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Wednesday Edition


Unfinished Business

When Like-Wise Minds Meet

By Paul Funk
7/14/2010


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The story of this bike begins at the AMD European Championship 2007 in Mainz. It was here that I met Peder Johansson of Hogtech once again. Peder is one of the top Swedish Chopper/frame builders with 25 years of experience in the business. I respect him especially for his versatility and craftsmanship, as next to his famous Longfork choppers, he also did streetracers, dragster frames and built the Kaminari project with BMW designer Ola Stenegard (check www.hogtech.com).

We met many times since we first started bullshitting about V-twin tech, bike building and life in general at the Rosmalen Bikeshow in 2003, but this time something was different. Peder looked exhausted and worried, when we started talking, he told me about the backlash of the fire he had in his house and workshop (a collapsing wall also ruined 3 customers’ bikes and his own ride), the trouble with the insurance company and all the dumb hard work of rebuilding the house, shop, and business. He told me it was hard to find the time, energy, and passion to do some new stuff.

Throughout the weekend we talked (drinked) more and more, and spoke about the love for the motorcycles and what inspired and influenced our taste. We both where big drag race fans, and especially the 60’s and 70’s American Funnycars, Top fuelers and Indy 500 racers made our hearts skip a beat. We talked about the many details like the chassis, the Halibrand wheels and brakes, and how cool it could be to make a bike inspired by these racers.

During the talks I saw the passion for the bikes coming back in his eyes, and when we left we made an agreement that I would started doing some design sketches, so maybe together we could try to make a bike like that.

Love It When a Plan Comes Together!

On the four hour drive back to The Netherlands, the vision of the bike slowly formed in my mind, and at home I sat down with a piece of paper and drew till 5:00 in the morning. The next day I emailed the drawing (drawing #1), and got an enthusiastic reply from Peder. Ok!

Drawing 1, an initial concept for the funny-car inspired muscle-bike.

Now, the design was there, but how to make it happen? How to find a customer, or should we maybe sell it as a promotional bike? As I got some good contacts in the industry through the years, I started calling around. The most serious reply I got was from Brett Smith of S&S cycles. He loved it and would put it through to his marketing people. Two weeks later I received a phone call and was told that although they loved the idea, they were very busy with something really big that took all of their budget and they really couldn’t talk about it anyway because it was still a secret (S&S 50th anniversary). 15 months later they had sold 50 engines and got 50 free promotion bikes. Best marketing stunt ever! For us it went silent…..

Then by coincidence, one of Peders customers, Johan“Lexi”Lexhagen, saw the original design and told Peder he wanted something like that! It started basically with him wanting to put a compressor on the “bobber with a springer” he originally had in mind. As I was at that moment (re)building those compressors, I would build one for him and take it to Nortellje 2007. When I delivered the compressor we started talking more, and I found out “Lexi” was not only a great guy, but also had motor oil in his veins and a big V-twin for a heart This was another serious motorcycle freak who was not afraid to think out of the box!

All this time I was still bugging Peder about what we did in Holland to V-twin engines to make them fast, vibration free, and really reliable (see www.perfecttwinperformance.com). So when Lexi took over Peders FHP engine (which had a little problem) for his project, he decided he wanted it to be rebuilt by Joop van Amelsvoord at Joop’s ‘HD Service Centre’ in Delft, Holland. It was a good excuse for the Hogtech crew (Peder and sidekick Andreas) plus one (Lexi), to travel down south and have a Master class in V-Twin engine re-building. This resulted in two days of amazement for the boys, because by taking apart this engine step by step, it was shown clearly what was basically wrong with it all.

This all lead to a healthy cooperation between Hogtech, Joop and Supercycles (which took over Joops knowledge and equipment when Joop retired) as they also did the engine for the Hogtech S&S bike and several other customers’ bikes. At one of the drinking/smoking sessions during this visit, Lexi also decided he wanted me to do the design of the complete bike. It had to be like the original design, but then totally different! And he wanted to ride it daily in the streets. So when they left, it was back to the drawing board for me. I came with a more street bike design (see drawing #2), with a swingarm and rear suspension. Lexi loved it, but he wanted a hardtail and it also had to be more like the original design. And this is how we got to the bike (drawing #3) you see now.

