Riding Off into the Sunset
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.
Pink Panther Shovelhead
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.
Friend of the Devil
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.
Sometimes fate has your back and offers you an opportunity you didn’t plan for. Sometimes that opportunity looks like a rusty old box of parts and a whole lot of work. The Triumph project you see here was born from a situation like this. Pittsburgh’s Jeff Wichman stumbled onto the beginnings of this 1952 Pre-Unit when his friend decided to sell all of his belongings and travel the world indefinitely.
Some people just have a passion for doing things the hard way. Depending on your perspective, the challenge of learning new skills and techniques can either be overwhelming or rewarding. Our brains operate around efficiency, and it takes a great deal of willpower to dig deeper. Compared to days of the past, modern culture celebrates shortcuts as a way to get more done in less time, often sacrificing authenticity and the benefits of experience.
Triumph 750 Dirt Track Racer
Before we get to the bike, let’s rewind to 1959. That’s the year motorcycle legend, Eddie Mulder, won his first race at the age of fifteen. Since then, “Fast Eddie” went on to have a career brimming with success, joining the Triumph factory racing team and racking up wins and track records in everything from dirt track, hare scrambles, hill climbs, and more.
Udder Scum Sportster
As chill as ever, Mike Greer fits his bike perfectly—laid back and ready for a good time. As a mechanic by day, he started out like most chopper fans by picking up a bucket of parts and bringing it back to life. It wasn’t long before the wheels started turning in his head, driving him to create a chopper that was unique to his personality.