SAN DIEGO CUS­TOMS

Hot Bike - - Life -

Own­ers Chip Kastel­nik and Mikey Van are no strangers to Hot Bike. They’re also no strangers to do­ing rad s—t! By far the most out-of-the-box build of them all, the San Diego Cus­toms ADV Softail was some­thing of a mas­ter­piece. Hav­ing no real knowl­edge of the ad­ven­ture-bike world prior to ac­com­plish­ing this cus­tom, Kastel­nik and Van spent tons of time re­search­ing the ins and outs of the en­tire ad­ven­ture-bike spec­trum, es­pe­cially the machin­ery used for that sport. It’s clear that their mule for this project, a 2018 Har­ley-david­son Sport Glide, was molded into some­thing akin to Honda’s Africa Twin.

When the San Diego crew picked up the bike, they rode it for about 100 miles and went straight to work break­ing it all down to fig­ure out their ap­proach. “I dis­as­sem­bled the bike and took some weld­ing rod and lined out where I wanted ev­ery­thing to be as far as tank di­men­sions, height, width, and lines,” Kastel­nik says. “And then I got to­gether with my friend Tony and just banged it out [some of the fab] at his ma­chine shop.” But a good bulk of the parts were made at SDC HQ: ex­haust, light bar, fair­ing, bag mounts, fair­ing mounts, and some mo­tor mods, of course.

But full-blown cus­toms like this are def­i­nitely not with­out their chal­lenges. “The front end, the sus­pen­sion, mak­ing the sub­frame and the bag mounts—ev­ery­thing was new to us,” Kastel­nik says. “Even the ex­haust. We had to fab the whole rear—i’ve never re­ally made a muf­fler be­fore—which was for­eign to me.” But be­cause of San Diego Cus­toms’ worka­holic men­tal­ity, they poured ev­ery ounce of ef­fort they had into this build, and the fi­nal re­sult was bril­liant.

Over­all, the crew has some big plans for this bike be­ing rid­den. And rid­den hard. “I want to hand it to Buddy Sut­tle [of Un­known In­dus­tries stunt­ing fame] and tell him to try and break some­thing on it,” Kastel­nik says.

Sounds rea­son­able to us!

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