Would’ve been interesting with the swingarm frame, but the customer insisted on a hardtail. Thise crazy Swede’s.

The third rendition of the bike. This is the finished version on paper.

Work To Be Done.

A few months later the 1800 cc knucklehead was finished, custom made parts were fitted, everything was measured, realigned and fitted to the smallest possible tolerances, outtake valves where raised, and in general the engine was bombproof and ready for the blower. Peder came down again and picked up the Knuckle when he dropped his S&S project engine at Supercycles (Joop had retired but still worked with Supercycles).

The next step for me was to take my drawings to Mark “Duckman” van der Kwaak of DBBP who did the additional CAD (computer aided design) engineering to make certain all frame tubes would be thick enough and the bike would still be able to handle well. Then a real size drawing of the frame and girder fork was emailed to Peder, who had it print out 1:1 and started bending and welding tubes of steel as only he can.

Peder bending the tubes and checking with the drawing. Classic craftsmanship. I know American Mike Pugliese builds his bikes the same way.

This looks like a Salvador Dali painting. Almost as if the tubes are melting from heat…or maybe it’s from the spped.

With the CAD we also had made a 3D rendering of the dummy gastank, which we virtually cut up in sleeves (see photo #4). Then cut these out of Styrofoam, glued together and sanded/filed away until I got the right model. Now master metalworker Aad Heemskerk had a mould he could work with. He finished his steel sculpture with a subtle stainless grill which was half sunk (by frenching) into the sheet metal.

Meanwhile the finished frame and front fork were brought to Holland by Lexi, and we went to Hyperpro to get the girder working with a custom made front shock. Aad and me got some classic risers and a handlebar on and now it was looking like something that you could sit on and aim in any direction.

It was June 2008 and I brought the bike back to Sweden, just in time to present the bike in the Nortellje Custombike Show at the Hogtech booth. The reactions of the audience where fantastic, and it was here the plan of going to Bonneville started, as at the beginning of the day a visitor asked if we would run the bike at the salt lake. Peder and I looked at each other and said, “Uh, yeah…maybe? At the end of the day, Inge ,of the Swedish bike mag MCM, came to us and said, “Great, I heard everywhere you are going to ride this bike on Bonneville.” So this is how legends are born. Needless to say Lexi sat around the bike all day and looked like a kid in a candy store.

Trouble In Paradise

During the beginning of the project Lexi felt a lot of fatigue and was shortly after diagnosed with the not that well known disease MS (With multiple sclerosis, the brain and spinal cord, two major components of the central nervous system, are damaged by one's own immune system. This is an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system, which normally targets and destroys substances foreign to the body such as bacteria, mistakenly attacks normal tissues. It’s chronic and there is no cure for it. Symptoms vary from person to person and can change over time in the same person.)

So in the beginning it did not seem to be such a big problem except for the exhaustion and headaches. But after that sundrenched day in Nortellje 2008 things went bad quickly. 2008/2009 was year of pain, hospitalization and operations to his back for Lexi. As there was no chance that he could ride a bike without pain anymore, and due to the fact that his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, priorities had shifted, which meant that the bike had to go!

Nervously (what if a crazy Swede buys this bike and put a long fork in it!) I started to look for customers/ sponsors again, but after a lot of polite rejections I realized that when a BIG recession has just started, it’s a difficult time to sell silly things like this project. So Lexi made Peder an offer he couldn’t refuse and the bike stayed in Eskilstuna. In the summer of ’09 our Italian friends from Chop’s 76 made my designs of the ribbed brakeplates (to make the brakes look like the 60’s Indy racers) reality and Peder hammered out a gas tank and a rear fender from some sheet metal (as our budget was too tight to get the original design done by Aad). The dangerous looking exhaust was also put on ice, and Peder fabricated something from what he had laying around. He also spoked a 17” chrome front wheel instead of the 18”alu Borrani to keep in style with the vintage top fuelers. But with the priority on Hogtech’s other projects the work on this bike was stopped for some time.

Until Rosmalen Nov 2009 when we met again and decided to get the bike ready for AMD European Championship 2010. As everything had to happen in the free hours at night, the build did not evolve as quickly as wanted. So we thought we skipped the paint for now (also nice for showing the craftsmanship that went into the metal) and just get it running. Pull some big burn outs on the Phoenixhalle parking lot with this bare metal madness machine and put it white hot in the show!

