I even told them i would work for free
Jaap from the Netherlands – It started with a dream where i would learn how to build bikes and eventually start my own bikeshop here in the Netherlands. I work as a cook for a few years, but that started to annoy the hell outta me. So i quit that job and collected a bunch of email adresses from some bikeshops in the area. I send them an email telling them i wanted to learn how to build some badass choppers and caferacers.
I even told them i would work for free, i just wanted to learn! There was only 1 out of a few owners that responded and he invited me over at his shop. I arrived at that shop called Short Cut Choppers based in Ede in the Netherlands and i got real excited! The shop was great and after half an hour it was clear i could start working there 2 days a week. A few months later i sold my VLX600 Shadow and bought a near mint condition 82 heritage special with the double spoked rims! I got it really cheap and after a month or so i stripped her down and hardtailed it.
We gave it 4″ stretch and lowered it a bit. After putting her on her wheels the front end looked like it had ran in to a wall, so back in the frame-jig it was. I chopped of the neck and we gave it a gooseneck (2″) , a single downtube and raked the neck 3 degrees. I Put the forks and front wheel back in and it looked awesome!
Then the fabricating started.
I chose a small narrow gas tank cause i wanted to keep the bike as narrow as possible. Then i chopped the rear fender in half and due to no welding skills at all, my boss welded a piece of 12mm round bar between the two pieces of fender. I could’ve bought a ribbed fender but i wanted to build shit myself.
I made the seat and got it upholstered by Miller Kustom Upholstery located in Zutphen, NL. The side-mount was a pretty simple job, just as the forward controls (Tarozzi). What wasn’t a easy job was polishing the engine and valve covers. It took me about 2,5 days to do it but the end result was very pleasing! I could count the hairs in my beard in the reflection.
I got most of the electrics in a small fire extinguisher, except for the regulator and the small coil. I run a 12v Powerdynamo alternator system with integrated solid state ignition so there is no need for a battery. I took of the starter, kick only is the way to go!! Needing no battery gaves me the opportunity to go with that small fire extinguisher, giving the bike a nice and clean look.
Then after 9 months and a lot of fabricating I got her done in raw steel and ready to ride. I drove it for a weekend and then took of the tins and brought them to Kustom Bart Kustomworks, a painter based in Ede, NL as well. It took him 2 weeks to come up with this insane paint-job. I wanted loads of green with some black and a gold outline. When he showed up with the tins he blew my mind. So much detail is so little space.
That was it, “The Chronic” was born.
It just needs a few minor adjustments and then she is really done! I’m just really stoked with this bike, how everything falls in place while building it. I had a different bike in mind when i started the build, but as time passed the plans changed and this is the end result! The amount of things i learned about building bikes is insane, i’m far from being skilled at anything but with the all the guidance i got from my boss i came a long way.
To sum up this entire story in a few words:
I’m so grateful for the opportunity i got to start a career in this trade!
Cheers from tulip and clog country,
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