ACME Choppers Springer Swap Live at Daytona
Article By: Chris Callen Photos By: Gene Stull, Jeff Cochran, Jason At Gas 33
So how do you improve upon perfection? Well, when you start with a bitchin’ sled like Roadside Marty’s “Purple Haze” from our February ’11 cover, it’s a pretty tall order. I mean as the “Haze” stood it was good enough to make the cover so how could you possibly better that? Leave it to Roadside and his keen eye for detail to scout the one addition that would absolutely put this bike over the top: the ACME Springer. We called Jason and Wayne up and asked them if they were down; the parts were shipped to Roadside and he was supposed to set all the tools up to have it ready for a live, on stage, tech tip during the Cycle Source/Limpnickie Lot Chopper Show in Daytona. Let’s just say most of the tools were there and the few that were needed provided a nice comedy break when McGoo from Biltwell began to holler out they needed a 13mm wrench.
The guys from ACME are ex-BMX racers and it’s been said that they might over- engineer their products. I can tell you after looking at the fine craftsmanship used in this build, all I can see is that this is how stuff should be. They take pride in their work and deliver products that give you way more than your monies worth. The job would entail replacing a stock 39mm frontend with an ACME Narrow Springer, neck cups with built in internal fork stop groove in the lower tree and a set of their Tbars. The Springer was flawless, 1.250”x .188” wall DOM tube rear legs and with solid .750 “ front legs, and an eight piece spring assembly for smooth operation. The Teflon filled delrin spring rod isolators keep it from being squeaky on the stainless steel spring rods. They use Torrington needled bearings in the rocker arms, the axle is as McGoo mentioned a sexy fit and finish to their Springer as well. It comes with a 4130 chromoly axle and stainless steel axle caps, and is clean and simple. Thier fork also comes with your choice of optional Billet aluminum top clamps, provide the option of using Harley style bolt-down risers or standard bolt up 1/2” -13 risers. The bars are polished stainless steel, and are spaced 3.5 inches to fit all stock Harley trees. The total retail for what we got from them for this installation comes to about $1500 and is a great value for the form and function we ended up with.
So with Tim from Papa Clutch as his somewhat unwilling assistant, Roadside hauled “Haze” up on stage in front of several hundred onlookers and began to strip her down for the new goods.
True to form, we set up a little work station like we would have at home. Tim starts to get the front wheel off and Roadside addresses his adoring public.
Here, Roadside grabs the towel from Farah Faucet’s seventies poster to cover up that badass French Kiss paint job.
Amazing precision is exhibited as Tim contiunes to work his ass off and Marty tells him what to do next. With the front wheel off, they move to the legs.
With the pinch bolts loose, our Dynamic Duo pops out the left leg, then the right. You want to take your time and be gentle here if you have nice chrome.
After both legs are out of the way, a couple of turns on the top nut releases the upper and lower tree. Roadside leaves the bars intact and just slides the throttle off.
Here, Marty demonstrates the proper use of the BFH and a brass drift to pop out the old neck bearing races. The new ones will have internal stops.
Here’s a close-up of the new race and internal fork stops. The nice thing is, once the roll pins are installed, the stops are completely hidden.
Using a threaded press, the guys begin to seat the new races. Lubrication is key here and you must be positive on alignment of the bottom race in relation to centering the tang for the fork stops to the frame.
With the new races in place and firmly seated, Roadside now drills four holes to accept the roll pins that will secure the cups to the frame.
Tim applies grease to the fork stem as Roadside has the top tree removed to prepare to slide the new frontend into position.
With the top tree installed and the hardware tightened, our team checks the position of the fork stops one more time before moving forward.
Here’s a little sneak peak of the end result. From this photo you can see there is clearly no comparison from the before to the after. The new profile that the ACME Narrow Springer gives “Purple Haze” takes it back to the day and beyond.
Roadside greases the ACME front axle as Tim steadies the wheel in position. Since our spacers were pre-made for this install, we’re sure it will be a good fit.
From this vantage point, you can see what I meant earlier about the axle being super clean; no big pertruding hardware.
Making the magic happen, McGoo hops into the mix to make sure these boys get the job finished in time for Roadside to give out trophies.
With the bars back in place, they are just moments away from the finished product. As they tighten the hardware here, I can’t help but realize what good brothers I have.
Everyone involved here busted their asses to make this happen, just inside an hour, live and with a minimal amount of tools or work space. In closing we just want to send one more dose of mad props to the cats who delivered the goods: ACME for the tight product, Roadside, Tim and McGoo for the hard work, Gene, Jason, and Jeff for helping us get it all on tape and camera, and most of all, Martin from Stone Edge for letting us turn his skatepark into a chopper shop for the afternoon.
Check out more of the killer products from ACME on line today and man, if your bag is building sick little tricks like “Haze” here, get a narrow Springer from them today!
ACME Choppers Laconia, NH www.acmechoppers.net