The shop officially opened about six months ago. We had a space that we shared to work on our own projects and did a little here and there for people. We always talked about having a professional shop one day, so when we moved into this new bigger, better space we said this is it. We gave it a shot, and here we are. How has each of your backgrounds contributed to the work coming out of the shop?JH: We have been friends for the last twenty years and everything has always been two wheels with us. whether it had a motor or not. Our ability to tear a bike apart and put it back together in a way that is rad as fuck comes from our background in metal work and love for two wheels. With Andy being a machinist and myself being a welder, there’s nothing that we can’t make. What was your goal when you got things rolling and has that changed as work has picked up?JH: Our goal was to build a really rad company and do what we love. To make custom parts that are one-off and parts that we could reproduce to sell. To basically have a shop that caters to other builders who don’t have access to certain welding or machining abilities to further their projects. I assumed that eventually with time I’d be doing only custom chop builds. Now that things have picked up, the full builds are rolling in faster than I thought. Photo: Erin Fitzgerald Photo: Erin Fitzgerald Have you noticed a bump in custom motorcycle interest around Pittsburgh recently, and do you feel it’s on the upswing?JH: Hell yeah, brother. Live to ride, ride to live. In the last few years, I’ve noticed more people on motorcycles in general. Over the last few months since we opened the shop I’ve been in contact with a lot of people that show interest in making that two-wheel machine something of their own. I do feel it’s on the upswing, especially with everything you’re doing in the Greater Pittsburgh area with the custom bike scene. What projects do you take on at the shop?JH: I got hardtails coming aht my ass. Making handlebars, sissy bars, fender and frame mounts, etc. Because we offer more than just motorcycle work, we do get a bit of handrails, stairs, gates, and so on. We don’t turn the work away—we love working with and making anything metal. Obviously, my favorite is the full builds with artistic freedom, so keep ‘em coming. Why do you think classic motorcycles and the chopper subculture, in particular, continue to hold the interest of so many people?JH: Because simplicity is beauty. Also, going fast on something most people think is a sketchy death trap will never go out of style. Making something that is cool to you has no right or wrong, especially with choppers. The smooth lines that are created and the wow factor will keep chops around forever. Where would you like the shop to be in five, ten years?JH: Hopefully, in five years we’re still open! We’d like to be manufacturing and distributing custom parts and keep them full builds coming. Andy and I would eventually love to help expand the Pittsburgh motorcycle and chopper community once things slow down and we get more settled in. Photo: Kati Zmenkowski Photo: Erin Fitzgerald Photo: Kati Zmenkowski Photo: Erin Fitzgerald Photo: Kati Zmenkowski Featured in Issue 006 UPTAHN METALWORKS JOSH HOWELLS & ANDY MAK 2125 FORBES AVENUEPITTSBURGH, PA 15219 instagram Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ERIN FITZGERALD KATI ZMENKOWSKI
Building a Sportster Scrambler Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio When you think of a scrambler motorcycle, the last thing that probably comes to mind is a Harley-Davidson. With Triumph and Ducati both using the term as the name of two popular current models, it can be a little confusing these days what “scrambler” actually means. Although, a quick search through internetland proves that the label has always been somewhat complicated. Let’s jump into the background of this unique style and the reason I went in this direction after acquiring a totaled 2015 Sportster XL1200. The history of the scrambler label dates back to the 1950s and 60s when it was used to simply describe a street motorcycle that was also used for off-road riding. Essentially, scramblers were the first dirt bikes, built to be lightweight with higher ground clearance and longer suspension. Enthusiasts during this time would take street legal bikes and modify them for rough terrain or track racing. Eventually they were phased out when manufacturers started making motocross bikes, which were much more practical and came in various engine sizes better suited for competition. The definition of a scrambler is a little different today. While it’s still comparable, let’s get real. You’re much less likely to take a scrambler off-roading on a normal basis, and you sure as hell aren’t using it to challenge your buddies