Saturday, September 23, 2023 ✦ Noon to 7pm

Tangerine

Words: Kurt Diserio - Photos: Alexa Diserio
  • 1973 HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER
    Built by Tyler Elliott / TE Customs
  • Shown at Glory Daze 2019
  • Published in Pittsburgh Moto - Issue No. 11
  • Something tells me that the life of Logan Allison is much more interesting than anything a quick chat about a custom chopper can deliver. As someone who has traveled around the country, living in different places and getting by in whatever way he could, it only felt appropriate that he’d build a bike as tough as his 1998 Harley-Davidson Evo.

    Eventually, after numerous motorcycles and all of the exhausting work needed to keep them running, Allison made the jump into a personal project that had been sitting in a storage bin in the back of his head for a little too long. Piece by piece it started to come together, rightfully taking its place on the floor of Glory Daze this past September. Alexa and I met up with him at the Allegheny Cemetery this winter to get the lowdown on the bike and how he came to call Pittsburgh home.

    Did you want to jump into the story of your past and how you ended up here?
    Logan Allison: I moved to Pittsburgh about ten years ago and had a bunch of buddies that rode motorcycles, so I started riding, too. At first, I just started customizing shitty Sportsters and never really did a nice build. I didn’t even plan to do this build well, but I just kept getting a nice part here and there. It snowballed from that point. I kept getting the parts and pieces and figured I’d do the bike justice with a full-on makeover.

    I inherited this bike from my dad. When he passed it along, the only thing he made me promise is that I never sold it. The bike was a total dad chopper that was almost impossible to ride. Basically, the drivetrain and frame are the only things I kept. I stripped it down and completely rebuilt it from there. The process was slow, but after about four years of collecting parts, I finally got the kick-in-the-ass this year to finish it.

    The motor had been sitting for four years, so I crossed my fingers when I fired it up. I have a little more tuning to do with the carburetor, but otherwise, It’s treated me really well so far. Knock on wood. There are a few things I have in the works to help make it pop more. It’s a never-ending project.
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Was this your first Evo, and could you run through the bike?
    LA: Yeah, my first Big Twin. It’s a Paughco frame with a 1998 80-inch big twin Evo motor. For the drivetrain, I’m using an Ultima 6-speed transmission and an Ultima open primary. The 39mm front end is 2-over.

    Josh Howells at Uptahn Metalworks did the custom exhaust and a lot of other fab work to get things to fit right. He was a big help, and I couldn’t have done it without him.

    Lunation Leathers made the sissy bar cover. It’s hard to give somebody an image of something you have in your head that you want them to make. She hadn’t done anything like this before, and it’s nothing I’ve ever seen. To have her listen to everything I said and knock it out of the park was a huge relief.

    The same goes for Tyler Elliott of TE Customs who killed it on the paint. I just handed the pieces over and gave him my idea. It was nice to see his eyes light up and get excited about something other than typical pinstriping work. He handpainted all of it.
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Where did you live before moving to Pittsburgh?
    LA: I traveled around for years before I settled in Pittsburgh. Basically, I didn’t live anywhere for more than a couple of months for nearly seven years. I was a commercial fisherman in Alaska for a while, but I got tired of not having somewhere to lay my head. So, I ended up here.

    What are you doing now that you’ve settled here?
    LA: I work crazy hours in the art department on set decorating for TV shows and movies. The intense hours come with big gaps between jobs, so when I get free time I’m either in the shop working on motorcycles or out ice fishing, fly fishing, or hunting. I try to be outside and on the road as much as I can.

    Was there something about motorcycles that drew you to them?
    LA: I’ve always worked with my hands, so it made sense that I got into motorcycles. It was always second nature to me. I enjoy just being able to piece everything together. They’re like a big puzzle where you get to see your vision come together in the end.
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    It looks super comfortable as something to rip around town. Was that what you were aiming for?
    LA: I’ve always liked this stance. It was exactly what I was going for. I didn’t want to delete my front brake, especially with these Pittsburgh hills. Riding and putting on some miles is more important to me than building them.

    Did you do any fun trips during the pandemic?
    LA: Typically, we’re super busy with work, but everything got locked down. I had time in the summer, so I jumped on my FXR, threw my fly rod on the back, and road up to Vermont and Maine. From there, I went down to the FXR jam in Maggie Valley, North Carolina with my flyrod and just fished and camped along the way. You don’t need much.

    Any plans for next year?
    LA: I definitely want to make it to Apocalypse Run in the upper peninsula of Michigan. That’s a nice little trip and has always been a great time. I have a bunch of friends in Detroit, and I’ll usually link up with those guys, spend the night, then head up the rest of the way.
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
    Glory Daze Motorcycle Show Pittsburgh Tyler Elliott TE Customs Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper
  • 1973 HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER XL
  • Built by TYLER ELLIOTT
    TE CUSTOMS
  • instagram.com/te_customs
  • Originally published by PITTSBURGH MOTO
  • Words by KURT DISERIO
  • Photos by ALEXA DISERIO
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