There are a few things I really like a bike feature to have. One is that the bike is somehow a little different than what everyone else is doing. That’s hard to say about a rigid Sporty build these days, but this one pictured here by Logan Benton out of Fort Myers, Florida grabbed my eye. When you read the list of companies and parts in his spec sheet you will see many familiar names. Yet, somehow Logan combined this collection of household names in Chopperdom into a unique vision that pleases the eye and is more than a catalog build.
I also usually prefer the bikes I shoot to be owner built, and the owner to be an active rider and Chop Cult member. Not to say that’s the only type of bike I want to shoot, but it usually makes for a good combination. Logan met all 3 marks and when he saw I was nearby he went out of his way to reach out through mutual friends to come say “hello.” Considering he was just meeting up to lay down some miles with us, he sure was surprised when, before I had finished shaking his hand, I blurted out "can I shoot your bike."
Logan bought the bike in 2009 used from Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley Davidson in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It started out its two wheeled life as a bone stock 2007 Nightster. Logan had always had a vision for the bike he wanted to build, but this was his first attempt, and I like how it turned out. Being a first build, the process was slow and made up along the way, slowly evolving into that vision in his head. It’s a common story... starting out with smaller modifications at first (handle bars, seats, speedo relocation, velocity stack, etc). Next step, ride it around for a while before really going at a full on chop session. I mention these mundane details for "I can't" crowd. You can end up with a full on custom bike using that pay as you go method and all it takes is that first part to start the process.
After some research, Logan decided to go with a Led Sled weld-on hard tail kit. With the kit, he also bought some additional parts from Led Sled. An oil tank, battery box, belt to chain conversion kit, rear fender and all the bungs and hardware he'd need to fab and mount everything. I was not surprised when he said everyone at Led Sled was very helpful and informative and that he "definitely wanted to acknowledge that." I'll let Logan take it from here in his own words.
The original plan was to chop the ass off the bike and do all the work myself. But, I was called out of state for several months for work. So, I called up Eric at FnA customs to see if he'd be interested in taking on the project while I was gone. Eric is an incredibly talented builder, but what really made me want to work with him was his emphasis on the finer side of metal working. Eric has put together quite a shop and has all the toys and gadgets we lesser garage builders dream of having. So, it was a wise decision to go with FnA on this build. Eric killed it. Now I had a bike that really started to resemble the rigid old style bobber I had originally envisioned. After the work was done, we enlisted the help of Danny at 53 grafix to paint the bike. I rode the bike for about four or five months until April of 2014 when I was in a pretty gnarly accident and pretty much destroyed all the hard work we'd all put into it. Before I could even walk again I'd already been talking with Eric at FnA about rebuilding the bike. Eric was totally on board and this time we'd try to have a more collaborative effort on the build and the parts going on the bike. I've always been a huge fan of 30's and 40's era motorcycles and my vision for this bike was always something similar to how those guys made them back then. I loved how my bike was before the accident, but this was a chance to rebuild figuratively and literally. This time around I had some ideas to really take a modern sportster platform and turn it into something reminiscent of what you saw guys riding around during the WWII era. So, to get started, we bought handle bars from Biltwell, a rear fender and grips from Lowbrow, and made a custom, dual port, gas tank out of an old fat bob tank. This tank was narrowed, and then a higher tunnel was cut in and re-welded. We also welded in the port for fuel injection. I toyed with the idea of converting the bike to a carb, but after all we'd gone through on the framework and logistics of converting a rubber mount, fuel injected, shocked bike, into a solid mounted hard tail (Those who've tried will know how challenging this particular scenario really is), I decided that we'd keep the fuel injection. And besides, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Right?
This bike has always performed exceptionally well. Eric also fabbed some pretty cool brackets and a small sissy bar inspired by Irish Rich. Now, with the damages repaired, rear end rebuilt, and a fully functional bike, it was time to acquire the leaf spring front end I'd always imagined my "dream bike" having. I'd been looking all over the web for something I could make work for my bike, but there wasn't much out there to work with, and everyone wanted well over 3 grand for something I'd end up having to cut, weld, and modify to fit a sportster. Then, I found David at Voodoo Vintage.
David was in the developmental stages of his new "velocity" leafer. After a few conversations, my front end was designed, built and shipped and everything worked out great. The craftsmanship was second to none and the price was HALF of what others wanted for a similar front end. Eric (FnA) and I made some slight modifications to the front end and the neck to make it all fit right, but it turned out stellar.
I'm really stoked on how the whole bike is turning out. It's still a work in progress, with paint and a few other things to come yet, but I'm amped on the progress and truly grateful to have a handful of builders and like-minded individuals in my backyard to help me turn what used to just be an idea into a real, working, and very rideable machine. In reality, no one truly builds a chopper on their own, and without a little help from my friends, I'd have never been able to make this thing happen.
Thanks to Eric at FnA customs for working so hard and helping me with not only the work, but the creative process behind the work. Led Sled for being rad and making quality parts I can't tear up no matter how hard I try. David at Voodoo Vintage for working with me on my front end and proving that customer service isn't a made up thing that doesn't actually happen in real life. Boston Mike and crew. Lowbrow customs, Biltwell, Blake Ford for peeling me off the road, saving my life in more ways than one, and being a supporter from day one. "Thin Man" from Evil Twin Motorcycles for helping me make a sweet ass headlight bracket. John Warga, for taking a young kid like myself under his wing and teaching him a thing or two about respect and appreciation for how things used to be and ought to be done. "The Mitchfitz" and all my buddies I ride with, you guys keep me going. Anyone who's given me a hand along the way. And thank you Bear, you're very much a part of the fabric that's holds this whole thing together. Guys like you are the ones who connect us all as a whole, and inspire us as individuals.
2007 1200cc Sportster (Nightster)EVO
Led Sled weld on hard tail
Led Sled oil bag
Led Sled chain and sprocket kit
Led Sled battery box
Biltwell solo springer seat
Voodoo Vintage "velocity" leaf spring front end
Lowbrow Customs rear fender, solo bag, grips and tag bracket.
19" stock Harley Davidson front rim with 4.00x19" Firestone ANS tire, 16" stock Harley Davidson rear rim with 5.00x16" Firestone ANS tire
Can't remember where I got the headlight, but it's tight.
FnA customs tail light and sissy bar
Clutch perch and ass’y from a 51 Panhead
Whiskey throttle (from FnA)
Rigid engine mounts from Nash Cycles.
Give Logan a follow on Instagram.