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Bad & G Customs Leather And Brass Masterpiecebarnet magazine
Written by Emile Berube Photos By Jack “Tight Leather Pants” Cofano
Friday, 29 April 2016 17:24


c1ca95e24fbe1ede6a9d61645099f1fd L  There’s one thing I really hate about the Internet and that’s those silly abbreviations like LOL and OMG that usually are a way of saying nothing when you really have nothing to say, but you want to act like you do. But, I’m so utterly flamboozled by the intricate detail work and the overall look of this 1973 Harley Sportster built by Grigoriy Georgiev of Bad & G Customs that all I can honestly say is. “OMG!” Man-o-man, that is one unbelievable custom Sporty with layers of creative depth you have to take the time to appreciate.


 

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 Grigoriy’s not only a super-talented leather worker which is his main line of work at Bad & G Customs in Williamsburg, Virginia, but a helluva custom motorcycle builder too. This old Ironhead is ungodly beautiful in its own way and there’s not a single piece or part on this build that hasn’t had a lot of time, effort and imagination put into it. And, I’m not just talking about all the beautiful leatherwork, but the rest of the detailing and metalwork that take this build into its own sweet place. It’s not sleek, it’s not swoopy, but it sure is a looker.

The combination of hand tooled leather and the warm look of brass throughout the build makes it busy looking, but the soft overall and welcoming feel the combo gives this hardcore Ironhead ride mellows everything out. It’s something you just want to run your hand over and drink in the feel. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could feel the hours and hours of Grigoriy’s sweating the details working with hammers, punches and chisels on hit at a time. Steel is real, leather is sweet and brass kicks as. Put ‘em all together around an old Ironhead that’s mechanically dressed to the nines in engraving and you’ve got an original custom motorcycle if there ever was one. Okay, okay, I’m gushing too much about this bike, but I can’t help myself.

I love the look and the visceral feel of riding an old Ironhead Sporty when they’re set up right and Grigoriy’s 1973 version of a 1000cc’s of AMF fury looks right up my alley. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the vintage SU carb with its leather-covered air cleaner boldly sticking out on a elbow of engraved aluminum tubing didn’t catch my eye first. That’s just not something you see everyday and it harks back to the innovative early custom builders of yore. The machined brass tip on the top of the float chamber adds just that extra bit of pizzazz. This setup is like its own motorcycle build and I could be happy with just that, but there’s so much more.

Oh you know little things like the beautifully engraved heads or the machined brass pushrod tubes with four blocks of aluminum noting its 1973 heritage or the tightly wrapped to the engine, left-exit header-wrapped exhaust with brass wire wrapped around and around the wrap. That’s a lot of wrapping for sure, but I think I can safely assume that Grigoriy is a very, very patient person. He also used this wire trick throughout the bike wherever something needed to be locked down like his cloth-wrapped wires. It’s cool as hell and it works.

What really kills me, though, is the engraving on the primary and cam chest that seriously depicts what’s happening underneath. Just take a quick look at the way the engraved sprocket flows into the drive chain or the details of the cam chest or the primary chain and clutch at work on the other side and tell me that’s not ultra cool. It’s metal ghosting at its tasteful best. And I can’t forget to mention that cool beast of a right-side hand shifter that wants all of us to imbibe in our inner bad boy and work the hell out of it.

In another moment of really true admission, I will say that the first thing I really did notice was 73 Leatherhead’s front end. I mean, how could you not be drawn to a leaf spring front end with a solid wheel wearing the ribbiest of rib tires you’ll ever see on a motorcycle? To be honest (again), I don’t think I’d enjoy riding on those Firestones for my own personal reasons that I won’t bore you with, but, damn, do they look cool. At first I got a hint of military, but they reminded me of something else I remember seeing years ago on an old midget racer a neighbor had in the back of his garage. I’m thinking these are Coker Tire midget racer reproductions that happen to come in Old School motorcycle sizes, but it’s still only a guess.

The front end is a collage of brass bits and steel tubing that has points of interest everywhere you look. Normally on an Indian-style leaf spring front end the spring is the star, but here it recedes a bit into the background. Maybe it’s all the brass bits like the huge acorn nuts and risers that looks like chess pieces or the “We the People” engraved knife in its hand tooled leather sheath sitting loud and proud on the fork leg, but to me, the spring was almost missing with all the other going’s on. At first I thought the solid wheels were off an older Fat Boy, but after looking a bit more I’m not so sure. I can’t help but think Grigoriy fabbed these up out of who knows what, but either way, they really fit the hard core look this bike exudes just sitting there.

You really don’t have to go too crazy with bodywork when you’re deliciously covering it in hand tooled leather, but that didn’t stop Grigoriy from tweaking the details a bit. Check out the Mason jar-style glass fuel and oil tank caps on the Sporty tank and the cylindrical oil tank under the sprung solo seat. Glass is a neat twist on a piece that’s usually metal or plastic of some kind to keep unwanted combustion at bay and adds a bit of danger flavor I like. I think the DOT would have a fit with that one if one of the car or motorcycle manufacturers tried that route. It’s got its practicalities, though, as you should always be able to check your fuel easily.

In my little world, Grigoriy Georgiev and Bad & G Customs have come out of nowhere and hit me hard with this absolutely dynamite build. I can’t wait to see what he turns out next, but I know I’ll like it. Any bike this beautiful that also happens to look rough, tough and ready to rumble is okay by me. Plus it’s an Ironhead and I’ve already spilled the beans on how much I like them. They’re their own animal.

For more info on Bad & G Customs, visit https://badgcustoms.com/ or check ‘em out of Facebook.

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