Flat Broke’s El Rey Ve Paque Caravanas – The Twisted Tea LowRider
Article By Heather Callen
Photos by Chris Callen
Originally Published August 2019
This is the story of motorcycling taking a step backward. Back to a time where regular Joes built bikes out of what was available from older bikes that they could get on the cheap. We have gone through a time where people could throw money at a project, but as the industry slows down the used market is now filled with solid great running machines, it’s a builder’s market. Enter Flat Broke Chops & Rods.
With two years’ worth of bikes built in conjunction with Twisted Tea, the crew at Flat Broke was ready for round three. Bill Grotto, head man in the MC division of Twisted Tea, came to them with the idea of doing something completely different this year. The truth is, that’s Bill’s MO every year. He loves this as much as the guys do. So, the idea was kicked around to do a proper East LA Lowrider. Chris from FB chimed in that this one shouldn’t be a big money unlimited budget kind of build but instead should be a bike that everyone could do in their own garages.
To start with, they picked up a 1991 donor bike. An Evo Softail Custom that was scored for $2500. Although it was adorned with the appropriate trimmings of the early nineties, there was a solid foundation to reach the goal of a Lowrider. So rather than pulling the motor and tranny and cutting the frame up like they would with a traditional chop, they started to study the parts and changes for this purpose.
The first move was to go to John Shope at Dirty Bird Concepts and get his Dirty Tail Kit. This replaces the stock Softail Swingarm with an FLH style that allows for outboard shocks. While the Dirty Bird kit is for 2000 and up, Chris felt like it could be retrofit to the older Softail. After a quick phone call to Sideshow Cycles, who has done this operation before, a few adjustments were made, and the kit was perfect. Then it was on to the front end. While the bike had a perfect Wide Glide fork, it needed to run the old-style Nacelle to really bring home the Lowrider style. The trees were swapped for a set that would allow for a Fat Boy style set of tins, and from there a set of Nacelle Covers that would fit to the Fat Boy trees completed the look. Oh, of course, we needed some FLH style sliders as well, and Bikers Choice came through with them in solid and chrome to boot.
The motor was already an S&S, and after a call to the Viola facility to check with the serial number, they were pleasantly surprised to find that this was a 110-inch motor. Other than an ignition module, that they totally hooked us up by upgrading to the HI-4N, we were in business. Chris decided to upgrade to the new S&S stealth teardrop style air cleaner & cover for the Super E Carb. This thing is great and only takes a few bolts to install. Having to powder coat the frame to freshen it up, the motor and tranny were extracted. With a six-speed from an unnamed company, they opted to leave the drive alone. A pleasant surprise was found in the primary when they pulled the outer cover and saw the Barnett’s Scorpion clutch. SCORE!!!! For fuel tanks, Chris knew he had to keep it retro and used a set of traditional stretched Softail style fat bobs from Biker’s Choice. They fit just like they did in the nineties, and that’s what they were going for. A Klock Werks dash cover was added and slightly modified for an ignition switch in its traditional position.
Klock Werks quality also brought up the front and rear with their Benchmark fenders, both are steel construction and gave the swoopy look of a Lowrider. They also fit the early Softail that is just the smallest bit narrower. Of course, Flat Broke had to go with a traditional LePera Bare Bones solo seat because what would an early nineties Softail be without that seat. Some 18 Inch Apes from Paughco gave them the lift from all the Low Life appeal the bike had and to finish it all off they brought in Casey Kennell from the Pain Chop to work his magic. Now, if you wonder how hard it is to make a yellow bike look good, try that three times. Casey took it to another level with his paint and leafing, and in the end, they trimmed that out with some ‘64 impala badging and Lead Sled fender trim from the hot rod aftermarket.
Originally, they had simple 11-1/2 coil over FLH covered shocks but since this shoot, Chris decided that to really ride this bike it needs to have air ride, so Legends gave us the perfect solution and it is now a Lowrider with Air Ride… Just like it should be. Now, the only thing that is left for them to do is to take it around the country and find it a new home. You can sign up to win this thing for free just by going to twistedtea.com or cyclesource.com. This is something that Twisted Tea does each year to thank all of you that come out and party with them at the rallies. So, give them your support by signing up today. Oh, and the name, for those of you that do not speak Spanish, means Trailer Park King!