Master Builder Don Hotop of Fort Madison, Iowa responded to the custom bike desires of Jaey Sedlacek, and Pumkun was the stunning yet refined result. It’s one of more than 20 great V-Twin based customs on display at the National Motorcycle Museum, and one of several customs Jaey Sedlacek donated to the National Motorcycle Museum in 2014.
It’s September, 1994 and a Don Hotop bike is featured on the cover of the new Easyriders magazine. Avid custom bike aficionado Jaey Sedlacek is taken by the minimalist springer chopper. He begins a quest to add a very well designed and executed Hotop built bike to his stable of customs. Since Hotop and Sedlacek live in Iowa, Jaey heads over to Hotop’s shop to discuss a build similar to the Easyriders cover bike.
Don Hoptop is truly among the world’s best motorcycle builders. Never one to invite notoriety, Hotop rather has worked hard to build a few very refined designs each year, and other than riding with fellow Hamsters at Sturgis stays under the radar for the most part. In spite of his self-imposed underground status, Hotop still fields a surprising number of requests for his flavor of custom motorcycle. “The guy who comes here for a bike has done some work just to find me, and that seems to weed out the folks who aren’t too serious,” rationalizes Don (Easyriders, August 1994). Everything is done in his shop, from engine to frame to paint. And Hotop’s work is so good that many years ago companies like Drag Specialties invited him to create custom parts for their catalog. Hotop built bikes specially for the Drag Specialities “Fat Book,” the bikes showcasing the possibilities the catalog of parts laid before any inspired builder.
As you look over Pumkum, note wiring, cable work, engine details and the various parts Hotop carefully designed, integrated and fabricated. His bikes are clean, refined and seem surprisingly simple, until you look closely and note the master builder’s work.
- Engine: S&S Cycle, 80 Cubic Inch
- Carburetor: S&S Cycle
- Exhaust: Python, Modified
- Transmission: Harley-Davidson 5-Speed
- Frame: Paughco
- Rear Suspension: Harley Soft Tail, Modified
- Fork – Paughco Springer
- Front Wheel: 3.25 x 19 Ness, 90/19 Avon Tire
- Rear Wheel: 5.00 x 16 Ness, 150/16 Avon Tire
- Brakes: GMA and Arlen Ness Enterprises
- Handlebars: Arlen Ness Enterprises
- Controls, Hand: GMA
- Fuel Tank: Hotop
- Oil Tank: Pro One, Modified
- Fender: Wernimont, Modified
- Lighting: Headwinds and Arlen Ness Enterprises
- Seat: Danny Grey
- Paint & Graphics: Jay Leyden
- Maintenance: Randy Claude, Wild Heart Customs