The Daily: Matt's Sportster


Matt Ross knew he wanted a Sportster for his first motorcycle and began the endless search to attain one. Months went by, he began to loose faith until his nightly trek on Craigslist produced a 1989 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200. It wasn't the prettiest Sportster he laid his eyes on but it was attainable. Matt's full time painting job keeps him pretty busy so wrenching on the bike would be an issue. So he turned to his buddy Ryan Mullion, from The Tiger Shack, to help him modify the bike.



His budget was tight so they left the frame, forks and wheels alone. Ryan eliminated the "ugly ass" dual cap Mustang gas tank to a newer stock tank. He switched out the stock handlebars to Biltwell's Low Drag Bars and added their Kung Fu Grips. Ryan also tossed the speedo and fabbed new brackets and mounts for the turn signals. The only thing left for Ryan to accomplish was switching out the very worn seat to Biltwell's Black Diamond Banana seat. Matt painted the bike in record time as there was a deadline to meet. He had committed on riding to Phoenix, Az for the Love Cycles party with a few friends. They dialed in the bike, Matt rode it around the block a few times and proceeded to head to Phoenix. Most first time riders might of chosen to take it slow but not Matt. He accomplished the soaking wet ride with his buddies and logged over 800 miles in one weekend. The only upcoming change you can expect to see for now is new foot pegs from Biltwell.


Matt would like to thank Ryan for his help and friendship. Also big thanks to Biltwell Inc. for their quality parts line.


If you would like to reach out to Matt for paint work, shoot him an email.

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Comment with Chopcult (73)

Commented on 3-27-2013 At 09:16 pm

Lisa.. i WANT to support you. this is NOT the way to make a good impresion to the guys on CC. its a stock bike with some decent paintjob... anyone can do that. theres 100 bikes that are running threads in the forum that have waaay mor going on than this thing. seems like it was a bit of a reach for a feature...

Commented on 3-27-2013 At 09:18 pm

and im sorry for the above comment , but this forum is NOT about the type of bike featured above. sorry to the owner,..

Commented on 3-27-2013 At 09:58 pm

Cut a fender shave some legs something...nice and clean I will even go as far as cool START but, it will take more then just new pegs to call this bike done..Mr. Matt Ross you now have a great 1st bike enjoy all the work on it from here on out!

Commented on 3-27-2013 At 10:11 pm

I think rear fender is cut...

Commented on 3-27-2013 At 10:14 pm

Cool bike. Especially for being your first. Huge props for your first ride also. That's a hell of a way to get started. Keep at it.

Commented on 3-27-2013 At 10:26 pm

Totally agree with vnygra.. Sounds like more than anything a plug to biltwell. They make, well, built well goods. But CC isn't about how much money you make and what bolt ons you can afford. Its about dudes hungry to build something, and do so with their own two hands.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 04:24 am

I can't take it anymore, Lisa the features you've had, have been shit.
Do you even look through this forum? My bike is a pile of shit and its still better than that steaming turd.

Do yourself a favor, actually LOOK through the forum at some build threads. Look at the time in them. The hard work. The craftsmanship. It's obvious you don't know anything about motorcycles, so either reflect back on the old features or pass the articles off to someone else PLEASE.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 06:19 am

Hey guys be cool, everyone starts somewhere and to many new guys some of the super crazy mods are really intimidating. This just shows with a little work you can make a cool bike to ride, and keep changing it over time as you can afford it and as your skills become better.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 06:56 am

Maybe I'm going out and supporting those that support me by backing up Lisa's choice and saying her, her family, and Biltwell have all done plenty to support a lot of members here and Biltwell started this board so I would say they earned their plug here. Supporting entry level people should not ever be overlooked. I'm happy to see they have included them.

I don't think every featured bike needs to be crazy awesome. In print media they are limited to space and will only accept the highest quality (most of the time) builds for that reason. I think a lot of us have become accustomed to that mentality and expect it everywhere. The Chop Cult is able to rotate the features much faster and with less financial involvment so accepting "lower level" bikes is a pretty cool thing. The guy built a pretty OK custom. I'd rather see that than another Dyna with "the punisher skull" on every cover so I welcome it. We should all embrace the possibility of nurturing people's skills and efforts instead of telling them their bike sucks. I'm not in disagreeance that isn't a rad custom chop with a ton of fab in it but the guy did what he could to make something better. I think it's a good example of entry level motorcycle wrenching and a stepping stone to bigger things. It's cleaner than my first custom bike. Hell, it's nicer than the bike I ride now. Maybe his next effort will get the cover of your favorite magazine. There's room in this scene for everybody and for all skill levels.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 07:18 am

