Sometimes you can turn a turd into a gem. Other times you can turn a gem into a turd. That’s what Kevin Moore likes to do. Last year Kevin acquired his 2001 Jade Green Night Train from a Harley mechanic. He bought it dirt cheap, reaping the rewards of today’s crappy economy. The previous owner had bolted on a plethora of aftermarket parts, rebuilt the engine with Screaming Eagle components, and kept it impeccably clean. It was indeed a gem. Kevin would change all that.
I don’t like gems. They’re too pristine. They’re objects we worrying about. I like dirty. I like used. I like brown. Something needed to change. The entire bike needed to be dismantled and rebuilt through a metamorphosis of sparks and liquid metal. And so it began. The stock air cleaner cover was discarded, reborn as a riveted sand casting of bronze. The plastic tank cover was burned in effigy, a sign of parts not fit for a motorcycle. Sheet brass took its place, hand formed and adorned with buttonhead rivets. The front brake lines were remade with copper tubing and compression fittings, pulling together the air cleaner and tank covers. The stock headlight was relieved of duty, replaced by a '40s hotrod headlight mounted with an old rusty wrench bought for a dollar. Shiny fork legs were transformed to matte black with lowered springs. The mismatched wheels were rejected for a pair of anniversary gold Harley 9-spokes. Forgotten was the precious Jade Green finish, replaced by a subtle matte brown suggestive of functional objects from World Wars. And finally, a horse somewhere was stripped of its saddle bag burden so this dark and worn bagger could be born.
Enter the Chocolate Train.
Model: 2001 Harley Davidson Night Train
Engine: 88 Twin Cam B
Wheels: 9-spoke anniversary, the only year Harley made them in gold
Paint: Matte brown by Lucky 7 in Antioch, CA
Headlight: '40s hotrod mounted with an old rusty wrench. Thanks to Grant “Peacock” Reynolds for the suggestion
Handlebars: 14” Burly Ape Hangers, which are in fact 15”
Grips: Lowbrow Customs charcoal metalflake
Air cleaner cover: Cast bronze with buttonhead rivets
Tank cover: Hand-formed sheet brass with buttonhead rivets
Tank emblems: Replica 1958 panhead
Seat: Simple old LePera
Saddle bags: Leather bags from a horse
Tool roll: A real old job found on Ebay in the antique section