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5-Ball Racing 2015 Chapter 4

May the "Gods" of Progress Take Hold

By Bandit with photos by Kent Weeks and Holly Devil

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What a crazy year. We’ve been scrambling in several directions. Plus, once I sent all the parts to Kent Weeks at Lucky Devil MetalWorks, in Houston, Texas, the project took on a long distance relationship. Distance can create obstacles and distractions as you will see. 

Kent and one of his creations for Rick Fairless.
Kent and one of his creations for Rick Fairless.

I’ve been working with Kent Weeks for years, almost a decade. He built Nyla’s Root Beer float bike, which was amazing. He restores cars, builds hot rods, etc.

Here’s a link to his profile:

Unfortunately, he’s a one-man band. I’ve attached several shots of bikes he’s built and projects he’s completed. He machines, fabricates, designs, welds, is a body and fender guy, molds, and paints. Did I forget something? 

The Devil's new shop.
The Devil's new shop.

Toward the end of the 2014 Kent assured me that progress would kick off in January. Then about that time he was forced to move his shop to a new, more rural, location. The new facility would help with the bottom line. Moving is always a bitch and a time gobbler.

I was too patient. I talked to Kent several times, but I could tell he was just trying to survive, get the shop up and running, and handle clientele. He had a dream notion trying to carve out a couple of months to devote to our streamlined trike project. That would be similar to me saying, "I'll just take a couple of months off from Bikernet and write a book." Never happen. It's good to dream, but we had to make progress, now.

Hell, we delivered 75 percent of the components including a sharp Paughco touring chassis and the complete driveline from JIMS with the exception of a tranny case. Oh, there are many more components we need and sponsors to help us through.  

I was beginning to itch. A reader wrote to me the other day and discussed a custom bike built by a well-known builder, but at the end of his note he bragged about building a bike capable of kicking ass, if only he had the finances. I don’t know how old this cat was, but I told him to never let anything get in the way of his dreams. There you have it. We can’t stop. We have a plan, a mission, the desire, and the many of the resources to make it happen. We just need to step up and get the job done.

Suddenly, with the encouragement of Jim Thiessen, the master behind JIMS Machine, we saw a break in the slowed-action scenario. Even though Kent is still endeavoring to install his paint booth and pay the bills he carved out some time to make progress.

“Here are some swingarm assembly photos with the Custom Cycle Engineering spherical bearings for a tighter ride,” said Kent. “While this is not the tranny we’ll be running, it was nice to have this loaner around from STD for a rough mock up, so I can start taking measurements to layout the chassis fabrication.”

I was able to borrow this EVO STD Touring case from Ray C. Wheeler, the Bikernet Performance Editor and ship it to the Lucky Devil, with a Twin Cam alignment bracket.

We are mocking up the bike with Progressive touring shocks front and rear.
We are mocking up the bike with Progressive touring shocks front and rear.

“Once we get the H-D tranny case I’ll get this JIMS fat-five gear set installed and documented it to show the install process,” said Kent.

“Not too sure if I’ll drop the engine in until I get some molestations done to the existing frame but I’ll be figuring that out soon,” said Kent.

Here’s one of the projects Kent faced during the move to keep the lights on. It’s an interesting mix of components.

“I think it is a rare treat to put this much work into a Sportster,” Kent said, “and I can’t think of a better way to upgrade one than to give it an Evo style Baker RSD 6- speed, with a BDL belt drive and performance ball-bearing clutch with a modern starter!”

It all started with a bad weld on a rigid wide tire kit and a broken tranny case. “I think one of the most interesting details is with the offset needed for the 2-inch BDL open belt,” said Kent. “I fabricated an offset pulley for the engine complete with a mid shaft support plate from scratch, with the same size and make a bearing as used with the clutch hub.”

We had to have some eye candy.
We had to have some eye candy.

Here are a couple shots of some show polishing work from Lucky Devil. “I built this frame for Joe T’s bike," said Kent. 

Hang on for the next report coming soon, we hope…

Here's a touring bike Kent built with a JIMS 131. Hauls ass.
Here's a touring bike Kent built with a JIMS 131. Hauls ass.

“ Here’s a little ‘40s pedal car I restored a while back,” Kent added. He can paint in addition to his many other talents.


JIMS Machine

Lucky Devil Metal Works




Progressive Suspension

Click on the image for info quick.
Click on the image for info quick.

Custom Cycle Engineering

MetalSport Wheels

Ah, the Devil's work...
Ah, the Devil's work...

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Reader Comments

I forget....what are you building?

San Maros, TX
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Editor Response What was I suppose to build? What are we doing here?

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