While everyone at ChopCult takes pride in celebrating the backyard builder who scratches with available tools and talent to build a bike in his kitchen, it's nice to see what a real pro can do with a 70-year-old machine. Gilby Clarke's rootbeer EL is one such creation. Built by WCC to be as rideable as it is good-looking, this knuckle's tasteful and purposeful craftsmanship are proof that certain things never go out of style.
Owner: Gilby Clarke
Engine: HD 1941 EL
Frame: HD 1941 EL
Fork: HD springer
Chassis mods: Seat spring mounts & forward controls
Tires/wheels: HD star hub wheels with 21" Avon Spedmaster front/16" Shinko rear
Doodads: WCC custom exhaust & tips, custom jockey shift, T-bone bars & WCC risers
Favorite thing: I love that it kicks right over & the original 3-gallon tanks
Next mod: I'm gonna change the bars & risers soon
Backstory straight from Gilby: Jesse built my '65 pan many moons ago. I always wanted a knuckle and one day my friend Grant called & said Jesse had a '41 he wanted to sell. It looked pretty cool the way it was, with an extended springer and 40-degree rake. It needed a lot of work, and we talked about what I liked and what needed to be done. WCC put the frame and springer back to original specs, rebuilt the motor three times (it started as a 61" & ended up a 74"). Hot dog killed on the paint (root beer flake & satin black frame). My goal was to ride it on the last EDR, but that didn't happen with all the motor work and WCC going through some personnel changes, but I eventually did get to strap a tent and sleeping bag on it for the Biltwell Bash last April. Thanks to Grant Reynolds, Jesse, Rockabilly Jay & my wife for understanding why I need so many old bikes.
Click the photo above to download a desktop background of Gilby's knucklehead