From the outset, I knew I wanted aluminum to be a theme carried throughout the bike, but shaping aluminum is extremely difficult — a totally different beast from steel. Fortunately, I became friends with Steve Shepard, a metal-shaper with unparalleled skills. (The dude is building an Airstream tow-along camper from scratch in his one-car garage.) As he rolled a beautiful set of aluminum fenders, I focused on the powertrain.
The little 350 isn’t a bad motor, but it leaves a lot to be desired. So why not buy a 440 big bore kit? I dropped the block off at a local engine repair shop, told them my time frame for the build, and left with my fingers tightly crossed.
Then I got a leather-stamped invite for The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, Oregon. With only two months to finish the bike, roll it into a van, and drive it across the country, I had to pin it. My anxiety as to whether or not I could actually finish the bike in time grew. But so did my will to make it happen.