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Wednesday Edition

Making Of The Tiki God

How Hawaiian Island Masters Do It

By Darren Ho and Roger of Kustom Fab
6/10/2010 4:37:41 PM

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tiki image in lava

This is the second bike built by Kustom Fab in Oahu, Hawaii we’ve featured. We’ve Sponsored and attended all three Choppers only shows in Hawaii, and I believe that Roger And Darren Ho have won the coveted Best of Show awards at each event. This is also another opportunity to bring you a feature from start to finish, but then there’s the story. Darren Ho, a shop partner wrote the following about this bike and his experience building it. Enjoy:


Oval oil tank in concept, another chance to work with Tigman.

Our bike shop, Kustom Fab, started as a way for us guys to use our extra parts from past bike projects and create somewhat of an "after-work" hobby. But we never could have imagined that this "hobby" would turn all our bike dreams into a reality.

Picture 008-1

After the frames modifications were done the bike started to take a new direction.

rear shot of mockup

My partner in crime and Kustom Fab owner, Roger, has been building custom bikes for customers for many years. After all the self-less work hours put into friends’ bikes, Roger decided that it was time to make his "dream bike" a reality. The idea was set that Roger and I built a "shop bike" so that we could publicize the shop and create our custom fantasy.

guy on rolling chassis

Darren dreaming about what this bike might feeel like.

New -tiki1-1

We started to work with Dennis Mathewson from Cosmic Airbrush ,with some tiki ideas.

So with the project in motion, Roger gave me an old frame that was sitting by the side of his house and the customizing began. As the sheet metal covered the bare frame, it was obvious that this bike had potential. We began to throw around strange notions of unique styles to the islands. After a long night of pupus and beers, we came up with a Hawaiian theme.

What better way to show off the island style and give the bike that "old school" look.


We wanted to give it a real Hawaiian theme, so we implemented Koa. Dennis hand carving the hand grips.


What the grips looked carved, they looked even better oiled.

We begged it to resemble an old school ‘60s, balsa surfboard or woody car. We discovered ways to incorporate wood and Tiki Gods. We added Koa handgrips and foot pegs as well as creating a paint job with wood effects. And like icing on a cake, we created an old "pin up" girl on the back fender. Our master painter, Dennis Matheson, was able to raise this Hawaiian theme to a wonderful level.

airbrushing 2nd color in 

airbrushing tiki w stencil

The only problem was that this "dream bike" needed to be finished in two months. In addition we had another bike we planned to enter the 3rd annual Choppers Only Show on July 3rd. The hetic deadline demanded long nights, understanding family members, and hard work.

Fortunately we were able to make the sacrifices needed and the finished product definitely speaks for itself.


we couldn't leave out the girl, but We wanted to have that old pin-up style.


Dennis hit her shape right on the nose...

Take your time to truly look at this bike because the details will surprise you. From the Tiki starter button to the light up Tiki license plate, there's something to catch everyone's eye.


There were many late nights trying this bike and another ready for the Chopper only show. Darren working on the Belt Drive.

I would like to send out a big mahalo to Will Castro for the stitching on the seat, Dave Huntress for the sheet metal help, Tomo for the body work, Dennis Matheson for the paint and the carving, Todd for the Koa wood & work, Mannett for the exhaust flanges, and our main man Mel for the parts development.


The K-Fab Crew.


Roger & Darren Pick Up the good fortune.

There you have it. The Tiki God comes to life. It won best of its class at the LA Calendar Show and will compete in Las Vegas Bike Week soon.


Tiki Specifications

seat final

We worked with (Will Cascio) of Heavy Magic Leather with the seat concept, he pulled it off perfectly.


Fabrication: KustomFab
Year and Make: 76' Custom
Model: "Tiki Chop"
Assembly by: Kustomfab
Time: 3 Months
Chroming: Hawaii Plating
Polishing: South Bay Chrome

05 bikes 001-1

Roger put together this bab boy from scratch, he has had the parts laying around his house for years.


Year: 94' S&S Model: Shovelhead
Rebuilder: K-Fab
Ignition: Crane Hi-4
Displacement: 98 cu. In.
Lower end: S&S
Balancing: Ted's Machine
Pistons: S&S
Cases: S&S
Cams: Andrews
Lifters: Jims
Carb: S&S
Air cleaner: Thunder Cycle
Pipes: K-Fab


Roger wiring it up..somebody has to do it!


Modifications: Year: Shifting: Mid
Trans sprocket: 24-Tooth
Wheel sprocket: 48-Tooth



Dennis doing the artwork to the tank


We want it to look like a old vintage Surfboard, with the Koa Stringers running down the tank.


Molding: Cosmic Custom Airbrush
Painter: Dennis Mathewson
Color: Black
Type: House of Kolor

pinstriping wood grain on tank

FRAME Year: ‘94
Builder: Chopper Guys/ K-Fab
Type: Rigid
Rake: 45 degrees
Stretch: 3-inch

05 bikes 004-1

it was time to final assemble, Roger doing some wiring.


Bars: K-Fab Risers: minus 2 inches
Fenders: Exile/K-Fab
Headlight: OLD
Taillight: K-Fab
Speedo: For what?
Front Pegs: K-Fab
Rear Pegs: Never
Electrics: K-Fab
Gas Tank: Tigman/K-fab
Oil Tank: Tigman/K-fab
Oil System: S&S
Seat: Will Cascio

drawing of seat


Type: Wide Springer
Extension: 12 inches over
Builder: Fred's Frames
Special Features: integrated bars by K-Fab

roger and tom pruit
Roger and Tom Prewitt at the Choppers Only show.


Front Size: 21 X 1.85-inch
Hub: Billet Boyz
Rim: C.C.I.

Size: 17 X 7-inch
Hub: Ness single side
Rim: Custom
Tires: Pirelli/Metzler
Brakes: PM/Exile


Finally it was done, it was time to enjoy the view.

island style banner

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Reader Comments

Aloha, we met Dennis a few nights ago, just wanted to share a photo, I also referenced your excellent article in a blog post http://akaisilks.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/girls-gone-badddddddddd

Honolulu, HI
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Editor Response Thanks much. Dennis is an amazing master artist. I'm always knocked-out by his creativity. We plan to run your image in the news this week.

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