2015 board tracker meets pro street style bike
Posted on Tuesday May 23, 2017
Builder: Hank Thibodeau
Build: 2015 board tracker meets pro street style bike named Lo Life Luci
Company: Widowmaker CDR
- Tell us about you/your shop.
I am 43 and I have been in this business for 15 years. I have been a mechanic for about 20 years and am a self taught welder/fabricator. My shop is just a little shop out in the country. We build one-off bikes and parts as well as maintain a 400-425 person customer base year-round. We do everything from tires and service work to one off bikes and parts. We welcome all motorcycle riders, no matter their brand of choice.
- What make, model and year of bike is it?
Engine is a 2015 Harley-Davidson 103A converted to a carburetor. The frame started as a Ultima brand 240 tire rigid frame with 34 degrees of rake and 4” up and 4” out. The frame was designed for a EVO style engine and I fitted it with a Twin Cam engine. I cut the back half of the frame off and my son and I made a 8” stretched drop seat rear section for the bike. The rear parallel frame rails are tied together with criss crossed drag links I made. The rear fender is mounted with a series of drag links. So the rear fender is actually hung in the frame rather than being bolted in. The oil tank is completely one off. It is a simple 5” cylinder that started out as a flat piece of sheet metal that I rolled out in the slip roller and the end caps I concaved and made. The gas tank started as a standard 3.3 gallon peanut tank that I remade the mounts and stretched the back of the tank as well as the lower front section of the tank. It is fitted with a Ultima 6 speed transmission, Ultima 2” open belt primary with a custom front pulley to work with the Twin Cam engine and EVO style transmission. The front end is a one-off I made. It is a cross between a banana fork and girder style front end, featuring Suspension Technologys shocks. The headlight started as a ’01 Softail headlight bucket that I cut, reworked and stretched with drag links I made using a Pathfinder LED headlight. The wheels are Harley-Davidson Breakout wheels. We call her “Lo Life Luci” (short for Lucifer, the Lucifer ornament I have mounted on the front end) .
- What was your inspiration for the build?
The bike build came from wanting to expand my range of creativity by combining products that are not generally used together. After our success and the reception we received with “Mushu Suzie” at the Washington DC IMS Show, I wanted to go further outside the box. I really wanted to challenge my skill level and create another bike that is not bought out of a catalog. I wanted something that showcased what we can do.
- Where did you find the bike? What year was it originally made?
Well, I guess you can say the bike found me. I originally bought a Harley-Davidson 2002 Electra Glide Standard from a gentleman that had an accident with it. I ended up getting the bike on a deal and bought it sight unseen. I picked it up on a deal only to find that it was worth more to me if I sold it. It was one of those deals that people tell you about. So I ended up selling it to increase my bike build budget. The bike did not start as anything else. I bought the frame on sale from Midwest Motorcycle parts, and bought it with no idea as to what it would become. I decided I wanted to do a 2015 Twin Cam build and located the engine in CA. I guess you could say it is a 2015 if you are going by engine year model. If you are going by time of conception, 2017. I further scored a deal on a set of new wheels that came off of 2014 Harley-Davidson Breakout and had the transmission sitting, waiting for a home. It was then that I had the makings of a bike.
- Can you run us through the build process?
The build process is different for each bike. I start with a general direction and go from there. From the beginning, I wanted this bike build to be something special, more so than previous builds. I had a plan for length and look. One Sunday, my son and I put the frame in the jig, took some measurements and proceeded to cut the back half of the bike off. We made it 8” longer with a drop seat section. At this point the look was there, but no front end. Again, I wanted different. I looked all over for a girder front end that I liked. I found what I wanted, but not in the needed size. So I began looking at banana fork front ends - found the prices to be out of my budget so decided that I can make my own. I couple afternoons later, I had a rolling chassis. After that, pieces just seemed to fall into place and the bike took on a life of its own one piece at a time.
- What was the hardest part of the build?
The hardest part of the this build had to be the front end. One, I have never made a front end. Second, what I wanted to make is somewhat dicey. Figuring out the geometry and working range of the front end was a challenge. Bending and welding material is the easy part. I do not have access to expensive machining equipment nor the budget to have everything made. So everything is truly made by hand. I had to make the triple trees and come up with a design that was safe and functional with basic shop tools. So, measure 5 times, cut once, weld, measure again. It was a lot of time spent pouring over sheer ratings on hardware, measuring for spring rates of the front shocks, rake and trail, travels and forward movement of front end. So hands down the most challenging item I have made to date. I could probably be accused of over thinking, but I am a big fan of me as well as the bike buyer.
- What do you like best about the finished bike?
At this time the bike is not quite finished. It is complete as far as the mock-up of the bike. All the pieces are in place. I truly like the fact that the bike appears to be moving while sitting still. With its long low stance, drop seat section and the gas cap being the highest point of the bike and the bull doggish look. The bike has a solid hardcore look. As for a single feature, I would say the front end. Not because I made it, but it truly makes the bike. I can really appreciate the looks of the mechanical components. It is not flashy with a bunch of chrome and billet. I was originally wanting to do a patina finish on the bike, but felt like it needed or deserved something more finished, but industrial.
- Do you have a name for the bike?
We call her “Lo Life Luci” (short for Lucifer. I found the devil hood ornament I have mounted on the front end in a sale flyer for cheap. Stuck it up there and it just seemed to fit with the look of the bike.
- What style of bike is it?
If I was to pick style for the bike, I would say it is a cross between a board tracker and pro street style bike with a lot of attitude.
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