It’s not always easy to pick one path and stick to it. Sometimes you start out in one direction in life and someone or something can change gears on you. Take Adam Garley for example. He was born in California, raised in New Mexico, then moved to Fort Worth, Texas in ’02. Adam had always had a love for all things Harley and growing up his dad owned a shop called Traditions Cycle. By the time the chopper craze was at its peak Traditions Cycle had moved to Fort Worth and was well known and very busy. So Adam went to work for his dad at the shop for a few years getting to learn all about servicing and building custom Harleys. The shop was a great opportunity to work on his customizing skills and a good place to learn all about the real side of the motorcycle business and not what he had seen on TV.
It turned out to be a lot less fun than Adam thought it would be and all the long hours and low pay started to take a toll on him. Not wanting to jeopardize the family relationship he left his father’s shop to work at a small fab shop. There he learned how to weld and fabricate custom pieces for Harleys, but he soon saw it was not going to last. At the time the fab shop was working on parts for American Iron Horse and Adam was getting to know all the guys over there real well, and so when he heard about a job opening he jumped on it. Adam started in the body shop and worked there for about 2 months learning about custom paint jobs and repairs until he was approached by the R&D department to help work on a custom project. He split after a bad experience working for the people at AIH. They tried to keep him from expanding his knowledge, then in the end just took all of his ideas and gave him no credit.
Adam decided it was time to take a break from working on motorcycles for a living. He took a job at a mortgage company to pay his own mortgage and worked on a few Harleys in his garage while helping out at his Dad’s shop for a little extra cash.
Adam was still in love with the motorcycling and watched every cable show out there and when it came to his idols like Billy Lane, Jesse James, and Paul Yaffe he could not get enough. So when he saw a casting call on the Speed Channel for a show called Build or Bust he sent in all his info not expecting anything. Adam was surprised to get a call from the producers to head to Los Angeles for a shot at building a bike on TV; he was hooked all over again. If you are familiar with the show the builder has a short timeframe to build a bike from the ground up and if you can do everything on time and get the bike to fire and run the builder gets to keep it. Adam was one of only three to build a bike in the allotted timeframe for the show and win the bike.
So with a re-found love for the bike industry once again he found his way back to his Dad’s shop and rode his rigid chopper everyday for the next 4 years while honing his fabrication and building skills. Traditions Cycle is a well known service, maintenance and performance shop, but they didn’t do a whole lot of fabricating there. At night Adam would find himself at the shop doing all the customizing and fabrication work. In ’08 Adam bought his father Lorenzo’s shop and took over the business.
That same year he made up his mind to find or build a bike with a little more comfort than his rigid. After seeing all the new things people were doing to baggers, Adam thought to himself, “I could ride one of those,” and his wife Renee deserved it.
Adam asked his father to find a deal on a Road King at the local auction however, Lorenzo brought home a stripped down ‘02 Ultra Classic. At first Adam was not sure if it had the lines he wanted to work with but once he stripped the bike down it started to take on the look he was after. And he was able to sell all the stock parts and put a little cash back into the bike. As they were going through the bike they came across a small bump when they could not get the bike to fire and run right. The motor was trashed and needed just about everything. Adam went ahead and ordered a new set of cases, flywheels, cylinders, pistons, S&S lifters and gear drive cams, along with CNC ported Redman Heads. Adam added a Primo lockup clutch to help the 98 hp and 106-lb/ft of torque, at 2,800rpm to get the front end at 11 o’clock with just a quick twist of the throttle.
Next Adam worked on swapping out the stock fork lowers with a set of black Mean Street single sided brake legs. His daughter helped install a set of Performance Machine Casino wheels and 6-piston caliper with a Race Tech suspension kit that lowered the bike 1-inch. Then they installed an Arnott air ride system to raise and lower the rear end while a Bagger Brace was added to keep the side-to-side movement under control.
Then it was on to Adams favorite part, the fab work, where he extended the stock tank over 8 inches to flow around the custom Stout Leather seat and into the side covers. Adding a Paul Yaffe dash with a Westbury gascap gave the tank a very clean look. The rear fender was ordered without a tag hole so Adam could place it where he thought it would look best.
Adam made the filler panels from scratch. He was tired of looking at all the fender caps people were putting over their rear fenders and seeing them crack after a short time of riding. He made the fillers starting at the side of the driver seat and flowing it as one piece all the way to the pipes. Speaking of the pipes, Adam started with Klock Werks Double Back headers with modified heat shields, and then he ceramic coated the inside and had them re-chromed.
