Article By: Milwaukee Mike
Photos By: Loki
Originally Published In The August 2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
This bike is a lesson in diversity as it can go from pure chopper to long distance rider in a short amount of time with minimal tools. The man behind this creation is Brent Law. Brent is a talented fabricator with an eye for style and quality of ride on all the bikes he and his brother Derek and the rest of the crew at Cycle Boyz Customs create on a daily basis. This build was a bit different for Brent as he was doing this one for himself and not for a customer. The usual constraints of what had to be on the bike were not there, with the exception of the biggest one, money. This bike was destined to be Brent’s calling card because he had already owned the bike once and had to sell it, while it was still in its mostly stock clothing, to fund the first ground-up build the boys did when they opened the shop seven years ago. Brent still knew the guy who bought it and he had the need for speed so a bike that Cycle Boyz was building was on target for what the guy wanted. A deal was struck and part of that agreement was the return home of the ‘81 FXS, this time for good.
This bike has a fair amount of history with Brent. It was the first bike he did any serious customization to. He had stretched the tanks and shoe-horned in a GSXR rear wheel (this was before the days of wide tire kits) so it was his initial proving ground for the great things that came after that. It was also special because he met most of his current riding buddies on that same bike. As it evolved, so did Brent’s talents as a fabricator. His friends encouraged him to make it his full time gig, and Cycle Boyz Customs was born. The first order of business on this build was to tear the bike completely down and sell off all the stock parts that would not be needed. Brent then kept his out-of-pocket very low by doing as much of the work as he could inhouse, starting with the frame. Brent started by cutting the frame at the seat post and the tranny mount using reproduction axle plates. He filled in the gaps and left an eight inch space between the plates. With a re-laced wheel and hub pushed to the right, there was enough space to use a juice brake setup from a ’67-‘72 Harley, keeping the Avon tire in the dead center of the bike.
Up front, a shaved and polished late model Sportster fork was used to keep the frontend narrow and clean. A thirty-six spoke front wheel off of a dirt bike was donated by the in-house mechanic, Tim. It was then drilled with 328 holes to lighten it up and give it the dramatic look that it sports. The rim was polished and mated to a JR’s narrow hub with Buchanan spokes and Brent said he had a devil of a time truing it up but persistence paid off, and the wheel now rolls straight, and looks great too. The first set of sheet metal consists of a Sporty tank that was narrowed, ribbed, frenched and flat bottomed. The rear fender is a Led Sled’s ribbed blank that was shrunk and held up with stainless struts made inhouse. It was then sent off to Blue Moon where it received the flake and plaid paint you see here. The handlebars, sissy bar, foot controls, pipes, pushrod tubes, motor mount, coil mount, taillight plate mount, jockey shift, air cleaner, and battery box, were all made by the talented hands at Cycle Boyz Customs.
The second set of sheet metal consists of an alien tank that the tunnel was lowered on and the petcock relocated so it would hold as much fuel as possible. Also, a frenched sight gauge and a brass fuel cap were made on the lathe at Cycle Boyz. The cap was then expertly engraved by Heather New to match the beautiful kicker pedal she did ages ago. The rear fender is again a Led Sled item that was shrunk to fit the s i z e o f the Avon tire. The tank and fender were sent to David Lozeau for the graphics. The rest of the striping was done by Brian Fidler. It is an odd thing to have two sets of metal for a bike but Brent did it for a good reason. In the past, he has had such trouble with paint not being done on time that he actually planned for it by sending off the first set and riding the bike in its second set which was done in white Krylon and Sharpie “tattoos.” It stayed like this for approximately 6 months. Unfortunately, lightning struck twice and the second paint job also took about 6 months to get back as well. Brent told me he is thinking of doing a third set but will pound it out of copper just so he doesn’t have to deal with paint on this bike again; time will tell. Brent told me that he can do the changeover from the first set to the second set (including bars, sissy bar, seat, shift knob, taillight, pipes, saddlebags, air cleaner, grips and pegs) in just under an hour. It’s his way of paying homage to the guys who started the chopper scene sixty years ago, and that’s the poor man’s way of owning two cool bikes. As he always says, buy the Harley you can afford and make it your own!
Derek Law, the other partner in Cycle Boyz Customs, rebuilt the engine and transmission. Both were torn down to bare cases and were in much better shape than expected seeing as Brent punished them both mercilessly when he owned them last. Derek rebuilt them even better than stock but kept it at 80 inches for reliability. They did bump up the compression and also installed a V-Thunder cam. Electronic ignition was pulled out in favor of a set of points (less is more) and was wired, with vintage cloth cover wiring, so only the basics were needed: key, headlight, and taillight. Brent would like to thank his wife and boys for understanding all the late nights as this entire bike was built after hours, Heather New for the wonderful engraving work, Raven Leather and Brian Fidler for tying the second paint job together with his pinstriping skills.
Señor Potato Head Tech Sheet
Owner: Brent Law
City: Brandon, Manitoba – Canada
Fabrication By: Cycle Boyz Customs
Time: 6 Months
Builder: Derek-Cycle Boyz
Carb: S&S Super E
Air Cleaner: Cycle Boyz
Shifting: 4 Speed Cowpie-Hand
Builder: HD/Cycle Boyz
Extension: 4 Under
Front Wheel: Takasage
Tire: Avon Speedmaster
Rear Wheel: V-Twin
Tire: Avon MKII
Brakes: Juice Drum
Painter: Blue Moon and David Lozeau
Color: Root Beer
Graphics: Brian Fidler-Pinstriping
Bars: Cycle Boyz Customs
Hand Controls: Nope
Gas Tank(s): Cycle Boyz Customs
Front Fender: None
Rear Fender: Cycle Boyz Customs/Led Sled
Seat: Cycle Boyz Customs/Raven Leather
Foot Controls: Cycle Boyz Customs
Oil Tank: Moon
Headlight: Cheap & Swifty
Taillight: Foundry Moto
Photo.By: Loki Photography / Damian Valora