Handbuilt Custom

First Time Is a Charm

Dale Talley owns a shop called Dale’s Auto Body and Upholstery in Kansas City, Kansas, and has been building custom cars and trucks for years. Recently, big twin bikes have caught the public’s eye like never before, and Dale and his crew is no exception. After months of constantly thinking about big American V-twin bikes, Dale began to give in to the nagging thoughts in the back of his mind, and finally made the decision to build a custom bike. With plenty of metalworking and motor building experience under their respective belts, Dale and his crew looked forward to a bike project like a starving pack of wild dogs, but first they had to get a frame.

There just happened to be a rather well-known shop in Kansas that Dale had heard of, K.C. Creations, that had the exact style frame he was looking for. After a brief consultation with some of the guys at the K.C. shop, Dale had them build a Softail-style frame with 5 inches of stretch in the backbone and a neck raked to 40 degrees. An R.C. Components frontend assembly extended 4 inches was bolted to the neck with 5-degree triple-trees to kick the front wheel out. Suspension in the rear is taken care of by a set of adjustable air shocks by Legend Air Ride. Rolling stock for the bike was entirely a PM affair, with a narrow 21-inch front wheel and an 18×8.5-inch rear wheel, both with matching rotors and pulley. It also features a pair of PM four-piston calipers, and the rear is a drive-side unit.

Motivation for the machine was the next order of business, and it had to be something with big displacement to match the plans he had for the sheetmetal. After a few discussions with some builders in the area and a few phone calls to some manufacturers, Dale decided to go with an assembled and polished 113ci S&S; with Diamond Cut heads and cylinders. Other necessities that help move the bike include a Heartland air intake, a Crane ignition, and Martin Brothers pipes. A polished six-speed RevTech transmission is bolted behind the motor with a Rivera hydraulic clutch and a BDL open-belt primary transferring power between the two.

As a body shop, Dale and his employees were more excited about the next phase of the build than any other — the sheetmetal. The front fender was relatively simple. They trimmed and massaged a W.C.C. piece until it hugged the tire with only enough space between the two to allow for tire expansion at speed. Dale wanted to do something special with the C.C.I. handlebars he had ready for the bike, so he fit a small rectangular Dakota Digital speedometer into the risers and smoothed it into the bars as if it were a factory part, while still allowing enough room for the bars to be internally wired. An Independent Gas tank was shaped, molded, and fastened to the backbone. Working to maintain the curvature of the gas tank into other aspects of the bike, Dale started on the frame accents. A neck gusset was formed that continued the lines of the tank, while still letting lines run through the frame. A very cool downtube spoiler was created that runs from just under the neck all the way down to the bottom framerails. It houses a pair of mini lights and hides the voltage regulator. Directly underneath the gas tank, he built an ignition switch bracket/motor mount that is squeezed between the cylinders in a V shape. Under the seat area, Dale built an oil tank that looks as though it was carved out of the frame as one piece, then seamlessly flows into the heavily modified and molded W.C.C. rear fender. To make the bike appear more like a rigid, and to cover a little more of the rear tire, a section of the rear fender was fit to the swingarm. Once the extensive bodywork was finished, Dale took the frame, the sheetmetal, the outer primary cover, the air cleaner cover, the handlebars, and the ignition switch bracket/motor mount to the paint booth in his shop, and laid down countless layers of House of Kolor Tangelo and multiple layers of clearcoat.

Once the paint dried, Dale and his guys began working on the final assembly. The painted handlebars were mounted to the triple-trees above a pair of stacked PIAA-style lights that were painted to match the bike at the last minute. PM hand controls and a pair of Heartland mirrors were secured to the bars. Down a little lower on the bike are matching foot controls and footpegs mounted to the frame. In his upholstery shop, Dale spent a little time constructing an ostrich-skin seat that would match his favorite pair of boots, and fit the look of the bike. The last part to be bolted to the bike was a Paul Yaffe taillight.

The first show Dale entered the bike in was Gail’s Worth Harley-Davidson Invitational in Kansas City. Apparently, Dale and his crew have a knack for building customs, because even though this was his first full custom bike, they won the show, hands down. We can’t wait to see what kind of bike will roll out of Dale’s shop next!



OWNER Dale Talley MAKE/YEAR ’03/Special Construction FABRICATION Owner ASSEMBLY Owner BUILD TIME Two years ENGINE





YEAR/TYPE ’01/K.C. Creations Softail RAKE 40 degrees STRETCH 5 inches out SWINGARM K.C. Creations REAR SUSPENSION Legend Air FORKS R.C. Components EXTENSION 4 inches TRIPLE-TREES 5-degree R.C. Components


WHEELS Front: PM Rear: PM TIRES Front: Avon Rear: Avon 240 BRAKES Front: PM Rear: PM drive-side FINISH

MOLDING Dale’s Auto Body/Owner PAINTER Dale’s Auto Body/Owner COLOR H.O.K. Tangelo Pearl ACCESSORIES

BARS C.C.I. RISERS C.C.I. HAND CONTROLS PM Contour HEADLIGHT Owner TAILLIGHT Paul Yaffe Originals GAUGES Dakota Digital ELECTRICAL Performance Cycle FUEL TANK(S) Independent/Hot Match OIL TANK Owner FRONT FENDER W.C.C. REAR FENDER W.C.C. FENDER STRUTS Internal/Owner PEGS PM FOOT CONTROLS PM SEAT Dale’s Auto Body and Upholstery