He designed and had his machinist, Mike at Mid Cities, whip him up custom one off tips to hold the plugs for the flamethrowers and keep the flames just out of reach of the paint. The bars are a set of Paul Yaffe’s which Adam installed with an internal throttle and converted the clutch to hydraulic so he could run all the lines as well as the wires inside the bars for that ultra clean look. With some wiring tricks the switches have multiple functions to include air ride up and down as well as setting off the flame throwing exhaust.
Once it was time for paint it was turned over to Adam’s good friend Juan Parra of Juando’s Custom Paint. Juan laid out the basecoat of what was going to be one heck of a paint job. They called in Michael Keeton for the layout and pinstripe designs. Adam showed Michael some pictures of some So Cal Lowriders he had seen with some cool paint and told Juan he wanted the two color tones to flow from front to back. After the layout Juan mixed up a custom color he called Bahamma Blue and sprayed several coats with some ice pearl and mini flakes. He split the blue and black two-tone paint with some silverleaf that was turned by hand. Michael laid out some one off hot rod pinstripes to accent the silverleaf and different parts of the bike and just make the paint pop. Juan covered it in many coats of clear to get that deep shine.
Once the bike was all done and Adam and Renee were on the road, they were both thinking “why didn’t we do this sooner?” But Adam was also thinking, “had I not made my way back to the motorcycle industry, what would we be riding?” Adam thanks his dad for giving him the opportunity to keep the business going and making it fun again. B
|Owner || Adam Garley|
|Shop || Traditions Cycle (TC)|
|Phone || (817) 281-8055|
|Website || traditionscycle.com|
|Year/Make/Model || ‘02/Harley-Davidson/ Ultra Classic|
|Fabrication || TC |
|Assembly || TC|
|Build Time || Five Months|
|Engine || |
|Year/Type/Size || ‘02/Twin Cam/103ci |
|Builder || TC|
|Cases || H-D|
|Flywheels || H-D|
|Rods || H-D|
|Pistons || Wiseco|
|Cylinders || H-D/Diamond Heads |
|Heads || H-D/Redman Racing|
|Valves || Black Diamond|
|Rockers || H-D|
|Rocker Boxes || H-D|
|Pushrods || Screamin’ Eagle|
|Pushrod || Tubes Arlen Ness|
|Cams || S&S Gear Drive|
|Lifters || S&S|
|EFI || H-D|
|Air Cleaner || Cycle Visions|
|EFI Controller || Power Commander|
|Exhaust || Klock Werks/ Reinhart/ Traditions Cycle|
|Year/Type || ‘02/H-D/Five-Speed|
|Case || H-D|
|Gears || H-D|
|Clutch || Primo Locker|
|Primary Drive || H-D|
|Year/Type || ‘02/Ultra Classic|
|Rake || Stock|
|Stretch || None|
|Front || Mean Street/Race Tech|
|Length || 1-Inch Under|
|Triple Trees || H-D|
|Rear || |
|Swingarm || Stock|
|Shocks || Arnott Air Ride|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Builder/Size || Performance Machine/ 21x3.5|
|Tire/Size || Metzeler/120/70-21|
|Caliper || Performance Machine|
|Rotor || Performance Machine|
|Builder/Size || Performance Machine/ 18x5.5|
|Tire/Size || Metzeler/ 160/70-18|
|Caliper || H-D|
|Rotor || H-D|
|Pulley || H-D|
|Color(s) || Bahamma Blue/Black/ Silver Leaf|
|Painter || Juando’s Custom Paint|
|Graphics || Michael Keeton|
|Molding || Juan Porras|
|Plating/Polishing || Al’s Associates|
|Powdercoating || Longhorn Powder Coating|
|Front Fender || Klock Werks/TC|
|Rear Fender || Klock Werks/TC|
|Gas Tank || H-D/TC|
|Gas Cap || Westbury/TC|
|Dash || PYO|
|Gauges || Dakota Digital|
|Handlebars || PYO|
|Grips And Mirrors || Performance Machine|
|Risers || TC|
|Hand Controls || Performance Machine |
|Foot Controls || Performance Machine|
|Floorboards || Performance Machine|
|Headlight || H-D|
|Taillight || PYO|
|Turn Signals || PYO/Cycle Visions|
|License Mount || Klock Werks|
|Seat || Stout Leather|
|Saddlebags || Ness/TC|
|Saddlebag Latches || Joker Machine|
|Bag Fillers || TC|
|Fairing || H-D|
|Stereo || Alpine|
|Speakers || JL/Pioneer|
|Electrical || H-D/TC|