Speed Shop Special #6

Harley Sportster motorcycle
Seattle-based Chris Flechtner marries off-center design with meticulous craftsmanship. And his approach got a big tick from the judges at last month’s Calendar Bike Building Championship in Long Beach: “#6” walked off with the Pro Builder trophy. The bike was three years in the making at Speed Shop Design, and uses many hand-crafted parts. Sitting in the custom frame is a 1978 Sportster motor—a 38mm Mikuni VM carb supplies the gas, and air arrives through a modified horn scoop from a 1936 Ford. The front suspension, an 18” internal springer, is a Flechtner one-off. Flechtner’s career has been chequered so far: After working in a machine shop building motorcycles and hot rods, he took an apprenticeship under one of Japan’s most accomplished sword restorers. If he keeps building custom motorcycles like this, we’ll be hearing a lot more about Speed Shop Design. [Image by Jim Gianatsis. And yes, it looks good: it was taken on a $20,000 camera with a 39 million pixel sensor.]