Wayne Ahlquist, the proprietor of Acme Choppers of New Hampshire, has witnessed the spectacle of excess that is Laconia Bike Week, so he has cultivated some very strong ideas about what constitutes a finely crafted custom motorcycle. As most of us on ChopCult see it, and Wayne appears to concur, the true beauty of a hand-built bike lies in its design—not its decoration. As everyone who has visited New England's biggest biker hoedown knows, the same can not be said for most of the trailer queens and billet barges that congregate at Laconia in Acme's back yard.
With a clear picture of what he didn't want Acme Choppers to look like or stand for, Wayne Ahlquist set about designing a line of frames, forks and accessories for the discerning garage builder. A shining example of Acme's mission is their loop tail frame for Harley big twins.
Acme offers their hardtail frame in two neck angles (30° or 34°) and two front triangle geometries. These photos show the 30° model with 1.5 inches of backbone stretch and Acme's unique symmetrical rear triangle design. In its assembled state this frame boasts a compact, narrow stance, and will accept up to a 140mm wide rear tire. Every Acme frame is contructed with 0.120" and 0.095" wall DOM high-tensile steel tubing and CNC'ed motor, transmission and axle plate hardware. Of course, every tube joint is TIG welded for strength.
Every frame joint and piece of bracketry is TIG welded for beauty and strength
No neck cups required on the Acme Choppers frame. CNC'ed race seats for tapered bearings are incorporated into this beautiful neck tube, as is a simple hidden steering stop
Neck cups with integrated forks stops have been the rage among custom builders for years, but Acme has taken the concept another step forward with their CNC-turned neck tube with built-in bearing race seats and adjustable stop plate for lower trees. Acme's stop plate is of the standard slotted variety with four countersunk mounting holes, and it mates perfectly with the tongue that's visible behind the down tube in the accompanying photo. Acme completes the package with a stainless steel top dust cover. In assembled form the look is sleek, clean and drop-dead dependable. Other nice touches in the steering department include the BMX-inspired box gusset on the underside of the backbone. Details like these set Acme's frame apart from the crowd, and are commensurately practical, given the frame's $2,400 MSRP.
A 3/4-inch axle with 5/16-inch, 12-point chrome-plated bolts and CNC'ed alloy washers is stock equipment on every Acme hardtail frame
The most singluarly unique and identifiable feature on the Acme frame has to be its loop style, one-piece billet axle plates. In a clever nod to the economy of scale, each axle plate is symmetrical, which allows one design to function for both sides the rear end. Each piece includes an extra-long set screw with locking nut for chain tensioning and axle alignment. To protect the frame finish after painting, each dropout features two axle plates that fit precisely into CNC'ed recesses. These plates protect the paint during assembly and driveline adjustment. Smart thinking.
The Acme oil bag that comes stock on this artfully crafted chopper chassis features TIG welds for reliability, and a mirror polished surface for lasting good looks
To enhance the beauty of their finished product and to reduce complexity for builders, every Acme hardtail frame includes a weld-on battery mount with billet alloy tray and battery strap (not shown), and this stunning 6061 T-6 aluminum oil bag. This ruggedly crafted piece features 0.5-inch thick billet alloy end plates to resist denting, and CNC'ed alloy brackets with rubber isolation grommets and aluminum hat-shaped inserts for trouble-free mounting. In a nod to both form and function, the screw-in cap matches the finish of these inserts, and is available in the builder's choice of gold ano or polished alloy.
In the coming months Acme Choppers will be introducing similar hardtail frames for Yamaha XS650's, unit and late-model Hinkley Triumphs, and Harley's ever-popular Harley Sporster. When it is fully populated and operational later this spring, Acme Choppers' website will make learning more about the company's rapidly growing line of motorcycle parts and accessories easy. Until then, Wayne Ahlquist is happy to personally field inquiries about his frames and accessories by email or phone. To reach the man who created this beautiful motorcycle chassis, go to AcmeChoppers.net.