By Justin James
Photos by Michael Hernandez. Model: Baylee Krisine Smith
The 2019 Blue Collar Build Off brought some of the most talented custom motorcycle builders you’ve never heard of to Las Vegas and the Saddle Sore Ranch over the weekend of March 29-31. A total of 26 teams started the competition and eighteen made it to the finale. Of the eighteen bikes that made it only one can be called the absolute best. This year the best of show went to the Dysfunctional Veterans. These guys started with a pile of parts/raw metal, added in $1,500 and ended up producing a one-off custom motorcycle that could upset far more expensive bikes built by much bigger names in the industry. Allow me to give you a small glimpse into this beautiful work of art.
This bike was designed to highlight the custom fabrication and machine work. The one of a kind frame, swingarm, front end and footboards were all cut from 3/16” and 14 gauge plate steel on Buck Miller’s home-made CNC plasma table. Throughout the bike there are many custom bolt covers and spacers, all of which were cut from round aluminum stock on Buck’s 1950’s lathe. That is only the start of the madness.
When it comes to details this bike is mind blowing. Nearly all the wiring is hidden within the frame. The ignition coils are tucked away under the split tank. One side of the split tank houses fuel and the other side houses oil. The first glance over the rear end might stump you. It almost looks like a rigid frame that is missing chain tensioners. Take a closer look and you will notice the leaf springs as well as the chain tensioners hidden on the inside of the swingarm. The repurposed tractor seat compliments the rest of the bike nicely. There are so many small details I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few.
The photos and descriptions I have given you could never do this bike justice. You absolutely must see this beauty in person to get the full effect. The Mad Hatter Performance/Dysfunctional Veterans crew truly epitomize the point I try to drive home when I speak about what I feel makes a real custom motorcycle. Except for paint, all work on this bike was performed at Buck Miller’s Mad Hatter Performance LLC in Saint Robert, MO. These true motorcycle builders do all their own fabrication, machining, assembling and tuning. I hope their dedication to building amazing motorcycles the hard way brings them great success in the industry.
Frame: 45-degree rake, 5” raise in the backbone, 4” stretch over stock. No downtube.
Powertrain: 88” H-D Evolution, Ultima 6 speed. Custom machine work and covers.
Front End: Custom leaf spring 14” over stock
Wheels: 26” King spoke front, 18” King spoke rear with a 240 rear tire.
Tank: Demons Cycle reworked (split and modified to match custom frame).
Rear End: Custom leaf spring. Utilizes H-D swingarm bushings/sleeves.
Brake: Rear only, sprocket/rotor combo (sprotor) with custom mounting spacer.
Controls: Bars and risers off an H-D Softail Deuce. Custom split skull footboards.
Finish: Powdercoat and pinstripe.
Powdercoating: Springfield Powdercoating in Springfield, MO.
Pinstriping: Kody at Plug Ugly Customs in Doolittle, MO.
Oils/Shop Supplies: Terry and the crew at NAPA Auto Parts in Saint Robert, MO.
Builders: Geoffrey Morgan aka Buck Miller, Scott Roach, Jeffrey Presley, Bill Turner.
Like my promo stickers say…
Fabricated NOT Decorated!!!