|Doin' It in the Dirt!
Back in March of this year we attended the Custom Chrome International Bike Show Series North American Championship in Santa Clara, California. For being a rainy and cold weekend we were really impressed with the amount of incredible bikes that were on display. Needless to say we walked away from that show with several future bike features lined up. One of those bikes, this tough little Panhead built by Kirk Taylor of Custom Design Studios (CDS) out of Novato, California, happened to catch the judge's attention as well as it stole the show and took top honors in the Championship clear. From the moment we laid eyes on this badass ride, we knew it would make for an interesting cover bike. After the photoshoot we quizzed Kirk about his dirt-inspired Pan, which he dubbed "The Dirty Boot"
HB: Why did you build this bike?
Conveying the idea I had for the seat to Duane Ballard was also pretty
challenging. The name "The Dirty Boot" came from a
customer of ours that used to race cars in the '60s (that
was his racecar's name). For me the name conjured
up this image I remembered of an old WWII war bonds
poster asking people to buy war bonds and stomp out
the axis of powers' domination over Europe. Duane nailed
it. Getting the color right on the anodizing so it looked like
a military spec coating was also pretty tough but Manny
at 2 Dye 4 Performance Coatings/Anodizing, did a fine
job as well.
The wheels are of the H-D nine-spoke variety, but have been treated with a Pressurized Vapor Dispersion (PVD) coating in a Black Pearl finish and wrapped with a set of Bridgestone Trail Wing tires. I used a BDL 2-inch beltdrive with electric start and modified the beltdrive to accept FXR mid controls. I also added some mesh screen from Moose Racing to the beltdrive to keep debris out. That same mesh was added to the modified Alloy Art battery box up front as well. The FXR mid-mount controls were drilled and lightened to support the motocross bear-trap-style bootlegs.
The fender struts are CDS I-beam style with hotrod holes drilled in them to make them lighter. All the wiring and cables/lines were routed externally and ran through fishing pole guides that were welded to the frame. The powerplant is an 88ci Pandemonium engine from Custom Chrome with STD cases and heads topped with a set of Custom Cycle Engineering cast finned pan covers. Most of the chrome has been brushed and most of the aluminum was bead-blasted and anodized to create a military spec finish. The frame was powdercoated in a bronze texture coat finish. And the paint is from PPG'S Vibrance line and is called Rattlesnake. Depending on the light it does a threecolor shift between root beer, green, and gold pearls.
I'm known for building primarily clean, good-looking, traditional-style bikes, but I've been expanding my horizons, or getting out of my comfort zone, so to speak. Besides, who wants to build the same bike over and over? You encounter bumps and detours that change the course, but that's part of the process. You adapt, improvise, and rise to the challenge. That's what gives the bike and builder their character.