Hard Work and a Honda

We all like a story about a builder with no formal training who knocks it out of the park on their first shot, but down here on earth, those stories are as rare as a dry Ironhead rocker box. The fact is, there’s no magic formula for building a great bike, and the only certain way to succeed is to work for it until you do.


That was the path Joey Chanel took when he began building this radical Honda-based chop. Inspired to take a creative approach when tasked with completing a senior year design project for his fine arts degree at George Mason University, he eventually convinced the staff that a chopper can be art, too. Hey, we already knew that, but word spreads slowly sometimes.


Starting with a dirt-cheap ’79 Honda CM400, there were hurdles to overcome right out of the gate. Joey had plenty of welding experience, but the resources at his school didn’t include a tubing bender. Working on a budget too tight to allow flagrant spending on pre-bent steel or a one-off frame built by someone else, Joey tackled the problem from another direction…or should we say dimension? Abandoning the preconceived notion that motorcycle frames have to be made from round tubing, he designed and fabricated the entire tail section out of flat 1/8″ sheet steel. “It’s 26 individual pieces, cut and shaped by hand,” Joey points out.

This radical section was mated to what was left of the front of the bike, where more cool touches can be found. The front is suspended on later-model CB650 forks, shortened to bring the geometry in line and capped with clip on bars, a trick brake master made from a glass fuel filter, and an LED headlight housed in what used to be a scuba tank pressure nut!


Joey had a friend chip in with a bucket of good quality steel – in the form of pipe fittings and union joints! The free material ended up wrapping the bike together, visually. The kick pedal, pegs, heel/toe shifter, tail light housings – they all use the union fittings as their raw material, and were carefully worked into functional, artful pieces by Joey. Even the unique twin tanks are secured via these union joints. “My dad was joking that I wouldn’t know how much gas I had in the tanks, but I told him I could just unscrew them and carry them down the road if I ran out,” Joey laughs.


He even worked in another craft that he loves, woodworking. “I was tired of propping the bike up with a broom stick, so I finally shaped a piece of black oak for a kickstand. It’s hinged to fold neatly against the frame, and has neodymium magnets to keep it in place,” he says.

That’s some serious blending of hard work and craft. After finishing the bike earlier this year, he met Copper Mike of Gravesend Cycles, who agreed to help get Joey’s bike down to Daytona bike week where he made an impressive appearance at several shows. He even scored the “Best Creative Custom” award at the legendary Willies Tropical Tattoo show, putting everyone on alert: this young man has talent, drive, and ambition. If he can turn heads like this with a $300 Honda, we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Spec Sheet

Owner/Builder: Joey Chanel

Year, Make & Model: 1979 CM400T
Assembly/Builder: Honda

Year/Model: 1985 CB650
Builder: Honda
Type: Telescopic
Extension: Lower!

Year/Model: 1979 CM400T
Rebuilder: Soon to be me!
Displacement: 400cc
Pipes: Joey Chanel

Year/Modifications: Stock
Trans sprocket: 18
Wheel sprocket: 47
Final drive: 150 link O-ring chain

Year: Stock frame, modified w/welded-on handmade flat stock rear section
Designer/Builder: Joey Chanel
Geometry: Stock frame was tilted forward to toe the front in

Bars: Clip ons
Fenders: None
Gas Tank: Handmade using converted fire extinguishers, detachable for emergency fuel shortages
Headlight: Handmade AR 111 Bright white LED projection bulb, housed in a scuba tank pressure nut
Taillight: LED, housed in 4140 steel nuts
Speedo: Naaah…
Pegs: 4140 steel nuts
Electrics: Hand-wired
Seat: Cold formed 3/8” steel…cozy!

Front Wheel: ’82 Honda FT500 mag
Front Tire: Off road
Size: 20”
Rear Wheel: ’85 Honda Ascot mag
Rear Tire: Off Road
Size: 19”
Brakes: Nissin CBR600RR caliper

Bodywork/Molding: None
Painter: NOVA Powder Coat, www.Novapowdercoat.com
Color: Sand blasted bare metal
Powdercoating: Clear powder coat with black powder coat accents

2014 International Motorcycle Show, Washington D.C. 2nd in Freestyle
2014 Timonium Motorcycle Show, Timonium Maryland. 2nd in Nostalgic Custom. Best Handcrafted Parts of show
2014 Willies Tropical Tattoo, Daytona Florida. Best Creative Custom
2014 Boardwalk Bike Show, Daytona Florida. 3rd in Radical Metric.
2014 Rats Hole Custom Bike Show, Daytona Florida. 3rd in 251-1000cc Class

Harley-Davidson, Marvel Invite Fans into the Action and onto the Red Carpet

Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier Hollywood Movie Premiere
Harley-Davidson Street™ 750 Motorcycle Makes Hollywood Film Debut; Iconic Brand Surprises Fans with VIP Red Carpet Experience
MILWAUKEE (Mar. 14, 2014) – Harley-Davidson and Marvel LLC hosted a surprise, one hour “for the fans” engagement at Marvel’sCaptain America: The Winter Soldier movie premiere in Hollywood March 13, following the close of the red carpet. Fans at the event were spontaneously selected to walk and experience the official red carpet and to check out a brand new Street 750 motorcycle along with the stars of the film, who autographed the bike for charity.
In its continued partnership with Marvel Comics, Harley-Davidson’s presence at the premiere included six Harley-Davidson® motorcycles along the red carpet, where fans took pictures and interacted with actor and musician, Tyler Posey, the official Harley-Davidson commentator and host.
Fans with Tyler 1 crop_low resCaptain America has been riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles since his introduction in 1941, and the latest chapter of the film saga is no different. This time, the superhero revs up a new Harley-Davidson Street 750 motorcycle when he returns to the screen to battle dark forces April 4, 2014.
To commemorate the premiere, the company donated the autographed Street 750 motorcycle to Captain America: The Winter Soldier star Chris Evans to award to his charity of choice. Celebrities and influencers alike autographed the bike before heading into the premiere.
Harley-Davidson made its appearance at the premiere by enlisting a select group of special S.H.I.E.L.D agents to ride the motorcycles to the red carpet as the media arrived.Chris Evans_low res
About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit www.marvel.com.
About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson® motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website atwww.h-d.com.

