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AFT Customs – Halia

Posted on October 6, 2012 by Scott in Bobber, Other. 34 comments


By guest writer Ian Lee.

Remembrance. It means different things to different people. Some people like to plant trees to remember someone passing. Some people hold massive parties to remember the good times. My friend has his dad’s ashes in his shed – because that was where he was his happiest. So when Nalani from AFT Customs dad past away just before this build kicked off, they decided to build the bike in honour of him. And what a symbol of commemoration it is…

Halia (a Hawaiian term for ‘in remembrance’) has been nearly fully handcrafted from aluminium, it’s bodywork showing it’s versatility as both a saltlake racer as well as a cruiser. AFT was looking for utility in this build, and they have achieved it, as this bike looks just as at home at Bonneville, as it is carving up the curves in Nalani’s native Sierra Nevada. This motard/bobber hybrid may not be to everyone’s taste, but it sure gets the job done.

Speaking of hybrids, AFT is truly unique, it’s not only a well renowned custom shop but also a modelling agency. The models aren’t just pretty faces either, these beauties actually get their hands greasy contributing to the bike builds – and yes, a few finger nails may have been lost in the process. Halia itself has been built by 60% girlpower alone, and if you check out AFT’s facebook page, there’s a gallery of all the girls hard at it. Just like the models who helped build it, this bike isn’t just about the looks.

Powered by a Honda VT750 engine, the powerplant has been treated to one of AFT’s own performance packages. This consists of new pistons, port and polished heads, the power is then relayed along by a Barnett clutch. K & N filters breathe in, an AFT designed Leo Vince muffler breathes out, Dynatek coils bring the ignition power. All this adds up to a top speed of 104.75mph at Bonneville, albeit hindered by the stock 5000rpm rev limit. With a Dynatek 3k unit allowing for a 8000rpm rev limit, and new gearing, the AFT crew is hoping to see 120mph on the saltpan next year.

It’s not all hard performance figures either, Halia has also taken out the Performance Custom Class at the 2012 AMD World Championships for custom bike building, the low swooping lines catching the judges eyes. Form and function work together well on this bike, from the radiator mounted under the seat, to the standout fuel tank paintjob, to the Beringer hand controls. Spoked wheels make for a unique sort of old school look, and the pillion cushion shows that this bike isn’t all about top speed.

All in all, AFT has taken utility to a whole new level, coming up with an award winning bike, that is just as comfortable at top noise across a saltflat, as it is smashing through corners in the North American mountains, and you can still have someone sitting on the back whenever you want. We think Nalani’s dad would be very proud.

  • OK, which one of you boneheads is going to miss the whole purpose with this bike and all of the great things about it and simply fixate on the pipewrap?!?!?! (Crap, sounds like I just did.)

    • Davidabl2

      I like it, but when I look at that scoop on the back of the tank my abdomen feels just as uneasy as looking at those tank racks on old Triumphs did for my nads.

  • I tried to get a job at AFT, but I think I was sexually discriminated against. Maybe I just didn’t look that good in a bikini…

    • I want to know why the gals aren’t racing at Bonneville in swim suits like Rollie Free?

      • That guy was freaking nuts.

        • arnold

          150 in a bathing suit. On a Vincent no less. Tony, you are well on your way to becoming a motorcycle Icon as well.

          • Thanks. Wait. Have I just been insulted…?

          • arnold

            I feel like I am giving back to the community by helping you keep the edge you have developed, now that GS is gone. I’m thinking he goes by Lurker now.

    • arnold

      Clue, buddy, You probably don’t look good in a Speedo either.

      • Now you’re just hurting my feelings.

  • This isn’t really my style, but I love the bike. The color scheme is great and it has such a balanced design. Needs to be shot in the sunlight, on the beach somewhere.

  • Oldschoolmachinist

    It’s Bad to the Bone…

  • They did a great job hiding the radiator – I still can’t find it! Nice to see a custom bike run on the salt. Is the gas tank for real or is it a cover for the real tank? Good job – the motor look great without the plumbing.

  • arnold

    The tech inspection on the salt is pretty rigorous by guys that really know something. Not my cup of tea. but I give a great deal of respect to those that have the Fever.
    Fast, pretty, and legal. Way over my ability to keep up.ald

    • “Fast, pretty, and legal. Way over my ability to keep up” Are you talking about the bike or the gals at AFT? lol ;^)

      • arnold

        Both. In my latter years I’ve managed to keep many things in my pocket including change for the bus.

        • arnold

          The bike. Fenders, signals, headlight, horsepower, decent ride, pillion, eye catching with a Bonneville pedigree, What more could a young red-headed boy wish for?

          • Agreed.

          • arnold

            Liked your CL too if I could do such a thing.

          • Thanks, Arnold. I’m proof that any old man with enough time, handtools, and ebay can build a bike – and if I can do it anybody can. ;^)

          • arnold

            Oh, there are young women involved? I hadn’t noticed ’till you mentioned it.LOL

        • A very wise man – good advice for anybody.

    • Tech inspection must not have been as rigorous back in the swimsuit days.

  • Dave Mucci


  • itsmefool

    Love the art…too bad you can’t see it when yer ridin’ (or watchin’ it go by)!

  • AFT Customs

    Thanks for all the positive comments. The tank is for real. Hard to achieve a tank that holds 2 gal,with 2 carbs side by side undernieth. It’s long a narrow for a slipstream function. The rider sits blow it to keep the body profile low as you can see with Shelby tucked in at speed. I raced it too & I’m 6 foot. Plenty of room for the important stuff. If you hit something hard enough to be thrown forward you have bigger problems. The style of the bike is “Street Tracker” & you’re going to see a lot more of it in years to come. We’re racing her at the Mojave mile in May 2013 as well. Jim

    • itsmefool

      Jim, great job…say, how about taking it up a mountain? Pikes Peak 2013?

      • AFT Customs

        I would like to do that actually but I don’t think they allow novice riders (the girls).

  • GeorgeKillianLett

    I love that tank!

  • Wazarrrrgh

    I ididn’t like it at first but after looking at it for ages now i almost like it. 104mph? this is a 750 right? did you try a smaller sprocket?

  • Cliff Overton

    That is so slick! The way the parts tuck into the frame, I mean – was that a stock frame at one point or fully custom built? The second photo that shows off the frame, shocks, seat, fender all flowing together – mmmmmm!

  • barney fife

    Fabulous bike, a real custom. You get 100 points right off the bat for making it look like an air cooled bike by hiding the ubiquitous eyesore radiator. What is the copper colored piece that you can just see peeking out under the front of the engine? the rad? Fabulous bike.

  • Manos

    Indeed, fantastic job hiding the radiator. But does is actually work in its new location???

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