A lot goes into building a custom Harley motorcycle; after you have your build design, parts list, and paint style down on paper you are then ready to begin building your new custom Harley motorcycle. The most important thing required when building a custom Harley is money, buying parts and making custom modifications to your parts, frame, engine etc. are expensive and it all comes down to knowing how to save money when gathering all the right parts and accessories for your custom build, but if you are building a Crafty Custom Bobber for entry into the Easyriders Motorcycle Shows Crafty Custom Class, then forget about having a fat wad of cash because with the parts building limit set at $10,000 you can’t buy your way into first place.
With so much going on at his shop why would Mike Toupin decide to undertake such a daunting task as building a crafty custom bobber? The answer was an easy one; Mike wanted to show new and upcoming motorcycle builders what could be accomplished with skill and creativeness on a budget.
With over 40 years experience in custom Harley design and paint, they hardest part of building the Bobb-It was getting all of the parts and making the modifications necessary to put it all together while staying within his $10.000 budget.
“I did some trading for the Evo motor, tranny and 3 inch BDL belt drive, and make a few swap meet runs for the rest of the parts,” said Mike.
“The toughest part of the build was deciding on the paint and graphics, and then coming up with a name to match the bikes style,” mike said when asked what was the hardest part of building the Bobb-It.
After talking a bit with old school pin striper Dennis Jones Mike came up with Kandy Pagan Gold with Kandy tangerine scallops and purple pin stripping.
There was some joking around in the shop and then the conversation veered off to Lorena Bobbitt and it wasn’t long till Mike went with the “Bobb-It” as the bikes name and the addition of a straight razor graphic for the gas tank.
“It was tough working on the Bobb-It so we could get it ready for the 2011 Easyriders Motorcycle Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center and finishing all of the bike projects we had in the shop, but we just busted ass and knocked it all out,” said Mike.
When In the Wind editor Kim Peterson saw the Bobb-It, he was blown a way and a featured spread in “In the Wind” was lined up even before the Bobb-It won the 2011 Easyriders Crafty Custom event.
The Los Angeles Convention Center show got Mike and Chopper Design Group a lot of attention and a new flow of customers who wanted either a new sexy paint job for their bike or wanted Mike to build something new and fresh for them.
The important thing to add about the Bobb-It was this wasn’t some sweet looking show bike that would end up collecting dust in a garage somewhere, Mike wanted this crafty custom to be a real “Show Class” Harley that was could be ridden, so part of the build process included making it ride and handle just as good as it looked.
“We stretched the Kraftech 34 degree rake frame 2 inches to make the Bobb-It smooth and easy to ride,” said mike.
Adding redesigned Dyna style controls was the finishing touch on making the Bobb-It ride and handle like a Harley that cost 5 times more to build.
The end result was Mike and Chopper Design Groups skill and design prowess was reaffirmed at the 2012 Easyriders Motorcycle Show in Anaheim California when the Bobb-It won the national Crafty Custom Motorcycle of the year.
It was long until offers to buy the Bobb-It came pouring along with a new stream of customers seeking Mikes one of a kind design and custom paint skill for their new custom Harley build project.