This past summer, Metabo made a stop at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an American motorcycle convention held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota. While there, we got to meet hundreds of people from around the country who are passionate about their bikes – passionate about how they look and passionate about how they perform.
One of the most intriguing and interesting people we met was Bryan Stalcup, master plumber by day, talented bike craftsman by night (and whatever other free time he can manage). Bryan’s story is an interesting one. The first time he ever attempted to build a bike was in 2009. Stalcup reminisces, “Three years ago, I decided I wanted to create a bike with a rear wheel sans hub or axle that would sit on an industrial machine bearing. I had never done anything like this before. I am not a fabricator, but it was something I wanted to try. The only trouble was I had to find a place to get the bearing I needed as well as other parts of the bike. I decided to go to a local metal scrap yard and look around. I wasn’t disappointed.”
Picking through the scraps and using his hands-on problem-solving skills honed as a tradesman, the Arlington, Texas native was able to garner enough materials to create Big Hubless, an award-winning, custom ride, fabricated from metal and scraps found at the scrap yard.
“Between working and keeping up with the schedule of my daily life, it took me a little over a year to complete the bike. Upon completion, I decided to enter it into the 2010 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Garage Shop Fabricator Contest, where Big Hubless won first place.” Big Hubless was chosen as the first-place winner because the bike had the most custom fabricated work of any bike entered into the contest.
“There were no plans, no drawings, nothing to work from. Everything on Big Hubless was trial and error. I just sort of taught myself along the way. Picking and choosing tools that I knew would work for my application,” explains Stalcup.
Much of Big Hubless is rounded so there was a lot of grinding and welding done on the bike. “I used Metabo’s pipe and tube belt sander on much of the bike to create a smooth, presentable finish. The tool was perfect to blend the Big Hubless curves- it’s lightweight, easy to use and got the job done fast. I’ll continue to use it on all of my projects and I’m hoping to try one of Metabo’s grinders next to round out my grinding and finishing arsenal. You have to have the best tools to make the best bike.”
Because of his success with Big Hubless, Stalcup has been featured on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet and is in the process of working on his next masterpiece “The Transformer”, a motorcycle with an extending front and back end that stretches out and drops down, fully controlled by the rider. The bike has gone through some growing pains, but Stalcup is taking his time. He has his sights set on the ‘Builder’s Choice Award’ this time.
Look for Bryan and Metabo at future Sturgis events. If you have used a Metabo tool in your custom work, we would love to hear from you!