Kill(er) Bill(d)

The Cool Tutelage of Gordon Chappel

I’m sure you’re aware of the martial arts code. “If he’s worth his salt, every student earns every nod, bow, and belt with hard work, concentration, blood, and sweat. Kicks fly, fists are furious, and the grasshopper has to walk on rice paper in order to gain knowledge and respect.” In the course of this bike build, Brad Kennedy came to comprehend this principle of hard work and broken knuckles leading to understanding.

It began last year when he experienced the ill workings of a bad shop that left him thousands of dollars in the hole and without the ride he requested. He stepped back and vowed that he’d learn the skill of bike building. Brad just had to find a master who could fashion him a bike, while teaching him about what goes into making a custom ride. His search led him to Gordon Chappel of Gordon’s Motorcycle Madness in Ventura, California. Gordon’s produced custom iron since the ’60s when “old school” still referred to a single room building with a blackboard. For months Brad begged and cajoled Gordon to teach him the bike building code, until Gordon finally relented and agreed to take Brad under his knowledgeable wing.

His first lesson? A great bike starts with a terrific plan. Gordon and Brad sat down to design Brad’s dream ride. It was the beginning of a team effort wherein Brad described what he wanted and Gordon told him the iron means to realize his vision.

Once planned, it was time to roll up working man’s shirt sleeves and execute. Gordon’s shop initiated all the work but Brad was constantly on hand to watch, listen, and learn. Over the three-and-a-half months it took to bring the bike to fruition, Brad’s knowledge expanded exponentially from “I know what I likei to “I know what I like, how it’s done, and why.” He learned how the frame’s 42-degree neck rake, 5 inches of backbone stretch out and 2 inches down, when combined with the 2-inch-over Goldammer frontend, would give the bike its long lines, keeping it close to the ground. He gained a deeper appreciation for the time, effort, and skill that went into fabricating a rear fender that’s a precise fit to a mammoth 280 rear tire, right down to hiding the wires and cables so his machine would look immaculately clean and function reliably.

When all was said and done, Brad, like many other custom bike owners, owned a bike that made him completely happy. But his enjoyment was deepened by the newfound knowledge and experience he’d gained from a builder who was willing and patient enough to share it.

Spec Sheet
Owner Brad Kennedy/Gordon’s Motorcycle Madness
Make/Model Gordon’s Psycho 280
Fabrication Gordon’s
Assembly Gordon’s
Build Time Three-and-a-half months
Year/Size ’04 Patrick Racing/125ci
Type Evo
Builder Patrick Racing
Flywheels S&S;
Rods Patrick Racing
Pistons Patrick Racing
Cylinders Patrick Racing
Heads Patrick Racing
Valves Patrick Racing
Rockers Patrick Racing
Rocker Boxes Patrick Racing
Pushrods Patrick Racing
Pushrod Tubes Patrick Racing
Cam Patrick Racing
Lifters Patrick Racing
Carburetor Mikuni 48mm
Air Cleaner D}} Customs
Ignition Crane FireBall
Exhaust Grumpy’s Crossfires
Finish Polished
Year/Type ’04/Baker six-speed
Case Baker
Top/SideCovers Baker
Clutch Barnett Scorpion
Primary Drive Hi-Tech 4-inch open belt
Final Drive 1-inch belt
Gears Baker
Year/Type ’03/Comb’s Pro Street
Rake 42 degrees
Stretch 5 inches out, 2 inches down
Molding Gordon’s
Swingarm Prostreet Frameworks
Year/Type ’04/Goldammer Cycle
Modifications 2 inches over
Triple-Trees Goldammer
Year/Type ’04/Legends Air Ride
Size/Type Weld Racing Recluse 21×3.25-inch
Tire 120mm
Caliper(s) RC Components
Rotor(s) Weld Recluse
Size/Type Weld Racing Recluse 18×10.5-inch
Tire 280mm
Caliper(s) RC Components
Rotor(s) RC Components
Colors Various shades of blue from House of Kolor
Painter Rock N Roll Custom Paintworks
Graphics Byron
Molding Rock N Roll Custom Paintworks
Chrome Plating/Polishing Orange County Plating
Front Fender Gordon’s
Rear Fender Gordon’s
Gas Tank(s)and Cap(s) Fat Katz
Oil Tank Comb’s
Gauges {{{Dakota}}} Digital
Handlebars Climax Cycle Controls
Hand Controls Climax Cycle Controls
Foot Controls Arlen Ness Radius
Footpegs Thunder Cycle Death pegs
Headlight Headwinds
Taillight Hi Tech {{{Viper}}}
Turn Signals Custom hidden
License Mount Hi Tech Viper
Seat Bitch’n Rich
Electrical Gordon’s