on modern day race bikes. If a person truly plans on riding off-road, they’re wise to choose a more appropriate street and trail motorcycle such as a dual sport, adventure bike, or even a street-legal dirt bike. That doesn’t mean that scramblers still aren’t attractive to build. In fact, they’ve become very popular again—just look at the lineups of some major manufacturers. Much like building any custom bike, a scrambler now has a lot less to do with functionality than it does with character and design. Plus, they’re just really fun to ride. In my case, motocross and trail riding were basically all I looked forward to when I was younger. Those carefree years have faded away now that I’m older, out of shape, and stuck behind a damn computer screen most of the day. So, when I came across the opportunity to purchase a wrecked Sportster 48 a couple of years ago, the immediate idea was to dig into those off-road memories and build it into something that resembled an old race bike of the past. My father, Paul, and I worked on the project in the old shop space we used long ago when trying to get a two-stroke engine off the line a little faster or hook up in corners better. The time spent together on this Harley brought back many memories I had before racking up the concussion count. My goal was a desert racer theme with a taller, more aggressive rider position that started with extended shocks, Burly Brand handlebars, a larger fuel tank, and a one-off raised exhaust system by Iron Cobras Fabrication in Long Beach, California. Some of the more prominent pieces are the PIAA halogen headlight and raised front fender that were surprisingly a real pain to get mounted correctly. Without straying too far from the traditional look of a Sportster, we chopped off the rear frame bars and welded in a loop before attaching a thin metal fender similar to what you might have seen on the old Honda Elsinore or Husqvarna motocross models. After my failed attempts at fitting a proper seat, Chappell Customs in Nevada crafted a special two-tone raised seat that we customized to work. The paint was done in house. To achieve the right look, I went with a classic brown and white theme, then added a scorpion on the tank because why not. If I had one recommendation for anyone that wanted to paint tanks or helmets, it’d be to get a super clean environment. Using the corner of an old fabrication shop proved to be quite tricky when tiny dust particles or bugs continuously ruined what we thought was a perfect coat. I was very happy with how the bike turned out when it was finished. All of the fundamental elements of a versatile scrambler were combined with the reliability of a modern Sportster. I wasn’t used to working with a fuel-injected bike but will admit that it’s super handy having in the garage as a consistent alternative to my choppers. People have asked me about taking it off-road, and while it’s been fun slinging it around in the dirt, the Desert Rat still weighs a little too much and is geared too high to truly get wild on the tight trails around our area. Who wants to join me on a trip out west to the open desert? Featured in Issue 006 2015 HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER XL1200 Built by KURT DISERIOPAUL DISERIO instagram.com/kurtdiserio Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
Punk Rock on Two Wheels Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Erin Fitzgerald Matt Cohen got into motorcycles through the gateway of bicycles. At a young age, he started with BMX and mountain bike racing, and it took off from there. He even did the bike messenger gig in his twenties. This obsession with two wheels has led him to the chopper seen here. We asked him questions about his journey through the years and how this Yamaha came to be. What initially sparked your interest in building a chopper?Matt Cohen: I got into choppers after Mike, a skateboarding friend of mine, began customizing an Evo Sporty and showed me that it was possible to build one without breaking the bank. As cheesy as it is, choppers are really the mechanical embodiment of punk rock. It was eye-opening to realize that I could design exactly what I want and make it a reality if I just figured out how to do it myself. How did you come across the Yamaha?MC: I originally impulse-bought a Honda CB750. I considered chopping that bike, but the motor was too wide for my liking and the idea of syncing and adjusting four carbs scared the shit out of me. So, I found an XS on Craigslist from a guy that turned out to be the owner of Lowbrow Customs. He informed me that the bike would be at the Lowbrow swap, but when I got there, it was nowhere to be seen. As it turns out, he simply didn’t have all the paperwork together and decided not to sell it that day. So after