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FOCUS – V-Twin Builders

January 20, 2005
Filed under Features

EDITOR’S NOTE: We took a look at some of the leading V-twin builders in the country. Here, we report on when they started business, how many ’04 models they claim to have produced, how many dealers they have, and their warranty and engine options.

American Ironhorse
Motorcycle Company
Year started business: 1995
No. of 2004s produced: NA, but claims to be the largest of the small manufacturers
No. of dealers: 105
Engines: S&S 111-inch standard, 117- and 124-inch optional
American Ironhorse builds more than 300 components for its bikes, all of which use a proprietary six-speed transmission with right-side drive. Frames have a 38-degree rake with four degrees in the trees, and a 2-into-1 exhaust system. The company has not yet released 2005 prices.
LSC ($NA): This hardtail has a large-diameter frame with a 12-inch-over fork, 21-inch front wheel and 280-series rear tire.
Texas Chopper ($NA): It’s a hidden-shock model with a 4-inch stretch in the top tube and 8 inches in the downtubes. It’s got a 12-inch-over front end, 21-inch front wheel and 280-series rear tire.
Outlaw ($NA): This pro-street hidden-shock model has a 2-inch top tube stretch and 240mm rear tire with 21-inch front.
Slammer ($NA): As its name suggests, it’s a low model that can be made even lower with its adjustable hidden air shocks. It’s got a 21-inch front hoop with a 280-series rear tire.
Tejas ($NA): This rigid has a 2-inch stretch in the top tube, and a 3-inch-over fork. It’s long, low and wicked looking.
Legend ($NA): A more radical hidden-shock model, it includes a 4-inch stretch in the top tube, 6 in the downtubes and a polished 6-inch-over fork.

Big Dog Motorcycles
Year started business: 1994
No. of 2004s produced: 5,200
No. of dealers: 95
Warranty: Two years, unlimited miles
Engines: 117-inch S&S, polished optional
For 2005, all models will be powered by the 117-inch S&S motor with a proprietary six-speed Baker transmission and right-side drive. Most models get wider 300-series rear tires.
Pitbull ($25,500): Features a rigid frame with 3 inches of rake in the trees and a 37-degree frame rake. Comes with a 300-series rear tire, custom billet wheels and short fenders.
Ridgeback ($26,500): This rigid chopper features a solid-mounted, polished engine, 21-inch front wheel, 37-degree rake and 300-series rear tire. It’s 9 feet long and very tall.
Mastiff ($27,500): It’s a hidden-shock model that’s 99 inches long and carries a 250-series rear tire. A polished motor is optional.
Chopper ($27,900): A hidden-shock design, it carries a 250-series rear tire. With the 37-degree chromed fork it’s 103 inches long.
Bulldog ($32,900): Features matching wheels, rotors and pulleys, and a polished motor. It uses the 250-series rear tire and a hidden-shock air-ride rear suspension. A polished motor is standard.

BMC (Big Mike’s Choppers)
Year started business: 2000
No. of 2004s produced: 600
No. of dealers: 40
Warranty: One year
Engines: RevTech 80- and 100-inch, S&S 107- and 113-inch, and Harley Twin Cam 88B motor
541 Hooligan ($17,500): Here’s an old-style rigid chopper with a 180- or 240-series rear tire and longer front fender.
Notorious 918 Rigid Chopper ($20,995): It’s a basic chopper available with the 100-inch RevTech motor, five-speed and 180-series rear tire. The S&S 107- and 113-inch are optional.
918 Big Daddy ($22,995): This rigid offers chopper styling, all-billet components and a 250-series rear tire. Powered by the RevTech 100-inch engine with a five-speed, it also includes flame paint and OMP brakes. Harley’s 88-inch B motor, and S&S 107- and 113-inchers are available at extra cost.
Notorious 988 ($22,995): A rigid version of the 918, powered by the Harley B motor, with a five-speed trans and black and chrome accents.
Notorious 918 ST ($23,995): Offers a hidden-shock frame with the RevTech 100-inch engine and 41mm extended Wide Glide fork.
918 Big Daddy ST ($24,995): This model comes with hidden Progressive Suspension shocks, chrome billet lower legs, a six-speed transmission and a 240-series rear tire.
Notorious 988 ST ($24,995): This hidden-shock model features a 180-series rear tire, a chrome billet headlight and lower legs, and it’s powered by the Harley B motor.
Notorious 918 No Limits ($27,995): It’s a rigid with a 100-inch RevTech and 40-degree rake.
Paramount Custom and BMC 280 Pro Street ($34,995): This pro-street-style model includes a 280-series rear tire and is powered by a polished RevTech 100-inch with a six-speed, dual shocks and Weld Racing wheels.
Note: Photos not available at presstime.

