BORN-FREE 5 Builder: Chopper Dave

Posted: Apr 22 2013

We stopped by Chopper Daves to check out his BF5 bike and talk a little about what inspired his build. Dave has had this bike in his head for some time so BF5 became the catalyst to get down to making it a reality. Dave has always been one of those guys that likes to challenge himself from an engineering standpoint. If you look back on his builds, the twin carb knuckle he built with two front heads, the X Wedge S&S 50th anniversary bike, his evo based flat track bike and his Superfreak pan, you will see how much thought, fabrication and engineering went in to each of them. Dave is in to function and performance and that seems to be the driving force behind this new build. 

Dave designed the frame and sorted out the geometry then worked with Aki at Hog Killers to create all the bends and weld it up. One of the biggest feats was incorporating a CRF450 swingarm and maintaining all of the ideal linkage rates so the rear suspension would be functional. Dave milled the back of the engine cases to accept the swingarm pivot bolt so these two componets could be unified. A modified Ohlins shock sits in place to handle the rear suspension. Once all of that was in place Dave designed and bent up the rear subframe and milled the mounting slugs to keep it all tidy and extremely light weight. A hand formed tail section and seat will finish off the rear. The oil tank, battery and electronics will live in that tail section. Front suspension is also handled by Ohlins and ISR brakes are featured from levers to calipers which insure there is more than enough stopping power. Front trees are RSM's, risers are Hickman and a PIAA head light finishes it off. Dave mounted up stock V Rod wheels but of course hand machined a sprocket and 13" brake rotors to make everything work together. 

The 883 sporty motor got blown apart and will get new internals. A 1200 conversion kit will find it's way on to the top end and a Garrett turbo and stock fuel injection will complete the powerplant. Compression should be in the 8:1 range. Plans for an intercooler are still being sorted out. Dave did mention that he wants the turbo to look like it was considered as part of the build not an afterthought. The plumbing will dictate some modifications to the gas tank to achieve a flowing design. Both the derby cover and cam cover will be one off hand cast pieces that Dave will build from scratch. The derby will feature an incorporated peg mount. 

One thing is for sure, this bike is goign to terrorize the streets and be slid around corners both dirt and pavement once Dave finishes it off. I can't wait to see and hear it!


photos: Jon Furlong

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