wandering the parking lot, I noticed another XS for sale. The guy selling the bike kicked it over first try. I was sold, but I had no way to get the bike from Ohio back to Pittsburgh. It was pouring, I didn’t have a trailer, and it wasn’t looking good. Luckily, two incredibly nice guys from Pittsburgh offered to trailer the bike back for a fee, and it couldn’t have worked out better. Those guys became my contacts for the Pittsburgh chopper scene. Through them, I met Josh at Uptahn Metalworks who really made this whole project go from a crazy dream of mine to a real ride that turns a lot of heads. How much work did you do to get it where it is today?MC: With the help of my new chopper friends, I immediately stripped it down to the bare frame. I took a bunch of pictures of the bike as a roller and drew on them with the iPhone equivalent of MS paint to sketch up ideas. Using a hacksaw, I cut the frame to the best of my ability, and it came out relatively even. When it came to welding the hardtail on, I sought out a professional. Enter Josh Howells and Uptahn Metalworks. Seeing what good work Josh did, we formed a plan of what parts he would fabricate and how it would all come together. I would sketch out or drunkenly describe my vision of a sissy bar or rabbit ear bars and Josh made them a reality. As much as I would love to take all the credit for this build, there’s no way any of it would have been possible without him. What are your favorite parts about it?MC: My favorite part of the bike is the one thing I can actually take credit for, the electronics box. I got an old NY Bell first aid kit from my grandfather’s apartment and knew I wanted to incorporate it into the bike. A key switch was too common. Being that I enjoy wiring, I thought that making a combination lock of toggle switches would be a pretty cool idea. I used three 3-position toggles for my main power and one for my lighting circuit. Anyone that wants to hot-wire a chopper bad enough is gonna do it anyway, so I figure that I’m no less secure than with a standard key switch. Plus, I feel like a fighter pilot flicking all the switches before kicking it over. I also absolutely love the sissy bar with a removable back pad and the kickstand that Josh came up with. If anyone knows me, they know my connection to the railroad and freight hopping world. The kickstand used railroad spikes configured into an inverted cross (for sweet metal points). What was the biggest headache?MC: It was probably having to deal with all the variations of spacers for the rear wheel—until a permanent solution was made by Josh. Every single time that the wheel had to come off, it was a balancing act with the two of us to hold it up, get the wheel situated, contort our fingers into a position that would hold all the washers and then jam the axle back in. Beer helped the attitude, but I probably would have been more useful without it. There seems to be a lot of people that used to race BMX but are now into choppers. Can you dig into why that might be?MC: BMX riders were the first to remove the front brake, and that sounds pretty choppy to me. It’s all about getting light and going fast—danger be damned. It’s a natural progression, and eventually you want to go faster on two wheels. BMX riders have always had the same DIY ethic that chopper builders do. Thrash, break, fix. When you’re breaking stuff so often, it’s only a matter of time before you stop wanting to pay someone else to fix it or you just pop off parts to avoid ever thinking about them again. It only makes sense to me that if a BMXer is going to get into motorcycles, they’d be chopping out of the gate. Any other projects in the works?MC: I’m constantly looking for another project, and a couple of bikes are in mind. Along with the rest of the world, I would love to find a nice slabside Shovelhead, but a more realistic and budget-friendly bike I’m seeking is a Kawasaki KZ 750 twin. I really love the Japanese stuff and want to give some shine to the lesser chopped bikes out there. Josh from Uptahn Metalworks (pictured) had a significant role in the build process. Featured in Issue 006 1980 YAMAHA XS650 SPECIAL II Built by MATT COHENUPTAHN METALWORKS www.bindlesandbedrolls.com Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ERIN FITZGERALD
