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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

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