Millennium Chopper. Crafted In Metal. Wrapped In Leather.

Bryan Fuller’s hand-crafted artistry is always very unusual and of course it’s a compliment. It can be because of the frame he conceives or modify, the powerplant he uses, the bike’s overall architecture that he designs, the final finish or treatment that he decides, or all of them together in the same creation. I have observed those reactions when people walk by this “Millennium Chopper”. Surprise, followed by interest and an irresistible desire to touch it (yes, it’s leather), all this preceding a flurry of comments and arguments between friends about what is what?

Bryan’s way to work on motorcycles may be explained by the way and with who he acquired his advanced fabrication skills. In highly respected west coast automotive custom shops, like So-Cal Speed Shop and Chip Foose Design. They shaped him into the fabricator he is today, never afraid to challenge the too obvious way to shape and build. For the most part, customizing is an independent experience during which you’re truly alone with your thoughts and a few parts. Fortunately for all of you Bryan Fuller belongs to this small category of custom builders who, when the machine is completed, is able to narrate what was his full mental process during the build. As he explained to me, traditional rules were no meant for this custom…

“I met a gentleman in Canada at one of the big shows up there called the Atlantic Nationals. The customer asked me to build him a bike similar to one of the “Righteous Fueller” we had built that year. After coming to an agreement, we came home and started the bike. The “Fueller” (contraction of names Fuller and Buell) was done for the Biker Build-Off series and this is the last of the run of 5. On all of these bikes, we started with an Buell XB-12 (2003-2007). Using the front end, brakes, bearings, Engine and transmission and wiring, we’re able to take an American Sport Bike and put it into more of a cruiser riding position. These bikes are fast and fun! The frames we made of 4130 Chromoly custom for each of the 5 customers. Most of the brackets were water jet cut, and the bungs were CNC lathe’d. We made our own wheels and hubs, which are one of the cooler pieces we believe. Replacement components are easy as well as they need to be replaced over time.

With the Millennium Chopper we decided to do something different. Twin Spar frame tubes leading up the backbone. The idea was to bring the intake straight up like the stock Buell did and make a cool looking stack coming up through the tank. Seems like a good idea! Problem with this setup is that the entire visuals of the tank area are defined by these 2 frame tubes. Anything you do with the sheetmetal is defined and overtaken with these tubes. We had a roller, and it was time to work on sheetmetal design. I felt really conflicted on how to get it right, so I decided to use clay as OEM’s do. Automotive Modeling Clay allows you to infinitely change shapes, proportions, and lines very quickly. You can absolutely get everything exactly the way you like before heading into metal or some kind of composite. Here lies the problem too though: with such ability to change its hard to stop working the clay and not just modifying it over and over till your mind wants to pop!

First I chose a style was to mimic the surfaces of Star Wars Airplanes like the Millennium Falcon. I love how they look futuristic but familiar and used in space. Unfortunately, every time I went that direction, it just didn’t look right. Very frustrating but finally I started down a path I liked and went with it. 150 hours or so later, I had one side finished in clay ready for reproduction in Metal. Bryan Heidt aka “SuperB” has been at Fuller Moto for probably 8 years now. He’s a very competent builder and has a good eye for style. He took the clay pieces apart, and patterned each one…then shaping piece by piece in steel. We considered Aluminum as we usually do, but there were so many intricate shapes and risk of shaking that steel became the choice. I particularly like how the scoop under the frame turned out, that was a really hard part to design and build. One side is the functional scoop, while the coils are mounted hidden within the other side.

With the bike finished in bare metal, I needed to pick finishes for the sheetmetal. The customer and I liked black I wanted something interesting to pop and give interest to the applied coating. Toiling, thinking, and up one night late watching Kate Beckinsale in the “Underworld” Movies, ouch does she look good in Black Leather! In fact, I watched two in a row being mesmerized by that outfit. Here’s the idea! I called the owner and said “Let’s cover the sheetmetal and make it look like Kate Beckinsale’s bum! Leather and Lace. He loved it!

