If the industrial design of Chris Flechtner’s “Beezerker” comes across sharp as a samurai sword, there’s good reason. Flechtner studied the art of restoring antique swords in Japan and some of the skills he learned as a metallurgist are reflected in his work as a custom bike builder. These days Flechtner’s fabricating skills seem to be paying off in the custom motorcycle world as well. Fletchner's “Beezerker” claimed
'Beezerker' is a combination of hand fabrication, homemade parts and innovative design. The unique custom motorcycle earned Chris Flechtner of Speed Shop Design first place in the FreeStyle Class at the Seattle Ultimate Builder Show.
the $3000 first prize money as winner of the FreeStyle Class in Seattle’s Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. His creation was also a fan favorite, earning the “People’s Choice” award as well.
Flechtner’s build is a combination of aluminum and stainless steel in its elemental state and blends both art deco and steam punk design. Flechtner, owner of Speed Shop Design
, said “Beezerker” began as a design exercise to create a front end from sheet metal that resulted in the creation of a girder fork supported by a mountain bike shock. The design has a twist, though, as the fork pivots around a stationary front light. He then put his ability to creatively craft metal to good use when fobbing up the unique tank and seat, beating 3003 aluminum into shape by hand.
The dual-purpose tail section, which serves as both a seat hump and rear fender, has ceramic coated tubes lining the inside which serve as an exhaust outlet. Flechtner ingeniously ran the headers under the engine’s crankcase and into the bottom of the frame where they run up behind the transmission before exiting out of the seat hump. Another slick trick Flechtner devised was using the frame’s down tube to house the oil tank.
For power, “Bezeerker” sources a 650cc A65 Twin from a 1965 BSA. It was rebuilt with stock internals, except for the carb which was swapped out for a SU from an MG Midget.
The engine is about the only thing Flechtner didn’t create himself. Besides the frame and bodywork, he made his own mechanically-actuated rear sprocket brake as well as a twist clutch and internal throttle for the front. The narrow, café-bent bars have stainless steel grips modeled after ones from a Schwinn BMX bike. The motorcycle is commendable for its unique design, top-notch metal work, and elemental construction. Many parts are multi-functional and there’s nothing on this motorcycle that doesn’t serve a specific function. “Bezeerker” has been making the rounds, winning “Best of Show” at the LA Calendar Show and placing second in the Metric class at the Sturgis AMD World Championships of Custom Bike Building
Joe Cooper of Cooper Smithing Co. was all smiles after taking home the top prize in the Hot Bike Modified Harley Class for his 1999 XL1200 called GunBaby. You might say GunBaby came full circle after winning its class at the show as it started as a project Cooper built almost three years ago. The bike made its way back to Cooper so he set about rebuilding the tail section, which serves as an oil tank, refashioning the rear sprocket so the alloy Buell wheels could
Joe Cooper gets the award for twisting up the coolest pipes in the show for these wicked two-into-ones on Gun Baby.
support a chain final drive, and by touching up details like the timing cover. “GunBaby” features a 74 cubic-inch Harley V-Twin with a custom intake, ported heads and free-flowing exhaust. Speaking of exhaust, Cooper twisted up some wicked two-into-one pipes for this build. Instead of paint, the steel was etched and then dipped in acid to create a unique finish. For those who say custom motorcycles are strictly showpieces, “GunBaby” looks like it’d be a blast to ride.
Cyclpath out of Kirkland, Washington, was representing in Seattle as three of its motorcycles placed in the show. Jay Bennett’s 1954 Harley-Davidson
“Hummer,” a bike built by Cyclpath, won the Retro Modified Class. Cyclpath’s interpretation pays homage to the original as it sources a 165cc two-stroke Harley engine and its tele-glide front fork remains intact, albeit minus the front fender and struts. Beefier wheels, a racing stripe down the middle of the tank and a number plate add a little pizzazz to its otherwise classic lines. Another Cyclpath custom, a 1984 Harley-Davidson FXWT owned by Scott Larson, took third in the same class while Ron Balich’s “Cyclpath Sickle,” an Evo-powered 1994 H-D FLST with a 23-inch tall spoked front hoop, a slammed rear and tons of chrome, grabbed second place in the Modified Harley Class.
Round Four of the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show is in the books, but seven more rounds remain before the grand finale in Daytona Beach during Bike Week, where prize payouts double and prestige magnifies ten-fold as the best-of-the-best battle head-to-head. The next stop, though, will be in Novi, Michigan, from Jan. 6-8. In addition to cash prizes, winners of the Ulimate Builder series also receive entry into the 9th annual AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building held during Sturgis in August.