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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Brandon Wurtz - Rawhide Cycles

Photo by: Peter Lovera

Fuel Cleveland Builder Series Profile:

Name: Brandon Wurtz
Shop: Rawhide Cycles
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Build: 1970 Honda Cb750 Longbike & 1970 Cb750 Survivor "The Rising Sun"

11.28.17 - Intro

We first learned about Brandon Wurtz of Rawhide Cycles from this past 2017 Show Class Magazine People's Champ competition. Instantly falling in love with his classy style and use of different motors on his builds, it was a no-brainer to ask him to be apart of Fuel Cleveland 2018. Brandon told us he had a new idea in mind and wanted to build a 1970 Honda Cb750 to unveil at the show along with restoring a Survivor Honda 1970 Cb750 he had just recently got his hands on called "The Rising Sun". This bike first debuted in Chopper Magazine back in 1974 and still close to its original state. It's gonna be something really cool to see what Brandon and his guys come up with on the new build and how it compares to the Survivor chopper.

Brandon and his friends livin - Photo by: Asher Moss

Words from Brandon:
I got my first motorcycle when I was 7. My dad took me down to the Honda shop and bought me a brand new Z50. I was a tiny kid so it was the only bike that fit me. It took about a week before I learned to wheelie and about 2 weeks before I grabbed a handful of throttle straight into our fence. That was the beginning of my obsession. When I was 20, a friend of mine had a vintage Yamaha that was a total pile. I fell in love with vintage bikes after I rode that thing and it’s a big part of the reason I have this shop. The bigger reason I am where I am today starts with my family. My grandpa drag raced, and my dad does still so I got into jr. drag racing and did alright at that for a few years. Growing up around hot rods and race cars since I was a baby taught me a lot about tools, shops, being a perfectionist.

I moved to San Francisco with my lady in 2008 and started working on vintage bikes in 2010 when I was 25 at a vintage Honda repair and restoration shop, Charlie's Place. We moved the shop to Los Angeles, California in 2012 where Charlie is still too busy to know what to do with himself. The dream to open my own shop someday started the day after I started working at Charlie's Place. I saw that he had mastered his trade and had complete control and freedom in his field and I wanted that for myself. After 6 years of intense work at an extremely busy shop, I loaded up my wife Emily and our brand new baby girl, Ada Jean and we moved back to Idaho. I got a shop next door to my dad’s powder coating shop, Allegiant Powder Coating and opened Rawhide Cycles.

The shop is based in Nampa, Idaho just outside of Boise. Our specialty is 1960's and 1970's Japanese motorcycle repair, restoration and custom-built bikes. We opened February of 2016. The first big project was a custom restoration I tore down and rebuilt in 35 days starting February 15th, 2016. The bike was a 1971 CB750, the Golden Goose for the Boise Roadster to show the local scene the type of work I do. I’ve been slammed with work since then. I hired my first employee, Ryan Stallcup right after that show. He’s a super talented fabricator and mechanic and he built the frame for the bike we’re building for this show.

We’re super stoked to have an invite to Fuel Cleveland to showcase something we’re building from scratch. We just built a frame with a 50° rake and we plan on building our first springer, which will be 30” over. We’re going to build a 1970 CB750 chopper that is period correct to the late 1960’s, early 1970’s in the style of a lot of the early psychedelic influenced show choppers. We’ll run a narrow Lowbrow Frisco Sporty tank, a Manta Ray fender, build a king queen seat, narrow 6 bend bars, and a super tall sissy bar. 19” rear wheel, 21” front and about 10' long. Thanks to Mikey Revolt, Lowbrow and Fuel Cleveland for the opportunity!

Make sure to follow along with Brandon and his every move with this build via his Instagram page @rawhidecycles. We will also post updates throughout the months leading up to the show of his progress on this thread. We eagerly can't wait for the unveiling of these two 1970 Honda CB750s at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018!

Setting up the rake - Photo by: Peter Lovera
"Rock-n-Roll!" - Photo by: Peter Lovera

Axel plates set - Photo by: Peter Lovera
Ryan Stallcup welding the Axle Plates. - Photo by: Peter Lovera
Ryan Stallcup welding up the fork tube. - Photo by: Peter Lovera
The beginning stages of the 1970 Cb750 that we will unveil at Fuel Cleveland 2018. - Photo by: Peter Lovera
The state of the "The Rising Sun" right now- Photo by: Brandon Wurtz
"The Rising Sun" in Chopper Magazine 1974

A couple of Brandon's previous builds.

