Hey Joe – A 2001 Sportster

Featured In The January 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source

Article & Photos By: Scott Takes

Feature 3a

My name is Scott Takes. I am a painter from Cedar Rapids Iowa. I am not a writer. But today, I am writing a story about my buddy Brandon. Cause he rules. Brandon Hess is a builder with a history. Yes, he builds killer motorcycles, like the Sportster you see here. His talents have gained him a fabrication position with H&W Speedshop, in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Brandon influences his fabrication with his design and finesse but he keeps his priority on function. H&W builds all flavors of Hot Rods, chassis and welds up insane custom headers and exhausts that are expected t o withhold insane punishment from 2500 Horsepower motors. The s a m e quality goes into their motorcycle builds. Brandon came to H&W from building some impressive motorcycles with his family business, Deadenderz. You may have seen some of them, the red and white bobber that was on the cover of the J&P Cycles catalog back in the day, or the killer Panhead named Debt Breeder that he built for that TV show. Bandon never brags about his work. He sticks to his grass roots of building all week, and racing on the weekends. He also nurtures a growing family life and tries to keep his busy life as simple as he can, from his family to his 1936 Chevy gasser, he just makes it fun, beautiful, and strong. As his boss at H&W Speedshop and Brandon prepare to move the business, they were in the midst of this Sportster build. Brandon could not have asked for a better customer. Joe Stull had a clear understanding of the direction of the build but is open minded to the influence Brandon was about to put on this chopper. Joe brought Brandon a platform of parts. The build started with a Led Sled hardtail rigid frame, a custom tank, and a set of Invader wheels. The motor was a 1200 with the trusty drive train in good shape. The stock 39mm front end and head might take on some custom treatment, but Brandon was ready to start mocking up what he had. Paul from Bare Knuckle Choppers chimed in with some of his risers and some killer ribbed pipe, and Brandon built the exhaust. He modified a Led Sled rear fender and built the sissy bar. With what appeared to be a Led Sled oil tank and a few trips to the handle bar fitting room, there was a solid profile that made all the parts look right together. He arrived at that builder’s paradise, where you get into the details, and it really starts to fire you up. Brandon smoothed forks down, removed factory mounts on triple trees. Equally as important as the details of the build, Joe is supportive of the growing Speedshop. As the shop is expanding in mid build Joe was the laid back client that tells you to have fun with it. Make it killer, keep an eye on the budgets, but don’t stress too bad over deadlines. He supports the working class and that’s good cause H&W bought a new building, rehabbed it and is moving in, and they have bills to pay.

Feature 3b

As parts of the bike were being sent out for powder coat and chrome, the chassis was moved to the new shop. Brandon hammered out a seat pan and mailed it to Jordan Dickenson from Union Speed and Style. Jordan built a killer seat and pleated his signature wavy pattern in silver stitching. I gathered the crew at Underground Art Studios to work on the paint design. I drew up several options and had my computer guru, Heather Slater, make my rough illustrations into computer mock-ups. The paint was going to seal the deal on this build…making it all come together was so important. I got the approval on the paint design from Brandon and the bike owner, Joe with the nod and wink, to basically do whatever I wanted to do. That’s good, cause I had done my design work, and I still kept changing the design. Tyler Chekal from Underground Art Studios hammered out some killer bodywork, and then we laid out the paint via our favorite mock up. Mid Flake, with a little acetylene torch work to give it some old style technique, and a variety of Blue Dupont Candies to fade to the black. With the paint and seat all put in place, Brandon has plenty of wiggle room as he dials in the final tolerances of the build. Wiring up the fresh chopper and running oil lines Brandon must be proud of where he has come from and feeling damn good about assembling the first bike build in the new location. Joe’s patience is rewarded with pleasure. Ongoing pleasure…as the result is a fast, clean, easy going, badass, comfortable, reliable chopper. “Hey Joe, what you doing with that gun in your hands”? Go get your motorcycle license.

Feature 3c

Owner: Joe Stull
City: Ely, IA
Fabrication By: Brandon Hess
Year: 2001
Model: Sportster Chappa
Time: 10 months
Year: 2001
Model: H-D Sportster
Builder: Brandon Hess/H&W Speedshop
Ignition: Twin Tech
Displacement: 1250cc
Pistons: V-Twin Big Bore Kit
Heads: H-D
Cam(s): Andrews
Carb: Mikuni
Air Cleaner: Lowbrow Customs
Exhaust: Brandon Hess/Ripple Pipe Bare Knuckle Choppers
Primary: H-D
Year: 2001
Make: H-D
Shifting: H-D
Year: 2014
Make: Led Sled
Type: H-D 39mm
Builder: Brandon Hess
Extension: Stock
Triple Trees: “Finessed” by Brandon Hess
Front Wheel: Invader
Size: 21”
Front Tire: Avon Speedmaster
Front brake: GMA
Rear Wheel: Invader
Size: 16”
Rear Tire: Shinko
Rear Brake: GMA
Painter: Scott Takes-Underground Art
Color: Silver Metal Flake/Blue Candies
Type: Underground Art Studios DuPont
Graphics: Heather Slater-Underground Art
Molding: Tyler Chekal – Underground Art
Bars: Papa Clutch
Risers: Bare Knuckle Choppers
Gas Tank(s): Modified Sportster
Rear fender: Brandon Hess/Led Sled
Seat: Union Speed & Style
Foot Controls: H-D
Oil Tank: Led Sled Customs
Headlight: 4.5” Mini
Taillight: Model T
Speedo: None
Photographer: Scott Takes

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