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Thursday Edition


Paul Cox "Berserker"

The Leather Master Brings The Viking To Life

By TBear with photos from Jim Russi, TBear and Sin Wu
6/10/2010 2:42:41 PM


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PAUL NEXT 
TO BIKE
A true Viking Warrior on two wheels. That's an accurate way to describe Master Leather Smith, Paul Cox's BERSERKER Panhead. Sporting enough hand carved leather armor and dangerous sharp edges to make Odin and Thor proud, The Berserker blends various Paul Cox talents together. Hell, any Viking would be elated to ride it into Valhalla.

Paul Cox is a born artist. Drawing and sculpture have always been in his blood. Paul started working with leather when he was a kid. He got his hands on a bundle of scrap leather pulled from a dumpster when he was about 12 years-old and immediately put his talents to good use making himself a pair of home made hockey gloves.

He was pleased with his results from the beginning so he kept working with leather and soon had a shop in his home.

In the early '90s Paul hooked up with bike shops Psycho Cycles and 6TH ST. Specials in New York City. The blend of leather and custom motorcycles was a natural for this talented artisan. Paul also met with master builder Indian Larry back then and fostered an active working relationship. Currently they both share space at the Brooklyn, NY. North 14st shop.

GAS CAP 
CLOSE

The BERSERKER was a labor of love, a work in progress for over seven years. Paul is quick to say, "It's NOT a theme bike!!!!! It's just what I felt in my heart. The only thing it represents is ME!!"

LEFT SIDE 
TANK CLOSE

The BERSERKER has seen a ton of exploration creativity and massaging. The leather-covered monster began with extensive Viking rune research.

The hand carving on the rear fender, seat and gas tank symbolize Strength, Protection, Journey and the Viking Warrior Code.

He carved 6 oz. American cowhide leather and took upwards of 200 hours to complete the sheet metal padding. The leather was then painstakingly hand fitted to the modified Sportster gas tank and hand made rear fender.

REAR RIGHT 
ENGINE SHOT

The bike is a 1958 modified 88-inch Panhead. Indian Larry worked his magic on the engine and it roars like a dragon. It's lower end is an H-D Evo, static balanced featuring Andrews cams and JIMS solid lifters. The engine is made up of H-D cases, STD heads and S&S pistons. It features a Morris Magneto and a S&S Super B carb fitted with a brass candy dish air cleaner cover to round out the look and home made pipes that snort fire.

TOP VIEW

The tranny is a true jockey shifter with a tank shifter lid. The frame is an old cut up Paughco that Paul pieced together. It's, of course, a rigid with a 31-degree rake and 2-inch up stretch. Painter Robert Pradke shot it with semi flat black and handled the detailed pinstriping on the frame.

FRAME NECK 
DETAIL

The front end is radical as well. Paul and long time friend Knucklehead Steve had a blast putting it together. It's a "girdraulic" front end. Basically a custom girder with a custom built-in shock absorber to make it ride and handle like a Caddy. The legs, trees and rockers were E.D.M.ed and the articulated rockers have a double row of precision bushings. The dampening is sweet.

TAILIGHT 
CLOSE

The fun doesn't stop there. The narrowed drag bars are held in place by 6-inch glide risers and both are drilled for internal controls. The taillight is a one of a kind brass creation and the front and rear pegs were also made by Paul Cox out of a combination of stainless steel and brass. The gas tank is a modified Sportster tank, covered in leather set off by a hand made brass gas cap. The oil tank is also a custom design by Paul and Indian Larry with an S&S oil pump sending life through custom coiled hard copper oil lines. The jockey shift handle is a pistol grip style stag antler giving it a battle-axe feel.

KICKER 
CLOSE

The rear wheel also fits into the Viking style with a sharp stainless steel rear fender bracket is reminiscent of a warrior's broad sword.

"The rear wheel also fits into the Viking style with a sharpened stainless steel rear fender bracket," Paul said, "that is reminiscent of a Nordic inspired broad sword used for ceremonial knightings."

REAR 
FENDER STRUT

The front 21 x 2 1/4-inch wheel has a modified H-D dual flange hub inside of an Akron Aluminum rim. The rear wheel is a 160/60 x 17 on an Excel Aluminum rim.

FRONT 
MOTOR

Looking at the BERSERKER in all its glory, it's no wonder that Paul Cox Leather is in such high demand. Having made seats for the likes of Indian Larry, Jesse James, Exile Cycles, and Billy Lanes Choppers Inc. as well as a host of others. Paul's work continues to be sought after final polished detail for any old school chopper.

a.berserker.seat.2b1

You'd think with all the great work Paul puts out for the master builders, he'd have a huge shop with a bunch of workers like Le Pera or some of the other high-end shops. Not Paul. He wants to keep his hands on every job that comes through his shop. He feels that it's not a Paul Cox seat unless Paul Cox makes it himself. Each and every seat is totally hand made directly by Paul himself, from the shaping of the seat pan, the fitting of the padding, the hand tooling and stitching of the leather and the final assembly and shipping.

Paul wants to keep his business totally hands on and not expand too much. "I like to specialize and work with builders I respect."

"Physically and psychologically it's a lot of work for one person," Paul said. "Endless hours in the shop can burn you out, if you're not doing something your really into. I could do black leather seats with the Iron Cross or flames on them all my life and make more money, but I'm not into that. I want to do work that excites me and turns me on."

