The next change was the paint job. It's my feeling that a custom paint job is the most personal and perhaps most difficult of all motorcycle modifications. I've been to Daytona Bike Week countless times and have attended plenty of shows, and the paint is usually what makes or breaks the bike for me. Since I have no artistic ability, my goal was to find a painter I trusted and leave the artistry to him. After looking at numerous artists in my area (Chattanooga, TN), I settled on Liquid Visions in Ringgold, GA. Gary Stroud is the in-house Picasso, and after seeing his work, I decided he'd be able to make my bike stand out. I gave him input about the colors I liked and also told him that the bike was a Honda-and I wanted it to look like one after he finished. To keep the cost reasonable, I disassembled the bike and presented Stroud with the parts I wanted painted, along with photos of a stock VTX as a reference. About five weeks later, Stroud called me to come take a look at the finished product. The paint was wild. It all started with a base coat of House of Kolor Tangerine, followed by careful airbrushing of the "real flames." To maintain the Honda look, Stroud borrowed the tribal flames from the photos I had left behind and augmented them with some metal flakes. Then a VTX logo was sprayed on each side of the tank, and finally, five coats of clear were applied to create depth. After leaving 25 copies of Ben Franklin with Stroud, I was well on my way to a custom bike.