Metzeler Motorcycle Tires Helps Build Legendary Bike


Win Ride of Lifetime on Priceless, Custom-Built Bike Created by Indian Larry Motorcycles


MTZ_Facebook_FYD_coverRome, GA (March 10, 2014) –METZELER, the first name in quality motorcycle tires since 1892, is kicking off the 2014 riding season in partnership with legendary custom bike shop Indian Larry Motorcycles. The two iconic brands have come together to build a priceless custom motorcycle, uniquely built with input from motorcycle fans via the METZELER USA Facebook® page.  The entire event will be documented on Facebook in a web series starting March 17th and ending with a lucky fan taking off on a “Follow Your Dream” ride vacation on the custom bike. Fans get the chance to win by sharing why they deserve the “Dream Ride” at facebook.com/metzelerUSA from March 10 through June 6, 2014.


“We’ve brought together two brands whose missions have always been about performance and quality – METZELER and Indian Larry Motorcycles. Now a lucky fan will get to experience those qualities at their best on one of America’s top riding routes,” says Chet Plewacki, Marketing Director at METZELER USA.  “To watch it all evolve in a web series, with the fans engaging on the customizations, makes this entire program a true dream experience from start to finish.”


The Grand Prize winner will receive a 4-day/5-night trip from which they can select a top course in the U.S. for the Follow Your Dream ride such as the Blue Ridge Parkway or Dragon’s Tail.  They will also receive a custom motorcycle helmet and leather jacket, a Sony® Action Head Cam and 10 sets of METZELER ME 888 MARATHON™ Ultra tires. The winner will also join the METZELER team at Indian Larry for the bike unveiling. Fans whoBobbySeegerJR enter the Follow Your Dream contest will automatically be included in a sweepstakes with over 30 chances to win great prizes like METZELER T-shirts and a set of METZELER ME 888 MARATHON™ Ultra tires.  The announcement of the three Follow Your Dream finalists will be held on June 16, with the Grand Prize winner being introduced at the bike unveiling.


“One of the beautiful things about building a custom bike are the surprising turns and improvisation that comes along the way,” says Bobby Seeger, Jr. of Indian Larry Motorcycles.  “Every bike takes a life of its own and we’re going to share that creative process with fans as together we build a masterpiece right down to what METZELER’S he sits on.”


After the “Dream Ride,” the bike will tour the country with appearances at METZELER dealers and major motorcycle events so that fans can experience firsthand the combined vision of the METZELER bike community and Indian Larry Motorcycles.


Watch the teaser video and enter to win now at facebook.com/METZELERUSA. Just click the “Follow Your Dream” tab to learn more. The sweepstakes is open to motorcycle license holders aged 21 and older in the U.S. and Canada.  


METZELER Motorcycle Tire / Follow Your Dream Sweepstakes

Fans can see the Follow Your Dream Promo video here: http://youtu.be/HogDg_75KKk 


Fans can enter the Follow Your Dream contest here:


English: http://bit.ly/OaO4tg


French: http://bit.ly/1naiXOx


On the road since 1892, METZELER has more than 100 years of experience meeting motorcyclists’ toughest tire demands with unflagging innovation. Whether one is drawn to the longevity of its classic design or uncompromising performances, METZELER is an iconic brand to motorcycling worldwide. Established in Munich, METZELER offices are spread globally with production in Germany and South America. METZELER is the “Two Wheels Specialist,” appreciated by motorcyclists for its quality and technology.


For more information on METZELER and its line of motorcycle tires, please visit: www.metzelermoto.com.

About Indian Larry Motorcycles

Brooklyn-based Indian Larry Motorcycles creates two-wheeled works of art. A skilled machinist, metal-sculptor and master motorcycle mechanic, Indian Larry originated the hard-core motorcycle style blending classic choppers and hotrod race bikes. Following his untimely passing in 2004, Larry’s team has diligently worked to preserve not only the memory of Indian Larry himself but that of his renowned chopper style. The quality workmanship and life long vision of Indian Larry continues through the work of his valued friends at Indian Larry Motorcycles. 

Learn more about Indian Larry at www.indianlarry.com.
METZELER Moto Press Office, US


Daytona Bikeweek Continues to Marvel

DAYTONA BEACH FLORIDA, site of the 2014 Bikeweek, sun, warm weather, and more sun… I’m sure that there will be lots of follow up articles next week, but for some photographic experiences, jump over to BIKERPICS.ORG, of which is shooting in Daytona all week, and the majority of the images are being sent over to BIKERNET.COM, in their “Cantina”. Enjoy the coverage, we are all in this together trying our best to have the viewers see the action quickly.

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Put a Lid on it!

For those of us with a passion for left and right turns, the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Auxtin, Texas is a welcome addition to the American racing scene. MotoGP bikes and Formula 1 cars alike have shed rubber around its twenty turns, and now Bell Helmets has released a commemorative Texas-themed helmet to celebrate this world-class racing venue.

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The Bell Start Carbon is already a stellar helmet for street and track riders alike, and this limited edition graphic celebrates the adventurous, competitive spirit embodied by the COTA and America itself. If you like the sound of that, get yours here!