The (north) American way of life has permeated the whole world, through movies, music, and TV shows and we, the poor cousins from South America are, perhaps, the biggest suckers of it, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. We sure love the European and Asian stuff as well but nothing sends a shiver down the spine like the sound of an American V8, and of course, the sound of an American V-twin as well.
For this reason, I wasn’t surprised when I found out that this masterpiece was built by a small custom shop, located in the city of Cordoba, Argentina; a shop called Lucky Custom
The project started with a mission: to celebrate the shop’s 10th anniversary. Even before the first sketch was drawn, Lucas Layum, the owner of the Lucky Custom, already knew this machine would be inspired by the “dry lake racers”, the kind of bikes you see breaking speed records at Bonneville or El Mirage.
There is something magical about those machines, they are so simple, so pure, every part you see has one purpose: speed. The Lucky Custom faithfully followed this design and they called it “Cheetah”.
The Lucky’s team started the project with nothing more than an engine, a 1337 cc (81,58 cubic inches) that came from a 1983 Dyna.
The displacement was increased to 1450 cc with the addition of bigger, forged pistons, and the engine was heavily reworked internally.
The cherry on top is certainly the turbo, which came from an Audi A6. With all those tricks the original power output of 67HP jumped to well over 100HP. To keep the engine heat from cooking the rider’s balls, the team installed an external oil cooler.
The next step was the frame, to keep things simple, a tubular steel hardtail unit was chosen but for the front suspension, the team exceeded themselves: they wanted a vintage look but instead of buying an “over the counter” springer forks, they created they own, gorgeous retro-style set. First, they removed the original forks from a 1960s Honda Dream, the piece was then reworked to accommodate the much bigger front wheel and the internal springs were beefed. Slits were cut into the sides to expose the springs.
The last touch on this true work of art was the headlight, the piece came from a 1940 Ford Sedan and it matches the bike like it was custom built for it.
The vintage personality is of this bike is completed with the adoption of a two-piece gas tank, while the left side half is the actual tank, the right side is where the fuel pump is concealed.
For the rims, the Lucky Custom team went over the top with their boldness, they chose a set of 23 inches, 5 spoke wire rims, in a perfect mix of classic and modern styles. The wheels are wrapped with Avon tires, giving an extra racing touch to the project.
The custom bikes universe can be a very wild one, it is amazing how the designers can create so much using such a small platform as a motorcycle. Out of hundreds of custom projects done by the shops every year, only a couple will stand out for their audacity and beauty, and that is the case with the Cheetah.
The bike is not exactly new, it was released in 2017, but it is so special that I had to bring it to pages of TCM, I hope you agree with me.