Oops, he did it again! LA Speed Shop’s Chris Richardson continues to crank out world class customs and became the back-to-back winner of the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show in Long Beach this past weekend. The dual carb-fed Knucklehead features a handmade Springer, gas tank, bars and hubs spooned into an original 1927 Harley-Davidson JD frame.
Chris Richardson of LA Speed Shop is making a habit of winning. Seems like everything Richardson touches lately turns to gold as he became the back-to-back winner of the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show in Long Beach this past weekend, edging out Spitfire Motorcycles’ Paul Cavallo for first place in the Freestyle Class. Richardson’s motorcycle called “Benji Stacks” has a timeless board tracker-inspired design with a replica Knucklehead engine and an original 1927 Harley-Davidson JD frame. Richardson’s bike also won the Artistry in Iron competition in Las Vegas a couple months back, a show he has also won two years running.
Richardson is making a name for himself with his attention to detail and by creating regal looking motorcycles stripped down to their essentials. “Benji Stacks” is a perfect example. A simple spoked hoop paves the way, tall, fenderless and brakeless. Richardson twisted up a slick Springer to mount it on and keep the front end tidy with the addition of a small classic round headlight. In board tracker fashion, the bars are turned down and the bars are kept clean with an internal throttle and the absence of gauges. He took the original 1927 Harley-Davidson JD frame and integrated 1927 dimes into its backbone, then built dual tanks around the exposed tubing. The replica 1947 Knucklehead is mated to an open belt primary, but a short chain provides the final push to the rear wheel. Two small springs on the sheet pan of the custom leather seat (done by Riff Raff Leather) are all the cushion you’re going to get from the rigid rear. Richardson’s decision to run a sprotor brake on the back wheel keeps the back end as uncluttered as the front. Metal flake paint and gold trim by Headcase Kustom Art helped seal the deal for Richardson and LA Speed Shop, no small feat considering Cavallo’s chopper called “Rollin’ Bones” with its 1951 Panhead engine and all original parts was worthy in its own right.
Another SoCal local, Todd Silicato of Todd’s Cycle out of Huntington Beach, won the Hot Bike Modified Harley Class and the $2000 prize that went along with it for his racy 2004 Harley-Davidson Softail. Silicato does what he does best, making the Softail more performance-oriented by cutting down the rake and swapping out the fork, adding dual discs on the front, switching out the intake, running custom pipes and repositioning the foot controls under the rider. With the Mooneyes event, the David Mann ChopperFest and the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show all going on this weekend, Silicato couldn’t be there in person to pick up his award, so Hot Bike’s Editor Eric Ellis graciously stepped in for him. Ellis and the $2000 check haven’t been seen since. (Just poking fun at our friend, of course!)
(L) Winner of the ‘Most Bizarro’ award at Long Beach, this 2003 Aprilia Futura built by Dugally MADercycles. (M) On the more traditional side is the Hot Bike Modified Harley winner built by Todd’s Cycle. (R) ‘Brown Sugar’ is the name given to this ultra-clean 1964 Triumph TR6 built by Tony Dunn and Classic Cycles, Inc., winners of the Retro Mod Class.
Winners in the other two categories were Stephen Lacy, who took first place in the Retro Mod class for his 1964 Triumph TR6 built by Tony Dunn of Classic Cycles, and Tony Sesto, whose custom 2011 Yamaha R6 known as “Copper Killer” rode away with top honors in the Performance Custom category. The Retro Mod class is proving to be a great addition to this year’s shows. The category includes modified motorcycles that are at least 25 years old and was created so older bikes aren’t automatically lumped into the Freestyle class. The final award of the day went to Rudy Martinez for his 1969 Triumph Bonneville affectionately called “Bloody Mary” for its blood red paint job on an ultra-clean bobber.
The front end of the Crocker C4 concept motorcycle gets its design from aircraft landing gear technology.
Another motorcycle that garnered a lot of attention by attendees to the Long Beach show was the Crocker C4 concept bike. Crocker Motorcycles CEO Michael Schacht said the C4 represents “A possible look into the future of Crocker.”
The Crocker C4 was originally developed back in Canada in 2006-07. As with many motorcycle projects, it started off as drawings before evolving
into the production stages. According to Schacht, the concept was partly the result of people who kept asking about a modern version of the Crocker, a company which originally made motorcycles from 1933-1942 before it started making aircraft parts and continued in the avionics industry. The company restarted making parts for original bikes in late 1999 and started providing owners with them cut from their original patterns.
Just about everything on the Crocker C4 is handmade – frame, fenders, tank, fork, swingarm, wheels. It features a non-concentric hub on both front and rear. They are knock off hubs and loosening the pinch bolt lets you move the hub around the circle with an adjustment of two-inches, allowing riders to adjust the rake and trail. Crocker came up with the single-sided swingarm after studying aircraft landing gear, a swingarm which includes a small opening for the chain to run through. The front of the bike has an air scoop design fashioned after the scoops on the hood of a 1966-67 GTO. Its single piece wheels were cut from billet by their CNC machine. The engine features Crocker cases and cylinders with centered spark plugs on homemade rocker boxes, but Schacht says he’s looking at going back to Hemi as original Crocker engines had Hemi heads. It does have an original Crocker headlight housing on it, but its internals have been swapped out for a seven lens parabola light. Suspension on the rear was done by Penske and Schacht said the limited production motorcycle would be “fitted to the customer like a fine suit.”
The FreeStyle Class entry from Dalton Walker and Split Image Customs features a Harley Evo V-Twin with copper oil lines, an aluminum oil tank and this great-looking Springer front end.
Our Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show insider said there weren’t as many bikes entered in Long Beach as Dallas, but added there were more “quality” bikes in LB. Big Boy Choppers and Rock &Roll Custom Paint had a couple of their projects on display as featured shops. The next round of the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show series will be held in Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center from Dec. 16-18. If you’re at the show, be sure to vote in the “People’s Choice” award so that you are automatically entered to win the custom 2011 Honda Fury we’re giving away as sponsors of the show, with the winner being announced at the final round of the Ultimate Builder competitions in Daytona Beach during Bike Week 2012.