"Take me home, carry me home, back to Gasoline Alley where I
belong>" That's how the early 70's Rod Stewart Song went, and it
still hold's true today.
Old Skool choppers like "back in the day" still rule at this NYC shop.
Deep in the heart of Brooklyn, NY's industrial waterfront district
lies Indian Larry's GASOLINE ALLEY NYC. Neatly tucked between
warehouses and commercial buildings, magic is being made daily. I
caught up with Indian Larry and his partner Gerard while the
Discovery Channel was at the shop filming another biker build-off for
their Motorcycle Mania show. This time it's Indian Larry vs. Master
builder Paul Yaffee. It was hetic, indeed. The Horse will feature the
Gasoline Alley NYC crew's bike from conception through the building
process and final judging at the Laconia M.C. Rally this June in an
Gasoline Alley was started about three years ago at this location
on Brooklyn's North 14 Street. Both Larry and Gerard have a long and
illustrious history of chopper building. Their clients include the
likes of Tyson Beckford and Evan Sienfield of Bio-Hazard and OZ on
HBO among many other notables. They don't discriminate to just the
celebrity set. You will find folks from every walk of life drifting
in and out of Gasoline Alley NYC. Larry and Gerard take pride in
treating everyone equally. From the highest of the high to a dirt bag
photojournalist like me. Everyone is made to feel welcome and they
take the time to make sure you get just what you need.
Indian Larry's resume reads like something out of fiction. A metal
sculptor, motorcycle artist, stuntman and movie celebrity, Indian
Larry was also featured in a previous Discovery Channel biker special
with Jesse James. As for Larry's other credits, the movies QUIZ SHOW,
200 CIGARETTES, ROCKET'S RED GLARE as well as TV commercials for
Burger King and Harley-Davidson and a bunch of music videos.
While I shot the new Discovery bike, I spied this sweet old skool
Panhead tucked lovingly in the rear of the work area. As fate would
have it the, lovely Suzy McCoppin, co-star of HBO's GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
and INFAMOUS was also conveniently at hand. (Regular readers know
that the old Teddy Bear always has a young lovely near by.) I just
couldn't let this opportunity pass. Also on hand for the build was
Paul Cox, master of leather. Larry surrounds himself with the cream
of chopperdom. Paul made seats for Billy Lane's Choppers Inc, Jesse
James West Coast Choppers among others and is also one hell of a
machinist. In attendance was Knucklehead Steve, another renowned
fixture in the NYC chopper scene. I sorta twisted Larry's arm and he
agreed to share this sweet ride with us.
This baby is a neo/classic rigid style Panhead chopper right out
of the past. Three months in gestation, it's birth was eagerly
awaited by it's owner Chris Hynes.
It sports an 88-cubic-inch neo/Pan engine rebuilt by Accurate
engineering with S&S cases and pistons topped off with STD heads and
Mallory ignition. Also in the power plant are Andrews cams, Jims
lifters and an S&S Super E carb. The hydraulic clutch helps shift the
JIMS 6-speed tranny with graceful ease.
The frame is a custom 2002 Atlas/Gasoline Alley NYC special with a
35-degree rake and stretched 2 inches in the down tubes. It takes a
Primo Brute IV 3-inch belt drive to handle the power.
The gas tank is a modified Paughco that was lovingly remolded and
shot with sweet epoxy black pearl by Robert Pradke/Custom Auto Design
and the oil system is a Gasoline Alley NYC custom design fed by a
Choppers Inc. oil tank. The seat by Paul Cox Custom Leather Design is
almost too damned pretty to put your ass on.
Up front 6-inch billet risers are topped off by a tasteful set of
ape hangers. Keeping with the NYC tradition, there is no front fender
and no speedometer. If you ride in NYC, you need balls of steel, and
with this traditional set up, they'll be well tempered by the end of
one rush hour commute. The Excel wheels and hubs with Avon tires
mounted 21"x 215 front and 18" x 5.5" rear make this baby sit real
Building a bike like this from the ground up is what Gasoline
Alley NYC is famous for. Real Old Skool styling and new cutting edge
technology can work exceedingly well together, if done properly and
tastefully. You won't find the traditional Billet Barge here in this
shop. Every bike is a work of art. Larry and Gerard take pride in
their craftsmanship and every hand that works on a bike or that
manufactures a custom part is the hand of a true artist.
" And if I'm called away and it's my turn to go,
Should the blood run cold in my veins,
Just one favor I'll be asking you,
Don't bury me here it's too cold,
Take me back,
Carry me back,
Down to Gasoline Alley where I started from"