Viper: The New Kid in Town

Viper Motorcycles has been trying to do two things.  1) Build a factory custom motorcycle that people want to buy, and 2) Get envionmental/emissions approval from the EPA–and CARB, in California–to actually sell that motorcycle.  As of now, they’ve accomplished 50% of their goals.

John Silseth II, Viper Powersports CEO, stated, “We have received our EPA certificate and have successfully completed our CARB testing for approval in all 50 states. During testing, we knew the Viper 152 inch short stroke motor was clean and produced less heat than our competitors and we are excited at the opportunity to move forward fully compliant. The 2009 Diamondback is in production this month and will begin shipping in early 2009.”

According to Terry Nesbitt, Viper Motorcycle Company President, “We are 8 years into this project and are ready to take our place as an OEM. The Diamondback 152 Super Cruiser is the only production cruiser designed and manufactured in-house in its entirety utilizing proprietary component parts distinctive to the Viper brand.”

Viper Diamondback
Viper Diamondback

Viper is an interesting project.  Based in Minnesota–which gives them plenty of time during the winter to work, instead of ride–the compnay produced proprietary engines and custom motorcycles.  This move into the factory custom business in all 50 states moves them from a a custom chopper shop into an actual manufacturer.

Their premier bike, the Diamondback, has a Viper proprietary 152 c.i. V-Twin motor, belt drive, a six-speed tranny, and sports a 120/70-21 Metzeler tire in front, and a tiny little 260/40-18 Metzeler in back.  Dry weight is 600 lbs.  Rake/Trail is 34 degrees, with a wheelbase of 71 inches.

I’ll leave it to you to imagine the awsome canyon-carving ability the above implies.

Looking at the bike, it looks like a custom cruiser.  I’m sure you’ll like it, if that’s the sort of thing you like.  To me…well…it looks like another Arlen Ness inspired creation.To tell the truth, I’m not all that big on custom bikes.

Still, that’s just my personal taste, and I wish Viper all the success in the world.  They’ll probably need all the good wishes they can get, too.  The current economic conditions don’t make this the most auspicious time to introduce a new factory custom to the US market.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.