Purple Haze

Article By: Chris Callen

Photos By: Gene Stull

Originally Published In The February2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine


Obviously the man behind the bike you see here needs little introduction, if any. Mr. Roadside Marty has been the face at the Willie’s Tropical Chopper Show in Daytona every year. His involvements in the industry and this magazine have been priceless. Well, old Roadside is one of those unsung heroes in our world. Oh, not for a lack of publicity as to his late night, often pirate-type activities, but for his ability to spin a wrench and turn out top shelf customs. With a ton of cool bikes to his credit, and my personal favorite, “The Chick Magnet,” he should have the recognition that any other top builder of the day has. His bikes are sexy and tight, he never misses a detail and he has an old school charm and class about everything he does that makes you love his work, sometimes in spite of his bearish attitude.

After all of this, it was amazing to me that this cat hadn’t ever reached that high honor for any born and bred scooter tramp; the ultimate “‘at a boy” that comes from seeing your sled on the cover. Being one of my closest brothers, I could no longer see this go overlooked. So after watching for two years as he squirreled away parts for it, I asked him about putting the bike you see here on the wrapper of Cycle Source. “Purple Haze” is her name and unlike some of Roadsides bikes, this one is a little flashier. His idea was to pay tribute to the old days with a full blown ‘60s style chopper. His style has always been influenced from the pages of Easyriders, as well as what his old man, Shelton and his Uncle Rabbit were doing but the real story is what makes this a perfect fit for the Florida scene. Roadside has actually owned this bike since 1992. He had always wanted a Pan and for an early birthday present, Shelton bought him a cam cover at the Daytona swap for fifty bucks. He told Marty that if he wanted a Pan, to piece one together. To this day, the bike still brandishes that first part. His older brother gave him an S&S oil pump and the old man gave him a right side case so it was on. He bought a set of jugs and a Cal Products left case; the pace started to pick up from there. This was perfect since his first bike was a gift from his father. It was an Ironhead he got at fifteen and was his first build project. He still has that bike today and plans on making it into a Frisco style bike in the future.

No sir, the “Purple Haze” is no Catalogue Queen for sure. Marty built this bike in the traditions of the low budget rocker program and this is the fourth configuration that she’s been in. From an early Pan swingarm frame with a Duo Glide front and no electric start, to a later style swingarm with disc brakes, saddlebags and a windshield, he kept transforming it as he began to develop his style. It actually had 5 gallon fat bobs at one point and was even a red rim, white wall bobber last. That look was bitchin’ but once so many people started doing it, he realized that it was no longer original and had to change again. Over time, he’s built almost every style of bike you can imagine from Superglides to FXRs, stripped down customs and bobbers, he’s even built one of those God awful fat tire swingarm choppers, as he calls it, back when they were all the rage. The bikes have come and they have gone but this was his first Big Twin. That used to mean something to a young man; it was like your coming of age in the biker culture. It’s been through everything with him: his time in the military; the club; his marriages; his son being born and his divorces. The parties, the runs, there’s no way this bike is ever going anywhere so the stages of its design are just a mark he’s made of the passing time.


A while back, Bobby from French Kiss Kustoms offered to do a paint job for Roadside and he w o u l d actually be the one to give it the name. The bike was torn down, the parts sent out to Bob’s place and like every bike he sprays, the name just came to him: “Purple Haze.” Once Roadside heard him call it that, he told him to just go ahead and put that name on it, it was a perfect fit. He admits now that he didn’t plan on it being this flashy but after seeing the finished paint, he had to step it up. So starting with the same frame and motor, he and his buddy Tony went to it. Tasty little tricks like rippled pipes, that he fashioned after seeing the Choppertown DVD, and the rib across the tank to match the Led Sled rear fender, are small details but exactly what was needed in the sum total of the build. The pipes were a real find. They don’t make that 1 ¾” rippled tubing anymore and he found a length of it right in his hometown. The frontend came from another buddy Kyle, at the Harley dealer, and Roadside turned down the legs and had it all chrome plated. Rico and Eric from California passed along a Bates’ original seat, complete with sticker, that they could have scored big dough for. It was originally meant for Roadside’s Knuckle but it’s got a temporary home on the Pan. At least that is until he starts on the Knuck.

This isn’t a one man show, however. Roadside has a great team behind him and thanks everyone, especially his old man and mother who have supported him through it all. Tommy, his partner in this build, who he says is one of the best fabricators you’ll ever meet, made the fender struts, helped on the pipes and the whole mock-up. His machinist, Steve “Lil’ Chopper” McDonald, made all the spacers, headlight mount and anything else Marty threw at him. Dan Kramer was the guy who saved his ass on this one. After the engine components had been completely polished, Marty dropped one of the heads and broke the bottom fin off. Dan does all of his aluminum welding and fixed that fin so you can’t even tell it was touched. All the chrome work was done by Frank at Triangle Plating in St. Louis and gave Marty a real bro deal so he wanted to send him some love too. He credits all the work he does with his builds to these cats and says that none of what he does would even be possible without their ability to take his ideas and produce killer solutions from them. Last but certainly not least, Roadside wants to send a shout out to the man that makes all the hard work worth it in the end, Willie Perry, of Tropical Tattoo. “You give us all a reason to build cool bikes, Boss.”


Purple Haze Tech Sheet

Owner: Roadside Marty

City: Pensickola, FL

Fabrication By: Owner-Tommy Leonard- Lil Chopper

Year: 1965

Model: H-D

Time: 2 Years This Time

Value: Priceless


Year: 1965

Model: Pan

Builder: Owner/Shelton Davis (Dad)

Ignition: Points

Displacement: 74”

Pistons: 20 Over

Heads: Early w/ O-Ring Conversion

Cam(s): Andrews

Carb: Super E

Air Cleaner: Goodson

Exhaust: Bare Knuckle and Owner

Primary: 2” BDL


Year: ‘70 Something

Make: H-D Ratchet Top

Shifting: Only If It’s Not Tight


Year: Who Knows

Make: Paughco

Rake: No, Hate Yard Work

Stretch: When I Get Up


Type: Narrow / 39mm

Builder: H-D/Owner

Extension: Only On Unemployment Checks


Front Wheel:

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Speedmaster

Brakes: Wouldn’t Look Right

Rear Wheel: 40 Spoke

Size: 16”

Tire: Coker Speed Grip

Brakes: Juice


Painter: French Kiss Kustoms

Color: “Pimp Daddy” Purple

Type: Funky Flake

Graphics: A Few

Molding: Yep

Chroming: Triangle Plating


Bars: Flat Broke Customs

Risers: Stainless Tubing Thanks To Pops

Hand Controls: Stock Clutch Lever-Speed King Grips

Gas Tank(s): Paughco, Mustang, Reworked

Front Fender: Maybe Next Time

Rear Fender: Led Sled Flat Top

Seat: Original Bates

Foot Controls: Stock w/ Mid Pegs

Mirrors: Just One

Oil Tank: Stock Horseshoe

Headlight: West Eagle

Taillight: Fab Kevin

Speedo: Only On Vacation

Photography By: Geno Stull

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