People don’t build bikes all by themselves. If someone claims that he does, he’s not looking at the bigger picture. Whether it’s buying parts from the local shop, garnering knowledge from an Internet forum, or having a buddy pass a wrench, other people are almost always involved in the process. The degree of involvement obviously varies from project to project, but the fact remains, it often “takes a village.”
In addition to all of the people involved in building a bike, you also have to consider who rides the bike. Choppers have a habit of changing hands, either to make room for a new build or because they were a commissioned work. With each new owner comes new stories, changes, and miles.
I first saw LoveMachine at the SoCal Cycle Swap, when Justin DeHaven had it up for sale. It was hard not to take notice of the clean, all-white, Sportster with the heart bars. The next time I saw the bike was at the Kernville Kampout with its new owner. That’s when I met Bill Farrelly, aka “Stay Chill Bill.” He told me about his brush with disaster when the brakes had been fried by an electrical fire the day before. I find it funny how a new bike can rear up and kick you where it hurts. From that point on, I invited him to come along on some shoots. I continued to admire his unique bike and the fact that Bill would re-tell Justin DeHaven’s stories about the bike. Bill doesn’t pretend to be a bike builder. “I’ll stick to what I’m good at, drawing tits and skulls. I’ll leave the building to the professionals.” As the Design Director for Feltraiger, Bill knows a good design aesthetic when he sees one. So, when he got his insurance claim from a previously wrecked bike, his next bike purchase was an easy choice.
To get the story on how LoveMachine came to be, we reached out to the man who pieced it together, Justin DeHaven.
“The bike started out as just a stock Sportster that I picked up from my buddy. I was tired of breaking down, so I thought up this silly little plan to make this crazy tall chop out of it. I took the bike all apart and made my own hard-tail in my garage with the bike sitting on a milk crate. With no jig, I cut up the swing arm as a guide and started cutting, bending, and welding away. I’m 6'2” so I put a 2" stretch in the rear, then put some 14 over tubes on the front with some heart pullbacks and rode the shit out of it. It actually made it into Wrench like that, which was rad. I had broken my back and needed a change and the rake on the bike was just a bit much for my back to handle anymore, so I tore the bike back down. This time, I decided to make my version of a show bike. So, I called up a good pal of mine, Slim of Slim’s Fab Farm. I sat down with him and talked about some crazy ideas I had that nobody was doing at the time. With Slim being a friend and just an insane man with metal, we did it. De-raking the front end to 25 degrees from stock. The frame (minus the hard-tail) I made. With 2 under tubes and a 21” spool hub on the front. Then I took some old front fender off a Suzuki and made a rear fender out of it, sitting on a stock 19” Sportster front wheel drilled out for the rear. I threw on my grandfather’s sissy bar from his old Panhead and made a seat pan to wrap up. Since I like to do it all myself and didn't know how to sew, I went and got a machine and taught myself through YouTube. The seat still sits on the bike. I had a buddy, Baron, from Mig Baron Kustoms throw another set of bars together. Of course, with a heart, as with everything I do. Slim then came up with this crazy idea for my oil bag and pipes, so I just let him have at it. When it was time for paint, all white, only way, who doesn't like an all-white bike that just gets ridden? When I finished the bike, I decided it needed to be a jockey shift. All the stuff you see out there for sportster jockey shift kits just don't cut it, so my real good buddy, Mike Torrez , came up with this genius way and made the cleanest setup you can get. You can also see it on the Sportster Ruin bike for Sailor Jerry and Gasser Lounge. Basically, this bike turned into a bunch of great friends building a rad chop that you’re just not going to see anywhere else. It was a lot of fun to build and I made a bunch of different seats, bars, sissy bars and many different setups until I finally finished with what you see. It’s no longer a jockey or suicide-shift, however, it still gets ridden more than ever.”
Photos by Ryan Loughridge
Owner Name, location: Bill Farrelly. Los Angeles, CA
Builder: Justin DeHaven
Engine/Tranny, year, and make, model, modifications: 1993 883 Sportster
Frame/Rake: De-raked to 25 degrees & 2” stretch in the rear
Front End: 2" Under 39 mm tubes
Tire/Wheel Size & style: 21” spool hub on the front with Avon & stock 19” Sportster front wheel drilled out to fit the rear with a Dunlop tire. Rear wheel spacers are cut from a pair of handlebars.
Favorite thing about this bike: Definitely the hearts on it. All the "tough guys" talk shit on Sportster already ”girls bike blah blah blah.” The fact that my “girls bike” is white with hearts rules and everyone seems to love it, including those “tough guy’s” girlfriends. Hahaha.
Next modifications: I’m thinking 8” over forks. Let's make this bitch tall again.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Heart bars hand made by Mig Baron Kustoms.Pipes & Custom oil bags by Slims Fab Farm. Handmade seat by Justin DeHaven. Sissy bar is off Justin’s grandfather’s Panhead
Building or Riding Story: I rode up to the Kernville Kampout and I had one of those cell phone chargers hooked up in my saddlebag. Somewhere along the ride, the wires lit on fire and burnt my brake line to a crisp. Like, crispy to the point that when I touched it the line broke into pieces. I had no idea, and got all the way there somehow, parked my bike in the campsite and started partying with all the other hooligans up there. It wasn’t until the next morning when someone spotted it. At this point, the bike had zero brakes. Luckily, there was a local dirt bike shop up the road and we actually found a brake line hanging on the wall in the back of his garage that worked. With a little ghetto-rigging my buddies, we lifted it on a log, took apart the ass end, and replaced my rear brake setup completely, brake line, pads, and rotors.
Thanks to Justin for building this bike and passing her along to me, all the homies who are constantly down to ride and help me put her back together when she starts to act up. Of course, thanks to Ryan and Lisa at Chop Cult for asking me to do this feature.- Bill