The schedule was tight and everything looked cool, until Tuesday night before the show Peder called me, and tells me everything is good to go, but what kind of oil is needed for the compressor?

Yep! That’s a blower on the side of an 1800cc Knucklehead motor. I wonder what the HP is on this nasty beast?!

As I totally forgot about this minor detail (this is very special oil, which is only available in the US) our dream to have the bike running in Mainz was scattered as the guys had to leave Sweden on Thursday morning. “What the hell” we thought and we put it in the show anyway, any attention to this project can only be good and maybe we find a customer/sponsor this way. To our surprise the unfinished bike got 9th in the competition, and got a lot of positive reactions from other motorfreaks like Cole Foster, Ken Factory, Andy from Flying Choppers, Fred Krugger, Stellan Egeland, Tobias from TGS, Walz, Ola Stenegard, Bertrand Odyssey, Fred Dub. We are going to show it running in Nortellje 2010 and our plans to run it on Bonneville got more and more concrete, but first there is still a lot of unfinished business to be done……

Jims Banner

CustomChromelogobannerblack

INDY INSPIRED TECHSHEET

Builder Hogtech & Paul Funk
Location Eskilstuna
Country Sweden
Website/ E-mail www.hogtech.com, info@hogtech.com / www.perfecttwinperformance.com , www.paulfunkdesign.com, paulfunkdesign@hotmail.com

Bike Name Brickyardkiller
Year / Model 2010
Engine Make / Size FHP/S&S/ Supercycles 1800 cc Knuckle
Transmission Type Revtech 5 speed
Frame Make / Type Hogtech/ Paul Funk Design
Front End Hogtech/Hyperpro/ Paul Funk Design


Rake 40 deg.
Stretch Plus 4 out/minus 2 down
Swingarm Hardtail
Wheels - Front 17" 40 spoke/ Hogtech hub
Wheels - Rear made out of 2 15" Halibrand wheels
Tires - Front Dunlop 17
Tires - Rear Micky Thompson Drag Slick
Brakes - Front No
Brakes - Rear 2 Hydraulic drumbrakes Kustom tech/ PF Design/Chop 76


Painter None/ Spray can
Chroming / Plating sand blasting/nickle plating

Additional Info: Bike design inspired by 1960’s Indy 500/dragracing, Engine totally re-engineered (blue printed: every engine part measured, re-aligned, straightened & machined to fit with the lowest possible tolerances of free play ) by Joop van Amelsvoord and PF at Supercycles.

Paul Funk customized Eaton m45 compressor with Edelbrock Two Throat Carb, Engine assembled with 90% fluid gasket material, Special remachined S&S HVHP oil pump with 1 to 5 gear ratio. S&S flywheels, S&S/ PTP Supreme con rods(machined for centrifugal piston lubrication system), restrictor free S&S crankshaft with JIMS crank pin and custom con rod/crank pin bearings, Ross racing pistons with twin cam wrist pins, Power Seal Nikasil cylinders. Heads welded in PTP/ Supercycles style bathtub combustion chamber & Singh groove, Kibblewhite custom valves (smaller in, bigger and higher positioned out), ported & flowed, Supercycles cam, Kibblewhite extra strong cylinder studs, Crane time savers, Fuel pump in lower custom Gas tank by Hogtech. Custom Hyperpro front shock, custom brakeplates by Chop ’76, BDL Belt, PF customized Robban primary cover, Barnett Kevlar clutch, Saddle by PF and just too many hand made brackets and parts by Peder.

Dummy Gastank and risers made by Aad Heemskerk, Additional CAD engineering by DBBP.

Big thanks to Johan Lexhagen for starting and believing in this project and Kaid Cousineau at Eaton and Charlie Karling for their help and advice

s&s 


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Reader Comments


Nice bending accurate welding clean n mean bike congrats!

tj chop
bogor, west java, Indonesia
Friday, November 12, 2010
Editor Response Thanks,
--Bandit
very good presentation

Guy Dierckxsens
koh samui, Thailand
Friday, July 16, 2010

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