Nothing that can be ridden on the street nor compete for a world championship of bike building. Not what most people would expect from Danny Schneider at Hardnine Choppers in Switzerland after all the media exposure his custom DMX received last year. Danny builds what he wants with the money of the day…
One lousy night in Bern, Switzerland, in the Hardnine Choppers garage, Danny and his buddy René where scouting parts on the internet when Danny ended up by accident on what looked like a vintage Triumph Flat Tracker actually for sale by a museum in Illinois. The patinated (well pretty worn out, in fact) little bike was worth $1000 and had some history behind it. The museum owner wanted the ‘Cub” to be in good hands, so Danny promised he would take great care of the bike and rebuild it the way it would have been looking like in 1958. To get it back to good old Europe was a hell of a job, as this 250 cc model was built exclusively by the Coventry plant for the US Flat Trackers. Getting all the paperwork done to be able to ship the bike to Bern took 3 months of research for an eventual title that race bikes don;t have anyway…. Another 200 emails and 2 months of wait later the little ‘Cub” finally made it back to Europe, arriving in Bern, Switzerland in June 2010.
While the bike was still on its way to his shop, Danny had already estimated the gas tank mensurations from the ebay ad for sale and built a new one holding both gas and oil. Bad idea: “I finished the tank pretty fast, and send it out to Japan where famous artist Mr G was willing to give my bike a very special treat! I shipped him the rear fender, gas tank and the number plate and a week later it came back as the best shit I’ve seen in a long time!” And of course the finished gas tank didn’t fit on the received bike. I made a 1″ length mistake and had to cut and modify the frame to stretch it. Danny says that all the rest of the project went smoothly and pretty fast. Kind of, except that he had a total of 316 rusted parts to clean before priming and painting.
Danny had to proceed some slight surgery on the 250 cc engine as well. “When I took the head off, it looked like that a whole mouse family had lived in here for ages!” He brought the engine to one of his friends who owns a place called Triumph City – a garage his grandpa opened near Bern back in 1932! Despite the fact that he had tons of vintage parts, most of the US Tiger Cub ones were missing! It took them almost 2 month to rebuild this engine, as they had to fabricate valves and so on. Finally after almost 7 month of work the bike was running again.
Danny to add: “ I test-drove it in the street and felt like Johnny Rocket because it has no brakes, but it was the best test ever! This bike actually brought me back to having fun building bikes and I’m proud of this work more than ever! For me its the best and coolest bike I’ve ever done!” Right now Danny is working on a new BSA A7 project. Most likely, this bike will look more like what people and magazines would expect from him.“ Hardnine Choppers.