Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Light Mockup

I was happy to be asked to build a bike for Born Free 4 as part of the builder invite. I have a full time jobby job and only work on bikes at night and on weekends, so to be included as a builder with all of the other incredibly talented dudes that were picked feels really good. I am building a digger. I have wanted to build one for 4 or 5 years now but never got around to finishing one. I got as far as a rolling chassis with one back in 2007:

I still have that entire chassis--I just got sidetracked building King Diamond and never got back to it. I decided to do the digger for the BF4 build, but I wanted to start fresh with a different chassis. My original plan was to make my own frame and front end for the bike, but I came across an original Arlen Ness digger frame and front end being sold by Vic up in the East Bay. I have literally never seen a big twin Ness digger frame in person, let alone for sale. This one had the EXACT same dimensions I was using to build a frame, except for a couple degrees more rake. I worked a cash and part trade deal with Vic and he shipped the stuff to me last week. All I can say is wow, the lines on the frame and craftsmanship is incredible. All of the tubing other than the backbone and seatpost is 7/8", just like I had wanted to do. Plus the whole frame is made out of chromoly, it is really light. It is stretched out about 6", no upstretch, and about 40 degrees of rake. Just an awesome frame:

In honor of the good professor and light mock-up king, Mike D AKA the Born Loser, I wanted to do a light mockup of the chassis for shits and giggles. I am using Kimtabs on this bike, 18" rear and 21" front. I made the rear fender out of two prismic-looking fenders, it also hides an oil tank. The gas tank is just for mockup, I am making my own tank for it that wil be a true prism/diamond tank (i.e., no square sides). The tank and fender are going to be welded to the frame and the whole deal will be molded. I am running a '66 FL motor, which will be completely show polished. Here's a rough idea of how it will sit:

Man, I am in love. Nothing but hustle from here on out so I can have her done in plenty of time.


  1. wow, looks great! That front motor mount is a trip!

  2. Its lookin pretty wild dave,
    if you need some inspiration I have a big twin digger survivor that I could send you pictures of. It was at bf3 last year. Make arlen proud. See you in orange in june.