When we first met Tony Bang (@bangtime) about 13 years ago he was just a young lad rippin’ around on a little XS650 chopper. After a few years of hangin’ and bangin’ on the XS, he was ready to make the jump to some good ol’ American Iron. Tony always lived near Downtown Los Angeles and would hang out with all the LA chopper boys at “the Chun” (If you don’t know what the Chun is, make sure to pick up issue 4). Hanging on the wall there was (Shr)Eddie Cleveland’s old busted up 1972 XLH Ironhead. Shreddie had gotten into a pretty bad accident on it at one time, and moved onto Big Twins, so the crashed up Ironhead found its place hanging on the walls of the Chun.
Tony’s XS650 days were coming to an end and he was itching to get on a Harley. That’s when he set his eyes on that Ironhead. He did have one problem though… Tony had no money to buy it. However, he did have a pillowcase full of weed that he stole from his brother. So, Tony pitched a trade to the scoot’s owner, his friend, Simon. He’d trade the busted-up ’72 XLH wall art for a pillowcase full of grade A Ganja. Remember, this was pre-dispensary… so it was actually a pretty decent trade. Simon refused the trade though, and instead, offered to just give the bike to Tony. After all, it’s better to see one of your bros on it that see it hanging on the wall forever.
Tony got the bike down from the Chun walls and immediately got to work on it. Sometime in 2012, the first version was done. She was a clean, proper chopper with a King and Queen seat, tall sissybar and some pullbacks. Back then, most of them LA boys were PBFLers (pullbacks for Lifers). Then, at the infamous Skid Row Chopperfest 2, Tony crashed the bike. On his way out of the event the crowd started yelling at him to do a wheelie. Not wanting to disappoint the crowd, he pulled the clutch in… pulled back on the throttle and dumped that clutch. The next thing Tony knew, he was looking up at the sky. When it was all over, he had given it a bit too much throttle and flipped the bike over.
After healing up, Tony started on the second version of the XLH. This time it would be a longer Denver’s Chopper-inspired bike. With a long and skinny Denver’s original springer front end, a tall sharp sissybar, and a skinny Wassell tank, it looked the way the chopper gods intended a chopper to be. Tony ripped this version of the bike for quite a few years and loved it. It wasn’t until some Covid-19 downtime that his pal Frank from Vicious Cycles offered to paint the bike and Tony decided to change it up a bit. And change it up he did.
Tony was looking to rebuild the Ironhead with a South Bay meets Nor Cal chopper feel. If ya know your chopper history, you know exactly what he was thinking about. High mid pegs, short drag bars with a slight pull back, high and tight pipes, a squared off sissybar, and of course, a sexy flame paint job from @Viciouscycles. With help from guys like James Juarez from @the_livin_company, Tony was able to see his vision through and plans to keep it this way for years to come.
Story by Cary Brobeck
Photos by Ben Zales