"Jolene" 1973 Honda Cb750 - Photo by: Peter Lovera
1969 Honda Cb350 - Photo by: Peter Lovera

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Brian Petronchak - Revelry Custom Cycles

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series Profile:

Name: Brian Pentronchak
Shop: Reverly Custom Cycles
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Build: 1970 Triumph TR6c

11.21.17 - Intro

We met Brian Pentronchak at Fuel Cleveland 2017, he brought with him to the show a beautiful 1966 pearly white Triumph TR6 that he had finished up a few months prior to the show. He randomly reached out to us via email with some great pics of the bike and we couldn't say no to him because the bike was done so well. Also, let's not forget to mention Brian is probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. A couple months ago Todd at Lowbrow Customs was selling a pretty beat up Triumph chopper for really cheap. Brian swung by and swooped it up before anyone even had a chance to look at it and told us he wanted to build it for Fuel. With us knowing what Brian brings to the table with his talents, we happily extended the invite again to Brian for a "Triumphant" return and for him to unveil this build on July 28th, 2018 at Fuel Cleveland.  

Words from Brian:
I’ve been riding dirt bikes since I was 7 years old, which led to racing motocross up until I was about 18. After riding and racing for all those years naturally I wanted a street bike. I bought my first crotch rocket when I was 19 and had a blast riding with friends doing stupid shit like riding 90mph wheelies on the highway and ripping the amazing twisty back roads here in Western Pennsylvania. After literally breaking my neck a year after buying my first street bike I decided to take a break from riding for a few years.

Brian's first Harley - 2008 Street Bob he modified.
I eventually picked up a Triumph speed triple and got back into riding and fell in love with motorcycles all over again. At this point most of my buddies rode modern Harleys and I was curious to see what they were all about so I picked up a 2008 Street Bob. I really fell in love with the laid back riding and just enjoying having the wind in your face and without having to be riding balls to the wall. I’ve worked in a custom car shop for 15 years as a installer/fabricator so fabrication and designing parts is something I’m familiar with just in a different way. I built some custom parts for my Dyna such as handlebars, exhaust, and a few other things but never did a full build. I started building bikes after visiting a friend in Florida for Biketoberfest about 3 years ago. I had never really been exposed to the vintage chopper scene until then and after going to a few shows and seeing how much soul these old bikes have I immediately fell in love. 

1966 Triumph TR6 Brian Built and showcased at Fuel Cleveland 2017 - Photo by: David Carlo

When I got home from that trip I started trolling Craigslist for something to build and found a bunch of Ironheads and Shovelheads but I’ve always had a love for the vintage Triumphs. I eventually found a 1966 Triumph TR6 so my wife and I drove across the state to Harrisburg and picked it up. It was my first full bike build and I was a little intimidated at first but after I got the ball rolling it all just kinda came together. Places like Lowbrow Customs made it very easy to build when it came to getting parts such as weld on tabs, threaded bungs, and all the other pieces it took to build. When the bike was finished I returned to Florida to visit my buddy for bike week very proud of the bike I built but had no idea how many other people were going to love to. It won a few awards and even got a full feature in Cycle Source magazine. 

When I got home from that trip I found myself constantly working on my friends bikes building exhausts and doing other modifications and even making custom parts for people who had seen my work and that’s when Revelry Custom Cycles started. It’s not a full time thing mostly just my friends and I drinking beer, getting loud, and building motorcycles which is where the name Revelry came from. Although things have dramatically calmed down around here since my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world this past summer. 

The TR6c purchased from Todd was beat.

I’ve never been good at putting my ideas on paper so for me building a bike is a trial and error process just trying different things until I find something I’m happy with. My plan for the bike I’m currently building is more of a lane splitter style trying to keep everything real tight and skinny. I enjoy bikes that are over the top but that’s not really my style, I’m more of a “less is more” kinda guy. I love clean and classy with details you really have to look for spread throughout the bike. 

So far I have mocked up a Lowbrow Customs tank, fender, and bolt-on hard tail. The frame has been cleaned up and the motor is getting ready to be rebuilt. I’ve built a custom exhaust using 2 of the Biltwell build your own kits. I bent up a small sissy bar and I am now in the process of building some handlers and getting the spring seat mounts done. I still need to do all the final welding because everything is just tacked on for now and then I will be sending the tins over to Steve Hennis for paint.

Make sure to follow along with Brian and his every move with this build via his Instagram page @revelrycustomcycles. We will also post updates through out the months leading up to the show of his progress on this thread. We eagerly can't wait for the unveiling of this 1970 Triumph TR6c at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018!

Stripped down and cleaned up the frame, also used a Lowbrow Customs Bolt-on hard tail kit.
Motor out getting ready to get rebuilt.

Vertical oil bag.

Mock up is getting closer to being complete. I have to finish all my welds to get ready for paint & chrome.

