Is there such a thing as a practical chopper? Probably not, but a bike that's drop-dead reliable, fast as hell and has the perfect stance? Well, that's entirely possible as Malcolm Giblin's machine here proves. Here's what the man has to say about his ride.
Mid controls are the only way to go on a rigid. You've got to be able to stand up, plus you don't want to look like the first 'C' in the OCC logo. I found the "Beaver" shifter rummaging through a junk bin at an old machine shop in El Monte, CA. It was some sort of finger-actuated-cam-lever from who knows what kind of machine. I made the brake pedal out of a hipster belt buckle I got in Los Feliz. The pegs and the rest of the odds and ends I made out of stainless steel and some brass at my uncle's shop in Pomona.
My favorite thing is all that space between the forks and the Speedmaster. I love those old HA photos that show their extended Wide Glides cradling slim 21's. Everyone these days is cramming everything in all tight together in the name of lane splitting, but you're only getting through the gaps your fat ass can squeeze through. Maybe I'm being a dick, but those ultra skinny bikes kinda remind me of the 300-pound guys with the souped-up Mustangs who spend so much time & money trimming weight off their ride but fail to notice the extra 100 punds in their ass. I like it when bikes have a good balance between positive and negative space. There's something to be said for having working room to fit your hands and tools if you break down on the road. It's also nice to not have to take the whole bike apart to put a new battery in.
Since moving back to NYC I have a couple mods planned for this bike, including a full primary cover to keep my foot from being chewed up while nestled between the cabs on the Brooklyn Bridge. The bike will pretty much look the same, but what I have in mind will make it more practical for the city. Not really sure when I'll find the dough to complete these mods, but if my plan goes well, my skinny bike rant will lower the price of those beautiful Mullins trees and I can build the skinny bike of my dreams.
Engine: 2006 S&S 96" Evolution with S&S Super E carb and Harley gears in an S&S 5-speed transmission
Fork: Harley Wide Glide, stock length
Chassis mods: Motor/coil mount, reworked axle plates, cut all the gusset plates off
Tire/wheel: Front: 21" w/ pan starhub & Avon Speedmaster. Rear: 16" w/ FXR hub/ Indian rim & Firestone Deluxe. Wheels built/trued by me with SS spokes.
Thanks: to ChopCult for featuring my bike