JC Mason’s 2020 Indian Challenger
Article By: Ron Burgundy Photos By: Missi Shoemaker
Originally Published In Torque Performance Volume 1 Issue 2 – Winter 2021
Read The Whole Article On The Torque Performance Web Site
If you had two men working 16-hour workdays for 60 days in a row, do you know what you would get? You’d get the motorcycle that you see here on the pages of TORQUE Magazine. When JC Mason of Rolling Art Custom Paint and Mike Porham of CMP Motorcycles in Phoenix, Arizona, set out to build this Challenger, that was exactly the amount of time that they had to complete this project and make it to Sturgis.
Of all the motorcycles on the market to choose from, it is nice to find a brand that seems to check all of the boxes you look for in a motorcycle. Indian’s Challenger certainly has made a wave in the performance industry with unique standards like an integrated driveline (this means that the transmission and engine are unit construction), single coil over mono shock in the rear, and inverted forks (standard front) with Brembo calipers on both ends (dual front radial mount calipers). It is easy to see why JC chose the Challenger platform for his muse.
In addition to the equipment that the Indian came with in stock form, JC wanted to be the first in the nation [ahem’…the world] to turbocharge a Challenger. For this, he went straight to Mike over at CMP Motorcycles. The two got straight to work fashioning a turbo kit that didn’t exist for a motorcycle that had never been turboed before. This meant that there were tons of challenges to overcome. First and foremost, the engine and components sit in a “cradle,” not a traditional frame like almost every other motorcycle on the planet. This meant that to modify the engine, it had to be removed from the cradle, modified for the CMP turbo, then re-installed. This also means that any future changes or potential damage from pushing the limits will make for a lot of work to repair.
Other challenges included but were not limited to the lack of a quality tuner available with the software to communicate with the Challenger’s ECM. The tuning was assisted by Lloyd’s. The other issue was due to the overall “newness” of the Challenger. Parts were tough to source. There were plenty of other things that were not for the faint of heart, tools, or abilities. All in all, Mike and JC have about 1920-man hours invested all in a matter of two months from paper and pen to in the trailer and off to Sturgis!
JC’s first ride on the Challenger was in Sturgis. With the turbo producing 5psi of boost, the Indian belts out 185 horsepower to the rear wheels. With that kind of power, the rider can’t even hit the peak without a serious conversation with themselves about the limits of man and machine. JC insists that no matter the boost, the tire can melt away at almost any speed. He also reports that he rides it as hard as he possibly can, every chance he gets.
Rolling Art Custom paint has been a family business since 1972. JC has been at the helm for 25 of those years. Since custom paint is in the family, you didn’t think JC was going to show up to the party in stock paint, did you? JC wanted a performance paint job that still says “Indian” but looked racy and used the factory lines to accentuate the overall look. A Klock Werks front fender, molded bag lids, and fender all make for a streamlined look. JC and his main man Jerry removed all of the plastics on the bike and smoothed them out. Never one to leave a stone unturned, JC and Jerry removed the inner fairing for molding and paint. The inner fairing requires 20 hours to remove and install, so the next time you see a custom Indian Challenger, and the fairing is stock, you’ll know why. If there is any space that the Indian can be criticized for, it is in the ergonomics and aesthetics of the controls. JC originally Cerakoted the stock hand controls, but he has installed a full complement of Beringer brakes and hand controls since our photoshoot. CMP’s Mike Porham is responsible for the mid controls, and Boosted Brad supplied the pegs. The seat was modified and covered by Guy’s Upholstery in Mesa, Arizona.
The bike sat for an entire year before he had a time slot to build it. In two months, it went from stock to what you see here. It was all hands on deck until the bike was done. JC would like to acknowledge a few folks who helped him finish this beast on time for its maiden voyage. Mike Porham for the hard work and turbo, Brock Davidson for being a good friend. Mr. Brian Klock for the killer front fender, Jake from Barnstorm Cycles for his awesome inner dash kit with navigation relocator & tee bars. Paul Yaffe supplied the bullet kit for the rear fender. Boosted Brad’s Death Metal Racing for the footpegs and Guy from Guys Upholstery for the seat work.
Rolling Art Tech Sheet
Owner: JC Mason
City/State: Tempe, AZ
Builder: Owner/Mike Porham
Value: I’m afraid to tally it up!
Time: 1920 Hours
Builder: Indian/Mike Porham
Air Cleaner: CMP
Exhaust: Turbo built By CMP
Builder: Stock Indian Inverted
Front Wheel: Brocks (BST Carbon Fiber) modified to fit Indian
Front Brake: Stock Brembo
Rear Wheel: Brocks (BST Carbon Fiber) modified for Indian
Rear Brake: Stock Brembo
Painter: Rolling Art Custom Paint
Bars: Barnstorm Cycle Tee Bars
Hand Controls: Beringer
Foot Controls: CMP Motorcycles/Death Metal Racing
Gas Tank(s): Barnstorm Cycles custom dash
Oil Tank: n/a
Front fender: Klock Werks
Rear Fender: Factory modified by Rolling Art Custom Paint
Seat: Modified Stock by Guy’s Upholstery
Tail light: Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation
Photographer: Missi Shoemaker