Riding With Big Worm | 2007 Harley Davidson Road King - Hot Bike Baggers Magazine
Every time we are out on the road and stop at a show or a bike night, we can count on finding at least one bike that stands out. We came across this bike a bit different, but along the same lines. We headed out to a show last year and found a few bikes we liked, and made arrangements to photograph them to showcase in the magazine. Well Robert Cordova's (aka "Pumpkin") '07 Road King was not the bike we saw at the show, but his good friend, David Lopez, owned the bike we found. As it turns out, the whole time we were shooting David's bike, he kept saying that if we liked his bike, we really needed to see his buddy Rob's Road King. "It's the shit," were his exact words. At the end of the photoshoot, David's wife showed us photos from her laptop and told us all the details about the bike, as if she was the one who worked on it. We knew the bike must be real cool. Every photo gave us a look at a real clean, mint-green custom Road King, and it turned out to be everything she said it was.
As far back as Pumpkin could remember, him and his baby brother, Steven (aka "Big Worm"), went to car shows with their dad. Their family has always been real tight. They were taught to give respect and earn respect, so even as youngsters they developed the greatest respect and appreciation for nice cars and motorcycles.
When his dad would enter cars in a show, Pumpkin always felt like it was their ride, not just his dad's. They would do all the things that dad did, like walk around the ride with a dust rag polishing out any smudges or fingerprints that people left from touching it. When dad won at a show, they all won.
Car shows were a big part of their young lives. They were huge events to look forward to, and a family pastime. Over the years, Pumpkin maintained that same respect and appreciation of rides, and he and Big Worm both have had the nicest, cleanest rides ever since. By ages 29 and 26 respectively, Pumpkin and his brother were lucky enough to have owned at least 25 cars and built a few ground-up customs.
In April 2007, Pumpkin's brother called and told him that he was at Mathews Harley-Davidson in Fresno, California; he said he was buying himself a Harley. Pumpkin knew he needed to get down there and get a bike too. They both ended up buying '07 Road Kings that morning: Big Worm's was white and blue, and Pumpkin's was black on black. Neither could wait to start customizing his bike, and the race began to build a cooler bike than the other. Big Worm took his bike to Raymond Morin of Ray's Motor Cycle Town of Fresno, and that was where it all started. By summer, he had more than $8,000 in accessories on his bike, chrome parts, more chrome, pinstriping, and a 21-inch 40-spoke twisted spoke wheel that he bought form good friend Alex Alejandrez. Big Worm was on the road to making his bike the next show-stopper.
However, on September 22, 2007, Big Worm tragically passed away. It was by far the worst time of Pumpkin's life. They had done everything together their whole lives. They always rode together; Big Worm was Pumpkin's right-hand man. Pumpkin had a lot to deal with emotionally and financially. While he was buried in the pain of losing his brother, he really needed something to focus on to help get through the hard time. Pumpkin had two bikes to pay for, so he made the decision to keep his brother's bike; he just couldn't imagine getting rid of his brother's ride.
Pumpkin ended up finding that something he needed to help get his mind off his unbearable loss. He picked up where his brother left off with the bike. In the spring of 2008, Pumpkin had the bike at Fresno Customs and Collision where his good friends and owners, David Keo Lopez and Robert Martinez, began to tear it down and get it ready for paint.
While the bike was stripped down, all the chrome parts were sent to the skillful hands of Gino Perez of Gino's Engraving in Fresno, and he did his thing. He started by hand-engraving all the parts that were getting chromed. As a special touch, he engraved "Big Worm" on the rear engine guard. All the parts were then sent on their way to Renee at Showtime Metal Polishing. As this was going on, Pumpkin had the seat wrapped in alligator skin by Carlos of Wall & Eades Upholstery of Fresno.
Next, the bike was ready for Koe of FCC to get down with his painting. The last time Keo put his famous unique painting skills to work was when he custom-painted Big Worm's casket, which he kicked ass on to send Big Worm off in the cleanest ride of all. For his bike, Koe started getting down by shooting it mint green, then adding silver twisted leaf with candy on top. Bob Kovacs finished it off with pinstriping. Once the paint was dry, the guys from Monster Tint in Fresno got busy hooking up the stereo system. With the bike almost done, Pumpkin took it to Mark Verdialez of Cochino's Alley and the finishing touches were completed: 39-inch beach bars, true dual fishtail exhaust pipes, and the rest of the chrome put together. Pumpkin had the best guys working to get this bike done. They were all good friends of Big Worm's, so the work they did on it had special meaning to them as well.
One year later, the bike was ready just in time for the '09 Las Vegas Bike Fest. All that skillful hard work paid off. It took First Place in Mild Custom, and that first show was just the beginning. The bike has been winning show after show since. Pumpkin said that he couldn't have made it through all the hard times without the help and love of his friends and even more his family, starting with his lady, Lizzy, and kids, Gabriella and Isabelle, and his son, "Papa" Robert Steven Cordova. Papa is just like his dad and his uncle, he loves nice rides. But, even more than cars, he loves bikes. Like father, like son. Pumpkin told us that even now when he rides, he knows he's not riding alone. And when his mom gets worried about him riding, he tells her not to worry, he has the best co-pilot riding with him: his brother, Steven Andrew Cordova, "Big Worm."
They say out of everything bad comes something good. Pumpkin thinks that's why Big Worm always said, "Hate it or love it." Anyone who knew him is now saying the same thing. It shouldn't surprise anyone in Fresno that Pumpkin named the bike, "Hate It Or Love It" in memory of Steven. "R.I.P. my brother."
|### SPEC SHEET|
|OWNER||Robert Cordova III|
|SHOP||Fresno Custom and Collision|
|SHOP PHONE||(559) 251-3387|
|BUILD TIME||One year|
|YEAR/TYPE/SIZE||'07/Twin cam/96 ci|
|EXHAUST||Samson True Dual|
|LENGTH||2 inches lower|
Your title here...
|WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES|
|Diamond Cut Spoke|
|Diamond Cut Spoke|
|PAINTER||David (Koe) Lopez|
|FRONT FENDER||Molded FCC|
|REAR FENDER||Molded FCC|
|GAS CAP||H-D Flush Mount|
|HANDLEBARS||39-inch Beach Bars|
|HAND CONTROLS||Custom H-D|
|TURN SIGNALS||Shot Gun Style|
|LICENSE MOUNT||Kary Oken|
|SEAT||Wall & Eades Upholstery|
|SADDLEBAG LATCHES||H-D Chrome|
|AMP||2 Pioneer 400 watts|