I first saw Danny Kocka's modified Buell XB at the Mama Tried show in Milwaukee, and then finally got a chance to hit him up in person later in Los Angeles. Danny was kind enough to not only let me shoot some photos of him in and around Skid Row, but to answer all my questions about the bike as well. We put it all together in what's to be the first issue of an online Magazine titled "2". Check out the interview and click the link at the end to see the new mag.
Hey Danny how’s LA been treating you?
DK I wish I could say it’s been amazing but I’m still back and forth to Chicago, kind of hard to pass up fall in the Midwest to be honest.
It’s sounds nice to have both. Thanks again for doing this. Tell me about the bike. What is it, when did you start building it, and when did you finish?
DK The first bike I built got stolen outside my apartment in Chicago. Broke my heart but there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do differently on my next bike. One of which was build the frame myself and make it big enough for me.
I had used Buell heads on the first bike I built so I stuck with that powerhouse but I liked the look of the XB over the X1 Sportster style so I figured as long as I’m making the frame, I might as well get the engine I want and start over with the mounts I entered People’s Champ 2 and got in and made it to the second-to-last round. I originally was going to have an aluminum swing arm but by the time I got knocked out of the competition, I just wanted a bike so I had the frame sent to King Kustoms for a hardtail.
The original form of this bike took about nine months but this last winter I decided to change the stance and give it a Dyna frontend, so in October, I chopped the front half off and sucked it in a few inches and raked it out about 2 degrees and Kendall repainted it for me in time to show it at Mama Tried this last year.
I saw it at Mama Tried. So many good bikes, but yours was one of my favorites there. What are some of the details about the bike you like most? Any particular challenges while building this version of it?
DK I think the general stance is my favorite, which stems (haha!) back to the frame. The newest version of the bike has the perfect dimensions. This was my first metal-finished exhaust which turned out great, running dimpled between the frame and fender, and the new riser setup which I like a lot. Brakes are always a challenge for me, I love these Brembos but I had to make brackets that adapted all 3 to work.
Yeah, I like the use of all the performance sportsbike parts on the bike, they look great and feel right at home on the bike. How tricky was it to build?
DK I built most of the bike at our shop in Chicago, though it started in a jig at Bobby “The Leg” Middleton’s shop. I had great help from close friends mainly with some machine work and finish welding, but I did most of the fabrication. Marco and the boys at Mach Modified rebuilt my top end, and as always Kendall finished it with paint. The bike has been through a few different versions of itself already but the initial form took about 8 months mainly due to money. I can’t remember how long the frame took; it was so spread out over many evenings but then I ended up cutting the whole front half off and starting from scratch to change the dimensions last winter.
You can definitely see all the time and work in it. How’s it ride?
DK The first version was pretty squirrely, it was 6” up, not much out, and about 27 deg rake. After a year or so of breaking it in and getting it sort of disfigured from several wrecks, I brought the stance back down to earth and now it rides beautifully. I’m planning to redo the seat to a more fastback style for longer trips. The seat Sean did is beautiful but it was for show. The engine rips, Mach Modified is my go-to for anything engine and trans now. The brakes are perfect for this bike, smooth, even stopping power on a horse of an engine.
It’s one hell of a bike. I’m really glad to have had the chance to meet you and shoot it. Thanks for working on this with me. I think folks will dig it. And big thanks to Kendall again for all the help with the shoot. -Danny
To read more about the Danny Kocka's Buell including a parts list and specs checkout Godspeed "2" Magazine here.Thanks, Cicero.
@godspeed45/06 / @supportgoodtimes