Cato’s Upholstery who has been featured with Joe Martin on Velocity’s “Iron Resurrection” got the call for upholstery. Cato covered each piece in smooth leather we sourced from Relicate Leather and it’s very silky smooth. Cato did a killer job covering the bike (check out all the little surfaces around the headlight) Speaking of the headlight, it’s also steel with a custom made light housing and plexiglass shield. We made a mold then warmed the plexi, making a drape form. Interior Led Holders were made of aluminum and polished. Wes Hines at Fuller Moto wired and plumbed the “Millennium” up, all nice and tidy. She sounds nasty…” Fuller Moto (photos @ H. Roesler for C. Huze)

The Millennial Chopper is now all tuned up and ready for some warm weather to get shakedown miles. It will be at the “Caffeine And Octane At The Beach” March 16-19 with many other Fuller Moto bikes and cars. Bryan hopes to see you there.

23 Responses to “Millennium Chopper. Crafted In Metal. Wrapped In Leather.”

  1. 1 Terry Climer Feb 20th, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Very unusual. Like it.

  2. 2 Jeffrey Feb 20th, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I must say that originality is the big +. Execution looks excellent. Nice seeing something different.

  3. 3 P. Hamilton Feb 20th, 2017 at 9:06 am

    It’s from 3/4 rear that it looks the best. Great job.

  4. 4 Grady Keiser Feb 20th, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Not my type of bike, but I agree it’s very original and very well built.

  5. 5 JohnyLetGo Feb 20th, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Looks cool, but not for the rain…

  6. 6 SIGFREED Feb 20th, 2017 at 9:41 am

    When last have you polished your tank – with KIWI?

  7. 7 Mazz Feb 20th, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Craftsmanship I am sure is incredible as other of Bryan’s work, the design, well, it’s not for me but I am sure the youngsters will love it.

  8. 8 Boomer Feb 20th, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Very nice blend of some old and new styles along with newer engineering concepts like using the engine as the third member. Well done and well thought out.

    Only downside is it’s a rigid but I guess in the custom build world it’s hard to get away from that and stay lean and clean.

  9. 9 Mike Feb 20th, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    It looks light and nimble. I’m 66 and I like it. Looks like a bike to be ridden and enjoyed. Art bikes don’t mean didley to me.

  10. 10 Dave Blevins Feb 20th, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I like it.

  11. 11 Thomas Bradley Feb 21st, 2017 at 6:46 am

    First, surprised by the lines. Then, it grew on me. Like.

  12. 12 Barry Feb 21st, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Lots of interesting details.

  13. 13 J. Hensfield Feb 21st, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Love it when builders do something very different.

  14. 14 Greeko Feb 21st, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Looks like it’s ready to jump. Both agressive and elegant. A chopper in tuxedo.

  15. 15 Hillbilly Jim Feb 21st, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I met Bryan Fuller at The Barber Vintage Festival several years ago where he had a couple killer cafe racers on display. I have followed his career pretty closely since then and it is my opinion that he is capable of much better work than this. Come on Bryan looks unfinished. Where is all the fine detail that we have come to expect from your fine work. You know you can do better brother!

  16. 16 Zenaldo Feb 21st, 2017 at 11:51 am

    It’s clean for sure…not sure about using an inverted front end on a rigid..seems counter intuitive..

  17. 17 Jim Palam Feb 21st, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    While not my cup of tea, she’s certainly an attention-getter. Have to disagree with Hillbilly Jim; I see a high-quality, unique build – with a lot of attention to detail. Sometimes, less is more. Well-done Bryan.

  18. 18 burnout Feb 21st, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Man that’s different! I like it a lot!! peace

  19. 19 Bowery Boy Feb 21st, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Call me “Old School”, but I look for something that you can ride comfortably, not a fan of metal sculpture.

  20. 20 bigalyts Feb 22nd, 2017 at 12:16 am

    What s Refreshing looking Custom that looks like NOTHING. What a Beautiful thing. How much, anyone know?

  21. 21 coma Feb 22nd, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Hello beauty! Where have you been all my life?

  22. 22 Iron Horse Feb 22nd, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I usually like Brian’s work, but I can’t say that I’m a fan of this one. Each to their own I guess.

  23. 23 takehikes Feb 22nd, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Great fab work but he should stick to cars. The neck area is just awful, angles and flow of the bike all wrong.

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Cyril Huze