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.
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!