Thunder Roads Magazine Louisiana November 2016 - Page 10

S P E C I F I C AT I O N S GENERAL: Owner/Builder: William J. Cronin Jr. City/State: Franklin, IN Fabrication & Assembly: By Owner Build Time: 7 years PAINT AND GRAPHICS: Color: Black Textured Moonlit Copper Graphics: By Owner Leather work: By Owner Fabrications: By Owner Moldings: By Owner ENGINE: 127 C.I. 140 HP 140 FTLB Torque Exhaust: Fab by Owner Ignition: Ultima BILL CRONIN’S POW MIA BIKE TRANSMISSION: Ultima 6 Speed Black and Chrome Primary Drive: 3.35” Drag Style Belt Drive FRAME: Ultima Type: Rigid Stretch: 4” Down Tube Rake: 34 Degrees Modifications: Many by Owner FRONT END: Ultima 58mm Inverted and 5 degree rake, Blind Trees WHEELS: Front: Sturgis Wheel 16 x 3.5 Rear: Sturgis Wheel 15 x 7 My love of motorcycles must have started when I was 6 or 7, watching the men across the street working on and riding their bikes. Actually, they were only teenagers, but, they looked like men to me at the time. The first bike I ever built was when I was 13. I was the only one in the neighborhood that had a Schwinn bicycle with a Briggs and Stratton motor! But my Dad was not happy when he got home and saw what I had done to his lawn mower. He made me put the engine back on the mower. But for the better part of one day, I had a motorcycle! Fast forward to 1997. I was working in Cumberland, IN, at a cycle repair shop. Repairing everyone else’s motorcycle but mine. I did not own one at the time. One of the customers had financial trouble and could not pick up all the parts he had ordered. The owner just wanted to get these parts gone. So, he asked if I would be interested in any of them. This is when I purchased the rear tire and oil tank. They went into my closet for several years. And I kept adding more and more parts along the way. There were more parts than clothes in my closet. In 2008, I ordered a frame, front end, gas tank and 3 fender blanks. This is when I started building this motorcycle. Almost 80% of the parts that I purchased, I had to fabricate myself to fit the frame that I had changed. In 2010 I purchased the motor, transmission and drive side. The bike was all I did whenever I had any spare time. Evenings, weekends you name it, I was in my garage. This is when I decided, being a Viet Nam veteran, I wanted to dedicate this bike to all veterans, past and present. Including POW’s, MIA’s and nurses. I did not want any of them to be forgotten like we were when we came home from the war. Before I moved to where I am now, I was retired and living on a fixed income. Anything I needed to buy or have done, I had to save my money till I had what was needed. Parts kept going up faster than I could earn the money. After I moved here, I was side lined with health problems. I had a quadruple heart bypass done. Then about a year later I had to have an artificial heart valve replacement. I am now 71 years of age and feeling very healthy and happy. I thank the Lord every day for everything He has shown and taught me. I am able to work out every other day with my weights and exercise equipment. The Lord not only gave me my health, but, the talent to build this bike. It has been a labor of love. -Bill Cronin Photographer: Mark Freeland, Mark Freeland Photography,, 317-507-0193, 8 THUNDER ROADS MAGAZINE LOUISIANA BRAKES: Front: 6 Piston Performance Machine Rear: 2 – 4 Piston Performance Machine TIRES: Front: Avon MT-90H16-AM 21 Black Rear: Avon 230/6H15-AM 21 Black FENDERS: Front: Fab by Owner Rear: Fab by Owner ACCESSORIES Headlights: 2 - Paughco Handlebars: HD Handlebar Controls: Ultima Grips: Soft HD Risers: HD Clock and Thermometer on Risers: Merlin Pegs: Chrome Horse License Bracket: Dennis Kirk Mirrors: HD Tachometer: Auto Meter Oil Pressure Gauge: Auto Meter Oil Cooler: Ultima Tail Lights: Fab by Owner - LED Fuel Tank: 6 Gallon Fab by Owner Oil Bag: HD Horseshoe type Seat: Fab by Owner – Covered by Rick’s Trim Shop Sissy Bar: Fab by Owner Speedometer: VDO Turn Signals: Fab by Owner – Front and Rear - LED