When Jim Wubben launched PB Choppers in the summer of 2000, he knew he wanted to build a Dale Earnhardt theme bike. Like virtually all hard working, blue collar car guys, Jim respected Earnhardt’s talent, virtues and will to succeed. And, after spending significant time piloting his own open-wheel modified, he especially admired Dale’s tenacity and skill. In 1998, Jim was present as The Intimidator clenched his milestone Daytona 500 victory. In 2001, he shared the heartbreak of NASCAR losing its biggest and brightest star. And, in 2004, when his wife mentioned the long-planned tribute, he began assembling this award winning, 1 of 1 chopper.
While most professional motorcycles are standardized, mass-produced packages that lack the intensity and attention to detail of grassroots art, true customs maintain a level of style and authenticity that can be tweaked and massaged to create an individual masterpiece. The product of a five month build, this awesome ‘Performance Barn’ chopper features traditionally sculpted sheetmetal that’s bathed in a familiar House of Kolor basecoat. When that clean pigment dried, a dynamic theme of success, family and gratitude was ignited at its forks, fueled through its tank and sealed on its fender by high quality PPG clear. And that rugged sheen reflects a glossy, wet-look shine that, thanks to skilled work by Ed Head Graphics of Des Moines, Iowa, makes people stop, turn and stare!
On the surface, this show stopping chopper is an incredible tribute to one tough customer. In practice, it’s Jim’s way of saying thanks to many respected peers, as every piece of the bike’s world class hardware was hand selected based on character and merit. Up front, a Perse Performance fork centers a Paul Yaffe fender between an Arlen Ness headlight, a 21-inch Carriage Works wheel and an MH90-21 Avon Venom X tire. At the side of that wheel, a high quality Performance Machine brake system utilizes braided Goodridge lines to squeeze a polished, dual-piston caliper around a giant, drilled rotor. Above that caliper, chrome Paul Yaffe handle bars hang stylish Arlen Ness mirrors in front of slick Performance Machine Renthals. Behind those grips, the bike’s smooth, Softail frame cradles a highly detailed RevTech V-twin that mixes a polished casing with a classic, instantly recognizable sound. At the back of that engine, a custom PB Choppers primary cover hangs between a full set of Paul Yaffe pegs and a custom PB Choppers tail light. Above that light, a Jesse James fuel tank anchors a comfy Danny Gray seat in front of a PB Choppers fender. And below that fender, a second Performance Machine disc hovers next to a 250/40R18 Avon Venom R that spins around a second Carriage Works wheel.
The bike’s awesome bling is augmented by a 110 cubic inch RevTech V-Twin which utilizes Crane Hi-4 ignition, RevTech roller rockers, forged 4340 rods and an Andrews .560 cam to twist 115 horsepower into 120 lb./ft. of torque. At the top of the polished block, a clever ‘steering wheel motor mount’ splits the difference between quality Taylor plug wires and sleek chrome rocker boxes that were specifically chosen for this build. On the right side of the frame, a familiar Mikuni carburetor slurps wind through a snazzy Force One air cleaner. Below that carb, chrome rod covers lead the eye to a polished PB Choppers oil tank, a “RevTech” branded cam cover and Arlen Ness Shotgun pipes. That top notch hardware rolls on a capable Santee frame, which mixes a 6-inch stretch with a 42 degree rake. The V-twin’s power flows through a chrome RevTech 6-speed, which provides solid shifts and reliable cruising. And overall, cast and machined as a durable, 2-piece assembly, the fully sorted drivetrain is an affordable and efficient means to make this custom a virtual handful in the best possible way!
When Wuuben booked this striking chopper for the 2004 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, he figured he’d get a few compliments from a dwindling number of diehard fans. Instead, he was greeted with hundreds of inspired onlookers and awarded First Place Street in the annual Biker/Penthouse Bike Show. That impressive showing led to a feature article in the February, 2005 edition of Biker Magazine. And, not surprisingly, our sale includes a 19x28 showboard created from that feature.
Forged from the passion and hard work of a fellow racer, this one-of-a-kind custom is a fitting tribute to The Intimidator. With striking looks, killer performance and all-American swagger, it’s a self-made celebration of strife, determination and success. Looking for a stunning steed that’s forever tied to racing royalty? Step to the gate, claim this chopper and head for the checkers!