You guys slam this bike and Lisa's effort to feature it as if badass photo essays every third day on a FREE social network were your goddamned birthright. Humanity's collective sense of entitlement in the age of the Internet is through the fucking roof. If any of you tried to make your point to Lisa or this bike's owner in a parking lot, most chivalrous or sentient eavesdroppers would quite likely kick your ass. As it stands, members of this forum have to suffer your displeasure in silence, or offer a rational counterpoint as my friend Tyler has done. I personally grew tired of such childish horse shit last year, so I cashed in my chips and started an Instagram account. More photos of cats and tacos, less venom and petty self-interest. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. You sound like a bunch of spoiled cunts. If your bike is better than this one or if you are as capable of generating features as Lisa is, feel free to craft one for the world to ridicule. Otherwise, shut the fuck up. And god help anyone who tries to defend popular sentiment on this thread by referencing his right to free speech. Your privilege to be a dick may be protected by the First Amendment, but it doesn't make it right.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 07:19 am

I think it's cool as hell that Lisa gave this guys first build some props. I know I like to see my shit put up and talked about in a positive light.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 07:40 am

I'll throw in my support too - while not a full-on build it's nice to see "mild customs" now and again to show what can be done by new riders. It's not all 20K$ bikes or those built by top notch fabricators / mechanics.
And I'll second the "stop bitching about free" comments - while a community-based site is def. the sum of its parts (i.e. the members), slagging people doesn't contribute or foster said community. How about some constructive criticism like SeaJay posted that the folks can think about?

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 08:04 am

If this bike can be featured, there's hope for all

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 08:07 am

Is there a procedure for submitting material to be considered for a CC feature? I understand that it would more than likely create a flood of shitty pictures and shittier write-ups of "sick bobbers" (if I may borrow yesterday's FB word-of-the-day), but there are lots of cool bikes out there that don't get much in the way of online exposure. There's a potential for a lot more user-generated content, too.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 08:16 am

Ya know, my bike is my only ride, it's that or the bus. I'm an apartment dwelling mofo with a nine to five, I don't have the luxury of free time or a garage full of machinery. I can sure as hell appreciate having to keep things basic.

So, sure it's not a radical chop but it's cooler than some of the so-called build threads around here, and a damn nice start. There've been plenty of bikes on here that y'all praised and raved about that started off worse than this.


Commented on 3-28-2013 At 08:21 am

cool bike , thanks lisa for all the hard work its appreciated .

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 08:44 am

All I was saying is that it seems like a stretch to use it as a "feature" bike. Sorry for saying that in a shittier manner.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 08:45 am

The first few incarnations of my bike(s) were, well, kind of embarrassing to think about. Kind of like the art work my mom so proudly displays at her house from my naive teen age days. They inspire both a bit of nostalgia and embarrassment.
Its all a process, and bike building is just that. You start out small by experimenting with new paint, swap out the tail light, bars, etc... Eventually you are able to stop just trying to emulate what you've seen and think for yourself. Its sort of a culmination of all the photos you've seen, threads you've poured over, and conversations you have. That is when the magic happens. To see in your minds eye the bike you want to build, and realize its never been built before.
I fully commend Matt on his efforts and his bike. It is a nice looking sportster for sure, and Im sure it will only improve with time as the ideas flow and he gains confidence with his hands. Its just that when I first found this site, Id always look forward to seeing the photo feature. There always seemed to be at least one part of the build that was something new or at least a new take on an old idea. And that is what I love about CC. There are so many sick threads on this forum of dudes building bikes in ways I never even thought about. Take the kiwi madness thread. Absolute genius. Or the turbo charged shovel thread. Its an amazing mix of new technology meets old. I don't want to rag on you Matt or you Lisa. Its just that there seems to be a lot more bikes deserving of the privilege of being the photo feature of CC.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 08:47 am

I am not truly understading where the hostility for this feature is coming what, its not a crazy build that would resemble the likes of a Born Free build. It is however a clean bike done by someone who is not yet at the level of badass bike builder. Do hate, appreciate!

As far s the bike goes, i dig the paint design but I am on the fence about the mans opinion. Tell ya what i would do to that bike...i would ride the shit out of it and not feel anything other than stoked

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 09:16 am

Why do the windows in the battery cover say "Queers?" I would have left that custom touch out.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 09:19 am

Why don't you fuckin pussies get off your asses and make a forum, or a magazine, or anything at all besides a fucking chopper in the middle of the most trendy time for choppers. It's simple why your bad ass bike isn't featured. It's because you're a Fukin kook. Its about riding not who has done the most work on their bike. Take your denim vest and your photos of the 60's biker "gods" and go ride off a cliff

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 11:33 am

I think it is a good looking bike...

