T2 Thunder Bike Build
T2 Thunderbike Build
RoadBike Magazine recently profiled our Thunder Bike 2 in their April 2006 edition. RoadBike really liked our unique Thunder Design process which transformed a new model Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 into a custom cruiser that didn't require fabrication or emptying a trust fund to complete.
Scroll down to follow the evolution of this award winning cruiser and get some ideas for your own ride. If you have questions about the Thunder Design process or just want more information in general, call us to get started at (866) 744-7900 TOLL FREE or browse by your bike make and model.
- Thunder Bob
From Stock To Custom Cruiser
We chose a stock Vulcan VN2000 because of it's massive power plant,
unique appearance and most importantly, because we really like a challenge. Weren't a lot of parts made for the V2K at that time so we would have an opportunity to be one of the first to modify Kawasaki's newest flagship bike.
Getting Naked - The V2K Gets Stripped to the Bone! What we found underneath this big boy was good news...Kawasaki developed an a really well thought throught metric cruiser. Everything was easy to remove and eventually re-install. Electricial components were in their logical place and weren't a battle to integrate with the changes we had planned. Steel braided cables and lines were also added during this phase.
It's important to note that at no time did we either own or look at a service manual!
Thunder Tornado Air Kit - First order of business was to get lots more air into that 125 cubic inch V-Twin. We decided on the Thunder Manufacturing Tornado Air Kit in order to expose one of the best looking dual pushrod, metric motors around. More cool air means more horsepower, (not that it really needed it). You'll notice that we also added Cobra's Swept front and rear floorboard to blend with the style lines of the bike.
The Paint Process Begins - While the bike was stripped to a skeleton, we considered several paint options and decided that we really wanted paint to be one of the primary focal points of the bike.
If you're gonna spend the money for a quality paint job, it's always a good idea to show as much of it as possible. It was that thinking that led us to install Baron's Front & Rear Fiberglass Gangster Fenders. The massive rear fender and the stock gas tank created the large canvas we needed. Since T Bike 1 had Brandywine Candy with black marbelized, drop shadow flames, we wanted to go in a different direction with T2. This time around we decided to go with three shades of blue in a flowing flame pattern. Deep blue on top, stock ice blue for the flames in the middle, and cobalt blue underneath. In this phase we are applying stock color matching base coat and free-hand pinstriping.
Laying on the paint - After applying our logo design and pinstriping, the first layer of paint was sprayed on gas tank, fenders and side panels. Jimmy Yowell of Kiskstart Kustoms in Fullerton California got the nod for painting duties.
Completing Paint - While we loved the article in RoadBike, the photos didn't do justice to this amazing paint job. The colors looked a bit flat and on the purple side in the magazine and as you can see by the shots above, the colors really pop.
Baron's Ultimated Lightbar - We chose to keep the stock chrome headlight nacelle as it's one of the unique signature cues of the bike. Front and rear stock turn signals always have to go!
Baron's Ultimated Lightbar helped to streamline and compliment the front end of our V2K.
Business End of Vulcan VN2000 - The Baron's Ultimate Lightbar enhances the front end of the Vulcan.
Verticle Side Mount Lighted License Plate - In keeping with our decision to make paint one of the focal points for the bike, we decided to verticle side mount the license plate and keep the fender clean.
Killer From Behind... - From the rear the paint and the flames really make a statement. Arlen Ness bullet lights were mounted on the struts and became our running lights, brake lights and turn signals with the help of a Kuryakyn Run/Turn/Brake controller.
Front Gangster Fender - Baron's Front Gangsters fenders and custom chin spoiler are installed, front forks chromed and rotors polished.
Exhaust Pipe Selection - We experimented with three different types of exhaust pipes. Given we were going for that low, long sweeping look we needed pipes that would stand out from 20 feet away. Hard Krome's massive 3" Big Straights with Tapered Tips fit the bill and nicely complimented the Gangster rear fender and the 3" diameter Tornado Air Kit.
125 Cubic Inch Cam Cover - Baron's came through again. Their solid Billet 125 Cubic Inch cam cover sent the message that this bike has some serious horses under the hood.
Hand Controls - Handlebar accessories included a Big Johnson 1.25" Handlebar, Kuryakyn ISO Grips with blue accent rings, Wide Style Chrome Levers, Stiletto Caps and matching Throttle Bosses.
Finishing the clean look - The complete handlebar system includes Kuryakyn Ellipse Mirrors, Chrome Levers and Barnett stainless cables. All electrical wiring was nicely tucked inside the bars and all stock cables/lines were replaced with braided steel to finish cleaning up the front end. Master cylinders and brake calipers were then chrome powdercoated.
Nice Fat Ass! - Nothing looks better than a clean rear end. Arlen Ness Smooth Bullet Turn/Brake/Run Lights allowed gangster rear fender to reall show off all that sparkling pain.
Foot Controls - Kuryakyn's brake pedal cover, heel and toe shift covers complimented the Cobra Swept Floorboards and eliminated more of that unwanted stock stuff.
Hitting the road - Thunder Bike 2 hits the road. All the pieces come together and I take it out of a spin. Not only does it look good, it rides well.
Right Side - The right side look.
Left Side - The left side look.
CLICK HERE to see more pictures of Thunder Bike T2 - '04 Vulcan 2000
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE THUNDER DESIGN PROCESS
Thunder Bike T2 Specs:
Owner: Metric Thunder - Bob Osias
Home: Orange, CA
Builders: Metric Thunder: Bob Osias, Steve Washicko,Jon Blachley
Year/Model: 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan VN2000
Time to Build: 2 months
Cost to Build: $7,500 + Bike
Chromer: PCS & California Metal Polishing & Plating
Painter: KickStart Customs/Jimmy Yowell, Fullerton, CA
Powder Coating: Precision Powder Coating
Metal Polishing: Superior Metal Polishing
Displacement: 2053cc/125 Cubic Inches
EFI: Stock Fuel Injection with Cobra FI2000 Tripot Fuel Processor
Air Cleaner: Thunder Manufacturing Tornado Air Kit
Exhaust: Hard Krome 3" Big Straights with Tapered Billet Tips
Final Drive: Belt
Front Fender: Baron Custom Accessories Gangsters
Rear Fender: Baron Custom Accessories Gangsters
Front Tire: Bridgestone 150W
Rear Tire: Bridgestone 200W
Front Brakes: Stock Powder Coated Calipers
Rear Brakes: Stock Powder Coated Calipers
Front Forks Chromed
Brake Discs: Polished
Brake/Clutch Lines: Goodrich Braided Steel
Taillight: Arlen Ness Bullet Lights, (run/ brake/turn)
Lightbar: Baron Custom Accessories Ultimate Lightbar
Handlebars: Baron Custom Accessories 1.25" Big Johnson Bar
Grips: Kuryakyn ISO with Stiletto End Caps and Throttle Boss
Seat: Metric Thunder Custom Leather w/stitching by Saddlemen
Floorboards: Cobra Swept Driver/Passenger Floorboards
Hand Controls: Stock Powder Coated Master Cylinders
Mirrors: Kuryakyn Ellipse Convex
License Plate: Baron Custom Accessories Side Mount
Cam Cover: Baron Custom Accessories 125 Cubic Inch Billet Chrome
February 26, 2006 07:36 PM