SPAWN CUSTOM CHOPPER TO PREMIERE AT BIKETOBERFEST
Demon Choppers Unveils New Creation in Daytona Beach
Friday, October 15, 2004
Demon Choppers owner Pat Johnson contacted the spawn.com staff some time back about a new custom Spawn chopper his shop was working on. We're happy to report the bike is nearly complete and is set to debut at Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, FL, Oct. 18-25.
Johnson started in the motorcycle business doing repairs for friends and relatives before opening a small motorcycle sales and repair shop in S. Daytona. He then opened a larger store in downtown Daytona and began drawing his own motorcycle designs.
The largest motorcycle event in the United States is Daytona Beach Bike Week. Just before the event started in 1999, Orange County Choppers -- the now-famous father-and-son team of Paul Teutel Sr. and Paul Teutel Jr. -- came into Johnson's store wanting to rent display space. After a successful two-year partnership in which Johnson assisted them with designs, advertising, licensing and permitting, the Teutels went on to do American Chopper on the Discovery channel. Johnson created Demon Choppers.
Though the first year was tough, Johnson said he needed to get a little outlandish with his designs. Luckily he was approached to do a custom chopper for the band Iron Maiden. The bike was outrageous and ended up being featured on TV, Web sites and magazines. That got the Demon Choppers game rolling.
Johnson's painter, Nub Grafix from New York, came to Daytona for Bike Week in 2003 where the two discussed their next big project. Nub suggested a KISS bike or a Spawn bike. Johnson was familiar with KISS, but only knew of Spawn through comic books. He went out later that night and bought the Spawn DVD. He was captivated by the story and felt that Spawn epitomized what Demon Choppers was trying to say.
Oddly, both Nub's and Johnson's project sketches were similar. Once all the drawings were submitted, Johnson made a final amalgamation. The project started with an outlandish frame, the longest, most radical stretch Demon Choppers had ever done. A retired NASA engineer ran the geometry of the frame through a CAD system computer. These final formulas let the designers know the ergonomics of the vehicle as well as the overall ridability. Upon receiving the rake, trail, stretch and reach numbers, Johnson went to work on making the frame. Spawn's spikes were hand ground and welded to the frame. The cape was hand-cut from flat metal, using a hand grinder. Each rip in the cape was heated and hand bent using vise grips. Every cape rip was then welded to the metal cases that held the cape together. The cape was fashioned to be bolt attached to the front and rear fenders after the paint job was complete. The fenders were sent to Nub Grafix along with the fuel tank. Kyle at Independent Tank Company of Arizona created the gas tank. This one-off tank was bent and stretched to accommodate the overall length of the top bike tube. The tank end was also brought to a point to represent one of Spawns spikes.
Once the metals were complete, it was time to search for a power plant. S&S engines of Wisconsin provided a show-polished 124 and Mid West was chosen to supply the American-made five-speed transmission. The final drive item to be completed was the wheels. Johnson contacted Jeremy with RC Wheels of Kentucky and sent him hand drawings of Spawn's face. Jeremy had the facial image loaded into a C&C machine. The machine cut solid pieces of aluminum into a knife-edge blade wheel with Spawn's face carved into the centers. Johnson later hand-painted the faces to better represent Spawn's features.
The final touches added to the Spawn Chopper were the chromed chains and edged weapons. The chains were welded to give the appearance that they were flying through the air. The edged weapons were hand painted with the green necroplasmic blood that runs through Spawn's veins.
The project as shown in the photography is not quite finished. The rear chains that support the cape came in scratchy so they're being powder coated and the custom Spawn seat has not been delivered yet.
The Spawn Chopper has taken more than a year to finish and is the most elaborate creation Demon Choppers has ever done. See it on display at Pompano Pats Motorcycles, 406 N. Beach St. Daytona Beach, FL, this Biketoberfest, October 18th-25th.
>> THE SPAWN CHOPPER (14 photos)