Pipe Dreams


For this build I got a piece of 4 rolled pipe from Dirty South Choppers. As I was mocking things up it was clear that the radius was too large, so I found a shop nearby that had a machine capable of rolling it a bit tighter. From there I designed the “loop frame” inspired cradle with a down tube that bowed out instead of the more traditional straight or curving inward design and Robert from Aztec Welding was able to make that vision a reality. I felt that I gave a much more fluid line to the bike, more like a drop of water.

The rear end of the bike was the most difficult part to engineer. Basically power is taken off the transmission to drive a jackshaft that powers 2 chains, one on each side of the center wheel. On each arm of the swingarm is another jackshaft that transfers power to the chains driving the outside wheels so all in all it takes 5 chains to make it all work. All rear wheels are powered all the time and all travel at the same RPM. The concept being that the 3 tires I am using creates the same radius as a single 330 would have , like if I took a 330 mm rear tire and cut it into 3 parts. As you lean the bike you transfer the weight from one wheel to 2 wheels.

I first saw the Ilmor engine at the Orlando PRI show and asked how I could get my hands on one. I was told that they were a proprietary design for Viper Motorcycles and I would have to talk to them about it. They came to Bike Week last year and saw a couple of my bikes there they agreed to sell me an engine. Baker Drivetrain also helped out with a deal on one of their mighty Torque Box transmissions and a Synchronous Belt Drive primary as well. I spent the better part of a full year fabricating all the parts necessary to make this bike work and still maintain the clean lines, avoiding to clutter the bike with too many fittings, wires and plumbing. The 2 chrome tubes on each side of the backbone are the oil tanks and they end up in turn signals that I fabricated myself. The handlebars are made from steel with an internal throttle.

I also wanted to evoke some of the detail and styling cues from older cars from back in the day when they had lots of chrome trim and hood ornaments. The speedo/tach from MotoGadget is “frenched” into the backbone to keep the lines clean and the seat is supported by another piece of leaf spring to offer a little more suspension in a simple looking setup. I approach motorcycle building more as sculpture that trying to create the fastest bike. This is an experimental bike, a way for me to try new ideas and to push myself to engineer new or different ways of doing things while still maintaining a visually pleasing aesthetic. Now that it is finally done I can enjoy riding it around a bit and bringing it to shows to share with others until I find a buyer for it.

My Photos

March 9, 2013