Metric Revolution

When waiting at the red light on one of my full ground up customs, I am always amused by people in the car next to me saying “Nice Harley”.  When I tell them it’s not a Harley (to avoid that they lose time trying to get one like mine at the closest HD dealership), of course they are skeptical. The other day I rode next to a custom V-Star.  A car driver passed by and shouted at its rider: “Nice Harley”. Now that metric bikes are getting heavily customized, people think they are also from the Milwaukee factory. I just lived my 15th Daytona Biketoberfest and custom metric bikes were everywhere, even competing in the Boardwalk & the Rat’s Hole shows. And guess what? They beat “us”. In the mid-90’s you didn’t see lots of high quality metric customs but now the bolt-on metric accessories market has taken off. As I observed in Daytona, owners & shops no more hesitate to do heavy gas tanks and fenders fabrication and very fancy paint jobs. There was in Daytona an incredible metric machine illustrating this trend. It was produced by BMS Choppers in Florida. For now their website has only snapshots of the bike, but look at the “mono tube” front end in the picture above. Wow. I hear that a 13 episodes TV show called “Metric Revolution” is about to be released. In it you will see all the details of this outrageous bike from BMS Choppers.


2 Responses to “Metric Revolution”

  1. 1 Eric K. Olson Oct 29th, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    I own a Roadstar and I don’t think I will ever buy Harley. Even if I by chance ever have the fund-age to build a custom bike, it will use the Roadstar engine and transmission.
    I bought the bike for $9,000 (late model), it’s 102″ motor is rock solid, it came with a real warranty. With 16,000 miles on it, I’ve done nothing to it other than basic maintenance.
    If Harley could build a bike for that price with that kind of quality engineering they wouldn’t even have to worry about competition. Don’t tell me about old Harley stigmas not applying any more. A good friend of mine got suckered into the whole Harley thing, bought a brand new Electra Glide Classic for riding. Yeah, you’re suppose to be able to ride these things. In one year he had to fix it eight times and deal with all the sticking points for the Harley warranty. It wasn’t just little things that were wrong with it, crap like the gas tank leaking, gaskets blown and electrical issues. Sorry no thanks.
    No one in America including me wants to buy foreign, conversely no one wants to get screwed either. When someone asks me why I bought a “Jap” bike, I tell them because Harley can’t make a bike for the same cost and quality as the Japanese. I’ve heard all the labor cost arguments and other propaganda to try and guilt you into buying American. I don’t buy it, literally.
    This issue is no different than the American auto makers. How is it Ford loses $5.8 billion in the third quarter and GM is painting the typical gloom and doom picture for its employees all the while the auto executives rake in millions in sallary each year. Nissan is reporting record growth and building manufacturing plants (Which ain’t friggen cheap) in the US and still able to sell cars that are built better and cheaper in price with real warranties that will fix any problem you have.
    I’m glad to see more metric bikes getting customized simply because its something different. It gets old seeing a major aspect of a custom bike design, i.e. the engine, looking the same on every bike. The Roadstar engine and transmission look very nice, very clean design. (Hint, Hint Cyril build a bike with a Roadstar engine?) I am also very very glad to see Victory coming onto its own. A friend of mine just bought a Vegas and it possesses the same quality, clean look and quality engineering. That would be another great look to a custom bike, using a Victory engine.
    Hopefully more and more customs will start using other style engines and the industry will demand change. I personally would like to see S&S or some other manufacturer design an new engine that can fit in the same space as the current Harley style or use the same mounting. I mean get some engines that look like British motors or just something different.

  2. 2 Jim Biggs Nov 3rd, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    I can second the Road Star praise. They are fantastic bikes that are wide open for customizing. Besides having more TQ, they are simply a more reliable power plant than the Twin Cam. Once you see the baseball bat sized push rod tubes of the RS, the HD ones seem like pipe cleaners. Also putting a 280 or 300 tire on a RS is so much easier than on an HD. Plus it doesn’t require HUGE left side offsets that make even the most modest of left turns a grinding experience. Lastly the aftermarket is supporting the RS in a big way. Both War Eagle and Redneck Engineering make custom frames for the RS motor and tranny. In my humble opinion (after owning lots of both HD and Jap), the RS has the best and easily customizable air cooled motor on the market today.

    What does HD make that I do like? That’s easy, the V-rod. Easily the best bike HD has ever produced! Drag bike styling and a porsche motor… what’s not to like??

    Thanks and ride safe,

    Jim Biggs
    Biggs Cycles

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