"Who's the hot goth girl on the Buell Blast?" is a question I heard at last month's Slab City Riot even more often than "Where's Lobster Girl?" The hot chick and the cool motorcycle that had everyone doing doubletakes was Tiffany Collins and her Buell Blast-powered chopper.
Tiffany's old man is Dan Collins from Old Gold Garage Co. This talented hot rodder and motorcycle builder from Ventura, CA, built his lovely wife's Booby Trap with help from his friend Gordon after Tiffany herself stripped the donor bike that came before it. When she isn't helping Dan with office management and paperwork, this hair stylist by day and leathercrafter by night dabbles in bike building, too.
The donor bike for Tiffany's no-frills freedom machine was the Buell Blast she bought to get some miles under her custom leather belt. Tiffany is a petite woman, so the Blast's low seat height and compact geometry suited her perfectly. The king-and-queen seat Dan chose for Tiffany's hand-built Blast is even lower than the Buell's stock seat height, an easy feat given powerplant's lack of a rear cylinder.
The look of Tiffany's chopper throws some people off, and more than a couple know-it-alls at Slab City had a tough time figuring out exactly what makes Mrs. Collins' chopper tick. Anyone less pleasant and friendly might be inclined to scream, "It's a Buell Blast, dumbass," but Tiffany is a true lady, even if she does enjoy living the life of a saddle tramp aboard her Blast from the past.
Owner: Tiffany Collins
Builders: Dan collins, Gordon Chappel
Year, make, model of frame: Unknown origin '70's ironhead chopper
Year, make, model of motor: 2000 Buell Blast 500cc thumper
Make and model of fork; length, mods, etc.: 33mm 1970 Harley Sportster forks with 10" over stock tubes and vintage fork brace, 40 year old chrome job
Front wheel size, style, tire brand: 19" Sportster wheel with hamburger drum brake; Duro tire
• Vintage mustang tank with original 70s paint job that I narrowed 4 inches. • Narrowed tall Z-bars • Custom made exhaust using old pieces • All motor mounts were hand fabricated • Modified ironhead brake pedal and crossover tube • Modified vintage oil tank • Internal throttle • Shovelhead levers and shortened Anderson grips • Old Gold Garage Co. Bullseye points cover and finned bird deflector • Big twin Harley CV carb without electronics • Completely rewired bike to run without computers and other bullshit. • Vintage king-and-queen seat • Vintage sissy bar • Vintage chopper headlight from BSA barhopper • Cat head taillight • Custom Barnett cables
Back story on donor bike: The donor bike was the bike Tiffany learned to ride on. It was a stock Blast other than rear sets, clip-ons and a jetted carb. It cost $800 and came with new tires and battery. I had to replace alot of the parts in the primary case and it now it has an Energy One Kevlar clutch pack. I had alot of fun riding it as I was getting it roadworthy for her and bought myself a low-mileage Blast for about a grand and swapped the stock bars and pegs with hers because she didn't like the aggressive stance. I'm building a cafe Blast from that bike
One best build story, in Tiffany's own words: I have two best parts of the build for the Booby Trap: the beginning and the end. I loved finding all the parts and pieces. It was fun to look for old stuff and see how it would go together. As we got the parts coming together you could really see the personality and look of the bike come to life. The second part I loved was hearing it fire up for the first time. It had a distinct sound and the first time I heard it a huge smile came across my face
Last words and thanks: Lots of thanks go to Gordon Chappel, my in-house factory-trained H-D mechanic who has been building chops since the '60s and did all of the wiring and some other details on the bike