Threepence Moto is a full custom and service shop located in Denver, Colorado. Threepence was started as a closed to the public custom shop in 2010 by founding owner Wesley Case. With Alex Krill coming on board in early 2015, the decision was made to open to the public to provide an unfilled niche in the Denver motorcycle scene. Being one of the few shops in Denver that works on most pre 1995 bikes, the customs and restorations coming out of the shop or eclectic and always changing.
Both Wes and Alex come from a culinary background but have always been fascinated and worked on anything with a motor since a young age.
Owners: Threepence Moto - Wes Case & Alex Krill
Year/Make/Model: 1981 Harley-Davidson XLH1000
Fabrication: Threepence Moto
Build Time: 2 months
Year/Type/Size: 1981 XLH 1000
Carburetor: Harley CV
Exhaust: Threepence Moto
Air Cleaner: Kim Boyle - BCM
Rake/Stretch: 3” stretch, 40 degrees rake
Front Fender: OEM FXR
Rear Fender: Fabricated and Molded in house
Gas Tank: Wassel
Oil Tank: Gasbox
Handlebars: Andrew Haley
Mirrors: Mirrors are for pu$$!es
Hand Controls: Stock
Foot Controls: Threepence Moto Jammer Pegs / stock mid controls
Headlight: Speed Kings
Taillight: Custom LED
Turn Signals: Same as mirrors
License Mount: Sill on the steel rack
Seat: Threepence Moto / Billy “Mountain Dew” Murphy
Custom & Special Details or Accessories:
Molded tail section, 16 gauge steel leg fairings with mounts, 2 into 1 pipe with flat cone muffler, modified gasbox oil bag, modified cam and sprocket covers, custom oil cap, bottom 5 fins shaved off jugs, split rockers, Tokico front calipers, lace and sun ray gold and rainbow flake paint done by Josh Allison, port and polished heads, Andrew “Y Grind” cams, high compression pistons, Andrews aluminum pushrods, front mount oil cooler, Lyndall brake rotors, sprocket, hubs and wheels, points cover engraved by Fritz Haenel, custom race stand because….racing.
Here at Threepence we work mostly with pre 1980 metric bikes. The majority of our customs and restorations have been the ic Honda, Yamaha, and various Italian bikes, so the idea of building a chopper has always been in the forefront of our minds.
Alex acquired the bike with the idea to turn it into a dirty budget bike for himself, but after a case of beer and a trip to the strip club we decided to go a completely different route. As with all bikes that come out of our shop it had to be bitchin as f*ck but also something that can be ridden as a daily rider.
The bike itself is a 1981 Harley-Davidson Sportster. Purchased as just a motor and frame, the possibilities were endless in design. We ended up deciding on a FXR/Baby Dresser design that we hadn’t seen anyone do out of a Sportster.
Being a “Baby Dresser” the bike needed a few things to really bring our idea to fruition. The Connoly’s quarter fairing and custom leg fairings were key to making this happen. Made from 16 gauge steel the hand shaped lowers were accented by the mustang style tail section on the bike. After 20 different ideas for paint design and color, the current black and gold was decided on. We brought the bike to a good friend Josh Allison of Crybaby Cycles to do the 70’s style paint and airbrush work. Even with a full plate and a custom build of his own, Josh managed to knock out the full scope of work in 7 days like a fucking champion.
As good as the bike looks, it has to run right as well. The Harley Ironhead has a reputation as the worst motor they ever made. Because of this we decided to do our best to make it look as little like a Sportster motor as we possibly could. By splitting the rockers, shaving 5 fins off the jugs, and cutting the cam and sprocket covers, we changed the initial response to the bike. The two into one pipes were made in house, and the coffin style cone was a happy accident. We decided on high compression Wiseco pistons, Andrews Y grind cams and pushrods, as well as a port and polish. With the work done to the motor as well as shaving the jugs we decided to angle the lower fairings inward as well as add an external oil cooler for any heat issues we faced.
A 39mm dual disk Showa front end is balanced by a 19 inch billet wheel and floating rotors, and in the rear is a 16 inch with custom sprocket all by Paul Lyndall at Lyndall Brakes.
We went with a stock Harley CV carburetor for reliability and an air filter sent out next day air by Kim Boyle to get us on the road the next day for the One Moto in Portland Oregon. LED brake lights and a Speed Kings headlight keep us legal. Billy “mountain dew” Murphy was used for the stitching on the seat. The custom bars made by Andrew Haley and exhaust were nickel plated by DGM Chrome in Pennsylvania. Lots of “oh sh!t I forgot” parts were got at Blacktop Choppers from Matt Huntley. We couldn’t have done this build without the help of our friends, colleagues, families, and countless cases of beer.
Words by: Alex Krill
Photos by: Jay Cagney