During our coverage of Pinned Ohio I had the distinct privilege of meeting Mikey Arnold. He's a local photographer willing to cover events and bikes throughout the Buckeye State. I'm a firm believer in letting others have the opportunity to shine and look forward to Mikey’s contribution to Chop Cult. Welcome aboard and thanks to Bob for letting Mikey feature your bike
Photos by Mikey Arnold
I never owned a Harley before and always wanted a new one but with such a high price I couldn’t afford one. This bike was my first Harley that I acquired thru trade by getting rid of my XS 650 I built a few years ago. Since then the only thing that hasn’t changed is the frame it came with. I didn’t know anything about Harleys, so why not learn from an Ironhead? I work at a machine shop so when I want something I could just make it. I started making little 3/4 bungs to mount stuff and before you knew it I was making my own side covers and making parts that wont work, work. The build for this bike started in winter of 2012 along with my friend Kyle’s triumph chopper and lasted till March with intentions to ride it to Pinned Ohio that didn’t happen. The plan for the bike was just change the seat and new rings, ended up doing it all.
I learned a lot from this build, started with an image in my head and a barn with no heat. My average day for a few months was work till 5 and be out in my barn till midnight uploading instragram pics of each part I make. Piece by piece it came together, finally I timed the mag and it fired first kick. Wasn’t getting oil… after so much frustration I tore the cam cover apart and found out the sketchy guy from the swap meet plug welded the oil passages. Got that fixed and started it up once more and broke the clutch and motor in with a smoky burnout.
The first ride on Esmeralda was a great success and I never had that happen before. Mikey Arnold drove over and snapped some pics of it while it looked fresh. It held up great drove straight and didn’t lose any bolts, except loosing gas on some random back road. The seat I made is pretty nice to. If I went on long rides it would numb the pain within 10 minutes of hauling ass. As for the passenger though she can’t make it to Dairy Queen 4 miles down the road. Sure does look cool tho. I plan on keeping it the way it is and get it painted professionally. Then move on to “bigger” things. Everything but the trees was made in house in my barn with no special tools, just mill, a welder and a grinder. Thanks to Jesse at Gasbox, he taught me the critical stuff and made a killer oil tank. And thank you to my shit-talking friends. Hopefully one day I’ll be building for a living but right now I just want to ride.
Owner name, location: Bob Millerleile, Youngstown Ohio
Chop Cult Member profile: Pisspoorbob
Bike name: Esmeralda Swampass
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: Ironhead 79’, Morris Magneto, early rockers, custom Kicker cover
Chassis mods: Mullins trees
Tire/wheel size and style: Trials 18 rear, trials 23 front
Favorite thing about this bike: It looks the same after a long ride
Next modification will be: Gas
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Gasbox oil tank, chopped, narrowed, and hidden mounted wassel tank, custom seat, custom pipes, lots of handmade gadgets and mounts, handmade pegs and custom bars.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Does great on the oval dirt track.
Thanks to Jesse at Gasbox for the help. Also to Kyle, Joe and Steve for helping me get the motor in and out of the frame. Big thanks to Melina for putting up with all the grinding dust during the late nights.
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If you are interested in having Mikey feature your bike, shoot him an email