Fantastically Easy Harley-Davidson Customs

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Speedster SS

The Speedster SS carries on the revolutionary cleanliness and cleverness of the Speedster that got here earlier than it.

Brian Blades

This text was initially revealed within the April-Might 1997 problem of Cycle World’s Huge Twin journal.

After you ask John Buttera to speak about customized bikes, stand again a number of steps, lest you get singed by the muzzle blast of his opinionated reply. “Bikes are within the weird stage,” begins his high-decibel response. “They’ve obtained ribbon paint jobs, Salvador Dali-looking fuel tanks—they’re weird, they’re gross,” he fumes, his voice rising an octave because it builds steam. “The fenders they’re placing on them appear to be they’re dripping throughout to the place you’ll be able to’t see the form of the bikes anymore.”

By now, similar to a Southern preacher, Buttera has reached a crescendo. “I noticed a motorbike the opposite day with a giraffe painted on it,” he laments, beginning to tempo the ground. “Now, while you’re in your storage your bike, questioning what is going to make it an excellent customized, at what level do you flip to your buddy and say, ‘GIRAFFES! That’s what it wants. An enormous giraffe on the tank!’” Buttera then appears to be like to the heavens for a bit of divine clarification, pausing for a second in what seems to be inconsolable sorrow. Then, in a low voice, he asks, “What does a giraffe probably should do with the form of one thing mechanical? In case you like giraffes, put an image of 1 in your wall, however take it off your bike. I imply, am I fully lacking the purpose right here?”

That rhetorical query brings us to the essence of Buttera’s troubled soul, and the philosophy behind the 2 marvelous customs pictured right here. Li’l John Buttera is among the most revered and completed customized builders on the planet, and the theme of his bikes is simplicity. If one thing doesn’t make the bike work higher, it doesn’t go on. His principle is bike has two wheels, a motor, a spot to take a seat and a factor to hold onto. Every thing else detracts from the essential design.

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orange and black custom

No Salvador Dali-looking fuel tank right here.

Brian Blades

Thus, he creates equipment alongside primary, environment friendly strains, and he’s been doing it for a very long time. His bikes are slender, gentle and quick. And so they put on no chrome.

So, while you examine the spare strains and utter lack of geegaws on these two creations, when you understand how Buttera has labored untold hours to design frames, tanks, fenders and swingarms that use minimal mass to get the job accomplished, then you definitely perceive how a giraffe on a motorbike would drive him mad.

Considered one of these bikes, the Speedster SS, is an evolution of Buttera’s unique Speedster, a limited-production customized featured within the Fall, ’96 problem of Huge Twin. That bike was revolutionary within the cleanliness and cleverness of its design, and the brand new one is an excellent higher customized, largely as the results of a partnership Buttera not too long ago struck with acclaimed hot-rod builder Boyd Coddington. And like its predecessor, the Speedster SS is in restricted manufacturing on a per-order foundation.

Lots of the refinements between that first Speedster and the SS mannequin have been closely influenced by Chip Foos, chief designer at Coddington’s enormous car- and bike-customizing operation in Stanton, California. Foos smoothed the contours of the fuel tank and fenders, making an already-stunning bike into one thing nearly otherworldly.

Speedster SS

The contours of the fuel tank and fenders have been smoothed out to make a fantastic customized even higher.

Brian Blades

The opposite bike pictured right here, a black-and-orange customized owned by Ed Department, is as elegant in design because the Speedster, although with a extra big-shouldered, cumbersome look. Department had Buttera construct him one other customized a few years in the past, a blue magnificence just like this one, and though he was fairly glad with it, he felt the essential design had much more potential. So, Department commissioned this practice to permit Buttera the prospect to increase upon the unique idea. The bike accommodates quite a few one-off items, however surprisingly, it additionally entails plenty of unique Harley-Davidson components.

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The opposite man on this new child partnership, Boyd Coddington, is actually a customizing legend in his personal time. His four-wheel creations have received so many awards in recent times that just about each new automobile he unveils is predicted to raise the requirements of customized craftsmanship and creativity. Again in his hot-rod days within the ’70s and ’80s, Coddington received Automotive Craft’s Builder Of the 12 months award six instances, for excellence in fabricating High Gas and Humorous Automobiles; and he’s the one man to be awarded NHRA’s greatest engineering award for all three professional lessons: High Gas, Humorous Automotive and Professional Inventory.

