I met Christian Newman just as he was finishing a pretty wild Nissan Skyline-powered BMW 325is; shortly after this he transitioned from cars to motorcycles, and I knew that he was going to blow some minds. One of his first serious builds was for the first Greasy Dozen in 2012; he built a turbo Shovelhead, with tons of custom parts, most all fabricated by him.
Not too long after completing the shovel, I remember Christian saying he had started building a girder front end for his next project which would be powered by a knucklehead. I saw some photos and posts of him bending and polishing stainless, machining parts, and getting some of the stainless castings back, and could tell this wasn't going to be a typical girder. I had stopped by a few times, and after seeing it polished and complete as a dining room table decoration, I knew this bike would be talked about for years before he even started. Christian isn't only a very talented engineer, but he taught himself how to be an incredible machinist as well. He spent his lunch breaks, evenings, and weekends building this bike for a solid year. I think the pictures will tell the rest of the story and illustrate his extreme attention to detail and fabrication skills.
I even got to sit down and ask Christian about some of his work:
Did you have any influences on the style or ideas while building your bike? I think my style evolved as time went by because of what I was able to create was constantly growing. The complexity of the parts increased as the build went along. I tried to ensure that each piece could stand on its own while still being part of a whole.
What was your favorite part of the bike to build? Probably the headlight support bracket. It’s just this dinky little arm, but it’s made from a few layers with a groove cut in it for the wire to run through. Most people don’t notice or think the headlight just isn’t hooked up.
Least favorite or hardest part to fabricate: The headlight. I built it from many layers of stainless and the amount of time I spent welding and grinding was rough, but the final product was worth it. It took about 50 hours to make.
Owner/builder: Christian Newman
Make Model: 1940 HD Knucklehead
Frame/chassis: Stainless steel custom
Front end: Stainless steel custom
Wheels: Custom asymmetric hubs w/ Buchanan spokes
Paint: Andy Zeon
Seat: Ginger McCabe: New Church Moto
Exhaust: Stainless custom
Transmission: Custom 4 speed, from scratch kicker section.
Be sure to follow Christian on Facebook and Instagram.
Brandon / @soulofire_