Axel Mercier

Name
Axel Mercier
Instagram Account
@axel_mercier
City
Wilmington
State
NC
Country
USA
Bike Year
1952
Bike Motor
1952 Harley Davidson panhead

What have you done?
Fully custom frame, originally crafted but unfinished by Freddy Hernandez. I cut and re-formed the whole front half, adding some up and out and changing the neck and rake, added a custom “speed holed” gusset, and top motor mount, as well as finishing off the back half of the frame.

Built some wheels. Front richmond spool hub, laced to a 21” rim with stainless Buchanan spokes. Rear is a modified shovelhead hub, that a cut off the right flange and finished up on the lathe. 18” rim and Buchanan stainless spokes.

Set it all up with a 14” over springer, 1952 panhead motor and transmission.

Cut up a fender, welded it back together, cut it some more then beat and bent it more into a shape I finally dug!

Built a half twisted sissy bar and front dual headlight mount. Made a custom seat pan for a two part seat. Bent up some stainless into some ape hangers, that still need to be welded together..

Cut up, and tacked up some pieces into an exhaust and added some fishtails. Custom mounted up some tanks for oil and gas.

Made a hand shifter out of some stainless, turned a shift knob out of some brass on the lathe, and a few other bits turned out of some brass. As wells as including a few brass swap meet bits. Finished up some details and brackets with more “speed holes” to match the gusset. I started making a taillight out of aluminum, but it remains unfinished as of now. That’s about where she is right now.
What do you have left to do?
As far as fabrication, I still need to finish the bars, and the taillight. Then make some controls and passenger pegs and mounts. Then some final welding.

Seat pan needs to go to upholstery. Springer and pipes need to go to chrome.

I need to finalize my paint ideas, so the gas tank, fender and frame can go to paint.

All the stainless pieces need some show polishing!

I have one or two small things I wanna do to the motor ad trans while all that is happening..

Then all back together for some wiring and plumbing… Start it up .. then ride the hell out of it !!
Any problems so far?
Time crunch! Stress management! Haaaa…

I didn’t start this bike till I was chosen as one of the 24 semi finalists.

So damn I had a lot to do!

At times it seemed overwhelming. And despite getting nastily sick, (I believe I’m not the only builder who had to deal with that) and losing a bunch a time to that.. i got a good amount of the bike done..and am super stoked on it.
Favorite part of the bike so far?
I like to see choppers as a sum of all parts and how they all work together for form and function… So it’s hard to say if I have a favorite part, besides being the whichever one I just finished..haaa.

But I guess, it would be the half twisted sissy bar, and half twisted dual headlight mount that ties the ends of the bike together.

I think Im gonna make a top motor mount bracket to match also.
Favorite part of the competition?
I just really love building choppers. But also being part of a competition and being inspired by the other talented builders and their builds, is something I’ve never been part of before. And it was pretty awesome. It is fun and challenging to push myself, to fabricating something I’ve never done before or fabricating something in a way I’ve never done before. To try and bring my A game cuz the other dudes were doing awesome things.
Shout outs:
To @biltwell_peoples_champ and @bornfreeshow for the opportunity @lowbrowcustoms for some parts and fab bits that make things easier, and always fast shipping!

Eric @northernspringers for making me an awesome custom springer fast and efficiently as well as being a pleasure to work with..

To my homies, all of them for their support! And especially to @customdestruction and @jpotter_212 @capefeariron @gustenhoff for coming by the shop allowing me to bounce ideas off them, and occasionally talking me off the edge.. haaa @legacyscreen for the same and some awesome pics!

For JD the Dizzle my chopper motor mentor, always available for tech support.

And @sinisterhotrods my metal shaping sensei, for his enlightened advice, and sheet metal expertis.

And @jennylynn_ilm for her constant support and dinner making skills (ha) and dealing with my always at the shop self… And to all the other 24 semi-finalists nice to know ya & good luck!