Bike Of Your Dreams By Indian Larry Motorcycles

Featured in The January 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source

Article By: Chris Callen  Photos By: Marc Frino Of LowRide Magazine

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We at Cycle Source Magazine have long been fans of the Metzeler brand of tires, starting way back with the ME88’s we all ran because of the high mileage and abuse combo that couldn’t be beaten. The bike you see here was a collaboration between Metzeler and Indian Larry Motorcycles to showcase their Triple Eight tires, or specifically the ME 888’s. It actually started with another person who had always been a big fan of Metzeler: Indian Larry himself who used them on all of his builds. Metzeler got in touch with Elisa to discuss the idea of building a bike for their company. Elisa thought it was a great opportunity so she sat down Bobby and John to discuss the bike. The biggest challenge for them as a team was not to build a goofy theme bike. So many times when builders have a project like this it goes all wrong, but anyone that knows Bobby will tell you he doesn’t have the kind of personality to let their style be polluted like that. Originally the idea was to build a traditional Indian Larry Twisted Downtube bike with a dished Indian Larry gas tank. Once they found out that the ME 888’s didn’t come in their usual configuration Bobby and John had to put their heads together and come up with a plan that would capture style and function in one sweet street machine. The whole thing would go down as a build that was followed and influenced by Metzeler Facebook fans, with a contest that included a 5-day trip across the country on the finished bike along with the guys from Metzeler and Indian Larry Motorcycles. Think about it, one lucky man or woman would get to break out on to the highway with the legendary riding nuts from our favorite shop in Brooklyn; priceless. Not to mention the experience of riding a true one of a kind machine on the open road. The build would start in an unusual way for the ILM cats. You see, they normally run 21 inch tires on the front of their bikes with a standard 180 in the rear. The new Triple Eights didn’t come in either of those sizes so they literally built a bike around the idea of the 100/90/19 inch front and 150/80/16 rear. That might not seem like a lot but when you look closely at an Indian Larry Motorcycles’ build there isn’t a whole ton of room for plus or minus in the tire and wheel size. They are so tight on spacing to keep those clean lines that the whole build would have to be recalculated so the stance and details would come into play and hold true to what makes and Indian Larry bike tick. It all started with John the Painter and his sketchpad along with his team of Seabass and The Roach. John meticulously wore out a few erasers in the process of coming up with the right combo of form and function to have it all flow properly. The bike would be a lane splitter, perfect for hard riding in the city, nice and tight and very narrow. After getting the approval of Metzeler and their fans they started to rough out the bike based on John’s finished sketch work. Like all bikes in their shop the frame started as a pile of metal on the floor. John went about the process of measuring, marking, bending and then welding together another masterpiece. There’s no way to get custom like they do from a box and nearly impossible to rework an existing design into what they needed in the end so hand built was the only way to go. That went for the motor as well, a perfect Shovelhead right out of the box, but for these cats there is no room for error or for a lazy stock motor. The brand new mill was taken out of the box, used for mock up in the frame and then torn completely apart to be checked for tolerances and get a few hop up tricks added while they were at it. It went back in for final assembly and to the naked eye was almost no different than what it started from but this is the key to the Indian Larry Motorcycles way. The last thing you want on a bike that stops everyone in their tracks is to have it leave you stranded on the side of the road or worse yet, have it not be able to get out of its own way.

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From there, it was on to the sheet metal. No self-respecting bike from the ILM shop would ever have some factory stamped out sheet metal, so John started with a set of Fatbob tanks, he then cut about two inches out of the center of each and made his own tunnel. This would give the tanks a completely different look that would be round on the sides but still skinny as hell. With the sleek tank goes a little tiny yamaka of a fender and that’s about all you get. I know…it sounds a lot easier than it is. The mounting of the fender is crucial and they nail it every time. No space, nothing is out of line, it’s the perfect custom rear fender. The oil tank is another work of art. John starts with solid aluminum and makes his own oil tank ends, he then takes aluminum tubing and cuts a section for the center. He presses and welds on the ends, adds the mounting and plumbing fixtures and the whole thing looks like it was always one solid piece, not a seam to be seen. Like most other things on Triple Eight, there is no way to just bolt pipes on it. In this instance they started from sections of exhaust pipe in a box and great pains are endured to keep the pipes as tight to the bike as possible. Again a keen eye for detail and the skills to put thoughts into action like this sets them apart, the same goes for the mid controls, the risers and bars, all made in house, and all one of a kind work that was done to ensure that this bike had the exact dimensions John drafted up at the start. They admit that the bike kind of evolved as it went along but that basic premise from the beginning was exactly what it turned out to be. There would be no other person to finish off a build like this than the great master Robert Pradke. The entire bike was purposefully finished with a brushed aluminum and stainless look, with a real sleek racer feel to it. To mimic that in the paint would be a challenge but to have it fit with the usually flamboyant Indian Larry Motorcycles style would be another thing entirely. As you can see he pulled it off like a pro. As the truck was leaving for Sturgis they were tightening the last few bolts, in typical fashion it usually takes every minute of the time you have to get work like this done. But they were confident the bike they were sending was ready to ride and would blow minds in the Black Hills. For a fresh build and anyone who has ever built a bike from scratch knows, there are bound to be some bugs. Actually on this one, other than a few little issues, they had a great ride of over a thousand miles with the winner of the “Follow Your Dream” ride and ran ‘em hard the whole way. But that’s a story for next month when we will talk to the winner and talk about the ride. Until then stay tuned and get more info on the build on Youtube at https:// ErSM3wP

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Bike Of Your Dreams Tech Sheet

Owner: Metzeler
City: Worldwide
Fabrication By: Indian Larry Motorcycles Team
Year: 2014
Model: Race/888
Value: $100,000
Time: 4 months
Year: 2014
Model: ILM/S&S/Accurate/STD
Builder: ILM/S&S/Accurate/STD
Ignition: ILM/S&S/Accurate/STD
Heads: ILM/S&S/Accurate/STD
Cam(s): ILM/S&S/Accurate/STD
Carb: S&S-ILM Race Stack
Air Cleaner:
Exhaust: Straight & Clean
Primary: Tech & ILM
Year: 2014
Make: ILM and a Little Baker
Shifting: 6 in a 4
Year: 2014
Make: Indian Larry Motorcycles
Type: Narrow
Builder: Indian Larry Motorcycles
Triple Trees:
Front Wheel: Spoke
Size: 100/90/19
Front Tire: Metzeler 888
Front brake: Brembo / ILM
Rear Wheel: Spoke
Size: 150/80/16
Rear Tire: Metzeler 888
Rear Brake: Brembo / ILM
Painter: Robert Pradke
Graphics: Robert Pradke
Bars: Indian Larry Motorcycles Drags
Hand Controls:
Risers: Indian Larry Motorcycles Throwbacks
Gas Tank(s): Street Track Straight
Rear fender: Indian Larry Motorcycles
Seat: Paul Cox
Foot Controls: Indian Larry Motorcycles Race
Oil Tank: Indian Larry Motorcycles
Headlight: Bates / Indian Larry Motorcycles
Photographer: Marco Frino of LowRide Magazine

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