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Bikernet asks "So you want to make your Vegas 8-ball more like an Indian Larry Chopper?"

Handlebars…check, new exhaust system…check…Mission Control we have ignition

By Derrel Whitemyer
10/7/2015


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…in celebration of Elisa Seeger’s September 19th block party honoring Larry
…in celebration of Elisa Seeger’s September 19th block party honoring Larry



Sooooo Elisa Seeger, owner of Indian Larry Motorcycles in Brooklyn New York, has invited me to their September 19th annual block party in honor of Larry. I can’t go. However since I’m a fan of Larry and have been writing a serialized sci-fi book called ‘BORDERLAND BIKER in memory of Indian Larry and Doo Wop music’ for Bikernet Magazine, I decide to honor him by making two changes on my Victory Vegas 8-Ball. Hey, what can I say; from following the teachings of Jesus to buying Gene Autry lunch boxes folks have for thousands of years found ways to be more like the people they respect.

Would Larry have chosen to chopper-ize a Vegas 8-Ball…hard to tell? My guess is that in an alternate universe were Larry given a 2013 Victory Vegas 8-Ball and asked to make just two modifications he might’ve added some mild, not wild, ape hangers and a different exhaust system. Larry was an artist that sculpted his own bars and exhaust systems; but if he had to choose those two items off a store shelf I suspect a Bassani Pro Street exhaust and some KST Kustom’s 16” Mayhem ape hangers would’ve been high on his list of possible choices.

I can change tires and oil and adjust cables, belts and chains but when it comes to doing ‘stuff’ I’m not qualified to do I’m a lot like Groucho Marx when he said, “I’d never join a club that would have me as a member.”…so I turned to Joe Leon.

Joe’s one of the master mechanics at Hollister Powersports and has experience customizing bikes. Together with parts manager Kevin Vance and with the encouragement of general manager Rey Sotelo we, rather they, complete the project.

Larry’s primary theme was always to build choppers that could be ridden aggressively through the twisties. He accomplished that goal and in turn inspired others…so much so I was recently told by one of the Polaris engineers that more than a few of the designers of select Victory models were/are fans of Indian Larry’s philosophy.

RIP Larry
Elisa, thank you for the invite, maybe next year




Master mechanic Joe Leon working his magic installing the KST 16” mild, not wild, Mayhem ape hangers and the Bassani Pro Street exhaust (Some psychologists would argue that getting the bars and exhaust is a form of hero worship and a way of trying to be like Larry)
Master mechanic Joe Leon working his magic installing the KST 16” mild, not wild, Mayhem ape hangers and the Bassani Pro Street exhaust (Some psychologists would argue that getting the bars and exhaust is a form of hero worship and a way of trying to be like Larry)



Joe Leon and parts manager Kevin Vance (Kevin was instrumental in finding all the ‘stuff’ needed to do the job) standing beside my Vegas 8-Ball or what Dr. Phil would call my surrogate Roy Rogers lunch box.
Joe Leon and parts manager Kevin Vance (Kevin was instrumental in finding all the ‘stuff’ needed to do the job) standing beside my Vegas 8-Ball or what Dr. Phil would call my surrogate Roy Rogers lunch box.



Rey Sotelo, Hollister Powersports General Manager and member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, offered not only his encouragement but his knowledge of years working with Indian Motorcycles and custom bikes.
Rey Sotelo, Hollister Powersports General Manager and member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, offered not only his encouragement but his knowledge of years working with Indian Motorcycles and custom bikes.



Sooo you’re good to go and take it on its first test ride… Handlebars…check, new exhaust system…check…Mission Control we have ignition
Sooo you’re good to go and take it on its first test ride… Handlebars…check, new exhaust system…check…Mission Control we have ignition

 
The first leg of my test ride takes me behind Hollister along some backroads…and yes, those are some much needed rain clouds in the background
The first leg of my test ride takes me behind Hollister along some backroads…and yes, those are some much needed rain clouds in the background

 

The Bassani Pro Street exhaust looks and sounds great (not too loud) and gives you more in the mid-range as well as top end
The Bassani Pro Street exhaust looks and sounds great (not too loud) and gives you more in the mid-range as well as top end



Sooo my first ride finally ends at these giant gears in front of Casa de Fruta just off Hwy 152
Sooo my first ride finally ends at these giant gears in front of Casa de Fruta just off Hwy 152

 
 

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