I ran into Chopper Dan of Pine River, WI the owner of the "Resurection" at a couple of events, and after talking to him I decided this bike was Free Rider Press cover bound. So here's the story behind this "Old School Chopper".
I guess every bike has a story behind it, and the Resurection is no different!
I have been building old choppers for about four years now. I wish I had started earlier. I always wanted a chopper as a kid, but the money just wasn’t there. I remember when a good friend of mine let me ride his ‘72 sporty around the block. I fell in love with Harley’s that very day! The next week, I spotted an old ‘74 Harley Sportster and went straight to the bank; loan payment or NOT, I HAD to have it!
We all remember that first ride on the first Harley we ever owned. It is a feeling that we wish could go on for the rest of our lives. I drove that old Sporty for a couple of years and just had the feeling that I wanted to do something more with it but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. I am only 30
years old and didn’t get the opportunity to live in the old Chopper Days, so I didn’t know how to accomplish what I was going for. I wish I could’ve lived then, as I respect those that did and admire them for making some of the coolest motorcycle stuff in the world! No computerized machinery today can compare to what you guys made with your hands, old tools and machines of the old Chopper Days. The Resurection is dedicated to all of YOU!
So, I asked some of the old Harley guys how much it would cost to turn that Sporty into a chopper. They had the attitude "keep a dummy in the dark!” meaning, they wanted to keep you stupid and scare you off from working on your own bike in order to keep sucking money out of you. Well, as time went on, I just got bored with the old bike, so I sold it.
Some time later, my friend had his ‘72 Harley over at another friend’s, and I had to drive it home for him(being he did not have his licence). Boy, oh boy, there it was again, the HARLEY FEVER! This time was different tho. I had the attitude that I WOULD build a chopper and ignore everyone who tried to derail me!..... (best move I ever made!) I could go on and on about that first chopper, but maybe I will have a chance to tell that story at another time!
My first bike had been built for three years now, and I had done a couple of chops in between, for a relative and a friend of mine. Meanwhile, collecting all the weird chopper stuff just because I had to have it! I knew that I wanted to build myself another chopper since last winter. I also knew that I would put a great deal of pressure on myself to build this next bike. During the last three years I had gone through hundreds of old chopper magazines from the 70's, looking for ideas. I did not find any bikes that I
really wanted to create mine after, but I tell ya, now, I can look at pretty much any old chopper front-end or parts and tell you who made it, or sold it, in the old chopper days! The Resurection bike for me was the pay off of a lifetime, and let me tell you why!
During those three years that I was building chops for other people, I had tried on several occasions to build one for myself. It seemed like no matter what I would put together, or how many different handlebars, front-end seats, etc., that I tried.....nothing clicked. At this point, I was really feeling like a failure. Mostly, I wanted to take all of that unique and weird stuff from the old chopper days and put it all into one bike to make it all flow, and to appear as if it all originally belonged on the bike. You see so many of those old choppers from back in the 70's, that had some cool stuff on them, but a lot of it just looked just out of place like it didn’t belong there! In the worst way, I wanted to make this old chopper flow with all that odd stuff. Also fueling my fire, was all those magazines putting NEW style
choppers in their magazines and calling them OLD school! To me, that is a disgrace to all those old chopper guys, seeing these guys get credit for things they did not create. It seems to me, it is those guys from the beginning that had the most creative minds and should be getting the TV time and the magazine time and I truly hope they DO get their day in the sun!
One of my main focuses when I was building this bike was, I wanted to be able to call it a true Old School Harley Davidson Chopper! Meaning, I had to use part of the stock frame, and build upon that! Alright, lets get to the bike......I may confuse you a little here, so your gonna have to follow me! The Resurection was somewhat of a fluke!
One day, I decided that I would use this short Springer front-end I had that was really cool. The bike looked really cool on the bike rack. I thought things were finally looking up. Well, not so fast! I took the bike off the rack and when it got on the ground, it looked like crap! Meanwhile, I had taken a stock cradle of a old Sporty frame, and was trying to build a bike using this 12" over springer. Well, I goofed up, and ended up raking the neck too far. It just happened that I had an 18" overstock Smith Brothers and Fetrow diamond Springer front-end that I thought I would use down the road! Now, I had this frame sitting here that I had overdone on the rake, so I decided to just put this front-end on and mock it all up. I took the seat and gas tank off this short bike, and set them on a chassis I had mocked up. I stood back, and to my amazement, there it was! Just what I was looking for! The only problem was, I had to build a whole different frame because the neck length needed to be shorter to fit the Smith Brother’s front-end! At least now, I had a plan, and I was going to stick with!
From that day, to what you see now, was just like putting a puzzle together. Once those key pieces were in place, things just picked up speed, and all that cool neat stuff from 70's started to take shape! Next, came the paint. I can paint but I am no artist! So, I asked a good friend of mine, Wayne Christ, if he could do it. He had done a painting on a canvas, that I liked, so I asked if he thought he could put that on the tank. I also wanted lighting bolts all over the bike. Without Wayne’s skills in the art department, this bike would never have been fully completed. Wayne, I DO thank you!
The name Resurection was picked out half way during the building stage. What other name would fit a bike that has 97% of its parts from the original chopper days! Yes, this old bike, 9.5 feet long, rides like a dream! You get that pogo-effect going down the road. You old boys know what I am talking about! Again, this bike, The Resurection is dedicated to all of you!
Here are some specs on the bike:
» 1970 Sportster engine and cradle(frame)
» 18" overstock Smith Brothers and Fetrow front-end
» 5 spoke Invader mags
» Randy-style pike nuts(nos 70's)
» double Z- bars
» Ray Company pike risers
» Aee spinner mirror
» Aee coffin air cleaner
» D.S.C. coffin tail-light made by M@M Limited
» drag foot-pegs(Spanish tip style)
» Cheetah seat and sissy bar
» Gary Little John gas tank
» Aee triangle headlights(nos 70's)
» Hex oil tank made by A & J Mfg. Co.
» Aee aluminum Primary cover
» ALL stuff NO longer MADE today!
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