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Extreme 45 Flathead Custom

With Fine Metal Work By Ewing Customs

By Wrench with photos by John Leach of CCI and Josh Ewing
6/11/2010 12:47:41 AM


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Bandit gave the entire staff books on grammar, spelling and punctuation. Whatta mess that caused. Every grammar book handles the topics differently. We couldn’t get it right before, and now we argue about the varied grammatical codes and still get it wrong. That’s not the case in the world of metal work. You either get it right the first time or keep hammering and welding until it’s correct. They’re only various levels of correctness, no rules. As a kid, with three brothers and no parents into bikes or hot rods, Josh Ewing drug a 220 Volt extension cord through his bedroom window, into his Tacoma, Washington, kitchen, pushed the electric stove out of the way and plugged in his stick welder. “I fired it up,” Josh said, “and it dimmed all the lights in my folks’ house.”

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He started his craft after buying his first car at 16 years of age, a ’68 Impala. “I had no money to fix it,” Josh said, “so I did it myself.” He started with welding, then bodywork and mechanics. For three years he learned at his first job building hot rods in Auburn, Washington. “Then I spent another year and a half working from Wicked Fabrication,” Josh said. “I have no clue why or how I got into bikes and hot rods. My folks weren’t into it and neither were my brothers.”

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During his time in the car shops he built bikes on the side and that end of his craft grew until he was forced to make a decision and opened his own shop in Sumner, Washington just 10 minutes east of Tacoma. His dad was an electrician for the Naval Shipyard and he’s the same age as Bandit, born in ’48. Josh is now 28, married and his first child is on its way. His shop stays busy with predominately metal fabrication. A customer, Marty Mitchell, hauled in this partially dismantled 1946 45 flathead and they started to rework the twisted chassis which led to a complete remake of the front chassis half, then Josh made the tank, the oil bag, the fender, forward controls, fender struts, license plate and taillight mount chain guard and center rear sprocket web. He cleaned and smoothed the stock springer front end and made the caliper mounts.

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In addition to a variety of sheet metal working tools Ewing Kustoms house machine shop capabilities with a lathe and milling machine. He enjoys working on early rides but also deals with later bikes with big engines and billet wheels. “We’re predominately a metal fab shop,” Josh explained. They outsource paint, but make some of their seats, except when stitching is required.

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We’ll watch as the Ewing shops grows and Josh develops new products, maybe a line of gas tanks and license plates brackets that might be sold through CCI. He’s obviously a talented builder and we hope to feature more of his bikes in the near future. That is, if the old Bandit will allow me to hammer out a story without picking it to death.

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CCI logo

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BIKERNET EWING KUSTOMS TECH CHART

Regular Stuff

Owner: Marty Mitchell
City/State: Spanaway/WA

Builder: Ewing Kustoms
Location: 13701 24st East, Sumner, WA. Phone #253-826-6246 / Email address : ewingkustoms@qwestoffice.net
Fabrication: Ewing Kustoms
Manufacturing: Ewing Kustoms
Welding: Ewing Kustoms
Machining: Ewing Kustoms

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Engine

Year: 1946
Make: Harley Davidson
Model: Flathead
Displacement: 45 cubic inch
Builder or Rebuilder: unknown
Cases: stock
Case finish: polished
Barrels: stock
Barrel finish: Unknown
Heads: stock
Head finish: Unknown

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Carburetion: stock (polished)
Other: Distributor is a modified Mallory

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Transmission

Year: 1946
Make: Harley Davidson
Gear configuration: 3-speed
Final drive: chain
Primary: stock chain without cover
Clutch: Barnett

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Frame

Year: 1946
Make: Harley Davidson
Style or Model: Flathead 45
Rake: about 45 degrees
Modifications: Rebuilt backbone and downtube to lower the headtube of frame. Removed any mounts that were not necessary, which were most of them.

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Front End

Make: Harley Davidson
Model: Flathead
Year: 1946
Length: stock
Mods: Shaved off fender & other misc. mounts. Powder coated and chromed.

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Sheet metal

Tanks: Ewing Kustoms
Fenders: Ewing Kustoms
Oil tank: Ewing Kustoms
Other: Air cleaner, primary cover & shroud, chain guard, brake lever, wheel spacer/ brake caliper mounts, fender struts, headlight mount, license plate mount and frame, front spool hub, distributor cap, kickstand, kicker pedal, exhaust mount, upper motor mount, and fender mount are all handmade at Ewing Kustoms.