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 11:51 am

I'll also add that there are a few tricks done to the bike so it's not all that stock. The rear fender struts have been worked and that's a tricky foot peg on the left side. I know some of the chopper gods may not have noticed the subtlties but there's some effort there. I'll keep looking for more.....

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 11:55 am

I was gonna comment about the peg/ shift linkage.. thats pretty slick.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 12:06 pm

How does that shifter/peg set up work?

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 12:26 pm

I can understand, I think, why some people would want to say that this bike is not "worthy" of a feature because it is mostly stock and isn't a super-awesome chopper with a ton of hand fabbed parts etc. I will say though that in my experience, having been a member for the past few years and having met and ridden with no less than 75 or so CC members, this bike is in line with what a lot of people on CC actually ride daily. Sure, there are plenty of killer custom bikes on here and everyone loves a nice Knuck, Pan, Shovel or old Trump, but not everyone rides an old bike, particularly for their first motorcycle. Yes, I know, it's Chop Cult and not Stock Cult, blah blah, whatever, but as a member myself who does not have the skills and abilities to fab up rad parts I can appreciate that there are 15,000+ members in our little community and we aren't all going to do the same thing. I love my bike and it's not a whole lot different than this one. Kudos to this guy for doing what he wants to do and riding it every day. There will always be a chopper snob who says that what youre riding isn't cool enough.

As for Lisa's features, I think that she's put up some great ones so far. Did you notice the previous feature on the FMW Trump...the one that was featured at the Mooneyes Yokohama (that's Japan) show as an invited builder entry? Still not cool or "chopper" enough for ya? Wow, high standards!

Keep it up, Lisa. Plenty of us enjoy the features every day, and there should be room enough in this community for a little of everything. It's not "PanCult" or "WickedLongFrontEndDiggerSkinnyTireBatesAvonCult" either.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 12:39 pm

I think Mike47 nailed it with his opinion so rather than repeat, I'll just say dam right Mike.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 12:43 pm

Maybe when posting bikes like this a "Daily Driver Advisory Warning" is in order. i.e. "if you want to see a rad custom..look elsewhere"

The bike's a daily driver after all.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 12:48 pm

..That said the writeup came off as being a little too much an infomercial for
ou sponsors at Biltwell ;-)

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 12:48 pm

I like the turn signal mounts too...
The feature isn't classic McGoo, but what is I ask you, what is?

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 12:52 pm

I just want to ask Helwade to be my friend. That was the best rant against internet a-holes I've read. I'm no chopper builder, but I aspire to be someday, and I like looking at fancy bikes almost as much as naked women. The features here are awesome, free and frequent, and seeing some of the initial comments on this thread made me cringe a little. If everyone built super awesome hand fabbed bikes all the haters would be skull covering their OCC knock-offs instead and calling everyone who wasn't a douchebag.

The guy who built this bike did something I have not and that is admirable. The story also touches on his spirit of motorcycling, riding long and wet and sacrificing to own one and make it his own. That is fucking motorcycling.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:08 pm

my turn. 31 comments and not one about the spelling and grammar faux pas that permeate these features.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:23 pm

Really nice looking bike. Ive seen a hundred bikes with halfassed shaved forks, hardtailed, aftermarket oil and gas tanks and two mismatched wheels that are "choppers" that look like shit. Just because you modified it doesnt really mean its any better than it was in the first place.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:30 pm

Photos #9 and #13 are essentially the same. I want my money back! Keep yer' chin up Lisa, everything is a learning experience. There is some useful feedback here, so learning to separate useless badgering from constructive criticism will serve you well. Even though the bike isn't a show-winning uber-knuck I think it's a fine example of a mildy modded sporty on a modest budget. Flatiron, I'd like you to use proper capitalization from here out, OK?

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:37 pm

And to think I checked out from sport bike forums because of this kind of jaskassary.............. Btw, I like the bike. It's a lot like mine.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:40 pm

And to think I checked out from sport bike forums because of this kind of jackassary.............. Btw, I like the bike. It's a lot like mine.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:42 pm

Ha! Yeah Nose. First thing I thought when I opened this page ..........

"That's the Nosewagon!"

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:44 pm

And pay no mind to that man behind the curtain......... He likes Sportsters, and CRFyou doesn't. FTW.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 01:48 pm

What started out negative is now a huge boost of support. We're getting close to the most commented on feature!

