Amazing Shrunken FXR 14–Getting Close


We’re getting right down to the bottom line. Harold Ponteralli, our painter called, “If I deliver the paint can you make it to the show.” I assembled bikes overnight for run deadlines in the past, so we went for it. We installed the new sheet metal, ran the oil lines and picked up a few chrome knick knacks from Long Beach Chrome. Frank was on his way to the Bikernet headquarters with a brown bag full of Goodridge hydraulic fitting. The heat was on.

rear brake caliper
The rear brake caliper with Goodridge line installed.

I installed the exhaust while Frank custom cut lines to fit each application perfectly. You can see how the man does it in our King tech articles using Goodridge lines, fittings and shrink wrap. For throttle cables we relied on Barnett for custom cut-to-fit lines.

positioning tranny cover

We replaced the Rev Tech 6-speed, cable tranny cover with a Joker Machine clean, chromed billet, hydraulic clutch. Why did we go hydraulic? Hell I don’t know, maybe to balance the Joker controls on the bars? The cover slid right on and we torqued it to specs (15-20 ft. lbs.).

tightning tranny cover

While I wrenched Frank ran a line from the Joker front brake mastercylinder to the Custom Chrome Billet-6 brake caliber. Crazy John took the calipers to a shop to have them milled smooth then engine turned for an added detail. Whatta ya tink?

Then Frank ran a hydraulic line from the H-D rear brake master cylinder (stuffed under the tranny) to the brake switch bolted to the tranny case, through a series of Goodridge fittings. Finally another line was constructed from the brake pressure switch to the rear brake caliper. We kept in mind that the wheel will be adjusted for belt tension and will flex up and down with the swingarm. There needed to be slack in the line.


Finally Frank carefully made a line that ran from the Joker handlebar controls to the Joker hydraulic tranny front. He immediately started bleeding the brake systems and they fell right in line. We watched the direction air bubbles might travel. Generally front brakes can be bled several ways. Some pump the fluid in from the caliper bleeder nipple forcing bubbles north out of the control reservoir. Sometimes, as soon as it’s filled, it’s cooked. No bleeding is necessary.

rear brake lines
This shows the back of the small H-D master cylinder and the line that runs to the brake switch.

Sometimes I fill the reservoir and pump it slightly until the Dot 5 runs down the line and fills the caliper. This can take awhile, but as it sets the bubbles rise to the top and out the reservoir until it’s cooked again. We were lucky. The rear brake caliper was installed above the master cylinder and the bubbles blasted to the surface with little bleeding. Our Giggie (from Compu-Fire) designed, mid-brake lever worked like a champ with the sharp Custom Chrome pivoting pegs.

chrome pipe brkt
Final adjustments for our chromed rear pipe bracket.

As a side note I coated the pipes with rattle-can barbecue heat flat black. What the hell, if they don’t work, I’ll mess with them again. Oh, and I tried to find a place to stash a H-D rear brake reservoir but couldn’t. I held my breath and entered a Yamaha shop and ordered a small sport bike unit. We made a bracket and stashed it under the tranny.

left 3 4 back

Building custom bikes is all about options, abilities, resources and a handful of rules. Check the John Covington Safety Code in Special Reports. He makes some good points. There’s also various considerations between rubbermounted bikes and rigids. For instance we designed the rear fender to hug the tire, but it moves with the swingarm which means the sonuvabitch better be strong. Also there needs to be considerable space between the seat and the rear fender for shock travel.

rear shot kyle
Bikernet intern, Kyle, getting his feet wet.

On top of style is ride consideration. I like to build bikes that will hang for a cross country run, handle slick roads and corner without dragging pipes or pegs. And it better corner. That’s what bikes are all about. Alright, I got off the tech. Kyle, the shop intern, installed the Custom Chrome petcock and gas line to the carb. He cut the line and inserted a gas filter (check the arrows for flow direction).

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We loaded up the Cyril Huze oil tank with RevTech 10-50 Oil and looked for the UPS man. We waited patiently for the Le Pera styled/Bikernet seat to return to the fold stitched with emerald threads. Harold Ponteralli painted the sheet metal and want to see it in the Easyriders Pomona show. We didn’t make it. Then he jammed us about making the Pomona Roadster Show and we busted our buts. I did a couple of midnight runs installing the Custom Chrome stainless plates under the rear axle and polishing stainless fasteners. The gloss black powder arrived right on time from Dallas. The chrome sparkled and Custom Chrome delivered parts when we needed them.

right 3 4 rear

If the seat had rolled in the door, we would have wired the bastard into the wee hours and drug the scoot to the show, but nooo. Cross-eyed, we pulled the 1928 Shovel out of the headquarters, also painted by H-D Performance in Vacaville, California, detailed it and delivered it to Pomona. It was essentially built by Strokers Dallas, and sonuvabitch if they weren’t at the show with a half a dozen Stroker bikes. They took Best of Show and the Shovel took third place in the classic category. Whatta week.

full left w bandit

At this point we need final shifter linkage, which Frank fabricated, so we could install the BDL primary drive. Then some wire and we can fire this puppy. Hang on.


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