A set of Ness pipes originally designed to be used with Harley bagger frames was heavily m
Bike events are a great place to show off what your blood, sweat, tears, or for some, what your wallet can do. It’s not uncommon to have attendees praise what someone has done with his bike and how he’s tweaked an already popular design or developed a complete original. Those times when you receive kudos on your work, I’m sure most can agree, make all the hard work worthwhile and boost your ego just a bit. But what happens when the well-known builder of the frame you’ve based your bike on is none other than Arlen Ness? Scott Fisher and Greg Carter of Vicious Cycles know this feeling firsthand.
Opened in 2000 in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania, Vicious Cycles has been churning out wicked metal for more than a decade. Several years back, a customer came in and ordered a Ness Y2K rolling chassis (with a custom paintjob from the Ness facility) with plans of building up his dream ride. However, the customer never finished the build due to health reasons. The customer needed money so Scott agreed to put it in the storefront to try and sell it for him. Collecting dust, the chassis sat in the shop until Scott imagined a completely rideable and practical one-off bike that was custom to the core with the long-haul comfort baggers are known for. Scott also pulled double duty in building something that would showcase the Arlen Ness line of products.
“Collecting dust, the chassis sat in the shop until Scott imagined a completely rideable and practical one-off bike that was custom to the core with the long-haul comfort baggers are known for.”
There wasn’t a defined plan but Scott told Greg that he wanted to build a Y2K-based bagger. Fast forward to mid-2011 and that’s when Scott decided to take the rolling chassis and pull off metal magic. With Sturgis approaching, he knew he wanted to showcase the shop’s creativity but with a little more than 90 days until the event, he knew he would have to work fast. Seeing as they had the majority of the parts together (wheels, tires, frame, frontend, and sheetmetal) they just had to finish it off with a driveline, wires/cables, and some other miscellaneous parts such as a rear fender and a set of saddlebags.
Actually it was getting those “miscellaneous” parts to fit that turned out to be the hardest part of the project. “We used Arlen’s new Down-N-Out Saddlebags and Rear Fender,” Scott said. Of course, looking at the spec sheet, the bike definitely highlights the Ness product line, but this wasn’t a bolt-n-go project. What looks like smooth and simple flowing lines at the rear of the bike took a lot of hard work and patience. You see, the Down-N-Out fender and bags were never meant to be used on the Y2K frame. They were designed to be used on late-model OE Harley baggers. This called for hours of measuring, cutting, welding, and more measuring to get the fender and bag bracketry to work on the frame and look flawless together.
As Sturgis quickly approached, eye-popping paint was deemed a necessity if it was going to garner the “oohs and ahhs” they wanted. The kicker was Scott wanted to stick with the original custom paint scheme on the front fender and gas tank. With no color code, Scott enlisted the artistic talent of Dane Geez of D. Geez Graphics. After mad-scientist-like mixing, Geez finally laid down a matching coat of purple called Purple Haze with graphics to blend seamlessly into the existing paintwork. Scott and Greg loaded the bike up for South Dakota with tools in hand to complete the finishing touches on the way out to Sturgis.
As if the roar of a 113ci engine mated to a 2-inch open primary (both by Ultima) wasn’t enough to gain attention, the bike cruised Sturgis on a set of Works Performance Air Tracker rear suspension with the bags and rear fender hiding the meaty 250mm rear tire. The bike was certainly a head-turner and there was no lack of attention. It was afterhours though that things got even more exciting. “The bike was parked out front of our hotel, where the whole Ness crew happened to be staying as well, when Arlen, Cory, and Zach Ness showed up and gathered around the bike,” Scott said. “Arlen absolutely loved it! They were all equally impressed with the liberal use of Ness products but mostly they were stunned with the mating of the Down-N-Out fender and bags to the Y2K frame.”
After such an impressive showing at Sturgis, the Y2K bagger now serves as Scott’s personal ride. I asked him what the name of the bike was but he didn’t have one, so I mentioned Purple Haze as Hendrix’s chunky riff came into my head. However, after learning about the adoration the bike got from the Ness family, I’m having second thoughts about the perfect name for it. Maybe it should be called, Royal Purple.