Arizona’s Del Prado brothers, long-time Pipeburners and well known metal pornographers, have just dropped another killer build into our laps – this time in the form of a gold, caféd Harley Sportster. With so many sweet builds to have already graced our humble pages, it’s hard to know what to say about the brothers that hasn’t been said before. They are clearly prolific to the point of obsession and inspired like a master artist. But there’s one other thing that’s also a certainty; they know their way around a hog almost as well as William and Arthur themselves. And here’s proof. Meet ‘56’.
China is a funny country in a not so funny way. While most countries generally think motorcycles are a viable way to cut traffic congestion and reduce pollution in cities, the Chinese are going the other way. They have started to ban motorcycles in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai (plus another 200 cities across the country). These strict laws by the government are having a huge impact on bike manufacturers like Harley-Davidson who thought the new found wealth of the Chinese would make it an easy market to increase their sales. How wrong they were. There are however a number of small custom shops who are defying logic and opening custom garages because it’s what they love doing. One of these is a freshly opened shop called Mandrill in Beijing. Mandrill is the love child of Lin and a few of his like minded friends, who are determined to keep the motorcycle culture alive and have a place that bike enthusiasts can hang out. Their first build is this compact Harley Sportster café racer which has been built over the last couple of years and given the name ‘Red-Eye Bitch’ because of the many late nights it took to build her in their spare time – they all still have day jobs to pay the bills.
The Del Prado brothers (Jarrod and Justin) from DP Customs in Arizona have been at it again. These brothers are renowned for building top class custom Harleys, which is why they were approached by a motor enthusiast to build him a Sportster. The customer had seen their last Sportster with Elf livery and briefed them on building something similar. “He wanted to know if we’d be willing to do a Gulf themed bike with Steve McQueen’s #20 on it” says Jarrod. “Of course we said “hell yes!”, and it was on.” This time they started with a 2001 1200cc Harley Sportster and began building what they do best.
Written by Ian Lee.
Motorcycles are much like dogs in their visual complexity. A basic blueprint, and from that so many aesthetically different versions of the one type can be produced. The major difference I can see between the two is that it is much easier to ride a motorbike. Trust me. Today’s feature bike is of a special breed, a paradox in that it is a Harley dirt tracker with an incredibly clean appearance. Built by One Down Four Up customs, the Ironhead Sportster has been given the full vintage race treatment. With a slant towards a race inspired theme, the builders weren’t looking to produce a mock-up race bike, just something that would appeal to the older track racing crowd. In doing so, they have created something that is appealing to many more people on the custom scene. Hell, the custom exhaust system itself is a textbook example of how to use pipewrap.
It seems fitting that for our first bike of 2014, we’ve chosen a matt black Harley with hand-painted artwork. Not only does the bike look amazing in its own right, but it also harks back to one of our all-time favourite posts – Jed DePyper’s infinetly badass ‘69 Sportster rat. Both bikes show scant regard for chrome, polish and delicate aesthetics. Instead, like a drunken sailor’s tattoed forearm, they display a brute artistic impulsiveness that screams rock ‘n’ roll from the rooftops. Meet The Drayton Porkchop; a bastard lovechild from an unholy union between Boneshaker Choppers and the Ilovedust design studio.
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Another month and another world class Harley bobber from Jarrod and Justin Del Prado and the rest of the team at DP Customs in New River, Arizona. As with previous DP builds, this one has a racing theme, and one that which wasn’t immediately apparent to me when I first saw the bike. Here’s a very subtle clue – the bike’s nickname is ‘Hollywood’. Here’s another – if the bike wasn’t a Harley, it’d be a Nissan.
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Anyone that has studied the creative process will tell you that the world’s great artists eventually develop a style that is simultaneously totally original, yet uniquely and utterly their own. Think Kimura. Or Falcon. Or Lennon & McCartney. They seem to reach a point in their careers where they just manage to transcend their contemporaries and take flight. After that, their work is a good as their signature or their offspring; inherently and unmistakably theirs. Looking over the shots you see here of DP Custom’s lastest creation, I’m beginning to think that they, too, have taken flight. Please welcome back the brothers Del Prado, with their 6th (!) bike to make it’s Pipeburn appearance – the larger than life Harley ‘del Rey.’
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Life is the biggest lottery of them all. And it seems like Dan Kocka from Chicago won the jackpot in the ‘Cool Dad’ lottery. “I grew up around hot rods and rock ‘n roll thanks to my dad who always owned bad ass muscle cars” says Dan. “Dad owned a few bikes as well – an old BSA chopper that was pretty cool.” Dan taught himself to ride at a very young age, but was never that interested in building or tinkering on his motorcycles. Until recently, when he was given a solid insurance claim for his hail damaged car. Instead of replacing the car, Dan decided to do something sensible – for the first time in his life – and save the money. That was the plan until he came across a rolling chassis and a ’96 Sporty motor on Ebay. “I’ve been an electrician for 5 years now so I have a decent sense of how things work, but motors are something I’ve always wanted to learn” he says. So Dan threw himself into his first motorcycle project – and what a project it was.
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Ever get the feeling you’ve forgotten something? That horrible, smouldering worry that you’ve left something behind or forgotten to do something. I’ve had one for the past few weeks, and it’s been driving me crazy. I’ve been checking ovens, keys, wallets, and door locks like a mad man – all to no avail. Then, just when I’d almost given up hope of ever finding what it was I was missing, Paul McKinnon from Pipeburn’s local favourites Evolution Motorsports wheeled the bike you see before you into our basement garage for a photoshoot. Suddenly it hit me – I knew what I’d been missing all this time. Good ol’ fashion, hairy-balls-to-the-wall, down and dirty, blowing angry blue flames out of a red-hot exhaust cubic goddamn inches. It’s been light years since we featured some decent capacity, and I’m here to tell you that this oversight has now been corrected like a nuclear weapon corrects fine bone china with exactly one thousand cc’s of Milwaukee’s finest two-wheeled tractor goodness. Meet No.22.
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That’s it. I give up. I can’t write any more “humorous” intro pieces for these DP Customs bikes. The guys just work too fast for me. They are wrenching and welding at a far greater rate than my scrawny little fingers with the chewed-down nails can type. I fear that if I keep trying to keep up with them I just may do myself a serious injury – quite possibly something involving my prostrate. So in place of some elaborate opening gambit about them using alien technology or being the direct descendants of William S. Harley and making bikes true to name while the real Harley is being run by Illuminati puppets, I’ll just give it to you straight. Here’s there new bike. It’s a beauty, please enjoy.
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