The Thresher


Mike Davis and Grant Peterson, co-founders of the Born-Free Show, came up with the idea that Born-Free would be a great platform to introduce the new Street 500. As a group, they considered MANY companies that were performance minded, into newer bikes, and with the styling and respect to pull it off at the Born-Free Show. Ultimately, they decided that The Speed Merchant was the company and Brandon Holstein was the man. They knew that Brandon’s knowledge and skillset would be a perfect fit, especially with the short window of time to complete the project (3months). A tall order, considering that nobody had ever seen one, let alone worked on one, without the benefit of schematics, info., etc..


Photos by Ben at Da Guru Photography



Owner name, location: Born Free Show

Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 2015 Harley Davidson Street 500.



Frame: HD, modified.

Fork: HD 39mm Sportster 48, with Speed Merchant trees and Speed Merchant preload adjusters.



Chassis mods: New modified rear subframe, and swingarm.

Tire/wheel size and style: Pirelli MT90's. Sun Rims, with HD hubs. 19" front, and 17" rear.



Favorite thing about this bike: Being a brand new model, I was impressed by how easy it handled.

Next modification will be: Vance and Hines Fuelpak



Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Custom 2 into 1 stainless exhaust, handmade aluminum tailsection, custom engraved side cover, front sprocket cover, super sprox chain drive, Tokico 4-piston radial mount calipers, GSXR hand controls with Pazzo levers, custom tracker style bars, aluminum number plate with incorporated radiator overflow and Lazerstar LED light, custom leather seat by Bates Leather, Ohlins rear shocks, Joker Machine quick turn throttle, Speed Merchant footpegs and toe pegs, Cone engineering exhaust muffler, Burns Stainless merge collector, Vance and Hines air cleaner, Todd's Cycle turn signals, Speed Merchant solid riser bushings, and a custom battery box with and 8 cell Antigravity Battery.


-Custom White and Gold paint job by John Edwards, of Old Tyme Custom paint. Pinstriping and lettering by Pacman, Pacman's Line and Lettering


Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Haven't had enough time in the saddle….. But for the short time I have ridden it, I can say that it handles very well. Light and nimble.



From The Speed Merchant: There were many people and or company's that contributed their product, time, or talent to this build, so we'd like to thank them for helping with this project. We have to thank Mike and Grant of The Born Free Show for bringing us this project and giving us the opportunity to work with this new platform. To Ohlins USA, Joker Machine, Bates Leather, Cone Engineering, Todd's Cycle, Huntington Beach Harley Davidson, Lazerstar Lights, and PJ1. Most of all, to Mike Quinones for his unwavering support.


Support the independents like The Speed Merchant by checking out their website, and by giving them a follow on FacebookInstagram, and their blog.


Thanks, Lisa

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Comment with Chopcult (36)

Commented on 9-22-2014 At 01:13 pm

Just goes to show you that a true artist can look at a blank canvas and turn it into something amazing.

Commented on 9-22-2014 At 09:28 pm

Harley did a good job designing this platform and Speed Merchant customized it tastefully, looks like fun. I'd like to see Travis Pastrana or Nick Apex tool around on one...

Commented on 9-23-2014 At 07:04 am


Commented on 9-23-2014 At 09:51 am

Watch out 815GEARHEAD, you'll be censored for that comment.

Commented on 9-23-2014 At 12:01 pm

dont get why people are so into sport bikes now ? this thing is not a chop (chopCult)

Commented on 9-23-2014 At 12:20 pm

yeah, what happened to the 1st two comments?

Commented on 9-23-2014 At 12:23 pm

This is the coolest bike ever. Even if Max Schaaf build me a knucklehead or if Sonny Barger tossed me the keys to Sweet Cocaine it still wouldn't be as cool as this bike. It looks so much safer than a chopper some dude just "built". What are the payment plans like? I'm tired of being the only guy I know thats paid off.

