The One Moto Show in Portland, Oregon, always brings in the best custom motorcycles from around the country, and there is never a shortage of killer choppers in the mix.
This super clean build caught my eye; I admit I am a sucker for a Sportster chopper, and I dug it this one. It was getting many positive comments from other show-goers, so apparently, I wasn't the only admirer. Further inspection revealed that the build came out of aptly named Rain City Garage, hailing from Mill Creek, Washington. It's always a pleasant surprise to see a sweet build come out of a Pacific Northwest shop. The area isn't known for its long riding season of warm, dry weather, and you wouldn't think it has a vibrant chopper scene, but it certainly does. After the show, I contacted Rain City Garage and got the run-down on the build from shop owner Nick Lampert.
The 1967 Harley-Davidson XLH and was brought in by owner Frank Draper. Frank and Rain City Garage then got busy hatching a plan for the build. "The overall theme of the bike was to go full Chicano with it. As the bike evolved, we dialed it back just a bit and ended up blending that theme with some 60's style touches and vintage stuff like the brass bits and hand-tied cloth wiring," says Nick.
To get the project rolling, Rain City Garage started with the engine and transmission combo. Both were utterly disassembled and given a fresh rebuild. While torn down, everything was polished to a mirror finish before reassembly. The top-notch chrome and polish work was handled by Restoration Plating located in Spokane, WA.
Then they got to work on the chassis. "We picked up a David Bird hardtail kit and welded it onto the factory frame. Then we stretched the front down tubes 1.5 inches," Nick begins. "Upfront, we added a 2”-under Hardbody vintage chrome springer front end. We removed all the unnecessary brackets and then re-chromed it. The springer was topped off with some 16” apehanger bars with controls built by KustomTech," he continues.
"We used a combo of hand-fabricated parts when needed, and some off-the-shelf parts when appropriate. For example, the fuel tank is from V-twin manufacturing, and the saddle oil tanks were scratch built right here in the shop to match. We also started with an off-the-shelf rear fender, then reshaped it to fit the tire and rolled the edge all the way around," Nick elaborates.
A closer inspection reveals a ton of hand-built parts on this bike. "Yep, forward controls, stainless exhaust, polished stainless seat pan, headlight mount, license plate bracket, many machined brass details, etc., etc. We built all those all right here in Rain City Garage," Lampert adds.
After dialing the frame and tins in, they were sent off to be sprayed by Sig Schott at Satellite Custom Paint. Sig layed down the killer paint job using House of Kolor Candy with a dose of Paint Huffer Micro Flake.
All the high-quality leatherwork was hand-tooled by Chuck Potts at Chucks Kustom Leather.
It's apparent that Nick knows how to build a bike, and I asked him about his background. "I've been riding for almost 20 years. I started on sportbikes, then got into custom choppers and bobbers about ten years ago. I still ride both whenever I get the chance," Lampert explains. Nick has honed a lot of his skills wrenching on rides of the four-wheeled variety. "I worked for a high-end custom car builder for 16 years. In January of 2018, I quit and constructed a small building on my property. In March of 2018, Rain City Garage was born in that building, and I haven't looked back. This is the third full build I've completed, and there are more in the works," Nick says. All of us Pacific Northwest chopper lovers will be keeping our eyes peeled at the next One Moto Show for a look at Rain City Garage's next killer build!
Owner name, location: Frank Draper, Burlington Washington
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1967 Harley Davison, XLH
Frame: Stock frame with a David Bird rigid rear section, 1” stretched down tubes
Fork: Midwest chrome antique springer
Chassis mods: David Bird rigid kit modified and welded on, down tubes stretched 1”, all unnecessary brackets removed and smoothed off
Tire/wheel size and style: 21” front laced into a stock ‘67 drum using Buchanan stainless spokes, stock 16” relaced rear; tires are Shinko super classic 270's 3.00-21 front and 5.00-16 rear
Favorite thing about this bike: All of the small details you have to look for, like the hand-tied cloth wiring and custom-built brass parts
The next modification will be: There are always little bits you could change, but for right now, it's pretty much done.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc.: Hand-tied cloth wiring, lots of custom-built lathe parts, one-off forward controls, etc.… really too much to list.
Thanks to Satellite Custom Paint, Chucks Kustom Leatherworks, and Lowbrow Customs.
Check out Rain City Garage, www.raincitygarage.com, and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Check out Blane's coverage for The One Moto Show here.
Article by Blane Johns
Photos by: Mike Tsao - Website / Facebook / Instagram