Phillip Carpenter: Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal is a custom chopper built by my spouse, Phillip E. Carpenter who is an author of action- adventure novels and owns a bike shop mainly because he loves to build and ride bikes. The name of his shop is Matt's Cycling because it was started in Ventura California in 1918 by a guy named Matt and the name is a historical part of the community and Phil is too lazy to do the paperwork to change it anyway.  My husband restores old cruisers and Stingrays as a part of the business when he isn't home building hot rods and restoring classic cars. 

Phil did all the work except for building a frame from scratch. He started with a Dyno Roadster frame and cut the head tube off and made a new longer one to work with the change from a 50-degree angle to 65 degrees. The gusset is 1/4-inch steel MIG-welded and filled.  The front fork is an actual working suspension fork with adjustable ride control using internal valving and pre-load springs from a Manitou mountain bike shock. Nuts on a threaded rod set the pre-load. The fork tubes are made of chromoly steel except for the two Schwinn seatposts that slide inside the center section. 

The frame was drilled and holes chamfered to run the brake cables and wiring for the 
headlights, 132 db car horn and tailights internally wherever possible. A 12-volt, 18-amp motorcycle battery was fitted into a battery box behind the seat tube, and the box was made from one single piece of sheet metal with no screws or rivets. It folds together and is held to the frame with a 3/8-inch bolt that also serves as the kickstand mount. A hidden master switch controls all electrical, including a separate horn button and the light switch made from a part of a stem mounted next to the left grip. Wiring is inside handlebar. The headlight is an old Bates motorcycle light with dim and bright bulbs, mounted on an upside-down mountain bike alloy stem with the wiring inside. Taillights are auto running lights reshaped to fit the custom housings that clip to the side of the rear fenders.  
     Fenders started as Schwinn Phantoms, but Phil decided to opt for the old Indian motorcycle look by drawing a design on cardboard templates, then cutting sheet steel using the patterns. The sides serve as supports so no struts are needed.  The rear fender has a license plate mount for the old original 1953 California black plate issued to bicycles back then. The frame was custom built and the plate restored, which included filling a .22-caliber bullet hole. 
     The tank was also fabricated from scratch, the right side cutout for the 7-speed Shimano shifter unit for the Nexus rear hub. One interesting detail is the shift lever, made from a 40-year old Schwinn 11/16 box end wrench welded to a steel cap that slides over the stock shift ring. The script on the wrench says "Schwinn approved."  A short piece of handlebar was welded to the frame and plugged, then tapped for a threaded bolt that adjusts shifter tension.  The chain guard was cut and rolled in the mid-section to clear the battery box and a 20-peso Mexican silver coin fitted into the circle where the old Dyno badge went. 
     The chain tensioner is made from an adult trike rear axle freewheel fitted to a road bike front brake mount bolt. A Bendix coaster brake dust cap decorates the outside and the tension is adjusted by moving the unit up or down in a slotted stainless bracket from a Blackburn rear rack strut.  The crankset is a Bullet[roof chromoly 3-piece sealed bearing unit with a 44-tooth ring. Pedals are Iron Cross from DK. 
     All alloy parts including triple clamps, brake handles, etc. were polished to a high gloss as were the rims which were double striped.  Phil finished up with several coats of flat black enamel over grey primer instead of his usual five-step clear coated multi-color paint jobs. The seat is a Stream Ride with embossed flames that match the flamed tread tires, the rear being a 26X3.00 from a Dyno Motoglide. Tuffy liners went into both tires so the wheels wouldn't have to come off as often for flats.  
      The bike rides very smooth and quiet and is amazingly comfortable. Phil has had offers of up to $2500 for it but doesn't want to sell it for now. He says it took about 50 hours of labor to put together once started and was a lot easier than building a street rod. I've been married to the old fool for 44 years and still can't get him to quit messing with this stuff.  
Jean Carpenter.