Commented on 9-23-2014 At 10:34 pm

Complimented the builder's ability, stated I didnt care much for the HD Street itself. My comment got deleted.

Commented on 9-23-2014 At 11:44 pm

It kinda reminds me of the Roland Sands Bolt street tracker.

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 05:56 am

this is an ad for harley. im sure somebody somewhere is getting paid for this being on here.

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 05:58 am

"Mike Davis and Grant Peterson, co-founders of the Born-Free Show, came up with the idea that Born-Free would be a great platform to introduce the new Street 500" hahahahaha came up with or got paid? huge difference.

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 06:42 am

hahahahah damn right dadeamann.

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 07:24 am

censorship on here?? WTF.. it's still a minibike, i'll say it again. the guy looks like a monkey fucking a football. and it ain't a chopper

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 09:37 am

As the Editor-in chief I have full aurthority to delete negative comments on any published feature. You might not agree to this action, but it's my duty to protect the brands that are supporting this website. If it wasn't for ongoing support from our advertisers like The Speed Merchant and Harley-Davidson, ChopCult wouldn't exist. You might not like this feature or see it as a fluff piece but I created it to showcase what could be done with the new Street 500. Most riders start out with a stock bike and customize it for themselves. This is Street Merchant and Brawny Built's version. two great companies that deserve the limelight. It's not about instant gratification, it's attaining longevity for their businesses. they're was no pay offs and it saddens me to think some folks can't wrap their head around cross promotion. Chop \Cult was welcomed at Born-Free 6 as a top spsonsor so it's my duty to shine the light on them as well.

We shouldn't have to hold your comments for moderation due to negetive comments. If you don't care for this or any feature, so be it. Just refrain for commenting, be respectful and please #dontbeadick.

I'm not getting into a interent battle here. If you feel you would like to discuss this topic further, please email me at

Thank you for your time. - Lisa

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 11:03 am

Gosh I hate the comment section and I would normally leave it alone and just let the crazies be crazy but the truth is...Actually it was our idea, we paid for the bike, then paid Speed Merchant to do their thing and now we are going to do something cool with it for BF7. Harley-Davidson has been nothing but a friend and real supporter to BF and many other small shows ,shops and people. We have not been bought, we don't get paid to be told what to do or say. We do what we want with who we want! If you don't like the bike, the builder or the brand that's fine...but speaking out when you don't know the facts is not the way. If you don't like HD ride a Yamaha, If you don't like BF don't come it's ok...if you don't like Chop Cult or it's diverse features.. don't visit the site. The JJ is waiting for you. It's that easy. Happy Wednesday and I put a new post on my blog with a chick with huge boobs...look at it and be happy!

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 03:35 pm

Yep those were biggins.

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 07:50 pm

Ms Ballard: as Editor in Chief, I was also was under the assumption that another one of your primary duties was to uphold the Mission Statement of this site which Billdozer so poetically wrote on the Mission Statement post: "Chop Cult's mission is to provide an open forum for people interested in custom motorcycles. By custom, we don't mean bolted on chrome doo dads on brand new bikes."

Mr. Davis: You bought a new bike from MoCo and had a third party customize it? At least you could have made it a theme bike like or in memory of 9/11 or something! There's a distinct diversity that exists on this site from bolt-on hardtailed Trumpets to CB750 Amen diggers to Panhead long bikes sporting Sugar Bear forks (unlike the JJ). There's a place for your "diverse"'s called You're right though, I can visit another site, but never underestimate the power of the people and NEVER bite the hand that feeds you. Oh yeah, thanks for the titty post.

