Saturday, May 23, 2009

1915 5 Ball FR Update

Yesterday I took some art over to Keith Ball's and checked on the progress of his 1915 5 Ball Factory Racer.

My original concept drawing as based on our conversations. Keith has made some changes from his initial ideas as he goes. The bars were originally going to be mounted upside down. The square oil tank and front fender probably won't be run.

The pipes position has changed too. Keith plans to ride this contraption to Sturgis with a group of antique bike riders. Is that cheating?

The frame and tank came from the US Choppers prototype and I had reservations about it's height and length. Keith's use of 23" wheels helps balance out the scale. The overall size shouldn't bother Keith. Standings at 6' 5", he needs a big bike to feel comfortable.

Raising the pipes meant putting the tool box on the left side. I'd like the bike to stay black( it probably won't). I'd also paint the primary black.

Keith's usage of vintage items such as the foot controls, boards, and tool box add to the old time flavor. I like what he's doing better than the antique/board track style bikes that some of the pro builders have built. They seem to loose sight of the old look and use too much billet on their bikes. Some of Keith's other vintage style touches include the mounting of the speedo and the electric box on the top of the tanks.

A narrow Paughco springer adds to the 1915 look. That's an auxiliary fuel tank up on the bars.

Keith's added a antique oiling device mounted to the top of the chain guard. In theory, it would drip oil on the chain.

Keith's thinking of changing his original color choice. He was going to paint the frame and tanks orange with black panels. Now he's thinking about using a dirty white instead of orange. If it was mine, I'd keep it all black with orange stripes/accents. I might even consider giving the whole bike an old worn patina treatment.

You can follow Keith's latest progress on
To find the earlier articles you'll have to hunt in his Tech and Bike Builds dept.

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