The following article was published in Kustomized Bicycle Magazine:
Luke joined a bike building contest.
Luke built Pedro.
Pedro is a muscle bike.
Pedro is possibly THE muscle bike.
It is true, Luke Percival from Undera, Australia is a pretty well-known bike builder from the land down under. Residing a car drive north of Melbourne is a pretty cool place to be building American muscle bikes. Having done the bike thing with quite a few builds under his belt and entry in the 2015 Muscle Bike Build-off gave him a reason to let his hair down and go all out. While others are customizing their rides by adding a springer fork Luke went to the drawing board to figure out how to put the most muscle in a muscle bike.
What does it take to be a muscle bike?
In the late 60s it was a slick on the back and a set of ape hangers. This isn’t the 60s though. Though the ideas still apply the methods have gotten a little more complicated.
Starting with a few bits and pieces Luke started rolling and bending steel until he had something that looks like a bike frame, kind of.
Let’s face it, not all bike frames are supposed to fit a Hoosier Dirt Sprint tire. To fit the tire Luke found a Daihatsu 13”x4.5 steel wheel. By slicing that in half and adding a piece of 1/8” rolled steel he made a wheel that measured in at a whopping 13”x11.5. Mounting the Hoosier was a piece of cake after that. For the hub there was some 16 ga. flat plate involved along with some 3” tube sleeves all stuck together with fire to fit the width of the wheel. The rear hub now equals out to a mere 423 mm. (Shimano 127mm can eat their hearts out). He added a 16 tooth rear sprocket to get the gearing something manageable for the super tall rear rubber.
So how would a bike with a wheel that size be pedaled you may ask?
Luke did a little work to the bottom bracket shell. By little work I mean that is was cut, sleeved, and now 18” long. With that wide of a bottom bracket the measurement from pedal tip to pedal tip is a whopping 28”. With a custom axle and a set of three piece cranks assembled Luke was able to run a pretty standard size chain to the rear hub. Adding a 36 tooth front chain ring brings the drivetrain to a very rider friendly 2.25 gear ratio.
The front wheel was pulled from a kid’s bike and measures a mere 16” tall. With as much muscle as this bike has in the back it really doesn’t need much up front. But Luke also sliced the front wheel and added another piece of rolled flat to widen the 1.75” wide hoop so he could mount a 2.125” tire.
With the “go fast” parts all mounted Pedro needs to be able to stop.
Luke supplied a 203mm Barradine brake disc with generic Boli caliper. Then with some creative metal cutting and welding he got the brake assembly to mount to the rear wheel and frame. He really should have just forgot about the rear brake and maybe installed a parachute system?
With such a wide wheel Pedro would definitely be a “cuff killer” (a term my dad always used when I ran an open primary on my Harley because it would catch my jeans and tear the side of my pant cuff off) so Luke massaged a chain guard to cover the chain. A rear mount was custom made to match the awesome custom “drop outs” in the rear then welded onto the chassis. Adding a high standard neck and a set of 14” ape hangers had Pedro fitted with all the must haves.
For Luke’s riding pleasure he added more rolled tube to the chassis to frame out a banana seat of sorts. He fabricated a custom two piece seat from 3 layers of dual density foam shaped with a flap disc on an angle grinder and covered in fabric to give Pedro some color.
Pedro needed some lights.
After all the old drag racing adage of “All you will see is tail lights is defiantly part of muscle bike lore. What better tail lights than a set of reproduction rocket ship lights of the 1959 Cadillac style. Luke sleeved the lights to the backrest in some steel tube then slid the painted bezels over the assembly and bolted it all together. The headlight is a tractor unit tastefully mounted low to the front fork. Luke converted the front light to a LED assembly then wired the front and back lights to a battery box with switch hidden under the seat.
Before final assembly Luke gave Pedro 2 coats of Baslac Black base followed by a coat of Baslac intercoat. On top of that a coat of Paint with Pearl Gold Holographic prism flake was shot all over Pedro. If flash was cash Pedro would be a millionaire. Luke then shot four coats of clear followed by a wet sanding session. Then another four coats of clear was laid down so Pedro would still shine during an eclipse.
Final specs of Pedro made it out to be 52” long, 28” wide and have a 32” wheel base. It doesn’t matter whether Pedro and Luke win the build off. Kustomized Bicycle Magazine picks it as the muscle bike winner.
-KBM Be sure to check out http://www.kustomizedbicyclemagazine.com/featured-bikes/