Article By: Chris Callen
The owner of this bike, Jon Bateman, tells us that he is from your typical redneck town where “Cowboy Up” is the ruleof thumb. The problem with this statement is that he lives in Bakersfield, California, not the typical “redneck” setting. Kern County is the name of the place he lives but it is much better known across the country as Crank County. This is a moniker the county earned for their wild problems that see meth labs opening as fast as they are raided. He decided that rather than let his frustration with this kick his ass, he would instead make light of it in the bike he was building. Now I’m not sure what the specific police codes are all over the United States but in California, the 10-48 on his rear fender stands for coffee break. So you can see from all this that Jon has a hell of a sense of humor.
Bikes weren’t always his bag though, actually his love for building started with a ’64 Bel Air . Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, his home for the past 28 years, that sits just 20 miles from Famoso Raceway, went a long way towards driving his passion. Admittedly, he told me that he loves speed more than anything. He loved that Bel Air, it was a show winner and a runner but it would eventually break his heart.
Jon had take in to a show where it took an award and he happily retired to his hotel. About five that next morning, he woke up and found the car had been stolen. Four years later it had never been found, leaving Jon with a natural aversion towards ever building a car again. He likened the experience to losing a child and vowed that his next project would be a bike. He figured that way he could at least roll it into the room with him.
Bateman mentioned that he was never really a Harley guy, owning bikes like a ’93 Honda CBR F2 that was built by 2 Brothers’ Racing before this one. He just never thought about a V-Twin. If he was going to build a bike, it would have to have balls. Once he found out about the motors that H&L were building, boasting an impressive 150hp at the rear wheel, he felt that he might be able to make that work. Rather than start with a rolling basket or pile of parts where he’d have to tear down to build up, Jon took the path of a clean slate. He purchased the frame and tanks from Hank Young, later to find out that they were actually built by Mike Sailgoe. He then matched those with a stock Indian Scout frontend. The plan was basic and simple. Three wires for the electrical, since he hates wires to begin with, even the color combination would be about function first and form second. He would go with black and white powdercoating anywhere he could for resistance to chipping, and simple black and white paint everywhere else. It ends up giving his bike a killer look going down the street in the dark, like it’s partially invisible.
Other nice touches that grab your eye are items like the Scout- like tank with oil in the back third like an Indian would have had. A small brass spittoon site just at the front of the motor mounts serves as an oil overflow catch. Very detailed leather work from the seat to small carry bags all over the bike give it some western flare, while the flying eyeball at the top of the neck stem brings it back to the custom culture side of things. It’s a real trick bike and we’re thrilled to have it on our pages. Jon had also mentioned that this build would not have been possible without the help of Casey Clark from Happy Hawgs who gave endless hours of his time.
Jon is no stranger to being in magazines since he scored eight separate features with the Bel Air we mentioned earlier, but this feature came just short of what he had hoped for. His mother, Shirley, whose health was failing, passed away just one day before Halloween as we were preparing for this feature. We send Jon and his family our deepest sympathies on their loss. Shirley was born in 1936 and Jon now plans on making his next project a ’36 Ford in her honor.
crank county patrol tech sheet
owner: Jon Bateman
city: Bakersfield, CA
Fabrication By: No Class Customs (Hank Young, Jon)
Model: Custom Bobber
time: 1 1/2 Years
Value: 4 Back Surgeries, 3 Donuts & A Cup Of Coffee
Model: Gladiator Builder: H&L Performance Ignition: Crane Hi-4 Displacement: 131 ci pistons: Ross Racing heads: H&L Performance
cam(s): 678 Lift, 268 Duration
carb: S&S Super G
air cleaner: RSD
exhaust: Young Choppers
primary: Performance Machine Belt
shifting: 6 Speed
year: Based Off A 1915 Dayton Make: Ball Buster-Rigid Bobber rake: 30 Degrees
type: Leaf Spring Builder: Kwiw Indian extension: None
Front Wheel: Chica Invader
size: 21” tire: Metzeler Brakes:
rear Wheel: DNA Daytona
size: 18” tire: Metzeler Brakes:
painter: Kyle Gann / K-Daddyz Kustomz
color: Black & White
type: House Of Kolor Candy powdercoating: MB Products Graphics: Jason James pinstriping: Ron Beam
Bars: 1” Custom Built Hank Young
risers: Built In
Gas tank(s): Mike Saligoe
Front Fender: Invisible
rear Fender: Modified DNA Choppers
seat: Pan-Paco & Jon / Leather-Jerry Wall (Custom Leathers)
Foot controls: Performance Machine
oil tank: Mike Saligoe headlight: 5” e-Bay taillight: No School Choppers