12.11.17 - Update

Built a battery tray over the weekend using some Lowbrow Customs tabs and bungs with an ani-gravity 4 cell battery.

1.4.18 - Update

I wanted to do a real simple handlebar for this bike and keep them as tight as possible. The nice thing about building your own bars is you can make them exactly where they are comfortable for you. The top bar has a 30 degree bend and they have a 7” rise. And big thanks to Lowbrow Customs for making life easier with these 1/2-13 handlebar riser bungs!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Kelley Runion - Champ Co Supply

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series Profile:

Name: Kelley Runion
Shop: Champ Co. Supply
Location: Howell, MI
Build: 1959 Panhead

11.13.17 - Intro

Kelley Runion stopped by Lowbrow Customs a few weeks ago on his way to make a trade of a life time. What was that trade you ask? How about a freshly done 2005 Sportster chopper for a 1959 Panhead, yeah I'd make that trade too. We were immediately intrigued by the whole idea and asked Kelley to keep us in the loop. After getting the bike he hit us up and told us he was able to lock down the trade and acquire the Panhead! With such a cool story, Kelley not only being super talented but a great family man and the bike looked like it could be something really amazing, we had to extend the invite for him to be apart of Fuel Cleveland 2018. We absolutely can't wait to see what Kelley and his 3 boys come up with on this build, start'em young as we always say. 

Words from Kelley:
Everyone that knows me knows that I have dreamed of one day building a Panhead. Didn't matter what year, just a Panhead. Well, that day has come but it took a journey to get here.

Kelly's sons putting in the work on Kelly's first ever build.
The '59 Panhead

Modifying my bikes and later building them started out of necessity and later turned into a passion. That same passion has already been handed down to each of my three sons who each in their own way have a heart for bikes, both riding and wrenching as well as knowing the history of what got motorcycles to the place they are now. Ive been blessed to be able to blend family time with what I love to do and being invited to be a builder for Fuel Cleveland has definitely given me some street cred with my dudes. They'll be following my build thread with eagle eyes to catch a glimpse of themselves in action. They have been a pivotal part of my previous two builds and i'm stoked to have their input on the '59 as well.

The '59 made its way to our garage recently through trade. I had just finished building an '05 chopper and for some reason got it in my head to scour craigslist for anyone selling a panhead for under 10g. I must have sent out fifteen or so requests across the entire US to see if anyone was interested in partial trades. As you can imagine...they weren't, except for one dude. One crusty old biker in Virginia had a panhead sitting in his kitchen for the last 2 years. It belonged to he and a buddy and since his buddy passed he just let it sit. He had seen the bike I built on social media and after hearing from me was down for the trade. Had to sweeten the pot with a couple of guns I no longer shot but it didn't take long for my middle son and I to load up the sporty in the back of the truck to make the trek 12 hours away to Virginia. We made a pit stop along the way at Lowbrow Customs to pick up some swag but other than that it was east bound and down. Needless to say we made the swap and here we are.

The Motor
Here's the plan unless I change my mind...which I've been known to do; We're starting with a '59 Panhead motor bored .60 over. We've got a '58 4 speed ratchet top trans that we will run with a rocker clutch and jockey shifter eliminating the hand control and mousetrap that came with the bike. Turns out after cussing the frame which I thought was either a 54 wishbone or at worst a re-pop that underneath all of that bondo and atrocious welding was an OEM '48! The frame is kinda like that dude that you can't stand until you find out he's a good welder and builds bikes then you're like "oh, he's kinda cool, just different!" The plans are to either narrow up a set of 3.5 gallon fat bobs or to run Lowbrow's WX tanks and try to retro fit a Harley dash. I wanna see the rocker covers and I'm just not ready for stock tanks just yet. Maybe when i'm old-er. Planning on narrowing a re-pop hinged rear fender and running it without the lower section and unless I sell one of my kids and can afford an OEM springer ill run a Mid-USA replica. The plans are to try and maintain some of the stock look of the bike with some obvious additions and take aways. Ive had this vision in my head for years and I hope to be able to pull it off.

It's an honor to be a part of Fuel Cleveland and I hope this bike in some way represents the spirit of what its all about. Long live the dude in his garage that just figures it out.

Make sure to follow along Kelley's every move with this build via his Instagram page @champcosupply. We will also post updates through out the months leading up to the show of his progress on this thread. We eagerly can't wait for the unveiling of this 1959 Panhead at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018!

The trade an 2005 Sportster for a 1959 Panhead!

​Stripped down revealing how cruel the 70's were to stock frames


While cleaning the 70's off of the frame I came to find out it is an OEM '48!

​Getting it clean and figuring out what needs to get cut off and what needs to be replace. Trying to keep as much of the original frame as I can.

