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Homegrown Chrome - Jay Gillikin's Rocker C

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Motorcycle USA sees tons of killer custom motorcycles courtesy of all the great bike shows we’re fortunate enough to attend. From the Easyrider tour to Rat’s Hole to the AMD World Championships in Sturgis, we’ve seen the best-of-the-best.

But we also realize that there are every-day riders out there who are just as proud of their bikes. These people are the ones tinkering on their bikes after the 9-5, working late into the night on weekends with their buddies and a cold six-pack. So we figured it was fine time to show the Everyman (and woman) out there some love by giving you, the readers, an opportunity to have your bike featured in the Cruiser section of Motorcycle USA.com. Whatever ride you’re rocking, be
The Carlini Handlebars and Vance   Hines Big Radius pipes add a mean streak to this custom Rocker.
Our first Homegrown Chrome features a custom 2009 Harley-Davidson Rocker C owned by Jay Gillikin out of Bastrop, Louisiana.
it a bobber, chopper, Harley, metric, radical custom or cool-ass rat bike, you’re eligible for our new ‘Homegrown Chrome’ feature. Every week we’ll look through the list of submissions and pick one for a layout like this one on Jay Gillikin’s customized 2009 Harley-Davidson Rocker C.
To get the ball rolling, we enlisted the services of our buddy Nick Maly of Cutting Edge Illusions. His crew can work magic with some paint and helped us out with Hutch’s 2009 Honda CBR600RR Project Bike. Nick gave us a few leads to start with but now we’re asking for submissions from you, the reader. Here’s the criteria:
We ask that you fill out the questions and specs at the bottom of the page or at least as many of them as you can. Tell us as much as possible about your custom motorcycle. Then send that info along with three or four photos of your motorcycle to mcusa_content2@hotmail.com Every week, we’ll go through our archive of submissions and pick one to feature that week. Simple as that.

Our first ‘Homegrown Chrome’ feature comes out of Bastrop, Louisiana. Jay Gillikin has taken a 2009 Harley-Davidson Rocker C. and given it a more aggressive stance by installing some Carlini bars, a Heavy Breather forward-facing intake and some Vance & Hines Big Radius Pipes. The Rockin' Reaper has a dark side with skulls on its hand controls and in the ghost flame paint job by Cutting Edge Illusions. We can picture Jay spooking the ‘gators as he goes ripping around the Louisiana bayous.

Builder – Harley-Davidson / Jay Gillikin
Hometown – Bastrop, Louisiana
Name of Bike – Rockin’ Reaper
Year/Model – 2009 Harley-Davidson Rocker C
Frame – Softail Rocker C
Engine Make/Size – 96 cubic-inch Twin Cam
Transmission – 6-speed H-D
Exhaust – Vance & Hines Big Radius
Front End – H-D narrow glide; Carlini handlebars (1.5” Clean Sweep); Heartland USA front fender
Rake - 36
Suspension – Arnott Air Ride Rear Suspension
Brakes – H-D
Wheels – H-D
Tires – Dunlop
Controls – H-D Custom, skulls on hand controls for brake and clutch
Paint – Cutting Edge Illusions

Tell us a little about your bike. How long have you been working on it?
Started working on the bike in May 2009. Stripped it down to the frame and engine. Sent tank and fenders to Cutting
Our first Homegrown Chrome feautures a 2009 Harley-Davidson Rocker C owned by Jay Gillikin of Bastrop  Louisiana.

True to its name, the Rockin' Reaper has ghost flame paint with plenty of skulls on the bike's covers and controls.

Jay Gillikins custom 2009 Harley-Davidson Rocker C
Edge Illusions for paint and art. Completed the current mods in August 2009.

What were some of the greatest obstacles to overcome in customizing the bike?
As with any new exploration, you learn as you go along. I found that many things became a challenge because I had never customized a bike before. Then again, I found that some things I thought would be difficult, were not that hard at all. The paint is what makes a bike in my opinion, but I can’t paint the way I want one painted. Cutting Edge Illusions takes that pain out of the equation. With that said, I guess the most time consuming part of the customizing project was the wiring.

Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been riding?
I started riding dirt bikes when I was 10 years old. Later in my teens, I took to riding street bikes. I always wanted a H-D, but could not afford one. Once I got to where I could afford a Harley, I was just too stretched out with other hobbies and time. I love to hunt as much as I like to ride, so it came down to choosing between two loves. Finally, when I turned 40, I realized I was not getting any younger and it was time to go after all my dreams. That is when I bought my first H-D.
What’s the first motorcycle you ever owned?
My first H-D was a Softail Standard. I completely customized that bike as well. New stretched tank, new front and rear fenders, new inverted front forks, new handlebars, new hand controls, new exhaust, Cutting Edge Illusions Paint (Demon Dreams), new seat, chrome engine kit, chrome front and rear wheels, new control cables, chrome covers, Legend Air Ride Suspension, etc.

Who inspired you to ride or wrench on motorcycles?
Nobody really, I just love to ride bikes. As far as wrenching, I guess after watching OCC on TV many times, I figured that if they can do it, so can I.

Want to see your custom motorcycle featured on Motorcycle USA.com? Cut and paste the info below into a word processing document, then fill out as many uestions below as you can, telling us a little about yourself and your bike. Then email it along with a few photographs to mcusa_content2@hotmail.com

Name/Builder –
Hometown –
Some evil paint from the guys at Cutting Edge Illusions.
If you're ever cruising through the Bastrop, Louisiana area, keep an eye out for the Rockin' Reaper.
Name of bike/project –
Year/Model –
Frame -
Engine Make/Size – (Also list any modifications)
Transmission –
Exhaust –
Front End –
Rake -
Suspension -
Brakes -
Wheels –
Tires –
Controls –
Paint –
Special features/modifications –

Tell us a little about your bike. How long have you been working on it?
What were some of the greatest obstacles to overcome in customizing the bike?
Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been riding?
What’s the first motorcycle you ever owned?
Who inspired you to ride or wrench on motorcycles?
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hastingsn   August 24, 2012 04:46 PM
Nice bike. Im diggin the skull.
Jay -2008 Rocker Suspension  August 4, 2010 02:51 PM
Frank, I put the air ride on all my bikes because it provides a much smoother and controlled ride. You have the option of riding high or low. If you air it up, you will not bottom out, unless you haul an elephant on your pylon.
frank -have 2008 rocker suspension  August 4, 2010 12:39 PM
why did you put on a new suspention. ive finilly found out after 2 years i have a bad neck on my rocker,but i feel that the reg suspension stinks. im only 135 lbs and i bottom out and with a passanger its worst.how is your suspintion?
milwaukee mike -Rockers are cool  April 5, 2010 08:28 PM
I own an Ultra Classic, but Rockers are a nice bike if you want a fairly sparse bar-hopper.
bryan harley -no control over photos  April 2, 2010 08:38 AM
Hello Tim B,

Thanks for checking out our newest feature. We don't have any control over the photos - they are submitted by readers. These came to us smaller than our standard 1024 X 768 size and couldn't be expanded without losing resolution.

Which brings up a good point. Advice for anybody who wishes to submit photos of their custom bikes, bigger is better. We can always trim 'em down.
Tim B -Custom Rocker C  April 2, 2010 03:37 AM
It looks like a really nice bike. I just wish I could see it. The photos are tiny compared to M-USA's typical photos!
Matt -clean lines.  April 1, 2010 02:52 PM
I like the fact that he closed the visual gap between the seat and fender. Always thought that was a bit of an eye sore on the production Rocker. Good Job.