Story: Alex Bernstein
In the custom-bike game game, it’s not easy coming up with an idea never before executed. At a glance, the chopper scene is filled with cats reppin’ both new and old ideas, which can get stale, but the guys at Parker Brothers Choppers in Melbourne, Florida, are known for doing things a bit…different. “If you can dream it, we can build it,” says co-owner Shannon Parker. “That’s our slogan.” Anyone can see the fun in kicking back while you’re thrown into a 3-D digital fantasy land, as in TRON: Legacy, but the problem with fantasy is it’s merely a figment of your imagination. Where most see a limitation, Parker Brothers Choppers sees an opportunity to create something surreal: a real-life TRON Lightcycle. Impossible? Nah, not even a little.
Of course, a project of this caliber has its obstacles. “The most difficult thing was figuring out how to create hubless wheels and fit all of the components—the motor, transmission, etcetera—inside the body itself,” explains Parker. However, hubless wheels are nothing new; it’s just that previous renditions have failed to deliver in terms of capability of moving at speed. The boys at PBC developed their own hubless system, utilizing multiple bearings in each wheel instead of only one. “The multiple bearings can get up to speed. It’s a design unique to the industry,” Parker says confidently.
Though it doesn’t look it, this street-legal two-wheeled masterpiece can be had for 55 large. Yes, the lights work, and with a 135hp V-twin, so does the throttle. The TRON Lightcycle probably ain’t the easiest way to get around, but it’s definitely one of the hottest.