An H.D. Performance Interpretation
In Vacaville, California, a city just south of Sacramento, you’ll find Harold Pontarelli’s H.D. Performance shop (and not much else) that fabricates some of the cleanest custom American V-twins around. Recently, a film production company, named Belly Serpent Productions approached Harold about building it a custom bike that honored its success. Never one to turn down a customer, Harold scheduled a meeting to find out exactly what the film company was looking for. The meeting turned out to be a success, as both sides of the table had ideas that would be incorporated into the build.
As with most of his customs, Harold started with an H.D. Performance frame. This particular Softail-style frame sports stock dimensions in the downtubes and the backbone, but a 40-degree rake in the neck to kick the fork out a little further than normal. The bike was going to sit low, thanks to a stock-length Pro-One Monster frontend and Legend Air suspension. Mobility for the chassis came from a wide PM 18×4.25-inch wheel wrapped in a 140 Metzeler tire in the front, and a matching 18×8.5-incher in the rear, also wrapped in a Metzeler, although this one is a 240 series. Braking is handled by more PM goodies, including rotors that match the wheels, and a four-piston chromed caliper at each end.
The next step for Harold was to install a driveline. A polished 113ci S&S; was mounted between the framerails with a Crane Hi-4 ignition and Samson exhaust pipes. Behind the engine rests a polished six-speed CCI transmission with a PM hydraulic cover secured to a 3-inch Primo open-belt primary and Rivera Pro clutch.
For sheetmetal, Harold only needed to travel as far as the storage room attached to his shop. The front fender, rear fender attached to the swingarm with hidden struts, and the oil tank were fabricated by H.D. Performance as basic production parts. Then, they were tweaked to match the overall design of the bike. An Independent gas tank was heavily modified before it was placed on the backbone of the frame to complete the metalwork. After the welds had cooled, H.D. Performance molded all the sheetmetal, then Harold laid down a thick candy-burgundy basecoat and added some shaded flames and a large dragon graphic on the gas tank.
The final assembly began as soon as possible, as the H.D. Performance crew bolted on a set of Ness ape-hanger-style handlebars, along with PM hand controls and a mirror above a Headwinds headlight. PM foot controls and footpegs keep the rider’s feet off the ground, and a High End seat that reads “Belly Serpent” keeps the rider comfortable.
When it was all said and done, Harold had exceeded Belly Serpent Productions’ expectations, and the company was thrilled to be able to ride away with such a great looking bike.