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In an industry that drastically fluctuates with the economy and people's discretionary funds, making a living as a custom motorcycle builder can be a tough way of life. That is, unless you have built up a strong list of clients who continually show up at your shop ready to hand over a signed check for their next bike. Such is the case for Shannon Davidson, owner of The Chopp Shop in Taylorsville, NC.

Building nothing but super-clean, high-end bikes that'll twist onlookers' heads around as you blow by is one explanation for The Chopp Shop's list of loyal customers. But most likely the main reason why people keep coming back to The Chopp Shop is because it's a one-stop shop, where everything is done in-house, from fabrication to assembly to final paint. Therefore, there's no passing the buck and giving the customer excuses like "Oh, we're waiting for the sheetmetal to come back from the fabricator," or "the painter lost the parts." The customer just walks into the shop and can see the progress of their bike.

The bike you see here is the third bike built for a returning customer, and as Shannon described, one of the best kind of customers any shop could have. "The only specifications we had from this guy were the colors. This was the first time he picked out the colors, and not because we wouldn't let him on the previous two. It was just that he said, 'you had built me some pretty cool bikes in the past; this time let's go with gold and white pearl,' then we had free rein from there."

So where do you start when all you have to worry about is the final colors? Well, for this bike Shannon and his crew started with the wheels. Wheels, you ask? Yeah, not the usual starting point for a build, but they opted for a massive 360mm rear tire out back, and according to Shannon, "Most bikes with a 360 are unorthodox looking. You either see just a huge tire in the back, or the bike is stretched out really long and the rear tire looks so massive that you don't really pay any attention to the rest of the motorcycle. What we tried to do with this bike was make it as short as we actually could. So we put the wheels on the ground, got the frame and built from there. By putting a 23 (inch wheel) up front and ordering a custom 2-inch under frontend with 3-degree raked trees from MeanStreet it kinda gave the illusion of all wheels, with some sheetmetal work in between it. I don't like doing the 360s (rear tire); they don't ride well at all, but some people want them. What we are trying to do is go taller and taller, like we got a bike we just built that's got 26-inch wheels on it, and they're even going to cut a set of 30-inch wheels, if they can get a tire made.

Metalsport, Inc. Introduces the "Corleone" and the World's First 32" Wheel/Tire Combination

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