Motortopia: Where your passion parks

Motortopia: Where your passion parks.

Why Join Motortopia? Show off what’s in your garage... Add Photos! Keep a Journal! Add Videos! Sell Parts!

  1. cars
  2. bikes
  3. boats
  4. planes

Cars > Challenges > “Billy Bike” Vs “79 sporty”


2vette2camaro’s Profile Photo


Harrison, Arkansas
United States

bjennum1’s Profile Photo


Omaha, Nebraska
United States


1981 Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster

“Billy Bike”

1979 harley davidson sportster copper

“79 sporty”

Photo of: 1981 Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster
Photo of: 1979 harley davidson sportster

Head to Head


About “Billy Bike”

I bought this running 1981 Sportster on Craigslist to begin building and in the meantime ran across a 1970 Ironhead for the money that I just couldn't pass up. The husband had found a 1937 ULH 80" Flathead and while he was negotiating the deal, I saw a 70 sitting in the back, offered up a low price and the guy took it. So I learned to ride a Harley on a right-hand shift bike that even the local "Harley guys" thought was a huge accomplishment, but I digress.. The 70 was cool and all but really just an average bike although it did ride good and have some old school appeal.

On the 81 I wanted something that I just hadn't seen before, a bike that didn't scream "I am obviously owned by a WOMAN".... a bike that looked like it would just kick your ass the minute you walked by it, so began the "Billy Bad-ass" style of bikes that I am in love with.

First off, my husband, Gabe and I work in a shed, calling ourselves Boneyard Choppers, outta Harrison, Arkansas. A small shack that the last owners used to raise rabbits in. That being said, we started to collect parts. I got a set of fat boy wheels for Christmas from Gabe and since I decided I was building a bike around the fat boys, it was time to decide some other things that I KNEW I wanted for sure- a velocity stack, a custom seat pan, broomsticks and some good ole flames on the tank.

We bought and welded on a hardtail and the bike began to progress. Course as any good project goes, the closer you think you are to the final project the further away you really are and it ends up costing more money that you have. So you sell a couple hedgehogs, mention to the buyers that you are building a Harley and get lucky and one of them brings you a sack full of parts, including the "can't live without" E-grips that I love on the broomsticks.

Designing a bike from start to finish and not knowing how to convey that because you haven't quite seen anything like it before proves to be a daunting task with lots of cussing going on between you and your husband, but in the end it became exactly what I wanted. I got a seat pan from Bass Metalcraft and drew up a design on a brown paper bag one Sunday, cut and dyed the leather and added some screws to tie it all in and the one of a kind seat was born for less than $100.00. Added the scissor springs and yeah, the bike has no shock absorbency. When we are out people can't believe I am riding this bike and always say "That bike doesn't have a seat", guess they mean it's not a COUCH and it probably doesn't LOOK very comfortable but other than hitting huge dips in the road it rides just fine.

I didn't want turn signals, speedo and all that other extra stuff that makes a bike look bad. Black with some chrome, all ya need, right? The wide glide front end we got off of a Shovel gives it that beefy look and cutting the drag pipes down also lends it that extra appeal.

We built the bike in secret cause round here, if someone sees what you are doing, they go and copy it and while you're putting the final touches on your bike, they have their bike out on the street and then it looks like YOU copied them, therefore, secrecy is better. When the bike made it's debut at a local 13 Rebels show, it took Best of Show which was pretty exciting. Seven shows later and I had won Best of Show/ People's Choice at six of them.

I'm currently building a 56 Panhead in my living room, again in secrecy. I am currently working out, eating right and losing weight just so I can KICKSTART this bike. Who knew I would love Harleys as much as I love my cars but you just never know where life is gonna take you. You only live once so you might as well make the best of it. You will see us cruising on the old bikes in Arkansas and Missouri proving "Old Iron Never Dies".

About “79 sporty”

I had a chance to purchase this for restoration


Specs for “Billy Bike”

Owner- Chris Gibbany
Year- 1981 Harley Sportster
Assembly- Boneyard Choppers- Gabe and Chris Gibbany
Build time- 6 months
Engine- 1200 Ironhead
Cases- Stock
Rods- Stock
Pistons- 8:1 Big Bore
Cylinders- Axtell Big Bore
Heads- Stock
Cam- Harley Performance
Ignition- Dyna Dual Fire
Carb- S&S Super E
Pipes- Drag
Air Cleaner- Velocity Stack
Trans- Stock
Primary- Stock
Clutch- Kevlar
Frame- Modified stock
Rake- 32 degrees
Stretch- 4 inches in backbone
Forks- Shovelhead Wide Glide
Fork Length- Stock
Additional rake in trees- 5 degrees
Front wheel- 1998 Fat boy
Rear wheel- 1998 fat boy
Front tire- M90/16 Dunlop
Back tire- 150/16 Dunlop
Front brake- OEM dual disc
Rear brake- Aftermarket disc
Fuel tank- OEM Superglide
Oil tank- Handmade
Fenders- Steel trailer fender on rear
Handlebars- Broomstick
Risers- stock
Sissy bar- Fender strut
Headlight- 5 1/4 Bates style
Taillight- 1930's Ford
Hand controls- Stock
Grips- E-Grips
Foot Controls- Forward
Pegs- O-ring
Electrical- Minimal
Color- Silver and black
Graphics- Flames
Seat- Baas Metal Craft pan/leatherwork- Boneyard Choppers

Specs for “79 sporty”

1000 cc iron head ingine


Factory Options for “Billy Bike”


Factory Options for “79 sporty”

front and rear disc brakes, electronic ignition


Mods for “Billy Bike”

See previous entries

Mods for “79 sporty”

custom paint, rear fender modification.


Photo Albums

2vette2camaro has no Car photo albums.

Photo Albums

“79 sporty” has no photo albums.


Vote This challenge has ended!

Points for Billy Bike Total Votes Points for 79 sporty
15 4 5


Comments on this challenge 1 of 1

Log in to post comments.

Read comments on this challenge (1 of 1)

Log in to view challenge comments.

Download Drive Magazine Now!


    Special Offers & Deals



Cars > Challenges > “Billy Bike” Vs “79 sporty”

Print your passion at (