Bourget’s
Year started business: 1993
No. of 2004s produced: 1,000
No. of dealers: 39
Warranty: Six months, 3,000 miles
Engines: S&S 113-, 117-, 124- and 145-inch,
All Bourget’s bikes are available with JIMS five- or six-speed transmissions, in chopper or standard style. Prices have not yet been set.
Joker ($NA): It’s a standard rigid with a 230-series rear tire. A chopper version is $1,000 more.
Black Jack Ace ($NA): This hidden-shock model has a 250-series rear tire, or get the chopper for a little more.
Kruzer ($NA): A smaller and lighter rubbermount, it’s styled like a Dyna or FXR with external shocks and a 210-series rear tire.
Low-Blow ($NA): A hidden-shock model, it’s powered by a polished 113-inch S&S engine and it has a 210-series rear tire.
The Python line is composed of rigids with very low seat heights and chassis that can flex for comfort. They feature optional rake, stretch and rise, and a five- or six-speed transmission. The Standard is available with a standard, wide, inverted or springer front end.
Beach Cruiser ($NA): This hidden-shock design features wide bars and dragger fenders.
Fat Daddy ($NA): Uses a patented twin-belt jackshaft assembly that can run a 280-series rear wheel without offsetting the drive train.
Fatso ($NA): Has a fat pro-street look with a 210-series front tire and a 280 rear.
Auti-Motorcycle ($NA): Combines carbon-fiber bodywork over much of the bike with a rigid chassis and a 280-series rear tire.
Retro Chopper ($NA): With unibody styling its rear fender and tank become an integral part of the frame. Includes a 280-series rear tire, springer fork and custom paint.
Magnum ($NA): It’s a belt-drive with a 280-series rear tire, retro chassis design, a 124-inch engine and a six-speed with an open primary; only 30 were built for 2004.
New for ‘05 is an as-yet unnamed model with a single-sided swingarm, a proprietary 131-inch engine and an enormous 330-series rear tire.

Confederate Motorcycle Co.
Year started business: 1991
No. of 2004s produced: 50
No. of dealers: Available only factory direct
Warranty: One year, unlimited miles
Engines: Proprietary 100- and 113-inch, plus 124-inch S&S
After regrouping and consolidating last year, Confederate has introduced two new models that are very unconventional machines.
Wraith ($40,000): This is a new, futuristic machine with a carbon-fiber backbone frame; it weighs about 400 pounds. Its 100-inch proprietary dual-carb, cross-flow, V-twin engine makes a claimed 130 horsepower.
Hellcat Roadster ($50,000): Another radical cruiser, it has a proprietary 113-inch V-twin, and a cradle frame and dual shocks. The exhaust exits through the swingarm.
F124 Hellcat ($60,000): This is a harder-edged version of the Roadster, a short streetfighter with a 124-inch S&S-based motor, more firm suspension and a 240-series rear tire.

Hellbound Steel Motorcycles
Year started business: 2000
No. of 2004s produced: 250
No. of dealers: 20
Warranty: Four years, unlimited miles
Engines: 107-inch S&S for 2004, changing to a 117-inch in ‘05
All Hellbound Steel models run a 250-series rear tire and a Roadmax six-speed transmission.
Tormentor ($29,999): It’s a rigid with 4 inches of stretch in the backbone and 4 in the downtubes, 48 degrees of rake in the neck and another 6 in the trees.
Punisher ($29,999): This rigid has 6 inches of stretch in the legs and 2 in the backbone.
Wicked ($31,999): The rest of the lineup consists of suspended bikes. The Wicked is a suspended version of the Tormentor.
Hellion ($31,999): Raise a little hell with the suspended version of the Punisher.
Brimstone ($31,999): This beach cruiser has an 18-inch front wheel and a 36-degree rake.
Fury ($31,999): It’s a pro-street style with a 21-inch front wheel.

Ironworks Motorcycle Company
Year started business: 1999
No. of 2004s produced: 120
No. of dealers: 8
Warranty: Two years on the engine, five on the transmission, six months for other components
Engines: RevTech 100-inch
All models feature the 100-inch RevTech engine, a hidden-shock frame, a standard five-speed transmission (six-speed optional) and a 250-series rear tire.
Rage ($34,900): This chopper has a 42-
degree rake.
Savage ($34,900): It’s a pro-street style with either a 38- or 40-degree rake.
Torrid ($34,900): Offers a frame stretch between that of the Savage and the Rage.
Rage Monster ($39,900): This more radical chopper has a 45-degree rake with a frame that’s 10 inches up and 5 out, a 21-inch-over fork and a drop seat.

