As some of you might already know I’ve teamed up with my buddy Duane Lansing of Hydro-Fabrication to start a new venture called Wylie Chopper Parts. The objective of this new endeavor is to provide bike builders all of the various parts, bits and pieces and even complete assemblies for the components that the Chopper Builders Handbook has so far only provided plans for.
This was an opportunity I could not pass up. Duane is a lifelong rider, fabricator and all around Biker par excellence who understands what builders need to keep their project moving forward. He has been cutting custom parts for several of the so-called ‘name’ builders for years so he’s intimately familiar with the ‘Hollywood’ aspects of the industry but appreciates what we small-timers face on a day to day basis.
This is a long-term venture and it may take us a year to get everything up and running so that we can make regular ‘production’ runs on some parts so right now we’re concentrating on doing custom work.
Duane’s shop is equipped with one of the best dual-head precision water-jets I’ve ever had an opportunity to use plus we have a large bed 2500-watt laser cutter. To round things out there is an 80-ton Amada CNC press brake, mill, lathe, surface grinders, slip rollers, tubing roller and three CBH tubing benders not to mention a whole host of smaller tooling and welders. I don’t think there is anything that we can’t do in this shop.
To make things even better we’re fortunate in having one of the best welders I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Martine Sauceda is a key player in our entire operation. I’ve been welding and supervising welding crews for over 50 years and have never seen a man who posses the skill and knowledge that Martine exhibits.
Duane owns a variety of bikes but he did recently buy a ‘Shop Bike’ to use as a ‘Trial Horse’. It’s an old 1970 era Panhead Chopper and so far all we’ve done is to install one of the wide versions of the CBH Springer on it.
Over time this old bike will get the full treatment and hopefully become a rolling display of the parts we intend on making available.
It’s actually a lot of fun to work on this old bike as it brings back memories of how it was all done back in the ‘old days’.
Most of the younger people we see and meet at shows have a hard time understanding that ‘functionally’ this bike handles and performs about on par with the so-called ‘modern’ stuff they are familiar with. They can’t understand how the antiquated mechanical rear brake works as well as a ‘modern’ disk setup. They don’t seem to comprehend the concept of ‘swept-area’ at all and seem to think that disk’s are somehow ‘superior’ to the old drum contrivances. It doesn’t take much of a braking system at all to lock up a rear wheel on a chopper but this fact seems to be completely lost in the modern world of bikes.
We are going to put a front brake on this bike but are still waiting on parts when this photo was snapped.