You could say that Wichita custom motorcycle builder Larry Moore is on a roll with his latest creation.
He finished the low-slung, coffee-colored machine named “Kontrolled Kaos” in January and immediately embarked on a whirlwind, 7,000-mile tour of prestigious bike shows accompanied by his fiancee, Karen Holmes.
“She was my partner in crime for my 10-week attack on the bike scene. There was only one week in 10 weeks that we weren’t showing the bike,” said Moore. “The bike has taken best of show at shows.
“I thought sooner or later it would come to an end, but it never did. I’ve had bikes that have done well in the past, but never one that just dominated.”
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The scorecard for Kontrolled Kaos reads like this: Ultimate Builder show in Dallas, best of show, free style; World of Wheels, Kansas City, first in class, best of show; Easy Rider Invitational, Columbus, Ohio, best of show, bike of the year; The Park City Chill, first in class, best of show; Daytona Bike Week, first in extreme radical, best of show; Rat’s Hole Bike Show, Daytona, Fla., first in radical, best of show; Donnie Smith Invitational Bike Show, St. Paul, Minn., best of show.
Like his brother, Lonny Moore, and his dad, Lynn Moore, Larry Moore got his start building street rods and hot rods. But about 12 years ago, he shifted his focus to two-wheeled customs and has built a name for himself with his impressive fabrication skills.
In fact, it was one of his earlier bikes, a hand-built pro-street chopper called “Bad Influence,” that led to the creation of “Kontrolled Kaos.” It finished third in the 2013 American Motorcycle Dealers competition held at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota. That earned him a spot on Team USA, to compete in next year’s AMD World Championship in Cologne, Germany.
He returned home, came up with an idea and set about translating what was in his head onto a 4-foot by 8-foot easel, sketching the full-sized image of what he wanted to build.
“I made a homemade protractor and drew the wheels. I designed the bike from the ground up,” he said.
Once satisfied with the diagram, he began measuring specific parts and pieces and fabricating them to match his drawing.
“There was a lot of engineering involved. I taught myself geometry. I should have paid more attention in school,” he said, grinning.
The frame was made of 4130 chrome molly tubing bent in his home workshop. He designed a complex-looking front suspension system using twin forks, a single coil spring with a pivoting link and adjustable swept-back handlebars. At the rear, a similar pivoting link system was used, but this time suspended on a quarter-elliptical leaf spring setup of his own design.
“I wanted the bike to be low, so I used 19-inch wheels instead of 23-inch wheels. I like to think of it as a ‘speedster’ with the look of an early turn-of-the-century board track bike,” Moore said.
The only pieces on the bike that were not handmade were the engine, a 1976 Harley-Davidson 74-cubic-inch “Shovelhead,” balanced and blueprinted by Dusty Werner of Werner’s Home of Horsepower in Maize. Moore selected a pair of Morris magnetos to fire the twin cylinders, split the rocker arm boxes and added a pair of Lectron carburetors to the setup. He is noted for his exposed hard lines, so he carefully crafted four stainless steel lines to feed oil to each rocker shaft.
The matching ’76 Harley-Davidson 4-speed transmission was rebuilt by Doug Werner and fitted with a one-off transmission brake built by Moore. The bike has no brakes on the wheels, using only the transmission brake, with custom foot pedal linkage created by Moore, who also built the custom hand shifter.
The only computer-generated parts on Kontrolled Kaos are the five-spoke wheels, which were kept ultra-smooth by incorporating the valve stems inside a wheel spoke. Mitch Brown of Monster Race Products in Clearwater helped out on the wheels.
Rod Fisk hand-shaped both the bobbed rear fender and the twin fuel/oil tanks from aluminum, expertly moulding the metal to form around the cylinder heads of the engine. One of the more striking features is the pair of oil lines running along the top of the oil tank, again some of Moore’s handiwork.
When it came time for paint, he called on Lonny Moore’s Collision Service, which custom mixed a dark brown hue called Mocha Pearl and sprayed the frame, tanks and fender, with contrasting raw aluminum highlighted by Nadine Ward pinstriping.
“I like to keep my colors simple and clean. That way you don’t ever ‘date’ the bike. And I like the brushed aluminum look, so you don’t get lost in all the chrome,” Larry Moore said.
Complementing the metalwork is a beautiful hand-tooled leather seat with an embossed “flying M” logo crafted by David Steinbach of Kustom Breed Leather Designs. Steinbach also created the tooled leather handgrips and foot pegs.
Moore credits Rick Nutt of Forming & Machining Industries in Park City with water-jetting some special custom pieces for the build, and Roger Atteberry, who machined some parts before Moore got his own metal lathe.
“I’m pretty proud that everything I didn’t do myself was done by local guys, that there’s all that talent right here in Wichita,” said Moore. He spent two full years and a minimum of 1,000 man hours creating Kontrolled Kaos.
He has also been invited to show the bike at the International Master Biker Builders Association world competition in Dubai in September and is considering entering it in the Oakland Roadster Show, to compete for the title of America’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle. The machine will also grace the covers of Easy Rider and Dream Machines magazines.
“This bike was built to compete on the world level and I think it will do well, based on what it’s done here in the States,” Moore said.
For more information on Larry Moore’s creations, go to facebook.com/pages/Moore-Customs/485682615190?fref=ts.
Reach Mike Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org.