Daily Rider

And a Damn Fast One at That

Scott Hayes is addicted to power, so much so that “He’s got a blower on everything he owns, with the exception of his lawn mower, and that’s no longer stock!” That’s according to Michael Ballew, owner of Ballew’s South Central Customs of Upper Bluff, Missouri. While that might be a slight overstatement of the facts, it’s not far from the truth either. Ballew’s shop is located about halfway between Memphis and Saint Louis, and he has been building bikes and other petroleum-powered toys for Scott since the ’80s.

Scott looked to Ballew to build him a bike that had monster horsepower, killer looks, and was comfortable enough to be ridden everyday. Without hesitation, Ballew accepted the project and got started sketching out some ideas. What he came up with was a long, low machine with lines that flowed from the stretched gas tank under the seat, out the rear fender, and over the fat rear tire. The motor was a no-brainer for Ballew — a lot of displacement and, what else? A blower, of course! After Scott took a look at the initial sketches, he gave Ballew the green light.

The project kicked off with a frame from HPU that Ballew started on by adding 6 inches of stretch to the backbone, giving him the long look he was after. Next, Ballew changed things up a little bit with an old-school Paugcho 3-inch-over chromed Springer frontend that hung from the 40-degree raked neck. Back to modern styling, an HPU chromed billet swing arm was pressed into service, not only to suspend the rear wheel, but also to give the rear of the bike a radical look. In contrast to the tried-and-true front suspension (springs and pivot points), Ballew went with a Legends Air Suspension system to give Scott a smooth, comfortable ride. Not only does the Legends system allow for adjusting the ride height, but it also serves as the kickstand. When the suspension is dropped all the way down, the frame comes in contact with the ground and gives the bike a very stable resting position.

Giving the bike legs is a set of R.C. Components’ Wicked wheels; a 21-incher is straddled by the Springer while an 18×8.5-incher is mounted in the swing arm. Ballew mounted a 240 Metzeler on the back and an 80/90-21 Metzeler in the front to keep the Wicked wheels from contacting the asphalt.

Knowing that the bike would produce monster horsepower, Ballew was in need of brake components that were up to the task of stopping his creation. Making sure this would happen, a P.M. four-piston caliper was used in conjunction with an R.C. Components rotor in the front, while an R.C. Components drive-side pulley rotor handles deceleration at the back.

The time had come for Ballew to start the sheetmetal. The plans for the bike called for flowing lines; this was carried out by Ballew with a gas tank from HPU that he performed a stunning stretch job on. Starting wide at the neck, the tank hugs the rocker boxes as it narrows, until it reaches the seat. From there, Ballew went to town creating various pieces, which, once finished, would incorporate the oil tank, the filler panels, the rear fender, and a portion of the frame. As Ballew was sculpting all this metalwork, he picked up on the styling of the swing arm. Its basic shape and geometric cutouts were incorporated into the fender. When it was all said and done, the only piece of sheetmetal not permanently attached to the frame was the stretched gas tank. Ballew then broke out his grinder and got busy molding the frame. By the time he was done, the frame and the attached sheetmetal looked as if it were one continuous piece. The frame and gas tank then made the short trip over to Scott Smith of Scotty’s Custom Finishes, where he mixed up a beautiful shade of green he fondly named The Color of Money. Once the money was dry, Scott applied wild orange and purple tribal graphics that he enhanced and protected by applying layer after layer of clearcoat.

Wasting no time while the frame was at Scotty’s, Ballew’s dad Gene, who handles most of the motor work, started out with a 120-inch Stage III Merch engine to give him the displacement he would need in order to bring the supercharged motor to the 190-plus horsepower range. The polished Merch cases were home to Merch flywheels, rods, and Ross pistons, while a set of Merch heads capped off the combustion chamber. This is where the fun starts. Gene wandered over to the back of the shop where he uncrated the Magna Charger that would soon be force-feeding the combustion chambers via the Patrick Racing modified Mikuni carburetor. As the explosive charge finds its way past intake valves controlled by the Comp Cams camshaft, it is ignited by a Compu-Fire/Merch ignition, and then finds its way to the atmosphere through a set of CCI drag pipes that was tweaked by Ballew to make it around the Magna Charger.

With all of the tire-shredding power the blown motor was capable of putting out, the need for a strong delivery system with long legs was obvious. Ballew chose a Baker six-speed transmission that was tethered to the motor via a BDL open beltdrive. The drive was dressed up with the addition of a one-piece Joker Machine billet primary cover.

With the frame back at Ballew’s, final assembly of the bike commenced. Once the major components were reunited with the frame, Ballew mounted a set of his own bars that was home to a set of chrome Ness hand controls. Matching Ness foot controls and pegs were mounted down below, while a Ness headlight illuminates anything that crosses the bike’s path. The taillight/license frame was knocked out by his friend Steve Cliff. By the time he mounted the Cantrell & Clippard seat for Scott to run up the miles on, it was a wrap.

After the better part of a year, Scott’s blown bike was finished. Following an initial shakedown run to the pair’s favorite restaurant about 50 miles away, both Scott and Michael decided to make this dinner thing a weekly occurrence. So if you see Scott screaming down the road on his new bike, you can rest assured that although this bike could win most any show it entered, it’s just a daily rider.

When it was all said and done, the only piece of sheetmetal not permanently attached to the frame was the stretched gas tank.


OWNER: Scott Hays
MAKE: Ballew’s South Central Customs
ASSEMBLY: Ballew’s
BUILD TIME:11 Months

SIZE/TYPE: 120-inch Merch
CASES: Merch
RODS: Merch
CAM:Comp Cams
CARB:Patrick Racing/Mikuni


YEAR/TYPE:’01 Baker six-speed


YEAR/TYPE: ’01 HPU/Ballew’s
RAKE:40 degrees
STRETCH: 6 inches
EXTENSION:3 inches


Front: 21 inches/R.C. Components
Rear: 18×8.5 inches/R.C. Components
Front: Metzeler
Rear: Metzeler
Front:P.M. Calipers/RC Components Rotors
Rear:R.C. Components


MOLDING: Ballew’s
PAINTER: Scotty’s Custom Finishes
COLOR: The Color Of Money
GRAPHICS:Scotty’s Custom Finishes
CHROME PLATING: S&H; Chrome Plating


BARS: CCI/Ballew’s
RISERS: Built-In
TAILLIGHT:Ballew’s/Steve Cliff
OIL TANK: Ballew’s
PEGS: Ness
SEAT: Ballew’s/Cantrell&Clippard;