Winter Project In The Bronx

Article By: Jeremy Johnson Photos By: Mark Velazquez

Originally Published In The March 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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Having to give up your bike is a hard thing to do but it always leaves open the opportunity that one day you can build another one. That’s how this little winter project of Tony’s came to be. Tony owned an Ironhead for about twenty years and like the rest of us, when times get hard the first things to go are the toys. Well, Tony sold his bike to some guy and went without a ride for two long years; that’s a long time for someone that had owned a bike for over twenty years. One day, Tony received a call from his friend Roy, owner of Caveman Cycles in the Bronx. There was a little Sporty job that a customer started building and couldn’t finish. It was a 1987 Sportster in a Paughco hardtail frame. There were a few other parts but the motor and frame was all that was needed for this builder. He stole the bike from the previous owner and went to work building his new chopper. Tony is a welder by trade so his skills and craftsmanship come in to play throughout this entire build. He started by stretching the Paughco frame in the rear section by two and a half inches to work in a little extra leg room. Once he got the frame where he wanted it, he went to work on the rest of the bike. Tony designed just about everything that you see on this bike. The gas tank was fabricated out of sixteenth inch sheet metal; if you haven’t ever built a gas tank, it’s no easy feat especially one with all straight edges. The pipes were all made out of scrap that he had lying around the shop and the fishtails were used to add a little flash and character. The cam cover you see here was cut down and polished; this always makes these Sportster motors look mean and racy. The forward controls, also Tony’s creation, are very clean and userfriendly. The h a n d l e b a r s were designed using multiple bars he had around his place. Of course he also made a n d modified t h e sissybar and the rear fender. Tony is very proud of this bike and really put it out there to make sure that he made just about everything on this build. One of my favorite parts is also something I would have done myself to save money. He found a five inch piece of electrical conduit, capped it off and made the crosses on the end covers; it works. Great motorcycles don’t always have to cost a ton of money. The neck of the Paughco frame was windowed out to give the front of the frame a more custom look.


Now, let’s g o on to the fun parts on this bike. Since Tony is a welder in his day job, he has some skills to offer up in trade for work. So after he had all the fab work done, it was time to cover the metal somehow. Well, low and behold, there was a guy opening a powdercoating shop that needed some welding done. So Tony got all of his powdercoating for the cost of his time. In my opinion, this is the way bikes should be; the barter system is still alive today. I had to ask who did the paint and he told me a Latino guy down at the Safe Way Towing Company by the name of Marco. He fixes and repairs paint on tow trucks for a living. Man, it doesn’t get any better than that. There hasn’t been any milliondollar motorcycle build touch this bike yet. Marco laid out a sweet paint job, the colors are impeccable, and it really brings the whole bike together. With all the c o a t i n g and paint finished, it was reassembly time. Tony had about four months in this entire build so it was just a little build for him. He’s open to do more bikes for other people but it’s going to be his way. He loves his style of bikes and is ready to start his next one which he already has lined up. So if you’re running around the Bronx and need a new chop, check him out.

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Tony D’s Winter Project Tech Sheet

Owner: Tony D

City: Bronx, NY

Fabrication By: Owner

Year: 1986

Model: Chopper




Year: 19864

Model: Sportster

Builder: HD

Ignition: Electric

Displacement: 1200

Pistons: Stock

Heads: Stock

Cam(s): Stock

Carb: Stock

Air Cleaner: Velocity Stack

Primary: Stock


Year: 1986

Make: H-D

Shifting: 4 Speed


Year: 2008

Make: Paughco Fabbed By Owner

Rake: None

Stretch: Rear Stretch 2 1/2”


Type: Springer

Builder: D&A

Extension: Stock

Triple Trees: N/A


Front Wheel: Spoke

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Venom

Brakes: None

Rear Wheel: Spoke

Size: 16”

Tire: Avon Gangster WW

Brakes: Jaybrake


Painter: Marko

Type: Urathrane

Color: Black & Blue

Molding: Some

Graphics: Skulls & Maltese Crosses

Powdercoating: Prodigy Performance/Joey


Bars: Apes-Owner

Risers: 4”

Hand Controls: 2

Gas Tank(s): Owner

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: Owner

Seat: Owner & Pete

Foot Controls: Owner

Oil Tank: Owner

Taillight: Maltese Cross

Headlight: Yes

Speedo: No

Photographer: Mark Velazquez

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