Magic’s Custom Cycle: Sportster 48

Motorcycle USA Winner - Brad Hall

Motorcycle USA Winner – Brad Hall

By Bryan Harley – Cruiser Editor – Motorcycle-USA – |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Brad Hall caught the bug early. His dad lived on a utility road in the Tacoma, Washington, area called the “Pipeline,” a long gravel road with trails on both sides. After his parents divorced, Brad would go to his dad’s on weekends where he could hear motorcycles coming from “miles away.” He remembers running out to the road just to watch them ride by. Recognizing this passion Brad had for bikes, his dad finally sprung for a mini-bike, one with gold metal-flake and a rip cord engine. His dad would fire it up for him nice and early on weekends and Brad would ride all day long.

After a while he started to meet other riders and eventually got into racing motorcycles, something he did up to the age of 45. Hall started out on an XR75 and raced 125s and 250s and said he won a few amateur championships until he blew his shoulder out, bringing an end to his racing career.

Motorcycle USA Winner - Brad Hall

Motorcycle USA Winner – Brad Hall

“It’s just in my blood, man. I love bikes and still follow Supercross and the outdoor nationals and stuff and go down to Washougal,” he said.

Recently Hall opened Magic’s Custom Cycle in Ashford, Washington, working alongside his son Broc as the love of motorcycles continues to be a family tradition. Broc, a two-time Grand National BMX champion, is currently going to school to get his mechanics certification in order to cater to a broader scope of clientele. Until then, “He’s in there with me, cuttin’ and grindin’,” Brad said.

And while Hall always dug Harleys, it wasn’t until around 1998 that he really got into them. He always had street bikes, 400 Four Hondas and a couple of Yamahas, but up to that point no Harleys. That all changed when he and Russ Tom became good friends. Tom was a gifted custom bike builder from the Northwest who once owned Downtown Harley-Davidson/Buell in Seattle. Though Tom perished in a freak helicopter accident, his influence continues in the work of people he befriended like Hall.

Hall’s love of Harleys is evident in the Harley Sportster 48 he personalized and brought to the Seattle J&P Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. Calling the project “Psycho Addiction” in honor of his admitted obsession with working on the bike, he injected a stock Sportster 48 with plenty of attitude by mixing old school and new, blending carbon fiber bits with copper accents. The motorcycle attracted a constant stream of fans, its popularity in the court of public appeal another one of the reasons we honored Hall’s work with our “Editor’s Choice” award at the Seattle Ultimate Builder Show.

The bike’s attitude begins with the front end, a chunky Coker Firestone ANS tire with aggressive treading providing the “gnarly, enduro-style look” Hall was going for.

“The roads up here are so jacked it’s ridiculous and these things, they track so true,” said Hall.

He lowered the fork by extending the top-out spring, then draped the legs with hand-tooled leather sheaths. The headlight is wrapped in a Rough Crafts grill, and the stock handlebars have been replaced by a set of 7/8-inch Renthals. The bars are matched to mechanical ISR levers and see-through grips, an LC Fabrications master brake cylinder rising above the bars featuring a transparent reservoir as well. The bike’s speedometer has been moved to the left fork leg, the stock unit replaced by one from Joker Machine. The company gets another cameo on the bike in the form of a Joker head peeking out from the points cover.

The see-through theme extends to the Coca-Cola bottle serving as a sight glass on the right-side of the gas tank. It’s a legitimate Coke bottle Hall bought on Etsy.

“I didn’t know Coca-Cola made those little things. I was blown away. They came from a Coca-Cola collector. He had eight of them so I bought them all,” said Hall.

To install the sight glass, Hall drilled the tank and put in a revcert to plug the hole, informing us that revcerts are threaded on the inside and worked perfectly for the project. Hall said revcerts are popular with airplane guys. Since he didn’t weld the bungs, he used polypropylene fittings from a medical supplier. To make the Coca-Cola bottle functional, Hall used diamond bits and a Dremel to cut through the glass, sacrificing a couple of the tiny bottles in the process. Lucky for him, he had eight chances to get it right. The Sportster also features a 1918 Coca-Cola bottle opener he found on eBay mounted beneath the downtubes, another nostalgic touch.

The bike’s intake, heat shields and foot controls all feature drilled-out bits. While a fork brace replaces the front fender, the back carbon fiber fender has been trimmed down and the turn signals relocated. The shield of the Big Sucker Intake is likewise made of carbon fiber. The back end is lowered courtesy of 10-inch gas shocks said to be custom-made based on Hall’s weight.

In contrast to the splashes of carbon fiber on the bike, oil lines have been replaced with good ol’ fashioned copper coil.

“Everything that I could, I did in copper tubing, get that whole patina-thing going,” Hall added.

This includes the tubing running to the external oil pressure gauge he attached just in front of the seat to the left of the tank, giving a touch of steampunk to the build. Hall ran the tubing along the cylinder heads up from where the oil filter sits. A tiny LED illuminates the gauge face at night.

Asked if he modified the engine, Hall said he cut the cam case open and cleaned it up, but that’s all. Engine output does benefit from the Big Sucker Intake and D&D Bob Cat Exhaust all dialed in courtesy of a Power Commander. He said the two-into-one pipe provides a “killer sound.”

Hall kept the stock gold metal-flake paint on the tank of the Sportster 48 because it reminds him of that first mini-bike his dad bought him. The crown of a 24K gold-plated gas cap from LA County Choprods regally tops the tank. The number “27” on the oil tank is done in gold leaf, “27” representing his last racing number. The foot pegs are likewise an off-shade of gold and are actually Primo pedals found on BMX bikes. Broc, after all, was a two-time BMX champion.

The leather seat features a picture of twin pistons and a Von Dutch-style flying eyeball, the images tooled by Hall himself. Leather work is something he started as a hobby before it morphed into something that took on its own life. Hall says learning to tool leather dominated everything for a couple years and he still does leather work on the side in addition to working on motorcycles.

Hall shared that they just opened Magic’s Custom Cycle about four months ago and it’s currently a family-run, garage-based business, but he’s working to cut a deal with a guy from nearby Spanaway for a commercial location. The Seattle Ultimate Builder Show has helped open doors for him though, as Hall said Eastside Harley out of Bellevue, Washington, wants him to build two bikes for them. He mentioned the work done for Eastside could potentially be part of Bell Helmets next “21 Helmets” project. Another gentleman who he met at the show wants Hall to build him a Sportster. The Washington native also said he’s jazzed about a Yamaha XS650 project currently in the works.

Hall Also Won MOD Custom
In addition to this newfound attention, Hall’s work also won first place in the MOD Custom class at the Seattle edition of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show, an award chosen by other builders in the show.

Not bad for a first-time father and son team. It’s refreshing to see the fire still burning bright inside Brad while the torch is passed to his son Broc, another reason we’re proud to have chosen the Halls as winners of our Seattle Ultimate Builder “Editor’s Choice” award.

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