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 07:52 pm

censorship at its worst, lame

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 07:54 pm

thanx Huero^^^^^^^

Commented on 9-24-2014 At 09:24 pm

Huero, glad we can agree on the boobs. As for the street. We did as I stated whether you choose to believe it or not. I love old choppers and ride old choppers..sometimes... but also love a new bikes. This was an unique opportunity to do something cool and work with our friends. We brought together a lot of people on this project and it was really cool to see it come together. Like I said before we had a bigger plan in mind with this bike so it made sense to us to do it and was well very received at Born-Free and beyond..except for this forum I guess. I don't know the rules here for a feature or censorship but Lisa does a great job.We did not ask for this feature nor did HD but we do appreciate it and Chop Cult's ongoing support of everyone involved in motorcycles. Just remember it's motorcycles and they are all fun. This stuff just stirs up an unnecessary waste of time. I will post more boobs tomorrow so check back.

Commented on 9-25-2014 At 12:03 pm

This is the first time I even read the comments. I only did because I was curious about what people thought of a cafe style bike on chopcult. Personally, I don't like 'em. To each is own and I'd like to get my hands on a Street 750 and build a 70's style long chop out of it, just for the hell of it....

Commented on 9-25-2014 At 03:10 pm

Great job on the bike..cheers to everyone envolved in it......
I personally know Brawny and The Super Cool cats At SM
The Back Bones of SM have been envolved with buliding cutting edge
choppers since MOST of you were playing with HotWHeels in the dirt!
These cats can not only build a nice period correct chopper but theycan also turn right around and build this style....THEY are true artist at what they do!
Thanks Lisa for doing the write up.....I was too Busy at BF6 meeting Legends
like Tom Fugle and Spade George....and talking to people I dont get to see on a regular basis...
I have been on chopcult petty much since day 2 of its of the reasons this site was formed was becuase its creators didn't like how on other boards that different stlyes and newer bikes were on blast!
We are not in the 70's or the 90's something fresh that inspires people to go get something and cut it up....and RIDE it what this place is all about!
I too like to see bikes and the history of that time frame, probally more than most.....but I also like to get on my FXDX and put down a few hundred miles on a Sat...chasing OLD part sell to all you cats on here building your chopper dreams......So shit lets all just be cool.....Build what we want....ride What we want....and drink a few cold ones with like minded people!.....And at for most HAVE FUN doing it!....

Commented on 9-25-2014 At 08:13 pm

@Hureo " Ms Ballard: as Editor in Chief, I was also was under the assumption that another one of your primary duties was to uphold the Mission Statement of this site which Billdozer so poetically wrote on the Mission Statement post: "Chop Cult's mission is to provide an open forum for people interested in custom motorcycles. By custom, we don't mean bolted on chrome doo dads on brand new bikes." ..... Actually it's "Mrs. Ballard" and I have agreed with most of the past owners concepts for this site, but I don't and will never tolerate negative comments. It's easy for us to past judgements on one another behind a keyboard. I prefer to handle things as an adult and if i don't liike something or someone, I don't publically slam them because their vision is not my own. Kiddos to all involved for taking on this challange and producing a new vesion for all of us to enjoy.

Commented on 9-26-2014 At 06:25 am

Mrs. Ballard, my name is "Huero", it is not a cute internet handle, it is a name commonly given to light-skinned Mexican-Americans generally from an urban/street environment and usually after they have been initiated into said environment. Thank you for correcting me on your marital status but being a combat hardened Non-Commissioned Infantry Officer in the Army I was schooled as follows:

If you are speaking to or referring to a woman and you know the woman's surname, use Ms. and the surname if (a) the woman has a position of authority, (b) you don't know the woman's marital status, or (c) the woman is your age or older than you.

I should have refrained from posting my "thoughts" on this cross marketing advertisement for Born Free/Speed Merchant/Harley-Davidson and placed them in your Junk Pile section of the Forum. I have personally messaged Mr. Davis and expressed my apology and I am publicly posting yours. I do not pay your salary, therefore, have no place directing your time on the job. Please also understand that at my age (46 years) and life experience, I do not hide behind a keyboard nor will I shy away from "handling things like an adult", it's not in by blood. Have a great day, Ma'am.

