Article By: Chris Callen
Photos By: Kerri Schindler
Deville’s Little Ironhead with Major Cool
Dave Mizur of DeVille Cycles is a man of many hats which I soon realized after he described his daily list of tasks to me. From welding and machining, wheel building, engine and transmission work, leatherwork, whatever might come up in the process of building a bike, he does it all. That was what he needed to be as he began building “Minor Threat,” the bike you see here; it took most of his talents to make it square.
Originally built for him, Dave found this Ironhead on Craigslist; it was a typical story. The owner wanted to trade it in at a dealership and the Harely dealer didn’t want anything to do with it. So, Dave picked it up, in running condition, for practically a song. The bike was mostly complete, but as you will find many times with these old Ironhead Sporties, it was comprised of a bunch of mismatched parts. It had a good PA title and was running so he figured he could sort the rest out without too much of a problem. The big gamble when buying one of these is whether or not the motor is strong. In this case, it was running rough and Dave would soon find out it had very low compression in the rear cylinder. As he went through the motor, he found the rear cylinder and piston were damaged pretty badly. The heads were both good though, as were the bottom end and transmission, so it seemed as if he had lucked out. With a fresh top end, a new oil pump body just for safety sake, he was out of the engine. A few other upgrades like a Cycle Electric’s regulator and a better clutch system and he was ready to move on to the design.
Dave likes his hardtail Sporties short and that leaves little room for a full 3 quart oil tank unless you use a NOS horseshoe tank which he did not want. Instead, he decided to try and hide the tank in the front of the rear fender using a small amount of the available space behind the motor while still keeping the area where the tank would be clear and open. To reduce the vibration on the tank, it meant he would have to rubber mount the rear fender to the chassis. Dave found a bonus in this design since the spinning tire moves a lot of air over the oil tank, which dissipates some of the heat. The result is cooler oil temps and that is a must for Ironheads.
The hardtail was handmade in- house using axle plates that Dave machined himself. He put an inch and a half in the front down tubes to get the frame to sit right and matched it with a narrow glide from an ‘80s FX. He says that the form and function of this frontend can’t be beat with their 10-inch dual disc brakes that are both unobtrusive and more than adequate for stopping. Another feature made at his shop was the brass front fork brace that got so much attention this year that he has decided to offer it to the public real soon.
Like I said, he wears a lot of hats and on this build that also meant he would be the painter. He’ll be the first one to tell you that he’s not a painter, but admits he likes it once in a while. Since it was going to be his personal ride, he thought he’d give it a shot. There’s something to be said for completing a bike entirely with your own two hands and with the end result he got here, there’s nothing wrong with that from what I can see. It’s House of Kolor apple red kandy over a medium silver flake base. The panels are laced and airbrushed.
Dave ended up calling the bike “Minor Threat” after the early punk band by the same name. The guys in the shop were listening to a lot of their music as the bike came together and it just seemed right, kinda organic, and the name stuck. Anyway you look at it, the Ironhead Sporties of yesteryear are making a huge comeback and cats like Dave are kicking ass by taking them and resurrecting a whole generation of cool through new builds that prove to be fine highs at low buys. Great work man!
Minor threat tech sheet
Owner: Dave Mizur
City: Catasauqua, PA Fabrication By: DeVille Cycles Year: 1974
Model: H-D Sportster
Time: 5-6 Months On and Off
Builder: DeVille Cycles Ignition: Crane Hi-4 Displacement: 1000cc Pistons: H-D
Heads: H-D Cam(s): H-D Carb: S&S Super E
Air Cleaner: Ram-Air
Exhaust: Upsweep W/ Cheap Ass Cocktail Shakers
Rake: 32 Degree
Stretch: 1 1/2” Up In Downtubes
Type: ‘80s BT Narrow Glides
Builder: H-D Extension: None Triple Trees:
Front Wheel: 40 Spoke Laced
Tire: Avon Speedmaster
Brakes: Dual 10” Disc
Rear Wheel: 40 Spoke Laced
Tire: Avon Safety Mileage II
Brakes: H-D Drum
Painter: Dave Mizur-DeVille Cycles
Type: House Of Kolor
Color: Apple Red Kandy Over Medium Silver Flake
Graphics: Lace Panels
molding: Dave Mizur-DeVille Cycles
Bars: VEE Bars-DeVille Cycles
Risers: 3” Post Style Hand Controls: Gas Tank(s): Peanut Front Fender: None
Rear Fender: 5” Flat Trailer
Foot Controls: Mirrors:
Oil Tank: In The Fender-DeVille Cycles
Speedo: Taillight: Headlight:
photographer: Kerri Schindler
Slatington, PA – 610-570-5744