Brian Hubbs owns and operates Big Pimpin’ Cycles
in Schenectady, New York and his recent project, “Lizard King,” pays homage to the late Doors
frontman, Jim Morrison.
Hubbs, a devoted fan of “good, old school rock,” is a self-taught customizer. He cut his teeth as a boy in the ‘80s wrenching on whatever he could make go fast, and as an adult he’s worked as a welder and ironworker since the early 2000s.
In 2005 he picked up a 1985 Harley-Davidson FXR which he decided to rebuild from the frame up, paint and all. The following years saw Hubbs refine his abilities and by February 2012 he decided to open Big Pimpin’ Cycles to the public as a repair/paint shop. The following year he got his hands on a 1983 CB650SC Nighthawk and the “Lizard King” project was born.
The Hawk was only $250 and didn’t run. Hubbs stripped the bike to its bare bones and re-ported the engine, polished the head, added a 6Sigma Jet Kit and new Accel ignition coils. He then fit custom-bent double-barrel shotgun exhaust pipes. New wiring and a fresh air cleaner rounded off the work necessary to get the “Lizard King” back in business.
Hubbs also fashioned his own hardtail and fabbed up a used Harley rear fender to suit the aesthetic of the bike. The battery box underneath the seat is custom built from sheet brass and features the visage of the “Lizard King” himself. Above the box is an in-house designed stainless-steel seat with one-off leather work. Hubbs also did the leather wrapping on the speedometer and reservoir covers as well. One of the only pieces on the build to be ordered are the custom hand grips, which Hubbs sourced from Deadhorse Custom Leather. They are hand-tooled and feature “Mojo” on the left and “Rising” on the right, adding another styling tribute to Morrison.
The tank is a modified Harley Sportster peanut and the tank cap is fashioned from an old ‘70s-era belt buckle. Other unique touches include the 3/8” twisted brass-stock brake and shift rods and modified bicycle-pedal foot pegs. There are numerous brass spikes found all over the machine, accenting the no-bull$%!@ feel conveyed by the Colt .45 hollow point shifter peg and custom taillight made from a surplus grenade.
Hubbs did all the paint work himself in house as well, customizing the carbs and frame and utilizing a Rootbeer Candy over silver nugget base for the tank and fender. He also threw in 24k gold flake and lime accents for good measure and covered it all in House of Kolor Urethane Show Klear.
This isn’t the end of Hubbs’ work honoring game changing musicians of the past century either. He’s calling the series of machines dedicated to “27 Club” artists his “Hoodlum Projects” and the second bike is already in the works. It’s a 1978 Kawasaki 750 that will honor Jimi Hendrix and bear the name “Voodoo Child.” Hubbs also plans to do a bike in memory of Janis Joplin and others in the “27 Club,” the inextricably long list of musicians that have died at the age of 27.