Bitter End – Old School Choppers’ “Midnight Marauder”

Chapter IV

By Big Daddy Al Wilkerson

Even though the frame is not final, we’ve gone as far as we can on it without me freaking-out to see how the rest of the bike is going to flow. So, this chapter we get started on wheels (with built-in brakes) and tires, fill in time by integrating an antique/junk taillight into a scratch-fabbed license plate frame, and dive ass-first into a full-blown narrow springer build.

Below is our 21” front wheel with built in mini-drum-brake system. Classic chopper looks…

…and a way to hold the bike on hills with your left foot holdin’ in da’ suicide and your right foot keeping ya’ from fallin’ over. Plus, big savings over having to buy a separate juice brake system.

Here’s a look at the working insides of the brake. Notice the lever is in the “relaxed” position and that the cam that drives the pads is in the vertical position.

And, with the lever in the “pulled” position, see that the cam has rotated to horizontal and expanded the radius of the pads so that it would create friction on the drum. …Simple and free of liquids – as God intended.

In a later chapter of the build we will show how the system is anchored in place and cabled to work. Here’s a picture of the entire front wheel and tire package (available on the site – as usual) to be used on this build. Of course, it includes the Avon Speedmaster (Are there other chopper front tires?). Also shown is the brake lever, non-juice cable, anchor, and - going way, way back – a 5/8” x 9” pike-nutted axle.

It's a new year, and we're back with more Big Daddy - that's right, he's been burning the midnight oil, cuttin', hackin' and choppin' his brains out. You can join him in his dark and evil garage....

Hey - you can visit Big Daddy and his crew online at:

...tell 'em Warren sent ya.