Like many others, Ben Chisum started a build hoping to ride it out to Born Free this past year. It was Ben’s opportunity to build a bike that he had envisioned for a long time, so he got on the internet and started his search for a donor bike.
Ben found a great deal on a donor bike a few hours away from his home in Palestine, Texas. So, he jumped on the deal and started the reincarnation of the bike he later named “Ugly Betty.” The bike as it sat was in no way his style, so he quickly stripped it down and kept all the parts he would be using on his new build. He located and purchased a Kraft Tech frame on craigslist and, with no time wasted, chopped the frame by adding 4 inches to the down tubes and 1 inch in the backbone, giving it an overall rake of 45 degrees. Once the frame was completed, Ben decided he would try his hand at making a one-off springer for his chop. He gathered as much information as he could find on the web and from the Chopper Builders Handbook. It served him well as he completed the 20 over super narrow springer with 1.5” of trail. Ben found an old king and queen seat, so he decided to go in that direction. He modified a fender and built a sissy bar to complete the rear section of the bike. Once that was complete, he added an old crusty 16 inch on the rear and a 21 inch with a Wargasser spool to transform the bike into a roller.
Over the next few weeks, Ben hunted down odds and ends to complete the build. With three weeks to spare before Born Free 6, he had his long chop ready to hit the road. But then, disaster struck. Ben was riding up a busy highway when a truck pulling a trailer pulled out in front of him and, with no time to react, he hit the trailer with great force. Ben doesn’t remember much, but when he came to, his leg was bleeding out of control because his handlebar had impaled his leg. Ben stood up, not realizing what had happened, and quickly fell to the ground.
Ben recovered from the tragic accident and was also able to get the bike rebuilt. He made some custom handlebars, using the part of the old bars that impaled his leg as a cross section for his new bars, so that he has a constant reminder to not take the road for granted. I had the privilege of meeting Ben during the Ride for Larry Pierce back in August and I can honestly say that he is one humble, rad dude. It just proves that an accident can’t keep a guy from doing what he loves, riding choppers.
Ben would like to thank all of his friends for the support and determination to complete the build and all that supported him during his recovery. Ben would like to especially thank Jeremiah Jurgeson from Conflict Machine for all of his knowledge and help with the build. He would also like to give Chop Cult thanks for considering and featuring Ugly Betty.
Photos by: 4SM Photography
Owner name, location: Ben Chisum, Denton TX
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: HD 1983 FLHT 80"
Frame: Kraft Tech
Fork: 20 Over Springer
Chassis mods: 4 up 1 out 45* rake
Tire/wheel size and style: Front-21" with Wargasser hub, Rear-crusty 16"
Favorite thing about this bike: The way it rides like a 1970's Cadillac
Next modification will be: Paint and Chrome
Follow Ben on Instagram @dblshvltrbl