When you look at a motorcycle like Copper Kettle, built around 1974, you get an idea of just how long talent and craftsmanship has been at work to CREATE crate interesting motorcycles. A story on the bike in Custom Chopper magazine states that although Ron Finch’s work is “not the most popular bike styling in the world,” he clearly has many original ideas. One thing certain, his work as  sculptor shows through is his two and three-wheeled customs.

The story goes that this bike started life as a 1970 CB750, but one of Finch’s guys bought the bike from a dealer, pulled the engine and got credit for the remaining parts, most of the motorcycle. He then started to work building a chopper and involving Ron Finch for a lot of the fabrication, and finally the paint. Many of the pieces are actually copper plated, others painted to simulate copper. Paint in greens, aquas and brownish tones mimics copper and corroded copper.

The steering head is raked 10 degrees, front wheel sports a mechanical disc brake custom fitted to a copper plated mag wheel, fork is Finch single-spring, 14 inches over topped with Finch handlebars. Finch did the tanks, aluminum sissy bar, rear fender, pegs and the paint. Finch and Buda made the exhaust, had it copper plated.

After sitting neglected for many years, it was found for sale at a swap meet, restored by a fan of choppers, then bought by Mark Riggle who lives not far from Ron Finch. It needed a hard cleaning, some replating here and there, some parts replaced, but the Finch paint is intact, circa 1974.

Gas Menagerie, as well as another Finch creation, Trilogy, will be two of about 25 pre-1980 choppers and bobbers on display in the Allstate Motorcycle Chopper Story, presented by J&P Cycles, opening June 20 during Vintage Rally 2015.
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