|"The CCI Build-Off Bike"
text by Ernie Lopez
photos by Mike Clase
The Lil' Red Devil started as a promotion that Custom Chrome developed to show off what could be done with one of their Bike Kits if you applied your creativity to it. Kirk Taylor of Custom Design Studios was one of the guys to put his ideas to work, with two stipulations:
One, he had 30 days to complete the project, and two, he could only modify the existing components that came with the kit.
The bike needed to be ready by the July 4th weekend for the Hollister Independence Rally, when some lucky raffle ticket holder would get to pick the bike of their choice.
The kit came with everything a builder would need, from the nuts and bolts to all the sheetmetal and cables. All any builder needed to do was put it together, add oil and gas, and ride. Kirk took on the task and wasted no time with the CCI Hardcore kit by starting to customize the frame. He went to work on the frame by drilling holes in the single downtube and sleeved it with tubular inserts. Next he turned his attention to the sheetmetal. He started with the fender strut by drilling hotrod-style holes into both sides. After mounting the fender to the frame with the struts, Kirk saw that the fender was too long and not the right shape, so he pulled it off the bike again and cut it down along the edge of the tire. This shortened the length to just past the struts, but kept it long enough to hold a passenger pad if needed.
Kirk then went to work on the handlebars, cutting the long V-shaped section off the front and turning down a pair of aluminum inserts for the now exposed ends of the bars. With the bars redesigned and the controls stripped down, he set out to give the Villain Tank a new look by welding and contouring the edges with a 1/4-inch rod to create a paneled effect. The project was coming together when Kirk installed the 10-over frontend and a set of CCI spoke wheels: A tall 21-incher up front and an 18x200 out back. Then a set of smooth, contoured CCI brakes and rotors were bolted to the kit for stopping power. The kit came with a black 100ci RevTech motor, a matching 6-speed RevTech transmission, and a 3-inch BDL belt drive. The exhaust pipes received Hi-Temp black coating, but he kept the tips chrome. When the time came for paint, the bike was stripped down and the frame and forks received powdercoat dubbed "Liquid Smoke", which looked like black chrome. This gave Kirk time to devote to the paint.
Kirk does all fabrication, assembly, and paintwork in-house, and feels that this gives him control over all the details and deadlines. Kirk also has a background as a painter and knows that nothing jumps out more than Candy Apple Red flake with repeated layers of flake, clear, and more clear on top of that. So that's just what he did, covering the sheetmetal in Candy Red, then adding a layer of flake once it was dry, then another layer of paint followed by more flake. Kirk spent a full day just wet-sanding the sheetmetal, then added white pearl flames with a scallop to case the panels and silver pinstripes before spraying about ten coats of clear. With less than ten days left before the rally, Kirk got the parts back from powdercoat and started re-assembly. The total time involved consisted of about eight days, give or take, from fab work to firing the bike.
At the Hollister rally the bike was displayed by Custom Chrome and was a hit. Anyone who asked about the raffle also asked how hard the kit was to work with, and Kirk told them "If you don't like this bike, call me and I'll build one for you."