Swap Meets & Lady Luck Words by Kurt Diserio — Photos by Alexa Diserio Things are always interesting with Sean Shaffer or “Peep” as his friends call him. I knew Sean had this bike for some time, but it wasn’t ready to ride until this year. Now he’s out on it all of the time, riding it wherever he can. You might have even seen it parked outside of the Fuel Cleveland show in late July where he impressively kick started the beast by hand before losing his oil cap down a storm drain. He had to be lowered into the hole upside down to get it back. His 1949 Harley-Davidson panhead fits his personality perfectly. The old motorcycle was built from aged, weird parts acquired over time, even before he had the bike to put them on. As he explains, certain pieces just fit right and can make the entire bike look more intriguing. How’d you end up with such a crazy old bike?Peep:I bought it off of my dad after he made a deal for it. He has always been a horse trader, making trades and coming up with stuff. He doesn’t have something more than a few weeks. He’s had tons of shit—bikes, cars, everything from Mercedes kit cars to monster trucks. About five years ago, he was barhopping one night and finds this guy that had a panhead since the 1980s but refused to sell. My dad drank a few with him and was driving a 1949 Hudson. He made a deal to trade the Hudson, they shook on it, and we picked it up the next day. It was in the guy’s kitchen, and we had to push it out the side door of the house. It didn’t run at the time, but my dad knew I was into bikes and pumped about it. The engine is a 1949 but the frame is a 1958 Duo Glide with a Hydra Glide front end. What was your vision for the bike?PS: It was all stock, so I wanted to get rid of a lot of the weight. I was into the Japanese style, and I already knew where it was going. I ditched what I didn’t need and made it as simple as possible. It started with the tires. I saw this old photo of Sonny Barger, and he has this huge fat front tire. I knew that’s what i wanted. It took me forever to finish with having kids and going through different changes. I couldn’t put the bike as my first priority, and it seemed to always be on the back burner. What attracts you to the Japanese style?PS: I don’t know how they do it. Their ideas are wild. I always watch this one video of a chopper run in Japan. It’s all the dudes in the jail pants. Some are part of a bike club, and you can pick apart every bike and how unique and different they are from each other. And they’re usually all original Harley-Davidson parts. Where did the old fuel tank come from?PS: The tank is from my friend, Tony Provenzano, who had it just sitting on a shelf collecting dust after his ex-girlfriend’s dad gave it to him. When I put it on the bike, it just pulled everything together. There’s 1970s coins pressed into it, so I’m guessing that’s the era it was from. How did you manage all of these unique parts and pieces?PS: Lady Luck. It was luck that I got the bike and luck that I ran into some of these parts. I didn’t want to overdo it—there’s a fine line. On a lot of those crazy Japanese builds, you can find one single part that just makes the bike. The rear wheel covers, for example, are an old Harley accessory from the ‘50s. It’s hard to find a matching set, but I randomly found these at a printing shop who had no idea what they were. A lot of pieces were from swap meets, like the right side original Harley grip, the 1930s tail light, and the Nissan car backup light I used for the headlight. I take my time at swap meets, and if I found one thing I’d be happy. I didn’t just throw things together. It’s stuff I held onto over time that I always wanted to use. Featured in Issue 006 1949 HARLEY-DAVIDSON PANHEAD Built by SEAN “PEEP” SHAFFER instagram.com/hipstler57 Words by KURT DISERIO Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
Date & Time Saturday, September 21, 201911am - 6pm Location Carrie Blast FurnacesCarrie Furnace BlvdRankin, PA 15104 Admission PURCHASE WRISTBAND $5.00 firstname.lastname@example.org Glory Daze is a motorcycle gathering and show featuring garage-built custom bikes with soul and character. The event was created for the purpose of bringing together the community and providing inspiration for those fascinated by the craft of building two-wheeled works of art. Taking place at a national historic landmark, Glory Daze will feature a curated indoor show for invited builders, an outdoor ride-in show for anyone who shows up on two wheels, a helmet art show presented by Bell Helmets, and much more. Mark your calendar, and don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind party coming to the Steel City. Can you dig it? Visit the event website: www.glorydazepgh.com Purchase Wristbands Here
Date & Time Saturday, June 15, 2019 All Day - Starts at Noon Location Bull Pen Rustic Inn301 County Park Rd, Avella, PA 15312 Admission Free Facebook Event Page email@example.com Join us Saturday, June 15 for the second annual Pittsburgh Moto Outpost Rideout at Bull Pen Rustic Inn. We will have copies of all magazine issues 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. Information regarding camping will be available soon. 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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