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
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.


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

• 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. :)
• House of Kolor Kandies slung by Nate (aka, “sure”)
• You’ll learn a lot more by visiting our build log!




  1. Hesh says:

    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 says:

    Nate always does top quality paint… looks good.

  3. dannyb says:

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

  4. Emery says:

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

  5. JET36 says:

    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 says:

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

  7. Tebo says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

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

  13. nate says:

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

  14. Corey W says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    Beatiful bike! No front brake? Aaaaaaargh!

  18. Blackwidow says:

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

  19. BillyBobba says:

    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 says:

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

  21. yamahacrazy says:

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

  22. Corey W says:

    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 says:


  24. Blackwidow says:

    Love the bike

  25. eric says:

    is the rear wheel a 16, or an 18?

  26. Corey W says:

    @eric: The rear wheel is a 16.

  27. matt says:

    What is The width and profile of the tires?

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

  29. Matt says:

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

  30. Blackwidow says:

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

  31. Nate says:

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

  32. norm younger says:

    Awesome bike. I love it.