No. 5 Build Off Bike

Featured In The April 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source

Article By: Chris Callen  Photos By: Joshua Elzey

Feature 4a

Nick Beaulieu is the kind of cat that knows the meaning of the words “just do it.” His trip through the motorcycle world encompasses nearly a decade now and began with a voctech class. When Nick was in high school Jesse James was hitting the TV screens in every home across America. Nick became a fast fan of the work Jesse was doing and signed up for the welding and fabrication class his high school offered. While he honed his skills he started to nose around local motorcycle spots and ended up making friends at a shop where the owner told him that he’d have a job for him when he graduated. Upon graduation day, however, not hiring was the response he got. What now? Nick knew he wanted to work with bikes for a living but he felt that he needed the experience of a few years in a working bike shop to get him started. He headed back home and did some research about motorcycle school. Instead of going the route of MMI all the way in Phoenix he went with AMI, the last year before it became Wyotec in Daytona. He would take classes at night so he could work a day job and keep himself alive. After graduating in 2006 Nick landed a gig at McKracken’s Performance in Windham Mane. Although they did high-end performance work primarily, he did all he could to squeeze in the idea of custom work and fabrication. Bad times would hit again when McKracken’s closed so Nick went to work for the local Harley dealer. He moved on from that dealer and went to work for another in New Hampshire for about four years until he realized that the Harley shops wanted their techs to do basically everything from welding and fab to running a dyno with no real pay rate for it. He pulled up stakes again and went back home to work for another custom shop. It wasn’t long before survival took the place of the dream of working for another man in this business. With two side jobs that paid some decent money Nick rented a spot, borrowed a few more bucks to put in a compressor and launched Forever Two Wheels Maine. As hard as it was in the beginning, and as challenging as every winter since still is, he has never looked back.

Feature 4b

You might have met Nick out at the national rallies and not even known it. He installs Vance & Hines products at the J&P Booth during the day and is FTW at large during the night. This was a gig he picked up during the Laconia Build-Off, and where the story of this bike begins. In the beginning of May 2014 Nick was looking at ways he could get his name out there. He heard about the Build- Off that the Laconia Rally does every year and reached out to his friend Larry Fredella to see if it was too late to enter. Larry made a call to the director of the show who told him that another shop had backed out and that they’d love to have Nick. With three weeks until the week-long event, Nick was in but had nothing to work on. Larry, being the quality human being he is, brought Nick to his shop which is part warehouse, and told him to pick out what he needed. What a deal, he grabbed an old ACME looptail frame, a shovel engine, four-speed tranny and couple other doodads. Everything else he figured he’d make along the way. The first order of business was to cut off the five-speed tranny plate that had been welded on and make his own to fit the four-speed. Once the tranny was in place he got all the parts assembled in rough just so he could be sure the thing would run. After the initial start up it came back apart cause time was clicking on by. When he pulled into Laconia rally for the week of the build off Nick saw that the other competitors were substantially ahead of him with their builds. While on site he still had to make his handlebars, fabricate the custom exhaust, make the forward controls, oil tank, literally a ton of work. Nick spent the off hours from the build off working at ACME Choppers doing oil and tire changes and luckily in return those cats would come over and lend a hand after shop hours. He was alone after all and with the amount of work still to do, there was a pretty good chance he may not have finished in the time allotted. It really did come down to the wire and with minutes to spare. Paulie Mirisola of Redhead Racing in Londonderry, NH had to kinda kick Nick’s ass into gear the last day of the build-off to get it done. Nick started kicking the shovel. Two kicks and the old girl fired right up. With that success and the public opinion vote he was named the winner of the 2014 Laconia Rally Build Off. This was a great feather in his cap after only being open at FTW for about a year and he was overwhelmed. It has led to another opportunity for him though. In 2015 at the 6th Annual Big Mountain Run, Nick has been selected as one of the participants in the 2nd Annual Hillbilly Invitational. This event that saw Nate Jacobs take the win last year, will be held June 11th- 13th. At the same time he is working on his invitational build Nick has about a dozen other projects in various stages of completion. He’s a busy man, but always ready to get in and “Just Do It.”

Feature 4c

NO. 5 BUILD OFF BIKE TECH SHEET
Owner: Larry Fredella
City: Manchester, NH
Fabrication By: Forever Two Wheels
Year: 2014
Model: FTW Rigid/Springer/Shovel
Time: 4 Weeks
Value: $15,000
ENGINE
Year: 1980
Model: Shovelhead
Builder: Harley-Davidson
Ignition: Electronic Dyna
Displacement: 80 ci
Pistons: Stock
heads: Stock
Cam(s): Stock
Carb: Harley-Davidson
Air Cleaner: Aftermarket
Exhaust: Biltwell Exhaust Kit/FTW
Primary: Open Bolt
TRANSMISSION
Year: 1978
Make: Harley-Davidson
Shifting: 4 Speed Ratchet Top
FRAME
Year: 2012
Make: ACME Choppers
Rake: 34 degrees
Stretch: 5” up, 1.5 Stretch
FORKS
Type: Springer
Builder: Unknown/Barn Find
Extension: 6 over
Triple Trees:
WHEELS
Front Wheel: Spoke
Size: 21”
Front Tire:
Front brake: Nada!
Rear Wheel: Spoke
Size: 16”
Rear Brake: Brembo/H_D/NOS Mid 80’s Hurst Airheart Hand Master
Rear tires:
PAINT
Painter:
Color: Natural Patina
Type:
Grpahics: FTW
Molding:
ACCESSORIES
Bars: FTW
Hand Controls: Biltwell Grips
Gas Tank(s): Throttle Addiction/FTW
Front fender: Nada!
Rear fender: Swapmeet Special
Seat: Glen Halliday
Foot Controls: FTW High Forwards
Oil Tank: FTW With Anti Gravity Mount
Headlight: Unity
Taillight: Model A
Photographer: Joshua Elzey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *