The Flying Dutchman


Remember Russell Mitchell? There was a time when the talented British bike builder with the Technicolor epidermis dominated "fat and flat" with a ScotchBrite fist. The builder of this satin-smooth unit has taken Exile's dull finish to the next level, and that's just one of the things that make this unconventional cone shovel look great.

The Dutch gent who owns this heavily reworked Harley custom had a vision for his machine. The flat paint and satin surface treatments may look like Exile's best work, but it was actually the fab collective at Acme Choppers in New Hampshire who brought "The Vliegende Hollander" to life.

Seventy-two d.p.i. photos don't do justice to the perfection of the cases, rocker boxes, oil bag and tranny on this muted aluminum beauty. You need to see the Flying Dutchman up close to appreciate the work that went into every square inch of its undulating surfaces. I asked Acme owner Wayne Ahlquist how he achieves such uniformity, and he said it's easy. "We filed every crack, welded every hole, sanded every surface then mirror polished every part in-house until they shine like chrome. Then we used fresh ScotchBrite pads to create the dull sheen you see on the finished product. It's a pain in the ass, but it's the only way we can ensure all the different cast, CNC'ed and forged aluminum components get the same grain and weight in their swirls."

Only after taking a visual inventory of all the aluminum surfaces on this machine can you appreciate the time and effort that goes into Acme's process. It's repetitive and redundant, but the look speaks for itself.

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Commented on 8-4-2010 At 06:31 am

"You did what?! To the chrome?!" I can hear my dad yelling right now. I think it's great, however.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 06:47 am

When people speak of the small shop not being able to compete with the big commercial outfits, this is the kind of attention that they forget about. Only a small shop can devote this type of effort and level of customer service. It is a small niche, probably, but it is Craftsmanship (with the capital C). Craftsmanship doesn't come cheap or easy.

Survival in this market doesn't mean being able to do something cheaper, or faster, it means being better and being able to cater to the desires and needs of the customer - individually.

Great work, impressive. Anyone who has ever worked with metal and metal polishing can appreciate the amount of work that would go into a job like this.

~Rev Mike

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 06:51 am

Wayne and Co. just absolutely kill it.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 07:35 am

Nice job on the toned-down brightwork ... not a big fan of the brown/tan paint.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 07:53 am

Awesome work guys!

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 08:23 am

I've said it before and I'm sayin' it again. Wayne's not only a super cool guy but the work that comes out of that shop is ridiculous. I've yet to see anything from them I don't like...

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 10:13 am

I scotch-brited my rocker boxes and when I was done, thought my arms were going to fall off. And I'm a pretty muscly fella. They must build 'em tougher in NH than in Boston.

Amazing work, this is really different and all fits together so perfectly.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 10:32 am

Nice work, why only 7 pics?!?!?!?! I dig the paint, it's different.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 11:06 am

Ya' jus' can't be TOO flat 'n fat! Been tryin' to explain that to mamma squirts fer years now (at least the "fat" part). I dig the satin scotchbrite finish. Hell I do that to MOST of the bits'n pieces on my scoots (before shootin' 'em flat black ta' hide the rust) =) Tha' seat's a li'l funky for my taste, but the combo of "vintage" looks with modern upgrades works for me.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 11:56 am


great job guys

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 11:59 am

I love the paint...different, but in a good way. Bike would definitely stand out in a see of flake!!!

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 03:57 pm

Nice, I don't care for shiny things anyway.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 04:42 pm

Love the bike super question, wouldn't you be able to clean up the weld marks on those pipes by purge welding them? That would make it even cleaner I'd think...but not sure if you can purge weld mild steel.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 06:53 pm

Wow! That is one awesome looking bike. Screw the f**kin chrome! Need more pictures though.

Commented on 8-4-2010 At 09:48 pm

wonder if he wants to sell them ohlins? thems too shiny for this scoot...
o shit, did i just post that?

Commented on 8-5-2010 At 09:06 am

looks great and different. what's up with only 7 pcis???? post some more

Commented on 8-5-2010 At 10:33 am

I'm a chrome kinda guy but I really like the look of this bike. I can appreciate the manual labor that went into the finish and that's what sets it apart. Wouldn't paint my bike those colors and I gotta say, that seat is awful, but it's definitely different and I dig it, overall.

Commented on 8-5-2010 At 12:50 pm

Dit is inderdaad een mooi motorke, wie is "de Vliegende Hollander" dan?

Paul DJ uit Holland

Commented on 8-6-2010 At 12:01 pm

I dig the bike, but i hate the pipes.

Commented on 8-6-2010 At 12:27 pm

I really dig the clash between the different surfaces on the bike, especially the fat front forks and the handlebars, just really nice shapes and whatnot, and that finish is killer.

Commented on 8-7-2010 At 10:11 am

bike looks tough.

Commented on 8-10-2010 At 11:39 pm

clean job. looks like a comfy ride too.

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