Red Horse Motorworks
Year started business: 1999
No. of 2004s produced: 150
No. of dealers: 30
Warranty: Four years, unlimited miles
Engines: The RevTech 100- and 110-inch, S&S 113- and 124-inch, and Harley-Davidson Twin Cams in 88- and 103-inch displacements are available in all models.
Street Stallion 180 ($18,900): These rigids offer a 38-degree rake and 2-inch stretch. The model designation refers to the rear tire series. Other models include the Street Stallion 230 and the Street Stallion 250, both of which sell for $20,900.
Corsair Sport 180 ($19,500): This sporty model is available in a hidden-shock frame with a 34-degree rake and a 2-inch stretch in the downtubes. Other models include the Corsair Sport 230 and the Corsair Sport 250, both of which sell for $21,900.
Mustang Chopper ($23,500): It’s a hidden-shock model that offers a 38-degree rake and 8-inch stretch in the downtubes. Both 230 S and 250 S models are available at the same price. Rigid versions include the 230 R and 250 R, also for $23,500.

Swift Motorcycles
Year started business: 2001
No. of 2004s produced: 550
No. of dealers: 21
Warranty: Three years, unlimited miles
Engines: S&S 113- and 124-inch for 2004; 2005s will carry the S&S 117- and
124-inch
Prices shown are for 2004 models, all of which have a 240-series rear tire.
Punisher RF ($22,900): It’s a rigid with a 36-degree rake.
Bar Chopper CF ($23,900): This rigid has a 38-degree rake.
Punisher SF ($26,400): It’s a suspended bike with pro-street styling and a 36-degree rake.
Tormentor ($26,900): Its classic styling comes from beach bars and big fenders; there’s
a 40-degree rake.
Bar Chopper CSF ($27,400): It’s a suspended chopper.
Icon ($NA): New for ‘05, it’s a single-downtube chopper with rubber mounting, rear suspension, a 280-series rear tire, a 40-degree rake and
right-hand drive.

Thunder Mountain Custom Cycles
Year started business: 1999
No. of 2004s produced: 1,400
No. of dealers: 32. Thunder Mountain Custom Cycles are only available through certain Harley-Davidson dealerships
Warranty: One year
Engines: Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 88 B,
and 103 B
Harley-Davidson components on all models include the engine and transmission, instrumentation, chrome, accessories and the braking system. All models have custom paint. All except the Granite have a hidden-shock rear suspension. Although many of the major components are H-D, Thunder Mountain is not supported by, nor affiliated with, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
Blackhawk ($NA): It’s powered by the Twin Cam 88 B motor with a 35-degree raked frame, 21-inch front tire, 180-series rear tire, custom paint and billet wheels. Options include the H-D Twin Cam 103 B engine, EFI, a six-speed transmission and a stretched tank.
Blackhawk 240 ($NA): Same as above except it has the H-D Twin Cam 103 B engine, a 38-degree rake, 2 inches of stretch in the downtubes and 4 inches in the fork tubes, with a stretched tank and a 240-series rear tire.
Blackhawk Xtreme ($NA): New for 2005, it’s the same as the 240 above except for a 4-inch stretch in the downtubes and 8 inches in the fork tubes.
Baditude ($NA): It’s the same as the standard Blackhawk except for standard H-D FL downtubes and fork tubes, and an 18-inch front tire.
Baditude 240 ($NA): Same as the above except it comes with the Twin Cam 103 B engine, a stretched tank and a 240-series rear tire.
Granite 240 ($NA): This rigid is the same as the Baditude 240 except it has a 35-degree raked frame. The stretched tank and H-D Twin Cam 103 B engine are optional.
The following models carry over from 2004, but upgrades now include the Twin Cam 103 B engine, a six-speed transmission, billet wheels and a stretched tank.
Breckenridge ($NA): It’s a hidden-shock model with a satin-finish motor and a 35-degree rake.
Gunnison ($NA): The same style as the Breckenridge, but comes with the chromed engine.
Telluride ($NA): This hidden-shock model has a Fat Boy-style front end.
Frisco ($NA): Offers a hidden-shock frame with a Road King-style front end.

