We're Not Talking In The Eco Sense
Every custom bike has a story. Some started life to repair damage, some from wear and tear, and some just because the owner had a few extra dollars lying around. This bike started as an '01 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide with fuel injection. It was a classic looking motorcycle with dark green and black exterior hues. At just more than 12 months of age, it had seen a bit of the countryside with its odometer pronouncing just more than 6,000 miles. From day one, it was a cruiser. But, this was just the beginning.
Into the picture came Brady Dowell, a West Texas guy, average height, biker build, always seen in jeans. He was a mechanic by trade where wrenching on cars was his day to day. He knew bikes; he had a '79 Harley Sportster. That was fun, but he knew he wanted a little more comfort, reliability, and of course, a bigger bike.
Enter Lubbock Custom Motorcycles (LCM), a newer shop by most standards but a true motorcycle shop at its roots. The shop is situated just outside the Lubbock, Texas, city limits near the farm market roads, housed in a metal building without any added bling. One may notice the extra metal laying around or the barbecue for those nice summer days.
LCM, headed by Juan Gandara Jr., has been in business for more than six years. Juan stated, "I say that I owe it to my good friend John Shelby. He is a master builder with more than 50 years in the motorcycle business." The two-and-a-half years that Juan worked for John put Harleys in his blood. Juan Jr.'s shop opened and was centered around three men: Juan Jr., his father Juan Sr., and Don Richardson. The breakdown goes something like this: Don's the wrencher alongside Juan Jr., and Juan Sr. is the painter with an accomplished 33 years under his belt.
So one summer day Brady visited LCM. It started the way most relationships do. They met, they got along, and they had a vision. Juan Jr. recalls the first meeting, "Brady came by our shop and we visited (a Texas thing) a little on what he wanted to do. Next thing, Brady shows up with his fairing so we can paint it." It was a relationship like many we know; the kind you just jump into headfirst.
While hanging out Brady's eyes scanned the shop, and he noticed a seat on another bike that was totally custom, hand-stitched and branded leather, so he added that to the "to do" list. Off came Brady's seat and it went over to Cactus at Wicked Cactus Leather to do his stuff. From then on there was no looking back. There was no part of the word custom that was going to be left out of this Ultra.
The bags and tank were stretched before the House of Kolor's Lime Gold Candy mix was applied. True to Brady's request, the bike stayed green. It's obviously nowhere near its original tone, but just the same, since Brady wanted something of a hot rod theme. Joe at Mean Street Designs added the eye-candy flame graphics.
Attention to detail was an ongoing theme with this bike. All the wiring was run internally through the bars, which proved quite a challenge because of all the extras dressers have. Not to mention the Pioneer DVD stereo with 6-inch touchscreen. Juan Jr. recalls, "We had everything mounted up and Brady shows up with a custom set of handlebar controls. If I grew my hair out I would have pulled it out." In true customer and friend specs the wires were pulled out and it was redone. "He made the right decision with these custom Performance Machine Contour Hand Controls, they just set off the bars," Juan stated.
One year later, and looking nothing like it did before, the bagger was dressed out nicely with a laundry list of new parts including a 95ci big bore kit and cams. Just when you think you've seen it all with this ride, you'll notice something else, like a machined set of custom spacers to conform to the brake and clutch mounting brackets. LCM made sure everything on this bike was done right since it is no trailer queen. Brady can be seen often on rides of 200-300 miles on weekends with his wife, Karen, usually stopping at R.O.T., Aspencade, Red River, and the Rick Fairless Bike Show. They've even logged more than a thousand miles to hit the New Mexico Bike Rally each Memorial Day weekend.