Custom : Flying Solo

Old school styling fused to cutting edge technology is what Peter Christou wanted in his custom.

Flying Solo

Born and raised in Edmonton, I grew up in a family run auto service shop. As our shop grew we opened a body shop where I honed my painting and fabrication skills. I was a painter for 12 years full time straight out of high school, then when respiratory issues showed up I began wrenching on whatever came in the door: basic service, lift kits, lowering kits, air ride and hydraulic fabrication. But I always wanted to work on bikes, as our shop was one block away from our local Harley dealer where all I heard was the roar of V-Twins every day. I would always wander over during my breaks to check out the new models and inspect the customs they had in the back. The seed was planted!

Five years ago I completed my first major build, a DNA package bike that I bought on eBay. It was a fun experience but it was like assembling Lego. It turned out really nice but it was someone else’s vision and design. When I decided to build the “Mistress” seen here on these pages, I had a definite idea of what I wanted her to look like. 

I wanted a classic chopper look but with all the modern touches that are just coming out on today’s bikes: RFID keyless ignition, micro electronics, hidden switches, an onboard compressor and other things that people just don’t think about when building a custom bike. Cutting edge technology that you don’t see is what I wanted, because it’s the things you don’t see that make a true custom.

I bought an 8Ball Manufacturing air ride frame into which I installed an Ultima 113-inch Black Gem engine completely rebuilt with all high performance parts that is now putting down 101 hp and 114 ft/lb. torque to the Pro-One Sinister rear wheel that features custom inserts.  

I then connected with Brenden Thompson of Elite Metal Designs in Northern California and we discussed the tank, which I feel gives every bike its own look. I wanted something radical that no one could think of it as anything but hand made. 

Once the tank was in, I fabbed the seat section to where it would fit me the best, then the bars were set on the American Suspension front end. 

This bike is a direct reflection of my taste and design and was a way of pushing myself into an area that I so wanted to explore. It was the ultimate way of showcasing all of my abilities to design, fabricate, paint and build on my own, away from the shadows of our family business. It was a way to mark my own individuality.

by Peter Cristou, Canadian Biker, #294

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