Sucker Punch Sallys Swinger

Sucker Punch sallys started as a pure custom-bike-building operation by partners Donny loos and Jeff cochran five years ago in ohio. in 2007 the firm entered a new phase in its short life-building production customs out of a new home in scottsdale, Arizona.

Now if you're in the market for a true custom you might well wonder why production custom bikes exist. the answer is simple: sold through a select series of dealers nationwide, sucker Punch can focus on the building aspect while its dealers look after the customers' needs-stuff like financing, insuring, licensing, all those things that can get tricky with true one-offs. Funny, they never mention the details on those tV shows. But details do matter, and the firm's success-selling 400 bikes in 2007 with a view to producing 500 in 2008-is testament enough, espe-cially in a market that's recently seen its bubble deflate somewhat.

SPS' bread-and-butter build is the 55 Bobber, a stripped-down knuckledusting tool based around a 1340cc evo motor and rigid frame. it's perhaps the simplest bike in the firm's six-model lineup, but that might make it the best. while a long day in the (sprung) saddle would leave you reaching for the Anusol and the name of a good chiropractor, short one-hour hops are very doable. the lack of rear suspension does make slower, choppier corners a little interesting, but the chunky tires and welldamped forks do a better job than you'd expect at taking the hits. And let's face it, the thing looks darn good in a way that an H-D or metric cruiser just can't touch. At a smidge under 20 large the 55 Bobber ain't cheap or practical-but it is plenty cool.

This leads us to the real news from the sucker Punch crew: moving away from their tradition of just hardtails, for 2008 they've got a bike with rear shocks in the range, the swinger. while this caused some muttering at its unveiling, the sucker Punch folks aren't stupid- they need to build bikes people want. And what the people have been asking for is a bike that's true to the sPs no-nonsense ideal but with a bit of milemunching ability and comfort.

Which is pretty much what you get. the swinger feels much less polished than a Harley, with the raw edge you'd expect from builders with sPs' DNA. The 1445cc revtech engine punches out the horsepower hard and builds rpm fast, its 2-into-1 exhaust pipe letting the motor breathe quite nicely. throttle response is precise, and if you're lazy there's plenty of torque to waft along on. the handling is adequate; while the rear shocks do a solid job of soaking up the bumps and the ride's smooth, there's a touch of vagueness in the chassis and the bike rides so low that ground clearance, clarence, is limited. But on smooth, sinuous asphalt the swinger feels just fine, so sit back on those ape-hangers, watch the world slip by and of course watch the world watching you. wherever it goes the swinger seems to get attention-it's that kind of bike.

At $25,000 list, the swinger is expensive relative to other motorcycles from major manufacturers. But regarded in isolation as a handbuilt bike that's road legal with a warranty and dealer backup, it might just be reasonable. if you've gotta have it, then you've gotta have it.

'08 Sucker Punch Sallys Swinger
Suggested Base Price: $24,995
Engine: Air-cooled, Revtech Evolution-type 45-degree V-twin
Valvetrain: OHV
Displacement, Bore x stroKe: 88 ci, 3.49 x 4.25 in.
Compression: 8.5:1
Fuel system: EFI
Transmission/final drive: 6-speed/chain
Weight: 495 lb. (dry)
Seat Height: 24 in.
Wheelbase: 65 in.
Rake/Trail: NA

The traditional Bobber sports a 1340cc evo mill and an oldschool sprung saddle (ouch).
The swinger gets an 88ci rev-tech engine and dual shocks-so it's a bit cooler on the keister.
66 Bobber