Article And Photos By: Xavier Muriel
Originally Published In The September 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Greetings from somewhere in Middle America (at least for now)! Man what a crazy month it’s been since the last issue! We’ve been playing to some amazing crowds. I finally got to play and see Laconia for the first time and unexpectedly the weather was not so cooperative. I woke up on the bus to a rainy cold day and it didn’t get any better by show time but in true form, the rain stopped for just a while and the true music lovers showed up and rocked the house! So all was not lost. I had a blast after our set hanging out with my buddy Jack who was MC’ing the show next door. If you’ve never met Jack you should: he’s incredibly funny and a great hang and brother, has he got stories. He introduced me to Andy of Hot Leathers who was kind enough to give me one of their vests which I must say G is pretty fu*#ing bad ass!! It’s really great quality riding leather and has some nifty pockets for your essentials! So if you’re in the market for some leather check em out!
There’s nothing better to me than to be able to mix my music with my motorcycles and touring the country is the best way to meet new people and see old friends. On my day off I was honored to be asked to stop by Roadside Marty’s shop in Pensacola Fl. Marty, who is also a part of the Cycle Source Family, and his father Shelton are the owners and wrenches at this shop. I gotta tell you, I had no idea what I was walking into. Well let me try to paint a picture for you. I’m sure, that like me, when you walk into a shop and suddenly smell that old familiar scent of gas mixed with motor oil and just a hint of grease you know you’re in the right place. Well, that’s the smell of this place but wait it gets much, much better. It’s not some fancy well painted decorated place with shit on the walls that has nothing to do with the true nature of motorcycles. It’s a real shop or what I like to call a garage. There is stuff everywhere and when I say stuff I mean a Knuck over there, a Pan right next to your feet and a Shovel or two or three in the corner. Now, I know some of you are thinking “well that’s just disorganized and messy” but to others maybe to the ones “in the know” it’s just as it should be. I was absolutely amazed at the bikes together and apart as well as the HUGE array of parts. It took me an hour just to settle down enough so that I could hear what Marty was saying to me. To that point all I had heard was “Mwah Mwah Mwah”-it was not because I was being disrespectful but because I was in sensory overload and enjoying every breath I took in. Now here comes the best part of the whole dam night… meeting Marty’s Pop, Shelton Davis. You know how I’m always harping on the days gone by and learning from the old timer’s blah blah blah! I’ll be dammed if that wasn’t exactly what I was privileged enough to experience that night. I spent hours with this historian, builder, mechanic, father and super great human being. I swear I felt like a little kid who couldn’t shut up about this and that and what year this and how many were made of that. I’m surprised he just didn’t boot me out after the first 2 hours.
This is what I’ve been talking about… the REAL DEAL. I learned so much from him in such a little amount of time that I felt I should have paid him for the schooling he gave me. Every story began with a lil chuckle and smile that was followed by a wealth of information. Here I was, holding original pamphlets on 30’s and 40’s Harley instruction manuals from the War bikes. It was insane!!! I couldn’t get enough of the Elder and his stories. I can see why Marty became the Harley lover that he is. With a mentor like Shelton who wouldn’t be a lover of all things Harley. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand more times: if you ever get the chance to sit and listen to these keepers of the key I suggest you do it. It will be the best way to learn how to carry the torch. I can’t begin to thank Marty and Shelton for a time I’ll never forget.
Now, on with the update on my build. As I write this my paint is literally drying and then it’s on to wire, fluids time and fire. But first Tyler Malinky over at Low Brow Customs was cool enough to send over the last remaining bits I needed for my build; a headlight and tail light with a license plate assembly. So I thought I’d mix a very simple DIY way of achieving a cool taillight set up into my column. The license plate and twilight are by No School Choppers and are easy to assemble although the license plate bracket I chose is the weld on kind. They do make an axle version if you prefer. The bracket will accept a standard frame, and the light wires and mounting studs feed right through the provided pre drilled holes. The handy shop rag with instructions was a pretty cool touch! If you’re not good with wiring and or electrical seek a qualified mechanic to ensure the safety of you and your scooter. The chrome headlight was a simple addition to my lower tree by the mounting bolt on the bottom of the bucket however if your lower tree is not drilled then you may run into a problem so do yourself a favor and do the research first on your application. Once the build is complete I hope to do an article on it, including every Company that helped me along the way and man is there a lot. And I am truly grateful to every one of them. Well my fellow riders I hope to see you in Sturgis. I just found out we will be playing the Chip but I’m not sure of the date yet so keep an eye out. Until then, Ride Safe and God Bless.