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Paint

Sheet metal: Byers Custom & Restoration
Molding: Byers Custom & Restoration
Base coat: Byers Custom & Restoration
Graphics: Byers Custom & Restoration
Frame: Rainier Powder Coating

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Wheels

Front
Make: Harley Davidson / Ewing Kustoms
Size: 16 inch
Brake calipers: Performance Machine
Brake rotor(s): Ewing Kustoms
Tire: 5.00-16 white wall

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Rear
Make: Harley Davidson / Ewing Kustoms
Size: 16 inch
Brake calipers: Performance Machine
Brake rotor: Ewing Kustoms
Pulley: (sprocket) Ewing Kustoms
Tire: 5.00-16 white wall

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Controls

Foot controls: Ewing Kustoms
Finish: Black Powder Coat & Chrome
Master cylinder: Modified Wagner style
Brake lines: Ewing Kustoms / Goodridge
Handlebar controls: Ewing Kustoms
Finish: Chrome
Clutch Cable: Ewing Kustoms
Brake Lines: Ewing Kustoms / Goodridge
Shifting: Modified stock hand shifter with Ewing Kustom mount and linkage

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Electrical

Ignition: Mallory
Ignition switch: Sportster
Coils: Gill
Regulator: V-Twin (solid state)
Charging: V-Twin generator
Wiring: Ewing Kustoms
Harness: Ewing Kustoms
Headlight: Model A cowl light/ Ewing Kustoms
Taillight: Ewing Kustoms
Switches: Only an ignition switch
Battery: Centennial Battery Systems

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What's Left

Seat: Ewing Kustoms
Pipes: Ewing Kustoms
Exhaust finish: Ceramic Coating
Gas caps: Ewing Kustoms
Handlebars: Ewing Kustoms
Grips: McFarland Upholstery
Pegs: Ewing Kustoms
Oil lines: Ewing Kustoms
Fuel filter: stock style
Fuel Lines: Ewing Kustoms
Throttle: Exile internal throttle
Throttle cables: Ewing Kustoms
Fasteners: Custom Chrome

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Specialty items:

Comments: We prefer to hand-make as many parts as we possibly can and buy only what we can't make. We also guarantee that you will recieve the highest quality with each hand-made part we make.

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Credits: Special thanks to Byers Custom, Jaime McFarland ( thanks for the leather ), Daron Gaenz ( thanks for machining the axles), Jeff Cortez (Ranier Powder Coating), John Leach for his support, and Marty Mitchell.

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We’re fortunate to have a teaser on Josh Ewing’s next project. Some very smooth sheetmetal work here.

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Watch for another feature on Bikernet.com in the future.

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Reader Comments


It has been a very beautiful design. Now, in today's conditions, it would be nice to design a lightweight and beautiful motorbike. Future motorcycles will be powered by electric motors and high speed. The electronic part of the train will develop its mechanical parts.

Big motorcycles will not be back on this. You can create an example prototype by developing this design. You can sell it to a national firm by taking a patent and you become a distinguished brand.

ORHAN
Istanbul, Turkey
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Beautiful and subtle work! Y'all brought back a piece of history and turned it into a work of art. Do you know a good shop in central Virginia?

Jason
Afton, VA
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Editor Response Does Richmond help. Check out Departure Bike Works in Richmond. Ask for Lee or Brenda Clemens. The shop has rocked for about 35 years. Tell 'em I sent ya.
--Bandit
He may do good work, but when he makes a mistake he does not follow up. He makes promises and then does not answer his phone.

I have call numerous time and left messages for him to call to talk about what to do about a set of handlebars he miss measured, he made promises to get redo the bars and give me a credit and now he will not call back. Bad Business.

Al Thompson
Orting, WA
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Editor Response Don't know what this is about, we don't have anyone by that name on our customers list and normally when we get a call for bolt on parts we try to refer them to a custom bike shop in their area, first so it's a rare occasion that we sell long distance parts (noticed the guy is from Washington?).

We feel like it is especially important for customers who are trying to do a project on their own to work with someone close by so if they need help they will have a local source to turn to for help.

These days our main focus is on custom sheet metal, exotic body shop work, restorations and modifications so we operate by appointment only and have a bit of a waiting list most of the time.

While we do schedule in small jobs this sounds like a job we'd have referred to another local shop in our area. . . and while we may be slow due to time spent on details Holly always either responds to messages herself or gets me involved for tech questions and such so there must be some sort of mix up?

--Kent

--Bandit
Hey I really like the bike, but I would really like to get in touch with him and talk about how i could start being able get a job working on bikes.

Chance Moody
libby, MT
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Editor Response Reach out to Kent in Houston at Lucky Devil Metal Works. I'm sure he is always looking for additional talent.
--Bandit

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