At Born Free, I'm hosting a "The Internet is Real Booth". I'm gonna put two random dudes sitting across from each other and then I'll reveal pictures of their bike to the other dude.

If they are complimentary and docile, I'll whack them in the back of the head like a baby seal and replace them with new dudes until we get some steamy shit talk.

If no one talks shit, I'm flipping the switch on the whole internet.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 02:01 pm

I think it's a cool first bike & congrats on the first build as well! =)

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 02:05 pm

rule: If your happiness is somehow connected to a message board you are a complete douchebag and need to purge technology from your life. GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY.

Roll Tide


Commented on 3-28-2013 At 02:52 pm

If it was a bone stock early 70's Superglide, there would'nt be one comment about it not belonging on ChopCult. I think throwing a bike like that in the mix now and then gives hope to the newcomers. Let's don't be so snobby guys. Like mentioned so many times, we all start somewhere.
I really don't get where the whole idea of Lisa's features being "shitty" comes from either.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 03:31 pm

Wow......Does anybody work during the day? Be proud of what you have and anything you do to your ride and who gives a shit what other's say or think.
Wish one of my sleds was featured, cool bike use all of this to build and go forward bro. Turds are Turds

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 03:55 pm

I'm not trying to join the "fuck this bike" bandwagon but this is not a feature worthy bike. This IS a starting point. Exhaust, air cleaner, fender work, bars.... Get creative. For only one feature a week, there are literally thousands of bikes on here that are feature worthy. I love sportsters but this doesn't make the cut.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 04:30 pm

I think some of you guys are being way too critical. Despite the fact that I've spent a good amount of time and cash working on, my bike looks pretty stock as well. I have a full time job and other responsibilities( as many of you do). I do not have a shop with all the right tools, or friends who "donate" thousands of dollars in parts. Some of the bikes on here are friggin gorgeous, and if I had the time and cash, I'd get mine there too. I think it is refreshing to see a bike now and then that didn't cost $20K to build. It's clean, and done right, and will continue to grow and change over time, as will mine and many of yours. There is something to be said for a little patience, and the rewarding feeling you get from an on going project. Big props to the little guy!
Well done on your first bike. And to the editor, don't let these clowns bully you!

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 04:51 pm

OK guys, I have read your messages and feel that it's my time to respond.

When I shot this bike, I thought it would be a perfect fit for The Daily. It was explained to me that daily features were used to promote the daily rider's motorcycle. Matt is new to the motorcycle world and bought his first bike seeking help from a friend. Numerous people ask for help in every forum on this site. Lets be honest, how many of you transformed your very first motorcycle without any help? How many of you painted your own bike? There are changes coming to this build but at the moment Matt is enjoying riding his bike.

To all that feel my features have been lacking, all I can say is I am trying my best. I stand behind each and every feature. When I took this position, I knew I had very big shoes to fill. I don't posses Bill or McGoo's expressive vocabulary that you have grown accustomed to. "31 comments and not one about the spelling and grammar faux pas that permeate these features." Flatironmike, your comment reminds me of every English teacher in my life. Dyslexia is a bitch and she's mine. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't kick myself in the ass for missing something. Please trust me when I say I'm doing my best and will continue to strive for excellence.

Instead of being the bully or slamming my work, please feel free to photograph a bike and write the feature. I will link, promote and thank you for your time. To say I don't get Chop Cult, it's members, or features is a damn lie. I've been in this "scene" a LONG time.

I appreciate your constructive criticism and candid remarks. We all have the right to express ourselves but the mean spirited comments need to end now. I for one am sick of the never ending negativity. You all say this is our scene but make your followers pick and choose sides according to your opinion. Think before you hate.

Matt and Ryan, thank you for your time.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 05:12 pm

Hey Matt! Nice looking bike, good job. As for the negative comments about what is a chopper and what is not a chopper, Lighten Up. I have been listening to this B.S. for 30 years and it usually comes from somebody with to tight imported leather chaps and black H.D. t-shirt on and they haven't been riding very long. As for Chop Cult , i read it everyday. Variety keeps it real. Keep it up!!!!

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 06:00 pm

So, Mr. Vnygra & Mr. Dunnisher how are your "hardknock bobber" projects comming along?

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 06:45 pm

dude, love the bike. i fn love the paint. nice and simple and reliable. i love my sporty too. but, im not a super master chopper builder guy. and you know you did something right, because you pissed off the facebook pirates i see.

Commented on 3-28-2013 At 07:24 pm

Wow! Not my favorite bike either but quit your bitching!!

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