Commented on 9-26-2014 At 08:14 am

I have to assume that it is a Café or Brat style bike because it would be pretty hard to make into a nice sleek chopper.

that Radiator hanging off the front would be hard to hide on anything but a modified stock.

I do think that would have been an experiment worth seeing though. find a NICE LOOKING way to hide that ugly ass water tank.

Now THAT would be a challenge.

I LOVE my old CB750's and they are wide, but it showcases the motor, and I love the Harleys, because they are skinny and the motor looks awesome from the side.

the biggest issue I have with Radiators is that bikes look like crap from the front.

hiding or somehow blending that radiator,, then making a proper chopper out of it would be a kool idea.. and before anyone asks.. I don't know how to accomplish it... but... it would be kool....

I wonder if it's possible to just eliminate the water cooling all together. The new CB1100 doesn't seem to have any issues pulling off emmisions standards and still being air cooled.

my old 750 Honda has never overheated..... HUM....

anyway, back to the bike, it looks ok, not really mindblowing kool, but that's fine, it looks like a commuter bike and that's ok.

I will say though,, good job, the quality of the components looks GREAT!!!

Commented on 9-26-2014 At 08:44 am

I'll be a big boy now:

I think that as a cafe bike it would have been cool to see a longer swing arm (no lightened arm), a more aggressive seating position, make the seat a little more aerodynamic, speed tires/different color rims, and get rid of the plastic pecker on the master cylinder with a remote one behind the number plate.

As a tracker, the it would have been bitchin' to see a right handed shift (throwback to the old Ironhead days), more "lightened" parts, and still get rid of the pecker...not diggin a $15k bike with a 10 cent piece of protruding in the air.

Commented on 9-26-2014 At 03:04 pm

I could be wrong here, but to me, this bike is not "Cafe" style. To me, it looks more like a track style, or flat track style. I dig the shit out of it because I really like track style bikes.

Commented on 9-26-2014 At 06:59 pm

Don't get me wrong here, Brandon Holstein did a great job and is incredibility talented but this is a Harley Davidson promotional add. In my opinion it takes away from the true meaning of "Chopper" which is nonconformist and non-corporate. Please, please don't tell me ChopCult & Born Free are heading in that direction. It would be a sad day indeed.

Commented on 9-26-2014 At 07:35 pm

Let me clarify.... when I stated "please, please don't tell me ChopCult & Born Free are heading in that direction" I mean the corporate direction. In order to remain as unique individuals we must remember that a healthy distance from big business in absolutely necessary or we just will be consumed by it and the art form is gone. Please keep it ChopCult and not CorpCult.

Commented on 9-27-2014 At 06:23 am

Yea, I think a longer swing arm and some rear sets would do it justice if it's going towards cafe.

Huero, I love you. Hardest part about going from grunt to civie life, dealing with civilians.

Commented on 9-29-2014 At 09:32 am

Chopcult is going the way of easyrider ..only doing it a lot quicker..sell ureself out .censor those that call u on it and loose everyone that supports you ..left with nothing..that money won't last forever....loyalty to those that made u what u r?crap on it...

Commented on 9-29-2014 At 10:15 am

I agree easy rider cult not chop cult really to bad i like chop cult

Commented on 9-29-2014 At 11:43 am

3tc- We are not selling out , we're just cross promoting with the brands that pay to support this site. Everyone thinks that if you cross promote with someone you're kissing someone's ass. Truth be told, we pride ourselves with never- ending cross promotion for our advertisers. It's about longevity for our members, followers and EVERY advertiser on ChopCult. - Lisa

Commented on 9-29-2014 At 05:28 pm

Love this bike. So rad. Cutting up a stock bike to make it rip.
Go figure.

Commented on 10-4-2014 At 11:41 am

Really nice job. Thanks for posting.

Commented on 10-31-2014 At 06:40 pm

That header needs to go into production!

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