ROOSEVELT, UT (NBC/KSL) – Ron Asay's main means of getting around for more than 30 years has been a wheelchair, but his other ride is flashier and a whole lot faster.
The custom trike with a bored-out 2.8-liter Chevy V6 engine has Asay reaching speeds of 80 mph, collecting local car show honors, and fielding questions from curious onlookers who see him rumble by on the bright blue machine.
"Most of them tell me they're amazed, and can't believe I can do it, and say they couldn't do it, even with the use of their hands," Asay said.
You see, the trike he rides wasn't just built for him, it was built by him. READ ON
The Honda CX500 has always lacked the cachet of the earlier CB550 Four. Which is ironic, because the CB550 was little more than a downsized CB750; Honda was losing ground in the technological stakes to the other Japanese makers. So Honda gave the new CX500 a water-cooled V-twin, shaft drive and tubeless tires—all quite revolutionary concepts in the late 70s. But the awkward, angular styling did not match the inspired engineering. Max, the French owner of this CX500, decided to fix that. He gave the Wrenchmonkees a call.
It's been a bumpy ride for the custom motorcycle business as sales of pricey, blinged-out bikes skidded with the economy.
But one bike scene is thriving, and that's been a boon for Ryca Motors in Whittier. The company sells build-it-yourself motorcycles that cost $3,600 to $7,500, or a fraction of the cost of souped-up custom bikes.
James Roper-Caldbeck builds some of the cleanest vintage Harleys in the business. Working from a small workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark, he focuses on quality rather than quantity. But the most surprising thing about this machine—crafted around a 1964 FLH panhead motor—is that it was built in five weeks.
According to James, “The bike was just sat in the corner, made up of parts from the shelves, or parts left over from past builds. It had a cheap knuckle/pan frame, an old Sportster front end, rusty 21” and 19” rims and bent bars. You get the picture.” The picture doesn’t sound promising, but in January, two things spurred James into action: he decided he wanted to show two bikes at the Mooneyes Sweden show, and he became obsessed with aluminum.