Shane Smith and I crossed paths many years ago. Shane is an ironworker and boilermaker based out of Whitehouse, Ohio, and loves all things motorcycles. Most people tend to keep their private life hidden, but if you follow Shane on Instagram, you come to realize this guy is 100% family and loves his baby girl Willa. When Shane isn't working or pulling Dad duty, you can find him ripping around Ohio with his friends. Shane recently built this beautiful Buell Thunderbolt for the Apocalypse Run and I'm stoked he allowed us to feature it here. Big thanks to Nick Amrhein for the stellar photos. Enjoy!
Owner name, location: Shane Smith
Location: Whitehouse, OH
Bike Name: It doesn’t have one. I’ve never named a motorcycle
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 2000 Buell Thunderbolt. Thunderstorm heads with a port & polish, larger valves, & heavier springs. Screamin’ Eagle 536 cams. Thunderheader exhaust. CV carb with Thunderjet & Yost Jet Kit. DynaTek Ignition (programmable)
Frame: Led Sled single downtube 3” out 8” up 38 degree rake
Fork: +6” Custom Cycle Engineering fork tubes, HD trees & internals, Speed Merchant preload adjusters, shaved legs
Chassis Mods: frame was built to specs by Pat (Led Sled), all other fabrication done by myself
Tire/wheel size and style: (Rear) 18” x 3” high shouldered AMF HD hoop laced with Buchanan stainless spokes by Homers Cycle to a 2000 HD hub (Front) 23” x 1.6” Honda XL hoop laced to a CB 750 hub, machined to accept ¾” axle
Favorite thing about this bike: The seat by Ginger at New Church Moto & handlebars by Zombie Performance
Next Modification will be: Wait and see what breaks
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: This is my first bike with a sissy bar. I’m stoked on that and really like the dual Prism Supply tail/brake lights.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include:
A. Let’s start out with the fact that I grew up submerged in American motorcycle culture, specifically the 1% club culture. I’m certain I gained my opinions, views, and ethics about the MC lifestyle from my upbringing. I’ve stated before that “I never wanted a motorcycle”. I was too busy skateboarding and rebelling from my father’s and uncle’s lifestyle. Flashforward to Spring of ‘96 or ‘97 a family friend was selling a ‘71 Ironhead and I had to have it. By Summer of ‘98 I purchased a cone shovel chopper from my Uncle Jay (RIP) and have owned a chopper ever since.
B. Getting to the bike- I want to stress that you don’t need every single tool of the trade to build (or assemble) a cool scoot. This bike was built with hand tools (grinders, portabands, die grinders, etc.) and a welder. There is very little machining done on this build. Just a few small parts done by a friend. When building a chopper you should think it through & create a machine that will still be cool in 20 years.
C. During this project my work schedule was 13 days on & one off. This bike was built in 16 or so Sundays. It took a lot of planning & texting with like-minded friends. When I look at this bike, I proudly see a lot of influence from some specific friends, namely Reece Zylstra, Chopper Rudy, Warren Lane, & Tom Foster. Ride choppers & smile. Have fun.
Thanks to: Willa G, Wifey, good friend Neil (no IG), @nickamphoto, @chopmachinecycles, @emomsen_slammers72, @lumpscustoms, @ledsledcustoms, @newchurchmoto, @zylstrachoppers, and @chopperrudy *all played a huge part- Shane
Photos by Nick Amrhein / Facebook / Instagram.
Article by Lisa M. Ballard / @lisamballard
Check out The Boliermaker built by Shane. Photos by Nick. Article by Bear.