noid flyingw1 “The FLYING W”

The Wilkinson Bros “The FLYING W”

The vitals: Powerplant is a ‘78 XS650 with an Ardcore Choppers frame conceived by metric-specialist, Jon Ard. It has a 4-inch stretch and a profile unique to the Indy-based custom bike shop. The entire bike was built by Ardcore Choppers, with input from my brother and me (the Wilkinson Bros). If you’ve spent even a few minutes on xs650chopper.com, you know well the dudes behind the Get Bent bike, Wizard Sleeze, and Mother’s Little Helper, among others. Us Wilkinson Bros are graphic designers who live, eat, and breathe motorcycles, but we ain’t bike builders. Ardcore needed a new website and we “needed” a custom shop-bike. Paths crossed, hands shook, metal was bent, a site was launched and another XS650 custom bike surfaced in the Midwest.noid flyingw2 “The FLYING W”
noid flyingw3 “The FLYING W”
In the beginning, we were dead set on a bike that looked more like a little punk than a shiny bar-hopper. We took comfort in knowing Jon would have no problem achieving this; he’s got the whole bare-bones bobber thing dialed in. We felt welcome at the shop and, without fail, always greeted with an ice cold Dr. Pepper. Long before cuts were made, conversations were had with Nate, the shop’s painter. He has his finger on the pulse of chopperdom, past and present, so his insight was key in enhancing the personality of the Flying W through its paint scheme.

noid flyingw4 “The FLYING W”

With the crew and us on the same page, the build ensued.
Read about the entire adventure (and see lots o’ pics) in our epic build log at http://www.wilkinsonbrothers.com/bobber

noid flyingw5 “The FLYING W”
• The Flying W gets its moniker from the Wilkinson Brothers logo, a “W” with wings. • Ardcore-specific parts include: Top Fools exhaust, custom fab’d mids, battery box, linkage, etc. • Stock XS wheels and forks.
• Handlebars inspired by flattrackin’, dirtbikin’ nostalgia.
• We added the mirror (it helps us know what’s behind us).
• It sounds good upon acceleration. Real good. • Apparently, having no front brake is cool. We’re not that cool; front brake pending. icon smile “The FLYING W”
• House of Kolor Kandies slung by Nate (aka, “sure”)
• You’ll learn a lot more by visiting our build log!


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32 Responses to “The FLYING W”

  1. Hesh September 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Not a fan of all the strrtch from Ardcore, but thats me. :) Bike looks so fun! No front please, keep it real, know your machine! ha
    Black Rose Motorbikes

  2. Emery September 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Nate always does top quality paint… looks good.

  3. dannyb September 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    really nice paint. i think “keeping it real” means being able to stop, so i agree with the front brake.

  4. Emery September 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    I agree… it’s much cooler to be alive haha

  5. JET36 September 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    Looks Great! I agree, I like the no break look but you cant stop a bike right with a rear only. Front drum brake. Its classic looking and small. Junk yards are full of them.
    Ardcore Choppers Rocks

  6. chuck September 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    what kinda of gas tank is that? is it modified or was it bought exactly like that (minus the paint of course).

  7. Tebo September 17, 2009 at 4:11 am #

    Skip cool and go directly to front brake, Too many dumb-ass drivers out there not to. I dig the single down tube. Only things missing to me would be springers and a Model A rear fender. You’ve got a timeless classic there. Sweet job.

  8. Shotcaller September 17, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    This bike and Nate’s “Wizard Sleeze” are the real deal. I love the frame and everything about them, especially the spool front hubs. Keep up the good work Ardcore.

  9. Sickfab September 18, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    I’m relatively new to the XS scene, but stories like this is what draws me in, an others I’m sure… I read the whole story on of the build on the Wlkkinsons site, and I wish more wor do stories like that. Really cool.

    I just got my self a couple of XS 6fitties, and I’m tearing them down right now. I got a runner and a parts bike for $300. The price was right, so I’m in. This is an awesome culture. Can’t wait to get it on the road.

    Thanks again for an killer story, and right on Ardcore choppers. The real deal, personifying how metrics should be done.

    Long live Dr Pepper!

  10. Corey W September 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Hey, cool response Sickfab. Glad you enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at our bike. Sounds like you’ll soon have a story to tell as well; have fun with your project!

  11. lil bastard September 20, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    Cool bike guys! You wilkinson boys are the real deal and quality dudes! Cool to get to hang out with you guys and shoot the breeze! See you around.

  12. Ted September 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    How do you guys like running the top_fool exhaust? Do they have baffles built in?

  13. nate September 20, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    No baffles…Thanks for all the good comps fellas..The Wilkinson Bros are good dude and good to work with.

  14. Corey W September 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    The Top Fools certainly make for great sound on acceleration! They do have torque cones. As for their performance, the stock Yammy carbs are a little finicky with them (on deceleration against compression), so we may need to upgrade to Mikuni round slides. Overall, we dig their looks and sound; had ‘em picked out from the get-go. Here’s a YouTube clip for a sound sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBobj2v5XZY

  15. Steve September 21, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    Ted , Ardcore use’s Harley sporster , forcing cones they go in at the cylinder head and they create back pressure in the pipes . Steve

  16. Corey W September 21, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    The Top Fools certainly make for great sound on acceleration! They do have torque cones. As for their performance, the stock Yammy carbs are a little finicky with them (on deceleration against compression), so we may need to upgrade to Mikuni round slides. Overall, we dig their looks and sound; had ‘em picked out from the get-go. There’s a clip on YouTube if you wanna hear the bike; search for Flying W Teaser.

  17. Willem September 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Beatiful bike! No front brake? Aaaaaaargh!

  18. Blackwidow September 25, 2009 at 6:50 am #

    I roll no front brake I’ve been hearing alot of arguments on it lately

  19. BillyBobba September 27, 2009 at 4:56 am #

    Mate you’ve made a really cool ride, but no front break is just dumber than batshit, do yourself and others on the road a favour. Have a good one.

  20. Ted September 27, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    @ Corey W
    I just watched that youtube clip and it sounds rad.. Good camera work to.

  21. yamahacrazy September 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Love the bike, what brand tires are on it and where can I get some for my bike?

  22. Corey W September 28, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    Thanks, Ted! We still plan on doing a more fun vid before the snow falls.

    @yamahacrazy: The front is an Avon Speedmaster and the back is a Shinko Classic. You can google those and find many outlets; we got ours thru Ardcore Choppers when they built the bike.

  23. yamahacrazy September 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm #


  24. Blackwidow October 4, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    Love the bike

  25. eric October 14, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    is the rear wheel a 16, or an 18?

  26. Corey W October 20, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    @eric: The rear wheel is a 16.

  27. matt November 8, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    What is The width and profile of the tires?

  28. Corey Wilkinson November 10, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    @matt: The back (Shinko) is an MT90-16 and the front (Avon) is an MKII 3.25-19

  29. Matt November 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Awesome thanks! I was also curious did you lower the front forks or are they stock?

  30. Blackwidow November 29, 2009 at 3:06 am #

    How does the paint hold up on them carbs and engine?

  31. Nate November 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    It holds up fine…if you prep the motor properly you don’t have issues..

  32. norm younger August 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Awesome bike. I love it.

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