Northern California: Inside The Shop Of Orangevale Choppers
First thing you notice when you meet Mike Dyas' is his massive hands and fingers. After years of working on concrete, it makes sense but them hands can do a lot more than smoothing concrete.
Mike Dyas working on his Shovelhead chop.
Northern California, the state capital Sacramento. Not too far from there is Orangevale. Mike Dyas’ Orangevale Choppers is in a building that’s been a chopper shop for decades, you can tell from just looking the building. Mike rents half of the shop from his dad, White Mike, and keeps himself busy building choppers.
White Mike bought this shop/building 24 years ago. Before that, the shop belonged to a person who was a member of a local club. When you enter his shop, first thing you notice is the smell. That old shop smell and organized but not a “lab” looking motorcycle shop. To me, it’s how a chopper shop should look, an old school chopper shop.
Thinking about changing the front end up on this one.
Mike Dyas and his father White Mike in front of their shop.
Mike was born in between white Mike and his mother who is Korean, coming from a true biker blood. He had a tough up bringing with his sister when his mother left them to be parentless, but years later he reconnected with his father White Mike and today they share the same building although they each have their own businesses.
Another one of Mike Dyas' killer builds.
Beautiful Knucklhead build by Mike
The Sleeper Chopper Builder of Northern California
Not too many people outside of our area knows who Mike Dyas is, in fact he is THE sleeper chopper builder of Northern California in my opinion. He can build motors, fabricate, paint, basically he does everything that goes into building a chopper.
From looking at his builds, you can see his keen eye for style and aesthetics in the most simplified way. Mike does not seem to care for any attention, but I can feel his intensity towards his craft in a nonchalant way. I would recommend keeping an eye on what he does for the upcoming build, you won’t be disappointed!
Getting ready for some lunch!
Words and photos by Ken Nagahara
Photos of Mike and White Mike's Chopper Shop
Lots of projects goin on around here.
That red though...
Projects projects projects.
Doing some wiring.
Parts and bikes and bikes and parts.
Another great angle of this killer Shovelhead build.
Shoooo. That motor doh.
This is a really interesting and cool way to mount a fender and seat.
Cone Shovel just waiting to go in one of Mike's next builds.
All kinds of great things getting worked on at Mike's Shop.
White Mike working on front end of this chopper.
Rear wheel installation.
Service and parts.
B-side on the Knucklehead
Mike and his daily rider.
Mock up stages of Grimes bike before finished, see finished bike below.
Bike Spotlight: Mike Dyas' 1966 Fl Shovelhead
So clean and mean.
Year/Make/Model: 1966 Harley-Davidson FL
Build time: 9 Months
Absolutely beautiful 1966 Fl motor with duel DC carbs.
Year/Make/size: 1966 Harley-Davidson FL 80" Conversion
Carburetor: Duel DC 12's
Exhaust: 1, 5/8"
Air Cleaner: Old STF Conversion
Year/Type: 1948 Harley-Davidson Wishbone frame.
Rake/Stretch: up 2.5", not out, and prob 34 degree rake.
Type/Brand: Old skinny springer
Front Size: 21" Alloy Akront
Rear Size: 16" Alloy Akront
Grimes tank design brought to real life.
Paint by: Thudd
Sissy and tail light integration done just right.
Front Fender: Only in the snow.
Rear Fender: Angular
Gas Tank: Grime Design brought to life
Handlebars: Saggy T's
Grips: Fun inter web find.
Mirrors: Only for the Cops
Hand Controls: Throttle
Foot Controls: Clutch, brake, and kick
Headlight: Fun Bosch, Unidentified marker
Taillight: Re-Purposed Military
Turn Signals: Manual
License Mount: Sturdy
Seat: The seat was another cover by Mike, (Miles Cycle Seats here in Sacramento)
Custom or special details or Accessories: Pangea Speed's Fuel Filler Bung, Thanks Andy!
Saggy T-Bars Ha!
Bikes a 1966, It’s the 23 HD for 1966. Matching heads cam cover and cases all cast dated in late 65. The basket motor was bought from Harry Fried form the Fried Brothers Band. The cylinders are what I believe to be later Pool aluminum cylinders. The motor from that point on was decided to be built out of as much alloy parts as possible so, early Panhead aluminum lifter blocks, aluminum pushrod tubes, and an early modified aluminum oil pump. It’s got Truit and Osborn 80” wheels with +.040”, 74” pistons. The heads I ported and modified the Branch Solex manifold to take the DC-2, and the DC-12.
Skinny is the name of the game.
The frame is a 1948 wishbone. I had to replace the backbone and a portion of the seat post and at these point we decided to raise the head piece. The dimensions of the frame ended up being up two inches and out zero with a 34 degree rake.
B-sides looking crisp and clean.
The trans is a 1951 and got the full rebuild along with the motor. A lot of small hand made items were key for us. Controls, bars, primary, oil lines, etc. The transmission has been raised 3/4” round about and the stock oil tank shrunk the same amount.
Another look at Grime's Custom tank design
The fuel tank was an idea that Grime was adamant about having. We played around with the shape and idea but what it ended up being was exactly what he wanted. First drawings of his to final product aren’t too far off. The skull portion was an experimental part for me but going in with confidence on finish work helped push through the whole process. It was thin stainless sheet that was hammer formed as individual panels, polished individually, then welded and final polished. The tank was broke and hand made then the skull was fitted and welded to the final tank shell. I then tacked welding rod along the transition seam of the skull and tank to be able to break the different metals once painted.
These dual carbs are wild.
Custom coffin / prism style tank.
This custom motorcycle seat looks real comfy.
She's a real looker.