Bitter End – Old School Choppers’ “Midnight Marauder”
By Big Daddy Al Wilkerson
This time we focus on buildin’ a narrow (6” wide) springer set, stop for a
second to celebrate, and get started – for real this time – on a set of
stainless steel handlebars.
Now that we’ve got the vintage top trees with ears in place (see Chapter IV), I
had to get the flow of the bike by having some forks to look at. I wanted the
old school look of the stepped-down tubing going into the trees. We got this
started by heat fitting a 1” solid slug into some 1.25” DOM tubing. It just so
happens that the i.d. of 1.25” tubing is a 5-10 thousands smaller than the o.d.
of 1” solid rod. So, once heat fit, you more or less have a permanent joint.
This will, of course, also get welded, but you start with a dog-sled load of
confidence in your fit-up and get automatic parallel alignment. The 1” plugs get
thrown in the shop fridge’s freezer compartment…
…while the DOM gets this treatment from the chopper builder’s best friend (the
In order to get the slug to stop right where we want it, I put a set-screw
collar on it at the proper depth before I slide it in. This is also nice because
it holds things where you want ‘em while the 1,000+ degrees steel tubing cools
At the other end of the tubing (already filled solid), we need to drill holes
for the rocker studs and bronze, oil-lite type bushings (available on the site –
Man alive - I'm ready for some
cuttin', hackin', welding and general mayhem with Big Daddy. Oh
yeah, and a little ink too...
Hey - you can visit Big Daddy
and his crew online at:
...tell 'em Warren sent ya.