Published In the March 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source
Article & Photos By: Grizzly
Johnny from England could buy a Buell for about half the price of a 1200 Sportster of a similar age and mileage. “The Buell had the same displacement but a much better running gear so the decision of which one to use for my budget chopper was easily made,” says Johnny. According to National Chopper Club member Johnny, the chopper scene in the United Kingdom is still alive and kicking; it’s probably the most diverse in the world.
“The English are chopping everything on two wheels that they can get their hands on. And I mean everything, from six cylinder Japs to two cylinder Brits. We have not been hung up on the Harley thing over here although I have been riding them for thirty years. In the same period of time, I have also owned Jap hardtailed street fighters and Lowriders which are very common here in England,” said Johnny.
In this particular case, Johnny opted for a Buell. Despite him owning all these other bikes before, this one is the first that was totally built from the ground up by the man himself and his brothers. Johnny explained, “Almost all fabricating was done by my good friends Maff and Ben at Expressive Engineering over a period of four years. Yes, it was a long-term project indeed. Instead of paying the men for their efforts, I gave them an Evo motor and a gearbox. The job would have been done a lot quicker if Maff’s creative juices had not gotten the better of him and had he just done the simple frame that I had asked for. One thing led to another, and after a few false starts with clip-on handlebars and rear peg sets, we ended up with this beautiful piece of work. I really love it! It looks great and it is a lot of fun to ride, both in the city and on long trips.”
To avoid high costs, Johnny used as many parts as possible from the Buell donor bike. Parts like the stock Buell frontend, the front fender, the wheels, tires, brakes and of course the motor. The gas tank is a heavily modified King Sportster tank with a new tunnel to let it sit parallel to the ground. The seat was donated by Ben from Las Pistolas , and the oil tank, which is an absolute work of art, is the work of Maff and Ben. Other handmade parts are the really sweet fender struts and the stainless pipes that curve nicely to the left side of the bike. The frame makes the whole deal special thanks to Maff’s fat tubed organic bends.
With a smile Johnny says, “After bloody ages, the bike was finally ready for paint. That job was performed by club member and clever bugger Tony who painted it as a birthday present for my 50th birthday which then was generously paid b y some more close friends in the club. There is also lots of satin black powder coating done by ‘Nick the Chef’ to contrast with the orange paint. I wanted no metal flake and no candy apple stuff; just a really striking bright orange lacquer combined with black and white checks! Now that it’s finished, I often find myself looking at it and thinking, Boy, how lucky am I? Yeah man, I would really like to thank everybody who helped and supported me in any way!”
As a kid, I loved Easyriders’ magazine. I always wanted a chopper and longed to be in a club. I actually think both should go together so when I finally had the opportunity to join the National Chopper Club,it gave me the kick up the arse that I needed to have the chop I always wanted. I joined the NCC nearly 15 years ago when most people I had been riding with since my early teens started to grow up and do the settling down thing. Well, that was not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have been happily married for 23 years and raised a family as well, but I just did not see why you had to give up one thing for the other. Incidentally, most of my old mates are now new-born bikers. Some even think about joining the club as well. They don’t know what they missed!”
English Buell Tech Sheet
Owner: Johnny A
Fabrication By: Expressive Engineering
Model: One-Off Fat Tubed Hardtail
Time: Bloody Ages!
Model: Buell M2 Cyclone
Builder: Expressive – Stripped, Painted, Rebuilt
Air Cleaner: Imitation S&S
Exhaust: Expressive Engineering
Make: Expressive Engineering – Hardtail
Rake: Who Knows
Front Wheel: Buell
Rear Wheel: Stock Buell
Color: Bright Orange
Powdercoating: Nick the Chef
Graphics: Black and White Checks – Tony
Bars: Not Quite Apes
Risers: Leftovers From Previous Build
Hand Controls: Moto X Throttle
Gas Tank(s): King Sportster Modified
Front Fender: Stock
Rear Fender: Chopped & Shortened
Seat: Donated From Ben At Las Pistolas
Foot Controls: Ben
Oil Tank: Expressive Engineering