The Flame Bike / 2012 Victory Cross Country
Rusty Jones Customs
A little while back, we ran a feature on this sweet 2012 Victory Cross Country. I must have been writing it just after that leprechaun with the big hammer smacked me upside the head since we got the facts wrong, much to the chagrin of Rusty Jones, who made this bike happen. Here's his story.
In the three years he worked at his local Victory dealership, he developed a lot of parts for Victory's offerings. After he met Bruce Eide, Rusty branched out as a division of Verneide Motor Cars.
He also opened Rusty Jones Customs. That's where this bike comes in.
The Murrells Inlet, South Carolina resident has been a bike builder for over 15 years. Rusty built this beauty, The Flame Bike, because he has a thing for flamethrowers. And honestly, who among us doesn't? I don't care who you are, jets of fire shooting out of stuff look awesome. Looking at The Flame Bike you'd think it was complete; not so. “It is still a work in progress,” says Rusty. “So far it has been featured on several TV shows on A&E and The Travel Channel.
Bought new from a local dealership, Rusty faced an uphill fight transforming the Cross Country stocker into an evil, fiery hellion. Aftermarket support hasn't been one of Victory's stronger assets. That meant a lot of time welding, machining, and all the other hard work that comes from creating the parts yourself. “Gorby Machine and I made one of the first 26-inch front wheels to fit a Victory,” Rusty continued. After Rusty mounted the wheel up front, his 8 year old son, Levi, walked up to it, proceeded to draw circles on the front fender matching the wheel, and has pretty happy with himself. Right there Rusty decided his son should be part of the project. A fired up drill later, the fender received its holey communion.
Making that wheel was a pretty big job. Stretching the backbone gave it a run for its money as biggest obstacle of the project, though. The cast aluminum spine forced Rusty to come up with a solid 6061 aluminum block to extend the backbone out 1 1/2-inch to make the proper rake and trail. Sorry about that leprechaun incident, Rusty. I caged the little rotter a few weeks back and this shouldn't happen again. Unless he tells me where his gold is; then I have to free him. So far he's been pretty quiet, though. Sorry to you too, readers. If you'd like to know more about Rusty Jones and his work, visit www.rustyjonescustom.com or ring him at (843) 467-4557.
Photos: John Jackson