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2014 Indian Classic for 5-Ball Racing, Part 1

It’s All About American Biker’s Take on Custom Indians

By Bandit with photos from the American Biker Team
12/20/2014


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This is my new Chief Classic.
This is my new Chief Classic.



I wrote about Rich Worley, who owns American Biker in Charleston, SC, last year while heading to the Smoke Out. I ran into Rich at a bar, Suck, Bang and Blow, in Myrtle Beach. We rode new Indians, and Rich rolled in with his affable girlfriend, Megan, on a highbar modified, patina painted, new Indian classic. It looked rode hard and put away wet for a decade. I was intrigued.

My '46 Chief in my office.
My '46 Chief in my office.



Rich didn’t look like a dealer. He looked like a young, wild biker who knew how to have a good time. I was intrigued with these new motorcycles, and with what Rich was doing with them, so we got to talking. Over the next week, I decided to buy a first year Indian classic through Rich and American Biker. Our plans included modifying the bars to be reminiscent of my 1946 Indian. We also discussed modifying the rear fender slightly in keeping with an original Chief.





Then Rich and I would work out a color scheme and he would give it his exclusive patina look. Of course, we will follow this process along in a series of articles on Bikernet, starting with this one.

Here's a sharp example of the patina theme from American Biker.
Here's a sharp example of the patina theme from American Biker.











Another article will be devoted to Aeromach. A buddy, Paul Aiken, enjoys trying to develop products for stock bikes. He’s owned a few Harleys, and then he tried his hand with Victorys, and more recently with the new Indians. Most of his products enhance the riding experience, like his floorboard lowering system, which we will install on my Chief Classic immediately and maybe his floorboard and passenger floorboards.



Adjustable plate for lowering Indian footboards.
Adjustable plate for lowering Indian footboards.



Paul makes kickstand extensions, shift peg extensions, and several Indian head medallions for various applications. He makes saddlebag mounts, and a stronger license plate mounting system. And of course he makes billet license plate frames. For the engine, he manufactured a magnetic oil drain plug and detail-oriented fastener kits. Plus, he is noted for his heal-shift levers. There are more billet items to choose from on his site.

The mastermind, Paul Aiken.
The mastermind, Paul Aiken.





We will touch on the simplest performance aspects in another article, including the new S&S air cleaner, which we might have engraved by Heather New. We will install a new exhaust, either from D&D or Rich is messing with stock slip-on with a new coating called Ceakote and will investigate remapping the engine, so it appreciates our modifications for the best performance and air/fuel mixture. We will bring you dyno runs, mpg results, and performance reports.

Rich on the left with his painter and his photo director on his knee.
Rich on the left with his painter and his photo director on his knee.





I’m sure some other mods will surface during this process, so there are no hard and fast rules. Then we will follow the final paintwork and assembly as the bike takes on the 5-Ball Racing color-scheme and we get ready for the road. The base painter is Rusty Nash, with Paints by Rusty. And we have bomber girl plans for the tanks by Stacy Lundy.





This bike will be back on the salt next year with a new engine. I just bought another 45 engine on Ebay and had it shipped to Lee Clemens at Departure Bike Works.
This bike will be back on the salt next year with a new engine. I just bought another 45 engine on Ebay and had it shipped to Lee Clemens at Departure Bike Works.




Rich’s daughter, Vita, goes to school in Los Angeles. Our initial plan calls for Rich to ride the 5-Ball Indian across the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, delivering the bike to me as soon as the weather clears around March. It could be the first new Indian to run coast to coast in a blaze of 5-Ball glory. Rich will hit various dealerships across the country, and perhaps tour the Indian factory. Could be an amazing journey and we will cover each move on Bikernet. Maybe we can even race it somewhere.




Then I will ride this puppy to the 75th anniversary in Sturgis. If we need a Plan B, I may fly to Charleston and ride it to the SmokeOut, then Sturgis, then never stop and live on the road forever… Or maybe handle the Sturgis run like Anson did, arrive a week early, then peel out for the mountains and a long road trip home. Who knows?



Let’s get started with the bars:

“Here are some pictures of Rob making the bars,” said Rich. “I will also send a few more pics of the stock bars sitting next to your custom bars for comparison.”



Here is how the American Biker team did the job:




“We first found a set of 1 ¼-inch bars close to your desired style,” said Rich. “Between all the different parts suppliers like Biker's Choice and Custom Chrome, they were not hard to find. Then you take a set of stock Indian bars, which are your donor bars.”









“Indian has a specific ends to their bars that no one else has. The ways the controls mount and the throttle housing fits, are only found on Indian bars. So, the next step included cutting off the tips of the donor bars and then cutting off the tips of the new bars. We inserted a slug into the new bars for extra strength and TIG welded the two bars together. On your bars, we actually added about an extra 1-inch to both sides to give us the desired length. Once welded and complete, we then send the bars out to get chromed, or in your case, black-satin powder coated.”





Hang on for the next installment. This is going to be a helluvan adventure!



Click for more info: 679 Treeland Drive, Ladson, SC 29456. 843-641-0258
Click for more info: 679 Treeland Drive, Ladson, SC 29456. 843-641-0258



Click to check their full product line.
Click to check their full product line.



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Reader Comments


Bike looks great! I wonder how the engine compares to the Screamin' Eagle 110? I have heard the new Indians have a much different torque curve with a flatter plane?

Also just read Smoke Out article, you don't look line a Praying Mantis trying to make love to a stick on this bike...it fits you. Have a great ride and keep enjoying life!



Johnnyhumble
Humble, TX
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Editor Response It's about time you showed up. Read the Sturgis story. This bike is strong, extremely stable, with a terrific center of gravity. Handles and rides like a dream.

Can't wait for a Power Commander system, so we can install S&S cams, then look out.
--Bandit
I can just hear it now...oh, all he did was change handlebars...big deal right? Lot involved in customizing. Good luck and get well soon.

Sam
TX
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Editor Response Thanks, and they did a helluva job with these bars. Bars are sometimes the most difficult modification, since they mess with so many aspects of any bike.
--Bandit
Since you mentioned it, I may just ride with ya to the Black Hills and see if you can keep up!

Anson
Bayou Country, LA
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Editor Response It's not the keeping up, it's the terrific camping spots and the menu by the lake that may be challenging. I'm afraid you'll kick my ass...
--Bandit
Hey, since I have known ya for a century, I am sure you will need to move those floorboards about 4 inches forward. That way none of us Height challenged minions will be able to steal your Ride when we visit headquarters.


Krash
somewhere in the Pacific NortWest, WA
Monday, December 22, 2014
Editor Response There is this blessing for being tall. Otherwise, it can be a pain in the ass and lower back.
--Bandit

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