Yellowstone Harley wins USA Custom Kings
The very first Custom King has been crowned and he’s Alex Stewart of Yellowstone H-D, Belgrade, Montana! Of course, Alex didn’t do it all himself but he was the ideas-man and the ‘chef d’equipe’ (that’s French for he carried the can). Alex had a team of three working with him from the outset – more of the team and Alex later.
Going back a ways to March, Harley-Davidson announced the competition for US dealers to take a stock Street 750 and, using standard parts, turn that machine into a real fizzer. Of the 100 dealerships who entered, the line-up was whittled down to around 30 in June and finally to just 7 (Harley has 7 markets in the USA, so each market had a vote). Then came the annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas at The Venetian and the final votes were cast.
And the winner is….
Yeah, okay we know. Back to the machine.
As previously stated, the benchmark was the stock Street 750. Alex says it was important to use original H-D parts & accessories – like, it was a rule too. So, lots of stock 750 parts modified and some parts from other models, but all original. The basis for the build was Alex’s thoughts about the old board-trackers and how that old design could be uprated to bring it up to the minute. Calling the finished machine, ‘The Barn Find’, Alex and the team sure did a great job – it just oozes old style with new performance!
Stand-outs are those spoked wheels. They’re not standard or an option for the 750 but they give the bike that olde-fashioned look straight away. Rims were stripped back and painted that well-known color, Harley Orange. They’re 40-spokers, front from a 1200cc and the rear’s a Softail. The fine letter-printing adds yards to the authentic look of those fabulous rims and, if you can spot it, that word ‘Racing’ has speed wings on the letters too! On their own, they scream at you but once on the bike, they set it off beautifully. The wide tires give it age too. And to handle that wide front tire, the inner forks were fine ground. Hats off to the folks at McGinley Motorsports for all the truly spectacular paintwork. Must be real handy having that crew just a few miles down 90 when you want a custom paint job!
Nice tank! That’s another McGinley paint job on a modified Sportster tank. The fuel pump had to be modified to fit and the flush-fit gas cap was painted high-gloss black. Note the subtle turbo lettering under 750 logo! That hints at just what this machine can do. The turbo – which has some looks of a Trask – was a built-for-purpose unit and the first to be fitted to a Street 750. Wonder what the effect of that was?
Yellowstone Harley pride themselves on their custom build quality and we wonder whether this machine might not go into some kind of limited production. They don’t say what the parts costs were, nor how many man and machining hours went into the build but to get to this quality product, you can bet it was a lot. For our dimesworth, they could well make a decent living out of a small production run – if H-D allow of course – and there’ll be no shortage of takers. We want one!
Finally, a few words about The Barn Find Team
Alex Stewart, Build Lead, has worked at Yellowstone (oh, how I want to say Jellystone!) Harley all his working life. As Service Manager, he knows the range inside out and his know-how was instrumental in making everything fit together and produce this fantastic looking motorcycle. Alex has been with Yellowstone for 9 years.
Kaes VanderJagt, a sales team member for the past 12 years and a keen bike builder himself, was coming up with ideas all the way thru. As a keen Harley rider and photographer, he was a mainstay in the design and look of the build. Mind you, if we worked with someone looking like that, we’d do what he wanted too.
Josh Fry, owner & manager, helped to come up with the inspiration for the build. Having worked in and around Harley’s all his life, Josh feels that the environment they live and work in helped to put this project together. Josh came to Yellowstone 16 years ago.
Travis Overstreet was the man the team turned to to deliver a motor that would set this bike apart from the rest. An engine man through and through, Travis has been at Yellowstone Harley for 13 years and is still loving it.