The idea was to take a 1978 Schwinn Collegiate Sport frame, some early '80s funky BMX forks and a convertible tank of unknown origin, and build something inspired by the wild show/drag motorcycles of the '60s and '70s. I started with my failed attempt at a MBBO entry:
...and ended up with something longer, lower, even skinnier, and a whole lot prettier.
(Build thread HERE)
I cut the rear of the frame loose, and designed new seatstays, extended chainstays and fixed gear drop outs which were welded into place with help from Lee McNeese at Trashman Re-Cycles in Simi, CA. Thanks to workspace and advice from Sam Freeman at Freeman Cars in Santa Barabara, I cut down a convertible tank from some unknown kids bike, which we welded and molded into place before I sprayed bronze and gold Duplicolor/VHT basecoats and covered it in Roth Flake Spray Bomb Daffodil Killer and Finkster Green flakes and pearls, buried in 2K clear.
The headlight from some 50cc scooter was converted to LED using guts from a Harbor Freight flashlight, zip ties and a soldering iron before I painted it and Dave Wyckoff striped it for me.
Wheels were stripped of anodizing using Easy Off oven cleaner before polishing. The front Velocity Blunt rim was laced radially to a GT hub, and wrapped in a 700-28C Schwalbe Century tire, while the rear is an old Nirve rim, race-laced to a '70s-era Shimano coaster brake hub, and wearing a 26x2.125 Jerald sulky slick. It's held on using track nuts and dropout protectors from Pork Chop BMX.
The drivetrain was finished off with an Izumi black/gold chain and 155mm Insight cranks that were painted and striped to match up with the rest of the Schwinn.
A Woody's "Chopped Chort" fender sits under a Slowriderz stainless layback seatpost supporting a Brooks B72 seat in the rear. Meanwhile up front, 8" aluminum risers hold chrome drag bars that were narrowed 11" before having NOS Coppertone Schwinn grips applied. To protect the paint when the fork locks over, a set of Walnut Studiolo leather grips were applied to the upper fork tubes.
I only attend a couple of bike shows each year, but it feels like everybody is chasing the same style - fatter and fatter wheels and wilder, longer frames made from huge tubing. I wanted to build a bike more in line with what I like, and what I see custom motorcycle builders are making now, and not what Paul Yaffe was building fifteen years ago. Hopefully, I achieved that goal.