When time constraints were brought on by three Sturgis bikes, Paul Wideman of Bare Knuckle Choppers (BKC) rose to the occasion pulling all-nighters and crack-of-dawn mornings hustling to work on the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Giveaway Bike. The ground-up build was scheduled to be revealed at Biketoberfest this week, but due to logistics and acts of God (that were out of our hands), the parts have only been trickling in. Dubbed the “Heartland Hustle” by the J&P team, we’ve been busy getting things into place.
This motorcycle will not be affected by bumps, potholes or even the unevenness of the road. In what follows, we’ll review some of the components that allow for this, including handlebars, shocks and the construction of the spoke wheels. Bare Knuckle 8” Strong Arm risers will support Bare Knuckle Steel Moto X bars.
Stainless steel is the name of the game, and the set up will be pinned together with ARP 12pt stainless steel hardware. Aluminum riser bushings, machined by BKC are a contributing factor in keeping the vibration from the engine out of the hands of the rider, and a barrier between the triple trees and the stainless riser hardware. Paul is known for his narrow front ends, and to the speculations of the folks at J&P Cycles, the giveaway bike will feature a 39mm narrow glide front end. Harley-Davidson uses rubber bushings on its new models.
The aluminum bushings used in this build will add rigidity to the front end steering and last longer than the stock rubber. The loss in vibration dampening is of little concern with the X-Wedge’s rubber mounts. The extra rigidity is especially important for use in conjunction with the length of the risers. Two bushings occupy each hole in the fork’s triple tree. They are secured by torqueing directly into the risers to HD torque specs. The powder-black Legend Suspension’s REVO-A Shock Absorbers are the next step in adding performance handling, where the rubber meets the road. The design of these shocks gives additional vertical travel to the rear wheel, or “sweet spot,” without increasing the overall length of the shock (12 inches), allowing for a smoother ride on rough terrain and maintaining the right look and stance. The resistance can also be fine-tuned by hand by turning the coil of the shock, which adjusts the overall length or “pre-load.”
A rider can adjust for peak performance when going through the tight corners in the badlands, or a smooth, soft ride along the California coast (no tools needed). The shocks are installed using a lift to release pressure from the rear tire. Once the OEM shock is removed, the spherical bearings of the Legend shocks allow for easier alignment into the factory swingarm. The two OEM bolts and crush washers are added with blue Loctite to the Legend supplied hardware and are torqued to manufacturer spec. The estimated install time is 30 minutes. At high speeds, the construction quality of the wheel holding your rubber to the ground is crucial.
Ride Wright has been putting out a top-tier product since 1999, and are being used in some of the top customization shops in the industry. These wheels will be featured on the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Giveaway bike. The spoke wheels of yesterday can’t compare with the reliability and handling of the billet rims offered by modern manufacturers. Allowing the spoke to move within the nipple on a hard road affects the entire rim, and will periodically require re-truing. Sam Wakim of Ride Wright revealed how his team overcame some of these challenges. “Our unique manufacturing processes is what sets our product apart from the competition and OEM units,” Wakim explained. “The rim is spinning during our entire manufacturing process. This puts material in needed areas that other manufacturing processes can’t. It makes our wheels stronger.” Wakim went on to say that the spokes are in a pattern that crosses over five or six times, versus a Harley-Davidson wheel that crosses over two or three. In this configuration, as the wheel goes down the road and hits potholes and then flexes, the spokes move less inside of the wheel rim, making it virtually impossible to come out of true.
The Heartland Hustle will be traveling the Progressive International Motorcycle Show circuit, where attendees can sign up for a chance to win this machine. While the show series kicks off in San Mateo, Calif. on Oct. 31, the Heartland Hustle will not be on hand until the Long Beach Show on Nov. 14 due to the time constraints mentioned above (attendees at these early shows will still be able to sign up to win this machine). The Progressive International Motorcycle Show series concludes in Chicago, Ill. on Feb. 15. Those unable to attend the series will also have a chance to sign-up for a chance to win the Heartland Hustle on our website once the series kicks-off.
You can follow Paul and the Heartland Hustle J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Giveaway Bike on the web, and #JPUltimateBuilding and #BareKnuckleChoppers on Instagram and Twitter.