This text was initially printed within the December 2000 situation of Bike Cruiser.
Do you bear in mind being 15 years previous? Actually no different transition in our grownup lives compares to the crossroads of puberty. Whenever you’re 15, you’re on a rickety suspension bridge linking a discipline of daisies to an amorphous black gap. However tucked amidst the pimples and perplexity is one gleaming chalice rewarded the adolescent—the coveted driver’s license. Invoice Collier thought he’d throw his son the keys to a bike, too.
It actually wasn’t that stunning that son Justin would accumulate his first motorbike 5 months earlier than his 16th birthday. His childhood routine was most boys’ fantasies. He and his youthful brother, Bryce, have been using bikes since they had been Three-years-old (a Honda V-50 with customized coaching wheels) and racing NHRA Junior dragsters since age eight. Then there have been the scooters, quads and mini racebikes hanging across the yard.
And Justin didn’t have a mom inclined to worry. Pam Collier even let her pubescent son borrow her private mount every now and then. At the moment Pam was using a Harley-Davidson Sportster, which she traded in for the beautiful Honda Magna we featured within the August 2000 situation. (She’s since bought the Magna and is between bikes.)
Not solely was Justin at house behind the controls of such severe toys, but in addition he was skilled in design and fabrication. By the point he and his father determined to customise Justin’s Shadow VLX, the 15-year-old had already received awards within the NHRA for the engineering and visible design of his automobiles.
The VLX wasn’t bought with radical customizing in thoughts, nonetheless. It obtained new paint, pipes and a jet package and was fortunately ridden off into the sundown…not less than for some time. When Invoice determined to open Basic Cruisers Inc., a metric cruiser store in Orlando, Florida, he instantly wanted a style plate for the Freeway Hawk equipment he supposed to promote. Invoice and Pam’s Harleys merely wouldn’t do, so the little VLX was thrown onto the drafting board, and Justin was handed the pencil.
Up till that time, Invoice had been a Harley man of some ardour. He remembers using along with his buddies at some point (lots of whom rode Japanese cruisers) they usually stopped by a neighborhood Harley store searching for a component. “We walked in and my buddy requested for an acorn nut for his Honda. They mentioned they didn’t promote components for Jap bikes and turned us away. Having been a enterprise proprietor I used to be standing there considering this man simply misplaced a sale…and for no purpose. Harley is simply a small a part of enterprise for distributors like Drag Specialties, Tucker Rocky and Biker’s Selection. And this man might have simply as simply regarded up the half in a type of catalogs and ordered the acorn nut.”
From Tiny Acorn Nuts…
Newton might have been hit on the top with an apple, however for Invoice it was that acorn nut. “At some point I got here house and simply mentioned, ‘I wish to open a motorbike retailer for metric cruisers.’” Three months later Basic Cruisers, Inc. was in enterprise.
Amazingly the VLX customized challenge took lower than six weeks to finish and the vast majority of the modifications had been simply carried out. The bike was unveiled at Florida’s Biketoberfest in 1998 and Freeway Hawk’s bolt-on baubles included the handlebar, mirrors, grips, headlight visor, driver and passenger pegs, horn cowl, rear axle cowl, oil gauge and swingarm caps, in addition to covers for the radiator, air cleaner and regulator. The entrance and rear fender blanks had been additionally from Freeway Hawk, though they had been lower and customised by the Colliers. “Essentially the most troublesome factor was becoming the rear tailsection,” says Invoice. “It’s a one-piece unit with molded, non-removable aspect panels. Justin lower them out and tailored inserts from Honda fenders.” This fashion simply the fender sections may very well be eliminated for battery and different entry as an alternative of your complete tail part. All of the bodywork is from Freeway Hawk together with the gas tank, which grasp automotive fabricator Timmy Takash stretched. Takash additionally changed the aspect fills with a single aircraft-style gasoline cap system.
The opposite a part of the bike that “took some doing” was relacing the spoked wheels after Buchanan’s constructed them. The VLX has 64 spokes on the entrance and 48 on the again…fairly a couple of greater than the normal 40 depend discovered on Harleys. Area Coast Platers in Florida carried out all the opposite chroming. Cobra Engineering made the Fatty Upsweep pipes that give this bike symmetrical attraction and Customized Chrome sells the Magnum rear flip alerts, Rick Doss entrance flip alerts and headlamp and Mirage speedo visor. Customized Chrome can also be the place the Colliers acquired the additional trick Scooter Lab customized rear taillight. In case you look carefully you’ll see the fiber-optic tube that stands out of the lens cowl. Contained in the meeting, the tube extends all the way down to the middle of the bulb to select up mild and challenge it onto the license plate. Speedo and throttle cables on the Shadow are a product of Movement Professional, and the entrance brake line is Goodridge U.S.A. Mustang Bike Merchandise is answerable for the critically stepped seat. And, getting again to the acorn nut enterprise—all nut covers had been bought from Jardine.
Denny Berg Vamps Up A 1999 Honda Shadow VLX—From The Archives
From common to superior in 26 minutes
Invoice had supposed to refurbish your complete engine as soon as the bike was taken aside, however determined in opposition to it as soon as testing confirmed that despite the fact that it had seen 23,000, miles the 600cc twin was in good situation. “It would as properly have been a brand-new, freshly rebuilt motor,” he says. The one adjustments had been the addition of a Manufacturing unit Professional jet package, the crimson plug wires (which had been tailored from a Harley-Davidson software) and separate Ok&N filters. “We put particular person air cleaners on it and did away with the precise air field. It nonetheless has the form there, but it surely’s merely for appears.” The Colliers report this VLX is fairly darn quick for its measurement too. “It has no downside maintaining with 1400 and 1500s,” stories Invoice.
Though the bike’s form and definition is actually hanging, it’s the paint that stops folks of their tracks. Justin had at first envisioned a wild, dynamic paint scheme for the VLX, however because the bike had a job to do, a extra refined possibility was determined upon. The intense, shiny crimson paint (’82 Toyota Celica GT Pink) was purposefully employed to attract a crowd, however because it’s uniform, it didn’t distract from the styling and equipment the Colliers wished to intensify. And draw the crowds it does. Most individuals don’t understand it’s Japanese at first sight. The truth is, the Colliers have had folks argue with them on the purpose. “It’s the funniest factor,” says Invoice, “We’d have these massive scruffy-looking biker guys with 10,000 tattoos come up and look all around the bike…however as quickly as they came upon it was a Honda they’d all go operating off.”
However the unveiling of the VLX occurred three years in the past. Justin Collier is now 18-years-old and dealing for Timmy Takash as a designer and fabricator whereas finding out to earn his engineering diploma. Basic Cruisers is kicking butt constructing metric cruisers for an infinite clientele. There have been a whole bunch of motorcycle initiatives because the day the Colliers handed their 15-year-old son the keys to a inventory burgundy Honda, and the success has made the household starvation for extra alternatives. Invoice plans to unleash a brand new customized at Biketoberfest 2000 that’s certain to stir issues up. He’s taken a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 L, transformed it from shaft to belt drive and sunk the works right into a Kenny Boyce Professional Avenue FXR body. You’ll be able to wager we’ll hold you posted on that improvement.
When the Colliers can squeeze a while away from the store they exit for a journey, Invoice on his work-in-progress Kawasaki Nomad and Pam on one of many many customized bikes (typically the VLX). “It’s the perfect remedy,” says Invoice. “I couldn’t pay the perfect psychiatrist on the earth to provide me what a half-hour of motorcycling does.” However the Colliers might design that physician one heck of a bike.