One of the biggest keys to our survival as a species has been our adaptability. From the first time cavemen chased a mammoth off a cliff so they could eat it to the building of the International Space Station, our creativity has been a coping mechanism.
That's sort of the case with Keino Sasaki's chopper seen here. As most of you know, he worked with Indian Larry and, in the wake of Larry's passing, partnered with Paul Cox to keep Indian Larry's style going in the wake of the master builder's untimely demise. Back in 2003, Larry gave Keino a set of 4-1/4-inch flywheels as the basis for his own personal ride, to be completed using parts laying around the shop. That's where the whole human adaptability factor comes in.
Keino had an idea of what he wanted for himself and it was a matter of finding parts he could finagle to fit his design. Some pieces of the puzzle lent themselves quite well to the task. Other parts needed some modification, and others he made himself.
Just take a look at the motor. Keino built an 88-inch V-twin, with 3-5/8-inch x 4-1/2-inch bore and stroke, using a combination of parts from Harley-Davidson, S&S;, Andrews, Colony, and so on. All of the parts were selected because of their compatibility with the flywheels and were altered to fit together as necessary. Other parts, like the pipes, were made by Keino's own two hands. The crowning touch for the motor, however, is the distinct set of shovelhead rocker covers Keino sculpted with their rounded edges that curve up to points in the middle. They really add some funk to the motor itself.
Keino also applied a generous dose of creativity to the rolling chassis-mostly to fit his tall body. Starting with a Paughco rigid frame, he not only stretched it up front-4 inches up, 2 inches more out-he also extended it 7/8 of an inch out back. Keino made the spoke wheels for this bike and kept the tire sizes modest-90/90/21 up front, 160 out back-for good handling.
But making this chopper a custom fit for Keino was only part of the deal. There was also the slight matter of style. He told us, "I wanted it to be different for myself from what we normally build at the shop, yet have some of the same style. The rocker boxes, gas tank, and fender were an experiment for me." And, a bit of an ambitious one, at that. Keino fabricated a long, concave gas holder reminiscent of a coffin tank only with rounded edges. He set a chopped fender to the rear that rides snug to the back tire. When it came to painting, he had Robert Pradke of Custom Auto Design lay down green metalflake paint, then set it off with pinstriping that flows with the chopper's lines and curves. The end result is a bike that's different enough from the shop's other work to be its own animal. But it still has just enough similarity to hearken to the look Indian Larry was known for. And, it fits Keino to a "T."
|Build Time||3 Years|
|Flywheels||4-1/4-inch stroke, Evolution|
|Cylinders||Aftermarket, 3-5/8-inch bore|
|Air Cleaner||Keino Sasaki/K&N;|
|Oil/Oil Lines||Keino Sasaki|
|Finish||Polish by Colorlife|
|Stretch||4 inches up, 2 inches out,|
|7/8 of an inch at the rear|
|FORKS||Triple-Trees||Showa, modified by Keino|
|Modifications||Shaved by Keino Sasaki|
|Finish||Polish by Colorlife|
|Final Drive||Diamond chain|
|WHEELS • BRAKES • TIRES||Front|
|PAINT||Molding||Robert Pradke at Custom|
|ESSENTIALS||Handlebars/ Risers||Super Bike bars|
|with Misumi risers|
|Cables||Internal by Keino Sasaki|
|Fuel Tank||Keino Sasaki|
|Oil Tank||Keino Sasaki|
|Rear Fender||Keino Sasaki|
|Foot Controls||Keino Sasaki|