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"I was sitting in the Speed Shop catching up on whats going on in the big wide world of customization. Looking at Facebook and Blogs, I noticed the War bike that Roland and the team were building over in the States, holy Cow!! I yelled as I saw Rolands latest blog on his website. It was pretty unbelievable that two shops had two similar bikes on their benches at the same time. When you think about it, and the stages that we were into on the builds it was pretty amazing to think that we both would have had conversations with our clients around about the same time with similar motivations. I got on the email, and sent a picture to Roland of Old Crow on the bench with some title "parallel worlds" because I still couldn't believe the similarities, it was like one of us had seen the others blue prints." Steve Willis

We were lucky enough to work really closely with the owner, who wanted his new bike to be inspired by the P-51 Mustang, he knew the history, the detailing, the colours and specs of the aircraft, his knowledge and passion for the plane made us aware of the detail that was required for the build, down to exact colour match. The first conversations about a War bike did start with thoughts of WLA looks on a new Softail Chassis, but after a few emails and conversations the classic reinvention of a Harley-Davidson was agreed to go down more of a custom path.
A new Harley-Davidson Blackline with an injection of the aircraft was the decision, a bike with the more modern twist and so we set about hand drawing the bike and decided on certain points that would be statement givers, the wheels needed to look like the propellers of the aircraft, we chose the black Ops Judge wheels to execute this look and finished them with details on the blades adding the touch of yellow PVC which added to the look we were after.

Maybe we could do something with the exhaust we thought, and make the ports similar to the aircraft again, so we worked with some Vance and Hines pipes and fabricated them in the Speed Shop to give the look we wanted, we then had them coated in black.
The headlight was a gamble and we decided to reverse, machine, and reinvent a billet headlight to act as the nose of the plane. we thought that it would be a nice touch to house the Speedo and the operation lights in the headlight as well to keep everything super clean.

A few gas tanks were mocked up and eventually the smaller, stealthier RSD gas tank would be the way forward,  we knew the paint would work, at first we wanted to see if we could wrap the tank with another skin of metal and use actual rivets on the panelling, but we found this to be pretty impossible and moved in a different direction, aiming on chrome paint from MaClaren Formula One and dulling it back, this with the military green worked a treat, we knew the green was a real winner as we received many positive and enthusiastic comments from customers who were visiting and saw the bike on its wheels, frame only.

Jeff Tremaine the producer of Jack Ass, Nitro Circus and about a million other crazy shows wanted to bring his cousin Mike out to the shop for a visit. A visit turned into a few beers, a few beers turned into a long discussion about a bike Mike had been wanting to build. He commissioned Tremaine to guide the build and together we laid out a bunch of inspirational images from the golden age of the fighter plane. Tremaine and Mike were really into the flat blue that was on the Bear Cat and later the Devestator. So we started there. The original plane was a trainer called the T6 that came in a silver and blue. Strangely enough the planes were built here in LA. I may be slightly full of shit on this, but this is to the best of my knowledge. Mike loved the stance of Borracho, a bike we built back in 03’, but wanted the bike to handle well so he decided on the GSXR fork up front instead of the springer fork. That set the stage for the rest of the build as it ended up being a throw back in theme, but with a lot of high end techy parts. We also went with an 18 x 200 rear tire, keeping it narrow so she handles well.
We started with a Heritage Softail, which has a ton of shit hanging off it. Wind shield, touring bags, huge gauges, fat tires, chrome and chrome and chrome. So the first step was to strip it down. The build wasn’t too tough, but as always it takes a ton of time to round up all the parts, even if most of the parts were made by us. The main areas we had to fab up were for the leather belt covering the center of the gas tank. We also had to make custom triple trees to accept the GSXR forks. This bike was very much about the details and with all the vintage aircrafts the fasteners were all beautiful. The bike got the full stainless steel bolt treatment. Being the bike was used the engine had seen 30 thousand miles so freshened it up with “”””” . Some more cool detailing were the Fueling Cam plate which we anodized Gold and polished all the gears so they could be shown off through our Clarity Cam cover. The pipe was the first prototype of our new RSD Slant Carbon Fiber and Stainless pipe. It was funny, we were in the middle of building this thing when Steve from Shaw’s sent me a few build pics of his War bike. I was floored when I saw how similar the builds were, it was pretty funny. What were the odds we would have the same customer want such similar builds in the same time period with the same bike and basic silhouette? It was then I was like, we should fight!!

Our friends at Image Design Custom came out tops with the design and flow of the paintwork and again worked closely with our customer with detailing of the military lettering and numbers used on the rear fender. It was an enjoyable experience and one that opened our minds to the war, the bravery of the guys in the skies and the beauty of the aircraft of that era.

With much of weight cut off  and a motor that rips, she’s quick and does all the right things in the right places. Chris Wood at Airtrix supplied the simple yet effective paint that pulls in the spirit of the WW2 fighters. I think the overall effect is exactly what Mike and Tremaine wanted.

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