Clearly, Coddington understands that in race equipment, weight is the enemy; and he has begun making use of his loathing of superfluous poundage to the artwork of motorcycle constructing. That, and his admiration for designs that bespeak effectivity, makes him the proper customizing associate for Buttera.

orange and black custom

Huge-shouldered and hulking, however nonetheless merely stunning.

Brian Blades

Certainly, each males remedy issues and meet challenges with ingenuity fairly than know-how, with the appliance of creativeness fairly than with the addition of . As Buttera says, “It takes extra expertise to make one factor do two jobs than to make two issues do one job.”

When Li’l John Buttera makes such daring statements, he isn’t simply speaking the discuss; as evidenced by his bikes, he additionally clearly can stroll the stroll.

SPEEDSTER SS
Proprietor John Buttera
Designer John Buttera, Chip Foos
Fabricator Robin Hermansen
PAINT
Paint Greg Morrell
Graphics Scorching Rods by Boyd’s
Molding Greg Morrell
ENGINE
12 months 1996
Mannequin Evo
Displacement 80 cu. in.
Ignition Inventory
Coils/wires Inventory
Decrease finish Inventory
Circumstances Inventory
Pistons Inventory
Heads Inventory
Cam Inventory
Lifters Inventory
Valves Inventory
Carb Mikuni
Air cleaner Boyd’s air horn
Pipes Speedster
TRANSMISSION
12 months 1996
Kind Inventory
Clutch Inventory
FRAME
Make Speedster
Builder John & Chris Buttera
FRONT FORK
Make White Energy
Kind Speedster
REAR SUSPENSION
Make Fournales
Kind Softail shocks
FRONT WHEEL/TIRE
Wheel Boyd’s
Tire Avon
Tire dimension 90/90-19
Rim width 2.15”
Brake Speedster
REAR WHEEL/TIRE
Wheel Boyd’s
Tire Avon
Tire dimension 180/60-18
Rim width four.5”
Brake Speedster
ACCESSORIES
Handlebar Speedster
Entrance fender Speedster
Rear fender Speedster
Headlight Speedster
Electrics Chris Buttera
Fuel tank Speedster
Major cowl Speedster
Seat Speedster
Footpegs Speedster
Foot controls Speedster
Grips Speedster
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ORANGE AND BLACK CUSTOM
Proprietor Ed Department
BASE MACHINE
12 months 1995
Mannequin Fats Boy
Designer John Buttera
Fabricator Tiki Alvarez
PAINT
Paint Greg Morrell
Graphics Scorching Rods by Boyd’s
Molding Greg Morrell
ENGINE
12 months 1995
Mannequin Evo
Builder Robert Sands
Displacement 80 cu. in.
Ignition Crane
Coils/wires Crane
Decrease finish Inventory
Circumstances Inventory
Pistons J&E
Heads Patrick
Cam Crane
Lifters Crane
Valves Black Diamond
Carb S&S Tremendous E
Air cleaner S&S
Pipes Thunder Header
Different mods Heads ported
TRANSMISSION
12 months 1995
Kind Inventory
Clutch Inventory
FRAME
12 months 1995
Make H-D
Kind Fats Boy
Builder Chris Buttera
Swingarm Boyd’s
FRONT FORK
Make Boyd’s
Kind Speedster
FRONT WHEEL/TIRE
Wheel Boyd’s prototype
Tire Dunlop Elite SP
Tire dimension 120/80-16
Rim width three.5”
Brake H-D
REAR WHEEL/TIRE
Wheel Boyd’s prototype
Tire Dunlop Elite SP
Tire dimension 150/80-16
Rim width four.5”
Brake H-D
ACCESSORIES
Handlebar Speedster
Entrance fender Tiki Alvarez
Mirrors Drag Specialties
Fuel tank Tiki Alvarez
Rear fender Tiki Alvarez
Headlight H-D nacelle
Taillight Tiki Alvarez
Electrics H-D
Speedo VDO
Fuel tank Tiki Alvarez
Major cowl Boyd’s
Seat Boyd’s
Footboards Boyd’s
Foot controls Boyd’s
Grips H-D

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