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freedom or death machine build #7

freedom or death machine from 5 days ago

Lets see what has changed since that photo was taken Tuesday morning. First, this whole project couldn’t be more last minute. Those two-week timeline dudes from the old chopper build off shows had it easy.

freedom or death machine today

Jeff works a 40-hour-a-week job at the paint and body shop he owns 40 miles from home. After work, he drives another 40 miles to his garage and works on the FREEDOM OR DEATH MACHINE until three in the morning or later (earlier?). All while being a husband and father. Maybe he should have started the bike shortly after we bought the donor on March 2nd instead of waiting until May 8th.

He wrote the following yesterday at 5 AM:

“Tonight I finally got the rear seat setup done. Trent really wanted his lady to like riding on the back, which would normally suck on a hardtail. But this will be a nice sprung ride, for rider & passenger. It will also double as a luggage rack to strap stuff to when solo. The whole rear seat setup will be removable with two clevis pins.”

sprung passenger seat and luggage rack

A killer sprung thingy for the woman who inexplicably loves me to comfortably ride upon! That doubles as a rack to strap stuff to? Cool.

He’s done much more in the past few days than I can detail here, mostly because he’s too wiped to take decent photos and send me a paragraph of what was done that day. Because he’s backed into a corner. Because he waited to long to begin the build.

So, with a week to go before the bash, Jeff needs 22 hours to haul it here so he better hurry the f**k up. we got the bike in february but he did nothing for this build until this month. jesus…

1979 xs650 carbs

That means today is Saturday and Jeff needs to leave on Wednesday with a complete bike. Four days.


Here is the list we created last night so it would be as we hope it will be:

+ rock’s light lowered.
+ overnight seat pan to matt.
+ call & email rock about mailing pegs.
+ call about lacing wheels. balance them.
+ drum brake covers speed drilled.
+ gold leaf wide on one side of each wheel.
+ paint spokes.
+ paint handlebars.
+ nothing shiny. paint and brush stuff on motor.
+ fuel site gauges.
+ horn.
+ scripture in white, please. gold leaf accents on scripture (to add dimension). or other way around (gold letters, white accents). all lower case letters and exact punctuation. saints logo is black, gold and white. yay.
+ caduceus attached for possible stylized pinstripe design in black and white on end of fender.

Now, you may be wondering about a couple of things there, like “what scripture,” and “what’s a caduceus?”

This scripture:

jeremiah 29: 11-14

It won’t be in the shape of a cross and Pinstripe Chris is going to do some nifty work with it in white and gold leaf on the tanks, which Jeff painted last night.

tanks painted by jeff yarrington

This is a caduceus:

kabbalistic caduceus

You may recognize it as “the doctor’s symbol.” Yes, but in classical history, the caduceus is related to the messenger of the gods, Hermes (and Mercury). This symbol transcends clasical mythology and enters Judeo-Christian lore early when Moses, a messenger of ***, is told by *** to construct a fiery serpent of brass and to display it on a pole (staff) so those who had been bitten by poisonous snakes would be healed by gazing upon it. In the book of John we find the caduceus recalled in relation to Christ: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” This allusion not only makes the serpent potentially divine like Christ (cool!), but it associates Christ with the serpent (whoa!).

Wasn’t a serpent the being that tempted our mythological parents into eating a forbidden fruit that gave us the knowledge of good and evil? And didn’t *** then state, “the man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever?” And didn’t Christ come to give us “everlasting life?”


Wait…. what was that about *** talking to other gods? And what’s with *** making us mortal but promising immortality through his murdered self/son? No wonder people kill in the name of ***. It’s f***ing crazy. I love it.

Anyway, Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian and even Buddhist lore depict serpents, staffs, and wings in various configurations. You like old school? The caduceus is 6,000 years old school.

As a writer, I like to think of myself as a messenger. The FREEDOM OR DEATH MACHINE is a message that says, “don’t be a sucker. You can get a completely unique, 100% custom metric bobber or chopper for under ten grand.”

Matthew from DCW dropped by Jeff’s garage to lace the wheels. Thanks, Matt!

laced 21-inch, 36 spoke wheel

Matt has taken my old flaming skull & crossbones design and did the line drawing. Jeff is over-nighting the seat pan to him Monday and Matt will have Tuesday until Friday at noon, when the FREEDOM or DEATH Motorbike Bash starts, to finish. That isn’t enough time, and I’ll let him lay into Jeff for slamming him because jeff wasted three months before beginning the build.

freedom or death line drawing

Plus, I’m gonna have a hefty tab at the Dirty Dog and he’ll be drinking for free.

Woo hoo! Free beer!


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  1. Hey there

    I have been looking for such a passenger seat for ages. Any way to get some kind of a graphic of it, or even better , would you build one to adapt on a honda shadow aero that will be equiped ith a saddle kit from blue collars?



  2. Hello! Ihave been looking for such seat like emmanuel for ages, do you have some sort of schematic/design of it? Or maybe other side views! That would help to,

  3. Hey guys, I’ve passed on your comments to Trent. It’s his bike, hopefully he can chime in!

  4. Debbie Papageorge

    Can I use this cross for a graduation card? Thanks.


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