We’ve had numerous people over the years approach us about seeing cool custom motorcycles riding around Hookstown, Pennsylvania. As it turns out, no matter which bike it was, they were almost always talking about Harry Dykes. As someone who bought his first bike at age fourteen, it was no surprise to learn about the many classic motorcycles that have passed through his garage over the years.
It was roughly ten years ago when Dan Swiderski’s shovelhead was stolen from his house, never to be seen again–or so he thought. Unless you’ve personally experienced a similar misfortune, it’s hard to understand the depths your mind will sink to when something like this happens. I imagine all of the hypothetical scenarios circling around like malevolent bats causing constant distractions.
As we dance through the whirlwinds of life, many of us run into periods where it becomes a challenge to find time for our interest in motorcycles. Whether it’s a new career, starting a family, or struggles with health, these changes can hold us back from our hobbies. The goal is to stay involved however we can, even if it’s simply spending time in the garage or hitting the trails on Sunday.
Some to-do lists take a little longer than others. Rick and Kent James, two brothers from Tarentum, Pennsylvania, first purchased a pair of Triumphs back in the late sixties. Rick chose a 1965 Bonneville 120R while Kent went with a 1967 Daytona 500 T100R. After putting some solid miles on the two bikes, they decided to take the leap into building custom choppers out of the bikes. Over the years, their collection of parts slowly grew, and while they never stopped riding motorcycles, the goal of finishing those two bikes took a backseat to life.
There’s a lot to unpack with this in-your-face shovelhead chopper from Ed Jankoski. You might have recognized his name from the local scene or within the pages of our previous issues. Like some of the best personalities in the chopper community, Jankoski could look intimidating from a distance, but up close, he’s as warm and welcoming as they come. That receptiveness is well represented with his latest build, a hot pink, oversized 1980 Harley-Davidson shovelhead with a few different layers of purpose.
Imagine waiting over thirty years to buy the motorcycle of your dreams. The story behind this panhead dates back to the late seventies when Mark Klos of Bethel Park laid eyes on a fiery chopper parked outside of a local watering hole. It was love at first sight, but unfortunately, “Pamela” the panhead wasn’t available.
A motorcycle is oftentimes a representation of its builder.While it might look simple from one perspective, this 1968 Triumph Bonneville has a uniqueness far beyond its straightforward appearance. Originally a barn find, the bike began its transformation with the goal of becoming a salt flat racer until the pandemic altered those plans and shifted the direction to what you see here. The builder, Jessika Janene, also went through quite a change during this time period, beginning a transgender journey that would completely reshape her life in many ways.
A person’s path into building motorcycles can typically be traced back to their creative roots. Some of the most impressive bike builds come from those who dove deep into a craft and then merged that passion with their interest in these two-wheeled troublemakers. In Raymond Karhut’s case, his love of painting and desire for learning new techniques were the perfect fit for jumping head-first into constructing a classic ironhead chopper. We spoke with him about his 1985 Harley-Davidson XLH, the process behind the build, and his path from a tattoo apprenticeship to custom chopper paint.
In the matter of choosing between style and functionality, there’s a sweet spot when piecing together a chopper. Performance often takes a backseat with most builds, but sometimes it’s the driving force of inspiration. The thought of cruising through the twists and turns of rural Pennsylvania backroads on a muscular chopper with a snappy engine sounds like the ideal way to clear your thoughts in these weird times. Maybe that’s what was running through the mind of Roll On Cycle’s Zack Williams when he crafted the Evo Power chopper seen here.
If you go grab issue Number 007 off of your bookshelf or workbench, you’ll see the incredible Chromophobia shovelhead gracing the front cover. That particular chopper was done by painter Tyler Elliott of TE Customs, who just happens to also be the builder behind the classy ironhead you see here. This was his first bike build and the one that ultimately opened the door for him into custom motorcycles.
Something tells me that the life of Logan Allison is much more interesting than anything a quick chat about a custom chopper can deliver. As someone who has traveled around the country, living in different places and getting by in whatever way he could, it only felt appropriate that he’d build a bike as tough as his 1998 Harley-Davidson Evo.