BIKE OF THE MONTH SEPTEMBER 2021:Custom Motorcycle Built for Renowned Tattoo Artist Nikko Hurtado


The bike will make its public debut as one of 30 custom motorcycles on display at Michael Lichter’s custom motorcycle gallery at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Photos and story courtesy of Jeff Millard, Brand Amp

From sculptures to painted masterpieces, art comes in all forms and shapes. Today we celebrate the art of custom motorcycles and tattooing, and the parallels between the two.

After more than 15 years  former Indian Larry tandem, Paul Cox and Keino Sasaki, have reunited to design and develop a one-of-a-kind 2022 Indian Chief. The recipient of their work of art? Nonother than renowned tattoo artist Nikko Hurtado, owner of Black Anchor Tattoo. Hurtado is a pioneer in the world of tattooing for his use of color and hyper-realism, creating a unique, loud persona, making him the perfect owner for this masterpiece. 

The bike will make its public debut as one of 30 custom motorcycles on display at Michael Lichter’s custom motorcycle gallery at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Entrance into the gallery is free, and is open August 8 12-4:30pm MT and August 9-11 from 2:00pm-10:00pm MT. In addition, journalists attending the Sturgis Rally can attend the gallery’s annual exhibition “Meet and Greet” at 5pm on Sunday August 8. This is a chance for Michael to introduce all the builders to talk about their bikes in a one-on-one environment.

The Build: 

Utilizing a stock 2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse, featuring the Thunderstroke 116, Paul & Keino worked on their respective elements to bring together a special, one-of-a-kind Indian Chief. 

Other than the motor, drivetrain, and ignition switch box, the 2022 is loaded with custom modifications. Most notable, include:

  • Handmade girder front end (Paul Cox)
  • 21-inch spoke front wheel and Avon tires. (Keino did the spoke lacing on the front wheel.) 
  • Custom-built tank (Keino Sasaki)
    • Tank was designed with consideration for elements like the fuel pump and front mounting points in mind. Keino shaped it in such a way to have the 4-inch round touchscreen display with RideCommand recessed slightly into the top/front of the tank. 
  • Custom exhaust system (Keino Sasaki)
  • Custom rear end set up (Paul Cox)
    • Paul eliminated the stock set up with the larger fender and internal strut, and went with a shorter/bobbed rear fender and more traditional external struts that mount at the swingarm to get the fender to ride close to the tire, while allowing space for travel between the fender and seat. He also mounted a traditional Indian Motorcycle headdress tail light onto the rear fender. 
  • Custom leather seat with the Indian Motorcycle script logo etched into the leather (Paul Cox)
  • Modified clutch to a hand shift/foot clutch (jockey shift) set up (Paul Cox)
  • An old-school head lamp, custom risers and bars were also added.
  • Paul Cox did a custom paint job using his own “Soylent Green” paint with metal flake, and light green/teal pinstriping throughout.

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