The crew at Tempest Cycles (TC) in West Melbourne, FL, was trying to make a point when they built the curvy custom seen before you. The irony here is that this “pointy” creation comprised of many sharp ends is affectionately called “Pointless.” We scratched our heads, too, trying to make sense of this, until we got the whole story, including the somewhat gory details behind this bike’s persona. Tempest Cycles Co-Owner Dave Sekman put it best when he said, “Everyone bleeds on Pointless.” OK, we’ll come back to that remark later.
This bike was originally built for the Charleston Build-Off in 2005. It started life as a concept that would help the crew at Tempest Cycles make a point. With the thought of putting the frame design into production, they zeroed in on a few objectives: no straight lines, and ease of installing the motor, which had to be a Twin Cam. From that point…ahem…the bike’s design just fell together. Well, the drawing part at least.
Slowly and literally painstakingly, the Razorback frame with 45 degrees of rake in the neck and 10 inches of backbone stretch began taking shape into what you see here. “Occasionally, new points would inexplicably show up on the bike overnight,” Dave said. “One of these points led to a piercing and a lot of blood-letting.” The first victim was crewmember and molding guru Tom Pharis. “After bending over a bit too quickly,” Dave said, “a rather nasty point sheathed itself right through Tom’s arm.” Ouch! Let’s just say “she” has some attitude. But this gal wasn’t picking a fight with just Tom. Her next victim was her very own designer, Erick Ackley. “Two other front points broke off in my kneecaps,” Erick said. “We won’t even mention the amount of times that Dave was stabbed in the head, although we actually think it has helped. Basically, we are all scarred from that bike.” With ideas on what to call this crazy gal flying around the shop, not to mention quite a bit of foul language and spilled blood, the crew finally settled on a name that reflected the irony in the many wounds suffered during its construction. “Pointless was born,” Dave said, “and everyone bleeds on it.”
Many interesting challenges surfaced for the crew during its build. They dug the frame for its flowing lines and curves, but it made creating functional jigs much more difficult. When it came time to fuel this baby, they wanted a tank that was different yet not too busy, so they handmade an aluminum one. The inverted handlebars almost didn’t happen. Both the internal throttle and internal clutch required small pulleys for running the cables around nearly impossible corners. “Finding clearances from between the triple-trees and over the tank sucked,” Dave said. The exhaust, with its reverse angles and corkscrew shape, was another component that bore the brunt of many hours. But they kept on keeping on. An intake complements the bike’s lines, wrapping itself around the bike and settling over the Twin Cam 88ci engine. Speaking of the motor, the crew decided to install it from the bottom of the frame to make installation easier and faster, as well as to decrease the chances of scratching the paint.
If you’ve been following along, Pointless was built to make a point and possess meaning, and also to defy the literal definition of the word. Lots of points have been integrated into this bike-how many, we’ll soon let you know. From the triple-trees to the foot controls, sharp ends pop up almost everywhere. Even the exhaust covers maintain the points theme that is seen throughout the bike. The rear points of the swingarm house both the brake lights and turn signals.
While much of building Pointless was never an easy task for the crew, in the end the key to making the bike work wasn’t just in the details. “It’s how everything works together to bring another Tempest creation into existence,” Erick said. So just how many points did Tempest make? Figuratively speaking, we’ll let you decide, but in mathematical terms, 23 and counting.