Membership – Join Free
It's Here!

Get Connected

Get your FREE Thunder Roads Florida membership.

Members get access to special features, newsletters and much more.

Find out more about the Thunder Riders Membership and sign up NOW Click Here

Events Calendar
Dec Florida Events 2017

'Click the Chick' to see monthly events.

Upcoming Events
The Suggestion Box

Got a Suggestion or Feature Request?

Use the suggestion box to submit suggestions

Vote on suggestions submitted by other members.

Monthly Archives

Bulls Eye May 2013

Bull's Eye header

I met this month’s Bull’s Eye, Mark Manuel, at the Boardwalk Classic Ride In Bike Show during Bike Week. His creativity and passion for design is evident in his bike “Bad Sled”. In addition to being an extremely creative bike designer he also writes exceptionally, so I have asked him to submit his own story.  Lulu


By Mark Manuel

My story, like this build, is a little different from most. I fell hopelessly in love at 19 years old … twice! First with my wife of 35 years and second, with my Suzuki…not necessarily in that order! Thirty-five years later, I’m still in love with both. The only difference is that I’m into the design and creativity of bike building as much as riding. Like any love affair, it’s been a love-hate relationship at times, but that’s okay, because I’m a clinical psychologist. I work with bad boys at the Florida Department of Corrections, but my true love is a nine-year build that started in Miami at New Age Motorcycle, and continued by builder/painter Jay Horton from Alachua. My bike began life as a 1982 GS 1100 in-line 4 cylinder 16-valve chain drive Suzuki Katana. When I got tired of gear-heading around Miami, I decided to build my own signature motorcycle. I wasn’t into sport bikes or conventional Jap cruisers anymore, but I didn’t want to build another H-D cookie cutter chopper, bobber, or bagger. I wanted to build a whole new breed … a high-end prototype, integrating the old school radical retro FLH design with a wicked drag bike engine. The original 1100 was bored out by Star Racing using a Stage One pro-stock 1200 cc drag bike kit featuring a race cut/heat treated tranny, competition cams, valves, rings, pistons, chain, clutch, 38mm Mikuni stacks, and two 30 pound NOS tanks. This “Bad Sled” claims a staggering 140hp and a heart–stopping 170hp + with the NOS engaged. As of the spring of 2013, ¼ mile and top speed are still unknown pending engine break-in. In terms of design, I incorporated Arlen Ness Tail Dragger fenders, prototype 7 foot side by side fish tail pipes, a functional suicide shift, “floating” suspension, air shocks, flame thrower (gulp!), and $5000 in chrome. Roping it all in, the west coast “True Fire” air brush paint job is designed to reflect the notion of riding and splashing through liquid fire.

Not only is this thing crazy fast, it’s a Radical Metric 1000 cc+ show bike, having taken first at the 2012 Rat’s Hole show at Leesburg, 2nd at Rat’s Hole Biketoberfest 2012, 2nd at the 2013 Full Throttle Biker Build Off, 2nd at the Rat’s Hole Bike Week 2013 and 1st at the 2013 Boardwalk Classic Bike Week. That’s 5/5 shows guys… and the bike has been featured in several biker magazines as well. My ultimate goal is to win or place at Sturgis, the biggest and most prestigious custom motorcycle show in the world. I have “Bad Sled” priced at $50,000 and with all the hours, chrome, paint and design innovations, it’s a steal. Blending the past and present, I’ve taken an antique Suzuki and integrated H-D, Arlen Ness, and Indian influences, making this an awarding winning bike. Long… Low… Loud… Phat… and Fast … This is truly one “BAD SLED!”

Comments are closed.