There are some custom bike builds that absolutely stop you in your tracks. And THIS is one of them.
Quite possibly the SICKEST SHORT CHOP EVER, this custom Honda Shadow build is packed with the shit we love: TJ's blood, sweat and man-tears. (Joyful tears! No sad sacks of wussiness here!) The majority of this bike's components were made one-off for this build, but many have found their way into the TJ Brutal Customs Parts Collections. Check out the full rundown--with PICS--below.
Right off the bat, you can't help but notice the ground breaking, world famous Springer Front End Kit for the VT600 and the hand machined guilloche on the cases, (aka "engine turning"). For the gas tank TJ took one of his custom peanut tanks for the VT600, chopped 2 inches out of the center and top mounted it, frisco style with a tall filler neck. Then he topped it with a TJ Brutal Customs laser engraved vented gas cap. The tank, the rear fender, E-Tank and exhaust are all Cerakoted! That's right! The same stuff you put on your AR-15 is protecting the tins and exhaust of this short chop. Look closely and you'll also see the Fortis Crucem Carb Cover!
The VT600 comes with a 19" wheel stock and TJ swapped that out in favor of a much more stylish 21" spoked wheel that fit much better with the Springer.
TJ picked this Ford Style LED Tail Light to make it easier on the bike's charging system and to make sure the cagers know when the bike is coming to a stop! And his license plate is mounted with the TJ Brutal Customs original
Slim Fit License Bracket to keep the headlong profile narrow.
Petcocks are a necessary but rarely attractive component of a motorcycle and one can either try to hide functionality or showcase it. Using a Glass Sight Fuel Filter you can see the condition of the filter and ensure that gas is flowing freely from the rear of the tank-mounted petcock. You can also see more of that beautiful engine turning work. There are over 12 hours invested in the engine turning alone!
The Exhaust is based off a set of the Street Sweepers with a one-off heat shield, made from stainless tubing with a Cerakoted, perforated steel pattern in the center to match the tank, fender and E-tank.
The E-Tank was a design TJ released a few years back called the "Erlenmeyer Tank"--a little nod to TJ's love for the X-Files!
The frame has been powder coated with the color Kingsport Grey which TJ saw on some aftermarket BMW wheels before deciding on the color. TJ wanted the frame to be slightly understated with the "neat-o shit" on the bike drawing more of the attention.
TJ chose to use one of the TJ Brutal Customs LS Solo Seats, uncovered, which is pretty non-traditional in every possible way. No fancy leather, just a simple seat that's designed to hold your ass while you split lanes through 5 o'clock traffic! And yes, it's VERY comfy!
The frame has been heavily modified only using portions of the forward frame loop; country bars were removed along with 99% of the stock tabs and wire keepers. TJ used a TJ Brutal Customs 50% Hardtail Kit to give it the classic rigid frame look and feel.
For lighting up front, TJ vacillated between a more modern looking LED versus a more classic but eye-catching look. He settled on an Electroline repop headlight for its slim side profile, its vertical line accents, peaked top and square frame. Everything about this headlight is just super unique and visually different, just like the rest of the bike.
The risers are from the limited run of TJ's hand designed Deca Risers released in 2017 and the top clamp is a custom component designed by TJ as well. It's a variation of the classic Springer top clamp with the pinch bolts located on the outside of the rear legs for more clamping power. Handlebars are the Biltwell flyers.
The story of the Limitless build is one fraught with tears, beers, and way too many engine removals and disassembly/reassembly processes. TJ says this bike literally made him question his knowledge of the Honda Shadows!!! Once the bike was ready for some road testing, a 15 minute ride is all it took to unearth some serious issues. Something didn't sound "right" and the bike was performing worse and worse. The clutch was having issues too, so a new clutch pack was installed. Lo and behold someone had also decided to hack the shit out of the magnetic pickups and done a modification that caused the engine to run far hotter than normal.
Upon reassembly the water pump promptly started to leak all over the lift so a new one was installed. Further diagnostics and a leak down and compression test revealed loss of compression in the front and rear cylinders. Out came the motor again!
With the help of a local Honda mechanic, Stan (who up until recently has been working at the Whittier Fun Center), they were able to diagnose the issues: bad rings and valve guides, and the valves and seats needed to be cut. After a honing job, and valve guides and seals, then cutting the valves and seats, the engine was reassembled and tested. Still no dice. Stan in his infinite wisdom devised a way to mount the heads on a custom machined tool to test the valve seating and perform a leak down test without having to reassemble the motor. After getting the valve seats cut once again, and bench tested with the custom tool, the engine was re-assembled and she started purring like TJ knew a VLX should!
The sexy aluminum
Fortis Crucem carb shield adorns the left side of the carbs where the original, less than haute couture cover sat, bringing a visually exciting element to what's typically a ho-hum part of the bike. Here you can see the E-tank again as well as the very first permutation of what would become the Ucor Tank.
The dual Keihin carbs are mounted with an anodized and laser engraved set of Velocity Stacks. The slide covers have also been replaced in favor of the far more imaginative Finned Slide Covers in polished aluminum finish.
A stock VT600 has the crankcase breather routed to the intake but TJ decided to have a little fun, so he bent up some aluminum tubing and turned the breather into a chain "luber." The stuff from the breather doesn't really do anything special for the chain as the chain is already waxed using Belray chain wax--but making something boring into something fun, is what chopping bikes is all about!
Another element worthy of note is the custom coolant lines TJ bent from aluminum tubing to create a far more visually pleasing piece where there was only boring black rubber hoses before. This modification required a relocation and drop of the stock thermostat giving the bike a beautiful blank space between the head of the motor and the backbone.
TJ wrapped up the ass end of the limitless custom Shadow build with a the TJ Brutal Customs Curved Bobber Fender, and a custom one-off sissy bar.
Here's the full rundown of all the custom parts TJ used on Limitless: