Until recently, it was nearly impossible to find one major component for a metric bike. Hey, ever go into a bike shop and try to buy a custom frame for your Vulcan, Intruder, Shadow or V Star? Chances are they’d laugh yer silly butt right outta the place, blathering, “Where ya been, boy? Don’t you know that nobody makes custom frames fer those bikes?”
Think about it—why would a frame maker go to all the trouble to design and manufacture a frame to fit one model of metric bike when, for the same effort, he could make a frame to fit a Harley motor and have hundreds of thousands of potential customers?
Well, a lot of that is changing and you’re looking at some of it right here. This bike, with it’s custom frame, was born a Honda 750 Spirit and comes from Coyote Customs in Oklahoma City. Its owner is Carter Mackey, a firefighter, who’s a buddy of Jason Conley, who owns Coyote Customs.
Conley gave the Honda a close look and made Mackey an offer. He wanted to design a custom pro-street-style frame for the 750 Shadow line. If Mackey would let Conley use his bike as a prototype, he’d give him a break on price. The result is what you see here. “We call it a Street Fighter,” Conley said. “It’s all black like a stealth fighter. We also have frames in a chopper style.”
Mackey wanted “… something long, low and pro-street style, but different. And black.” So Conley went to work. He built up an entirely new frame, and placed the radiator between the frame downtubes to hide them. Also, because the owner can specify rake and stretch, every frame can potentially be a one-off.
Conley added, “The kit can also include the fenders. I wanted to offer metric guys the same option that American bike riders have. Well, here’s a foundation.” Other custom features on this bike include the one-off stretched tank and Coyote Customs’ production Ghetto Cruiser handlebar. But what’s it like to ride?
“The steering is just like stock, and when you lose the rear suspension it becomes lighter by 60 lbs. On this one we did some carb work to make the bike run better. It also has better brakes, a memory foam seat and the pegs are closer to you.”
You’re thinking this is going to run into some serious bucks, right? Well, the frame is only about $1,250. “It’s designed so that you can slide all the parts from the stock engine right onto it.” So wrench off those triple trees, wheels, drive chain and sprocket, brakes and hand controls. The drivetrain aligns for up to a 200-series tire, but it’s possible (by using a disc rear brake and offsetting the front drive sprocket) to shoehorn in up to a 250mm. Mackey wanted a jockey shift, which he loves. I also asked Carter Mackey what it was like to ride.
“It’s incredible! It’s a blast! It’s low, it steers true as can be. It’s loud, but it sounds nice. It purrs. Because of the bike, Jason and I have built up a great friendship. We spend a lot of time together with our families, and we’re pretty tight. He’s a good man and a great friend. It’s a genuine friendship that goes beyond building a motorcycle.”
Hey, you want a rolling chassis? Coyote Customs offers those with wheels, tires and forks, their handmade tanks, springer front ends and whatever. And if that’s not enough, they also offer custom frames for the Yamaha Roadstar.
COST OF COOL
Ghetto Cruiser Handlebar: $169
Number 2 Exhaust: $595
Battery Box: $250
Rear Fender: $450
Custom Jockey Shift: $200
Custom Gas Tank: $950
Solo Seat with Gel: $375
Sidemount Tag: $150
Other Accessories: $600
60-Spoke rear wheel: $400
West Coast Choppers
Forty Front Fender: $229
West Coast Choppers
Wheels, brakes, forks, hand controls, fender, tank, handlebar