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Dave Mann Chopperfest IW Editor’s Choice

By December 17, 2013General Posts


DaveMannWinFotoFlexer_Photo-580x434One of the most prestigious bike shows on the West Coast is the annual Dave Mann Chopperfest which was held recently at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura California. This show brings out the best of the best in old school chopper builders. Representing IronWorks and charged with picking a bike worthy of receiving the IW Editor’s Choice award at the event was “Kiwi” Mike Tomas.

With all the fantastic machines in attendance it had to be difficult but “Kiwi” Mike picked this beautiful 1946 Harley UL Flathead as the winner of the IW Editor’s Choice award. The bike was built by Ron Baldonado at Rock Bottom Motorcycle Co. Ron cited a “need for speed” and board track racers, which were the very best motorcycles that the  companies’ had to offer, as his inspiration behind the build .

He says he had been doing the main stream custom bike thing for a while but then got the speed bug again so he built his version of a board track racer. The bike took two years  to finish and is actually a hodgepodge of parts from different eras that Ron found at swap meets and on eBay, plus some in house fabricated or altered parts.

The ‘46 UL engine was a hand-me-down which has been bored 20 over to around 80 ci. The frame is from the 1930s but had to have some simple alterations done to it so the engine, transmission and the girder forks (from a British bike) would fit. Ron handcrafted the fuel tank which doubles as both the gas and oil tank. When he was done the tank was sent to Bill Keyes in Oxnard, California who applied the board track era paint scheme. BTW another subtle touch is that the bike has a rear stand like a real race bike instead of the more common center stand.

All of us here at IronWorks would like to thank Ron for building this bike and to congratulate him on his winning the IW Editor’s Choice award. We’d like to also thank “Kiwi” Mike for picking Ron’s board track racer as the winner.

Ron Baldonado
Rock Bottom Motorcycle Co.
1677 Fordham Ave
Thousand Oaks, California