PAUL RIDING 
SHOT

ann

"It helps having an understanding wife at home when the work constantly keeps you in the shop till the wee small hours," Paul said as he put the finishing touches on a custom seat for Russell at Exile Cycles.

Anne, Paul's wife, is a clothing and jewelry designer and quite talented in her own right. They both share a passion for the arts and work as a well-oiled mutual support system for each other. Paul plans to keep putting out quality leather work for many years to come. Don't let the big reputation scare you off. Paul Cox Leather will always welcome commissions from individual builders like you and me. It's the guy whose butt is in the seat that Paul wants to do work for. Turn around time is fairly respectable and you just can't match the quality of a seat that's custom built for you.

Paul has recently developed and is selling his RIGIDAIRE ADJUSTABLE PNEUMATIC SEATING SYSTEM. In kit form for you do-it-yourselfers.

The Universal kit includes everything you need to set-up your air-ride seating system:

Airspring assembly with mounting bracket
Seat adapter bracket
All fittings, check valve and air lines
Solenoid valve for emptying the springs
All wiring , terminals and two way switch
Heavy-duty, compact compressor with mounting bracket
Stainless steel nose mount with oil-light bushings
Complete, illustrated instruction sheet
Tech support from beginning to end, if needed
The kit retails for $1,200.

So whether it's a new seat or a complete air ride system that you're interested in, Contact Paul at:

PAUL IN 
HAWAII

PAUL COX LEATHER
151 N. 14 STREET
BROOKLYN, NY.11211
PHONE 718 609-9067
EMAIL: PAULCOXLEATHER@AOL.COM
OR CHECK OUT HIS WEB SITE: HTTP://WWW.PAULCOXLEATHER.COM
And be sure to tell em TBear and Bikernet sent you.

FULL 
RIGHT

Berserker Tech Sheet

GENERAL

Fabrication: by Paul Cox
Year and Make: modified 1958 Panhead
Model: PANHEAD
Assembly by: PAUL COX
Time: 7 YEARS +
Chroming: VARIOUS

LEFT SIDE 
CLOSE UP

ENGINE

Year: 1958
Model: PANHEAD
Rebuilder: INDIAN LARRY
Ignition: MORRIS MAGNETO
Displacement: 88"
Lower end: H-D EVO
Balancing: STATIC
Pistons: S&S
Cases: H-D
Heads: STD
Cams: ANDREWS
Lifters: JIMS SOLIDS
Carb: S&S SUPER B
Air cleaner: BRASS CANDY DISH
Pipes: HOME MADE

a.berserker.belt.drive.1b1

TRANSMISSION

Modifications:
Year: MIXED
Shifting: TRUE JOCKEY,TANK SHIFT LID-SELECTOR TOP
Engine Sprocket: BELT
Trans sprocket: 24
Wheel sprocket: 48

a.berserker.leather.detail.1b

PAINTING

Molding: PINSTRIPING BY ROBERT PRADKE
Painter:
Color: SEMI FLAT BLACK FRAME
Type: FIEBERLINGS LEATHER DYE

FRAME

Year: CUT UP OLD PAUGHCO
Builder: PAUL COX
Type: RIGID
Rake: 31 DEGREES
Stretch: 2 UP

PAUL 
SITTING ON BIKE

ACCESSORIES

Bars: NARROWED DRAG, INTERNAL CABLES
Risers: 6-inch GLIDE DRILLED FOR INTERNAL CABLES
Fenders: ONE REAR
Headlight: 5 3/4-inch PAUGHCO
Taillight: CUSTOM BY PAUL COX
Speedo: WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' SPEEDO
Front Pegs: STAINLESS AND BRASS MADE BY PAUL C
Electrics: LEFT SIDE CASE ALTERNATOR
Gas Tank: MODIFIED SPORTY
Oil Tank: INDIAN LARRY, PAUL COX CUSTOM
Oil System: S&S PUMP & COPPER HARD LINES
Seat: YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING

a.berserker.left.2

FORKS

Type: CUSTOM GIRDER,GIRDROLIC..SHOCK IN GIRDER
Extension: 2 inches OVER
Builder: KNUCKLEHEAD STEVE AND PAUL COX

a.paul.kickin.1b

WHEELS

Front
Size: 21X2.25
Hub: MODIFIED H-D DUAL FLANGE
Rim: AKRON ALUMINUM

Rear
Size: 160/60X17
Hub: MODIFIED H-D DUAL FLANGE
Rim: EXCEL ALUMINUM


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Reader Comments


I saw this bike at Sturgis in 2004, at Indian Larry's tent, and then again as we were leaving Sturgis at a gas station. I thought then that it was the most beautiful bike I had seen-ever--at the time. I thought the scales on the tank resembled a dragon's body. I've always been entranced with Viking legends! I hope this bike is still around! Gorgeous!

Jackie
Wise, VA
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Editor Response I'm sure it is. I hope you saw the recent build-off. RKB won the competition with a very classic custom. Check it out on the Bikernet Blog--Amazing!

--Bandit
Where to start.... WOW, what a bike! Fantastic design and workmanship and your leather work is outstanding!!! I happened upon you watching an American Chopper episode on the Aragon bike and your saddle took my breath away.

Wish I were younger and back on the road but that was then and this is now.
Anyway, fantastic hand-work, great designs.... one of a kind!

Take care,

--Vic

Vic Clunet
Silver Spring, MD
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Editor Response Paul will be proud.
--Bandit

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