12.14.17 - Update

Eight months sounds like a long time to build a bike unless you're the one building the bike! I feed my four kids and wife with my full time job as a pastor so each of those things in their own right demand much of my attention. Thank God for motorcycles so I can have a creative outlet and a place to get lost. A lot of my time thus far has been getting the frame ready and gathering parts. Ive been selling belts that I craft in my leather shop as well as selling old take-off parts to fund the build. So grateful to Lowbrow Customs for the parts they provided free of cost. It was a huge help!

If you remember what the frame looked like when I got it you will understand the need for this backbone to have been cut out.
​Since the frame turned out to be an OEM HD '48 I decided with the help of my buddy Adam not to replace the neck but to just de-rake it and clean it up. Also decided to window pane it while we were at it. Still have clean-up work to do on it but I'll save that for after the final tear down.

​Stoked on how this wheel turned out! Started off with a chopper spool but decided to send it back and go with a star hub so the front matched the back, which is an original. Found a local company to powder coat the drop center rim and learned how to lace up the stainless spokes from a good buddy of mine who owns a bike shop here in our small town. One thing is for certain, I could never do this without friends.
My favorite nights in the garage are when one of my boys is out there with me. My dude Caleb is the one most interested in this type of bike so he and I get regular time together figuring this thing out. My oldest is a pipeline welders helper so I don't get too much time with him so when I do I cherish it. My littlest guy is a dirt bike lunatic so I'm still waiting for him to come around but we'll be sure to get his hands a little dirty on this one with the old man here and there. We're trying to figure out the WX tanks Lowbrow Customs sent us. I think we have a plan to let us run them low and split enough to keep the backbone exposed. Stoked on these things!
​Got the stance we were looking for but still saving for the replica springer to get it in a full roller. Hopefully soon. Looking forward to the coming months and watching this thing come to life. Thanks for staying tuned into the build and for all of the encouraging words along the way.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Carlos Amador - Daily Driver Choppers

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series Profile:
Name: Carlos Amador
Shop: Daily Driver Choppers
Location: Denver, CO
Build: 1967 Gen Shovel Bobber

11.6.17 - Intro

Carlos Amador hailing from Denver, Colorado is an up and coming builder who has the drive and passion for building high show quality motorcycles that you can still ride every single day. His craftsmanship and creativity are top notch and his work speaks for itself, not to mention he has won multiple awards for his first two builds. When Carlos came to us with his plans on what he wanted to build for Fuel Cleveland, we couldn't have been more excited to extend the invite and see his vision become a reality. 

Words from Carlos:

Being invited to Fuel Cleveland is a honor, especially being a rookie builder who just graduated welding school in May 2015. I've always been into motorcycles as a kid, with a grandfather and a uncle that rode bikes when they where young especially my grandfather who rode a lot after WWII on his Harley-Davidson Flathead. I rode a lot of dirt bikes when I was younger but didn’t get into riding choppers till I was older. I told myself I’m not riding something stock and that I would only ride what I built with my own two hands. So after graduating school I did an apprenticeship at bad ass Industries where I built my first bike called "The Daily Driver" which was featured in Cycle Source. That bike was the beginning and inspiration to opening up my own shop and the name Daily Driver Choppers just fit well. My second build was called "The Ringmaster." Which received a bunch of awards this past summer and I couldn't be more happy on how it came out. The bikes I build are not just for show though, they are truly riders, I rode "The Daily Driver" to Born Free from Denver and then to Sturgis 2016. The Ringmaster's motor is still getting broken in since the rebuild but I plan on doing some long trips and putting on the miles on that 10ft chopper.
Carlos and "The Ringmaster" at Born Free

For Fuel Cleveland 2018 I was thinking of doing a simple clean Bobber style motorcycle inspired by one of David Mann's photo that I love. It's not going to be exact and I'm going to put little bit of my twist to the bike as well. As far as paint and my own twisted fabrications that I'm going to do, it should come out killer and something a little different. I found an old frame that I have been cleaning up and fixing up over the past couple of weeks. I will be making my own controls etc.. And for the motor I'm going to use a 1967 Gen Shovel. Well, I hope everyone enjoys the holidays, I'll keep sending in updates and hope you follow along with my build. See you all at Fuel Cleveland 2018

Make sure to follow along Carlos' every move with this build via his Instagram page @dailydriverchoppersllc. We will also post updates through out the months leading up to the show of his progress on this thread. We eagerly can't wait for the unveiling of this 1967 Gen Shovel at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018!

David Mann inspirational sketch Carlos is basing his build around.

It always starts with a frame.
Shaping the neck, and making a window.
Back bone fixes
Taking shape and getting the basic ideas.