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Rocket Man

Arrow Space KIWI Indian Custom

by Bandit with photos by Peter Linney, Mike Tomas, and Michael Lichter

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No one in the world is as passionate, talented, knowledgeable, and driven when it comes to Indian Motocycles, than KIWI Mike Tomas. He's a warrior when it comes to the competition between Indian and Harley-Davidson. He's an Indian restoration expert, an engine manufacturer, a machinist, a welder, designer, you name it. Not only does he cherish every element of the old Indian heritage, but he's developed an entirely new vintage Indian product line, so anyone can ride a vintage-styled, ground-up Indian build around new technology and state-of-the-art components.

"We offer our rebuilding services and vast experience for rebuilding almost any part of any Indian motorcycle," Mike said of his service capabilities. "We have the most comprehensive experience in rebuilding Flathead engines and transmissions you will find anywhere, using only the finest Kiwi parts made. We have created and learned from developing our own new Kiwi-brand engines, and we incorporate this technology into original engines." Mike and his crew have extensive knowledge but there's an added bonus. They ride their Indians constantly and extremely hard, sometimes to the point of abuse. Why, you might ask? "We're constantly testing our products," Mike says, "and if it holds up under us, it will surely hold up under you."

Here's one example of Kiwi testing. Kiwi Ross is only 15 1/2 years old. He received his motorcycle endorsement three days before Sturgis 2009. For initiation, he rode a Kiwi Indian 500 miles to the rally. During the event, he learned the skills of swerving and braking on the Black Hills canyon roads.

Then he roamed 2000 miles more in the plains of South Dakota. And then in front of his proud parents he made two passes at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. He took his first two runs on the 3-mile short track. He was piloting the only bike he ever rode since he was legally authorized to do so, a Kiwi Indian Bobber ('47 engine on '38 frame), 88 cubic inch flathead, 1650cc, in the Modified Fuel 1650 class. Proudly, he showed his Bub Speed Trials time slip: first run, 84.164 mph: return, 95.775 mph. This is the first of his Bonneville runs, but it won't be his last!

This Arrow Space bike is a terrific example of the Kiwi laundry list of capabilities. This bike is faultless in every single detail and is absolutely stunning. The bike was designed by Mike Kiwi Tomas for Michael Lichter’s, “One World Choppers exhibit" in Sturgis 2007. All construction aspects were handled by Kiwi Indian Motorcycle Company in their Riverside, CA facility. Tank artwork was designed and executed by world-renowned Monte Moore (Star Wars graphic artist).

The theme for the bike became rockets and ultimately Arrow Space, after Mike attended the Pomona, California monthly swap meet and discovered the rocket fender marker, which resides on the sissy bar now.

"I was looking for a cool, retro, theme," Mike said. Many of the rocket details were hand-crafted throughout the bike build including the 2:00 a.m. shop inspiration by Travis the welder, the rocket headlight mount appearing to pierce the neck. "He's a master TIG welder," Mike said. "He loves to work the puddle." 

As the build emerged on a Kiwi shop lift, inspiration flourished. "Even first-time customers offered to contribute," Mike said.

"I know exactly what you need," one anonymous customer said, and the next day he delivered the chromed rocket Mike manufactured into the velocity stack. Another customer showed up one day with the hot retro rocket exhaust tips.

Many of the Arrow Space components were hand-crafted including the rockets set-screwed onto the down tubes  before welding the neck and the seat post into place. "We machined those Buck Rodgers rockets," Mike said, then we needed to bore them out to fit the frame rails. We couldn't find a 1 1/8th drill bit long enough, so we welded the bit to a rod. It was a challenge."

They made a Crocker-styled steering damper system, then decided to give the adjuster a space theme and created the Saturn knob. Even with this interplanetary detail level the motorcycle was designed as a rideable Kiwi and runs real sweet. No money was spared on this build and it is one of a kind in which everything was meticulously hand-crafted. Watch for more Kiwi Motocycles on Bikernet. Extreme Buck Rogers Tech Chart

Regular Stuff

Owner: Mike Kiwi Tomas
Bike Name: Arrow Space
City/State: Riverside Calif

Builder: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
City/state: Riverside Calif.
Company Info: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Address: 4183 Fairgrounds St, Riverside Ca 92501
Phone: 951 788 0048
Web site:
Fabrication: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Manufacturing: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Welding: Travis Bonde/ Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Machining: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co


Year: 2008
Make: Kiwi Indian
Model: Flathead
Builder or Rebuilder: Mike Tomas/Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Cases: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Case finish: Natural
Barrels: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Bore: 3-1/4”
Pistons: Kiwi cast
Barrel finish: Powdercoat

Lower end: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Stroke: 5”
Rods: Kiwi forged H beam [photo 11392

Heads: Kiwi
Head finish: Natural
Valves and springs: Kiwi high performance
Pushrods: Kiwi
Cams: Kiwi performance Bonneville
Lifters: Kiwi performance Bonneville
Carburetion: CV
Air cleaner: Buck Rogers

Exhaust: Kiwi with rocket tips


Year: 2008
Make: Chief Overdrive, 4 speed overdrive, synchromesh
Gear configuration:, 1 down, 3 up
Final drive: Right side
Primary: Kiwi oil bath
Clutch: Kiwi E Z Release
Kicker: Manual


Make: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Style or Model: Rigid
Stretch: 0
Rake: 30 deg

Front End

Make: Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co
Model: Kiwi Leaf Spring
Year: 2008
Length: 20”

Sheet metal

Tanks: Old time SoCal Paughco
Fenders: Chica rear
Oil tank: Duno but it sure looks cool all polished up.


Sheet metal: Crown Town Customs
Molding: Kiwi and Chica
Base coat:
Graphics: Maverick Custom Paint
Frame: Crown Town Customs
Molding: Kiwi
Base coat:
Graphics or art:
Special effects:


Make: Black Bike
Size: 21”
Brake calipers:
Brake rotor(s):
Tire: Coker

Make: Black Bike
Size: 18”
Brake calipers: LA Choprod
Brake rotor: LA Choprod
Tire: Coker


Foot controls: Kiwi
Master cylinder: Nissin
Brake lines:
Handlebar controls: Kiwi Internal control with Rocket grips
Finish: Chrome
Shifting: Kiwi Jockey shift


Ignition: Kiwi Dual firing
Charging: Cycle Electric
Wiring: Kiwi
Harness: Kiwi
Headlight: Pomona swap meet special
Taillight: Pomona swap meet special
Accessory lights: Pomona swap meet special
Electrical accessories:

What’s Left

Seat: Bad Ass Seats, Las Vegas NV
Gas caps: Kiwi
Handlebars: Kiwi
Grips: Kiwi Rockets
Pegs:Kiwi Rockets
Oil filter:
Oil cooler:
Oil lines:Kiwi
Fuel filter:
Fuel Lines:Kiwi
Throttle: Kiwi Internal control
Throttle cables:

Specialty items: Crocker style steering dampener but made to look like Saturn in order to keep with the Arrow Space theme. Stainless trim added to gas tank. Rocket theme throughout.

Credits: Kiwi crew headman Travis, Crown Town Customs (paint), Pacific Polishing Pomona Calif (Chrome), Bad Ass Seats Las Vegas NV, P&A Lyons (special machining), Irwin Tools, Coker Tires, Chica.

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Reader Comments

get this file width to the sunday post so I can read it without scrolling side to side.thanks

david blanchette
methuen, MA
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
... thanks for bringing back black text on white background ... so much easier to read. at least for the articles such as these.
Ride on!

San Jose, CA
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Editor Response You got it. I agree.

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