Everything that Paul Binford ever wanted to put into a custom bike he packed into the one he and his crew just finished.
A Harley-Davidson Panhead engine. A pair of 30-inch custom wheels. An airbag system with a remotely triggered actuator that sets the bike to the ground when it’s not being ridden. An air-seat to cushion the ride.
And, of course, the brass-knuckle accents that have become synonymous with his full-service shop that has racked up award after award for the burly and bold designs that Binford and his guys are able to think up and build.
So on Monday night, when hundreds of people packed into Rookie’s Sports Bar and Grill to watch the episode of Discovery Channel’s #BikerLive and vote on the slick machine that Binford had displayed in the middle of the room, there was a raucous atmosphere.
How often do you see somebody representing Manteca bring their flair and style in such an artistic – and in all honesty, tough – way?
“I think that from start-to-finish we showed what we have and put everything that we could into that build – that’s normally about an 8-month process and we did it in about three weeks,” Binford said. “I think that we grew as a team and were able to come together even though sometimes you butt heads when you’re working in such a small shop and you’ve got a film crew and a sound crew and 16 additional guys around.
“If somebody can beat us then my hat is off to them – I know we did the best at what we do and worked to put Manteca on the map. I just hope there’s no politics in any of it.”
Binford worked closely with his motor technician Tanner Shackley to come up with the bike’s design – not always agreeing with the best way to proceed. Painter Rico Saldana put the flair into the intricate metalwork, and fabricator Johnny Matthews helped with some of the metalwork required for such a radical custom job. Paul’s son Paul Jr. rounded out the team, and was part of a hilarious segment shown during the series where his father asks him to hold the heavy motor in place and then leaves him there.
But a win wasn’t in the cards Monday night.
Binford’s was the last of the three shops showcased – Lemoore-based RKB Kustom Speed was one and TPJ Customs of Acampo was the other – and the final bike was shown just minutes before the live Twitter voting wrapped up for the night. Binford’s came in second on the show, much to the dismay of the hundreds that packed into Rookie’s Sports Bar and Grill Monday night for a viewing party and a chance to take a closer look at the bike that Binford and his crew managed to complete in just under a month.
“I think they got a raw deal going last like that,” said Rob Rasmussen. “I think that they had the best bike out of the three. But they got the exposure and people know that they build bikes like that in Manteca now.
“Those guys have no reason to hang their head – they built one helluva bike.”