Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Knuckle Head for a Metal Head

Metal and motorcycles... two of my favourite things.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered, this kick-ass classic Harley-Davidson Knuckle Head, belonged to a true rocker!

Albeit, with some slight modifications thanks to Jesse James of West Coast Choppers. Gilby Clarke owns the keys to this beauty!

Clarke, formerly of Guns N’ Roses, is no stranger to the world of custom motorcycles.

Apparently the folks over at West Coast Choppers had already put together a 1965 Panhead for the rocker. But, he had other ideas.

Gilby had his sights set on an old a Knuck, and wouldn't settle. So... you guessed it, Jesse James and crew built Gilby this rad 1941 Harley EL.

While a passing glance may leave one under the impression this sled is vintage, like any other custom WCC designs and builds, Jesse added a few unique details only he and his shop can craft.

West Coast did the frame and springer front end to the bikes OG specs. The Knuck itself - modified to the nuts. Unlike it's predecessors, this bad boy is now 71 cubic inches.

This sweet ride is an Exile Cycles bobber, built by Russell Mitchell.

Here's a Q&A the folks at WCC blog did with Gilby on his 41 Knuck.


A while ago we built this sweet 1941 Knucklehead for Guitar legend Gilby Clarke. Now that he has had the bike a while and put some serious miles on it, we figured it would be cool to check in and see how the old Knuck is doing!

WCC: So how did you end up getting hooked up with West Coast Choppers?

Gilby: I had been on a hunt for an early knuckle. my friend Grant was over at west coast one day and Jesse had one sitting in his office. Jesse had built my pan motor many moons ago, so I called & asked about it. it was pretty bad ass as it was. but it needed the touch. so off to work they went…

WCC: What do you like best about your Knuckle, and whats is it like to own a West Coast Choppers built bike?

Gilby: I like that it still looks like a classic knuckle, but when you look at the details it’s all West Coast Choppers. I love the bike, it’s my main ride. The first ride I took was the Biltwell bash, I strapped a sleeping bag & tent on it and hit the hills.

WCC: What other bikes do you have?

Gilby: I have a 1965 Panhead, a 1947 Knuckle & a 2001 Fatboy.

WCC: Tell everyone about what you are up to these days!

Gilby: I’m a guitarist & producer… it’s getting tougher to make a living as a musician these days, but so far so good. i just had a bad accident on my Panhead in January (hit n’ run) and I had two surgeries on my leg, so I haven’t been able to perform live since then.

Ace ♠

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