Titan Motor Company of America
Year started business: 1994
No. of 2004s produced: 410
No. of dealers: 32
Warranty: Two years, unlimited miles
Engines: S&S 122-inch standard, 124-inch optional
Titan assembles 112-inch engines by S&S for most of its bikes; all carry six-speed transmissions.
Sidewinder Series: These bikes all have a 250-series rear tire, and an integrated brake/pulley on the left.
Hardtail Low Rider ($25,850): It’s a rigid bike with a Ceriani fork and a 19-inch, 110-series front tire.
Softail Low Rider ($28,850): This is a hidden-shock version of the above.
Chopper Hardtail ($27,850): It’s a rigid version of the Chopper.
Chopper Softail ($28,950): This chopper-style bike has a hidden-shock suspension.
Rubber-Mounted Chopper ($31,350): New for 2004, it includes a huge 63mm fork, a 21-inch front tire and a 124-inch S&S engine.
Custom Softail Chopper ($42,500): It’s a suspended bike with a chopper look.
Rigid Chopper ($27,950): Here’s a rigid with radical styling.
Chopper Rubbermount ($36,750): It’s a rubbermount version of the above.
Gecko Series: These are rubbermounts with exposed shocks, a 25-inch seat height, Ceriani forks and 200-series rear tires.
Retro RM ($29,000): It’s an FXR-style bike with high style.
Stretch RM ($31,000): Like the above but with a 3-inch stretch, 35-degree rake and one-piece aluminum tank.
Fat Bobber ($NA): Titan is working on a bobber hardtail with a 250-series rear tire, old-school styling and a 96-inch S&S motor. Price will be around $23,000.

Ultra Motorcycle Company
Year started business: 1994
No. of 2004s produced: 400
No. of dealers: 35
Warranty: Two years, unlimited miles
Engines: S&S 113-inch engine is standard, with the 96- and 124-inch S&S also available. They use a proprietary six-speed transmission.
Ground Pounder ST ($NA): Here’s a less radical bike with a hidden-shock frame and a 200-series rear tire.
Fat Pounder Rigid ($NA): It’s like the ST, but the Rigid has a 250-series rear tire.
Ripper ($NA): It’s a chopper-style rigid with a 250-series rear tire and chain final drive.
Fat Pounder ST ($NA): This big-fendered, hidden-shock bike features a solo seat and is equipped with a 250-series rear tire.

Vengeance Motorcycles
Year started business: 2002
No. of 2004s produced: 425
No. of dealers: 43
Warranty: One year, unlimited miles
Engines: S&S 107- and 113-inch
All Vengeance motorcycles come with the Roadmax six-speed transmission.
Black Widow ($26,500): This new model has a backbone frame with the 113-inch engine, hidden shocks, a 40-degree rake, a 10-inch-over front end and a 250-series rear tire.
Vertebreaker ($28,000): It’s a hardtail (obviously) with a 113-inch engine, a 250-series rear tire, 6 inches of stretch in the downtubes, 2 inches in the backbone and a 45-degree rake.
Banshee ($28,750): This new chopper model has the 113-inch engine, a 250-series rear tire, a 45-degree rake with a 12-inch-over fork, and 2 inches of stretch in the backbone and 6 in
the downtubes.
Vindicator ($32,500): This beach cruiser has 2 inches of stretch in the downtubes, 2 in the backbone and a 37-degree rake. It has a fat front end with an 18-inch front tire, a 250-series rear and long fenders.
Vendetta ($32,500): It’s like the Vindicator but with pro-street style and a 21-inch front wheel, 42-degree rake, short fenders and drag bars.
Warrior ($34,000): This hidden-shock chopper has a 6-inch stretch in the downtubes and 2 inches in the backbone, with 40 degrees of rake and a 250 rear tire.
Raider ($34,000): Same as the Warrior, but it comes with long fenders and drag bars.

Viper Motorcycles
Year started business: 2000
No. of 2004s produced: 200
No. of dealers: 25
Warranty: One year, unlimited miles (Diablo), two years, unlimited miles (Vago)
Engines: 105-inch, 90 hp, and billet proprietary 128-inch Patrick Racing engine with 128 hp and proprietary six-speed with overdrive
This company began as Freedom Motorcycles in 1999, then relaunched as Norton Motorcycles in 2001, then as Viper Motorcycle Company in 2003. All models have a 240-series rear tire with one air shock and one nitrogen shock so that ride height can be easily adjusted.
Vago 105 ($24,900): It’s powered by a 100-inch billet Patrick Racing engine. Styling is ased on the Diablo, but it’s been designed by Donnie Smith.
Diablo 128 ($29,900): Here’s a super cruiser with a six-speed transmission with overdrive, and a Marzocchi fork.
DS 105 ($24,900) and DS 128 Chopper ($29,900): These models are choppers by Donnie Smith, but no further details are available.

- Bill Stermer, Contributing Editor

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