OFFBEAT: 13 Year Old Builds Custom Chopper - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

JONESBORO--Bob Snell Reports

OFFBEAT: 13 Year Old Builds Custom Chopper

August 15, 2004--Posted at 10:00 p.m.

JONESBORO--Usually one of the first things teachers ask on the first day of school is what did you do on your summer break?  There's at lease one Jonesboro 13 year old that can say with pride, "I built a custom chopper."

It's called the Roadhawk, and it was created by 13 year old Bryce Mashburn of Jonesboro.

"I knew I couldn't get a real chopper, I ain't old enough to ride one. So I thought this would be cool to ride," said Mashburn.

"He come in after school was out and said,  'Dad, I'm gonna build me a chopper.' And I said, 'yea right.' But he done it," said Bryce's dad, Ricky Mashburn.

He did it all right and he did it all by himself.

"I told him, Ok, there's the tubing, there's the chop saw, there's the welder. And he took off after it," said Dad.

Took off after it in Dad's body shop, the Wreck Doctor, where Bryce learned his skills while growing up.

Bryce used bits and pieces from everywhere.  The fenders came off his dad's boat trailer.  He scrouged around here and there, picked up this and that and even chopped up his sister's bicycle to build The Roadhawk.

"The frame's just square tubing. The triple trees here I cut off with a torch. I got a steering neck off my sisters bicycle. The gas tank is made out of sheet metal," said Bryce.

The back wheel is off a golf cart and the rear axle and chain came off the internet. The chopper fork stoppers are 50 caliber bullets. As for the bike's namesake piece, the Roadhawk emblem hiding a bolt, Bryace says he found it on the street.

The Roadhawk engineered, manufactured and assembled in just 7 weeks, but does it run???  You bet it does.  Cranked up the old fashioned way by hand, with 5 1/2 horses of Briggs and Stratton power and riden with pride.

"I thought it was going to be tough, but I was going to keep on trying. I wasn't going to quit," said Bryce.  "I like it. I didn't think I could do it at first, but it came together I guess."

A real honey of hawg, all from the imagination and ingenuity of a 13 year old boy.

"I'm just proud of myself that I stuck through it and I built it.

Bryce says he only spent about $400 on the chopper and says his dad did help him with the paint job.  He says he's still got some tweeking to do, working on the exhaust and brakes and maybe one day, making it street legal.

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