Monochrome Shovelhead from TE Customs
Although chromophobia, the abnormal aversion and fear of color, perfectly characterizes this chopper masterpiece, its builder could not be further from the theme.
Born in Eighty-Four, Pennsylvania, to a father already established as a creator of 1960s and 70s choppers, Tyler Elliott has been wrenching, fabricating, and customizing since his earliest memories. Under the tutelage of his father, Tyler cultivated trial-and-error successes in a myriad of different skill sets including welding and automotive paint and body work. Further developing a broad array of creative and useful skills during a stint at WyoTech, Elliott promptly earned a position in an esteemed hot rod shop, and was even commissioned to restore a private collection of automobiles. It was during these formative years, in his early twenties, that Tyler admits to kindling a love of motorcycling, in particular the custom choppers that surrounded him through his youth.
In 2008, TE Customs was born as Tyler’s outlet for all things prismatic including high end pinstriping, painting, and of course the custom metal fabrication that precedes the detailed paint work. Just two years into the infancy of his burgeoning shop, Elliott picked up an immaculate 1975 Super Glide that formed the basis for the beauty shown here.
According to Tyler, his creative process rarely includes a step-by-step plan for a final goal and instead allows the project to “build itself.” This approach allows Elliott to develop one inspired part at a time, and this bike hosts countless innovations. A close look will discover the often-subtle nuances that mark great builds, including the 1936 Ford spare tire cover that was reimagined as a rear fender. The hand-built handlebars, controls, sissy bar, taillights, fuel tank, and open chain primary all find a home on this custom hardtail frame.
The oil tank was hand-made, the exhaust fashioned from stainless swimming pool railings, and the build wears Elliott’s first set of hand-laced and trued wheels. Tyler looks forward to putting some miles on “Chromophobia”, exercising the 89-inch stroker motor with dual plug heads and split rocker boxes. In 2019, the bike was trailered out and displayed at the notorious and celebrated Born Free Motorcycle show in Silverado, California, and will surely generate even more attention in 2020.
“Recently, the chopper stuff came out of nowhere”, says Elliott, who lights up at the idea of fostering future chopper enthusiasts in his native Western Pennsylvania region. While “Chromophobia” in all of its color-averse neutrality surely works to promote the local scene, it will be Tyler Elliott and his colorful kaleidoscope of talents and skills that will ensure its ultimate success.