It was 42 years ago that the low budget smash hit film Easyrider was released and changed the way bikers lived forever. Almost as importantly, it was 42 years ago that Peter Fonda rode Captain America into the collective biker heart.
That’s also about the time Trash’s love affair with the Captain America Bike began. But it wasn’t until the early 1990s that he got down to building his own version of what is arguably the most copied bike in the world. But he built his before the kit bikes and mass produced reproductions came out. Trash actually had to build the bike from the ground up.
See, the original Captain America featured in the film was created by Dan Haggerty, of “Grizzly Adams” fame, and a few other wrench types. It was built from a 1953 Hydraglide that had formerly been in service with the Los Angeles Police Department. The chances of being able to start from that point were slim, so Trash got to work.
Most of the motor work on the 74-inch Panhead was done by Scott Yamasaki at Scott’s Motors. Scott helped Trash with much of the build, primarily motor work, and brought the heads from a 1948 Harley to life for this build. The 4-speed transmission is an accurate build made up of parts by Cal Products and RevTech.
The whole thing is mounted in a wishbone rigid frame, that was painstakingly worked over to be as correct as possible as the original. Trash gave the frame a 45-degree rake, and threw 12”-over Wide Glide forks on the front, reproducing that stretched, sweeping front end.
The signature peanut tank was no easy addition. Only after a two-year search, did Trash find the right tank. The other signature element on the bike—the seat, was another epic project. Trash went to Dan Ballard at Bitchn’ Stitchn’ to re-create an accurate seat. On the surface, that’s not a problem, but it took Ballard some time and serious effort to find the right upholstery buttons. Once he found them—they’re upholstery buttons for early 60s Chevrolet models—it took some doing to get them, and then build the seat. There are over 80 of the buttons on the seat…the same kind used on the original movie bike.
That’s just an example of the attention to detail on this motorcycle. Even the rear fender, tucked neatly up under the seat, is accurate. It’s a British product, a Wassel Replacement Fender…commonly known as a Ribbed Limey Fender.
Because trash intended to, and does, ride his Captain America Bike daily, he opted to make it a little more road-worthy than the movie chopper. In addition to a few little things, he added disc brakes, which the original didn’t have. In keeping up appearances though, the rear brake pedal looks like a mechanical brake, but it works a custom built fluid reservoir tucked out of sight up under the frame. He also added a set of four additional bullet-style taillights.
“I knew I was going to ride this bike,” Trash explained, “so I opted for a little more safety than they had in the movie.”
Trash’s obsession with detail and accuracy goes beyond the bike, too. He’s got an exact copy of the jacket Fonda wore in the film, complete with the back flag and arm and breast stripes. He’s also tracked down the style glasses worn by Fonda. In short, this may be one of the most accurate reproductions of Captain America in the country.
“It’s a labor of love,” Trash said. “I just love it.”
To complete this all-American bike, we could only use an all-American girl. We found her in Chasity. She’s a biker-raised hottie who not only fills out a bikini well, but knows how to make those Peter Fonda sunglasses work for her, too. And…she makes the bike look a little better, donchya think?