Boyd Collier’s Road Chief

Photos by Hubert Best
July 1 2008

Back in the late seventies and early eighties, Boyd Collier had no idea that the free and easy feeling he got from riding around on his 1979 Kawasaki KM100 mini bike that his parents bought him would one-day lead him to owning one of his dream bikes, sort of. After a 10-year stint of riding that began with the KM100 and ended with his last bike, a 1983 Honda CM450 that he sold in 1990, Boyd took a hiatus from riding for a few years. Then around 1999 when Indian opened its doors in Gilroy, California, Boyd got the itch to be in the wind again.

With the Canadian dollar way below par on the U.S. greenback, it just wasn’t feasible to spend that much cash on a motorcycle with squat for dealer support and an average riding season of only four short months out on the Rock. Although he kept an eye on the Indian website, and the Indian Chief Vintage in particular, Boyd had all but given up on the idea of owning an Indian, but he still had the urge to get riding again.

After seeing a magazine ad for the Road Star and liking the idea of a large displacement air-cooled V-Twin, Boyd visited his local Yamaha dealership in St. John’s, Newfoundland and found two of them on the floor. One was a gold, fully dressed version and the other was a used black Road Star with drag bars. Boyd thought about it and he returned for the gold one, only to find it was gone, leaving the Road Star Midnight with the crazy drag handlebars. At that point it didn’t interest him much.

Time rolled on and a year later Boyd had once again heard about a 2001 Road Star Midnight for sale. Through conversation with the current owner it was found to be the same one that was on the dealers floor with the ‘crazy drag handlebars’. The current owner had put on original bars and wide white-wall tires to give the bike a whole different look. It seems the seller wanted more power and was going to buy a V-Max instead, can’t knock him for that.

Boyd didn’t start out with a real clear vision for the Roadstar, it just kinda’ happened while surfing the Internet and finding lots of bolt-on accessories. It all began when Boyd found an Indian style skirted front fender for a Roadstar and the idea of the Indian Chief Vintage once again popped into his head.

With fender mounted, he contacted Rocky at RJ Hardbags in Clovis, California about getting some authentic Gilroy Indian leather saddlebags. Rocky used to make all the OEM bags for the Indian Motorcycle Co. from 99-01 before they decided to knock them off and have them made in Mexico. Rocky also stitched up the front and pillion seats to match the bags for a look as authentic to the Indian as possible.

Boyd says he is a fan of Jack Daniels, but the theme happened as innocently as the Indian theme. Boyd bought the black and white speedo first, liked the colour combination and decided it would work well together with the JD accessories that were available.

Boyd tackled the early bolt-on stuff easily but when the work got more intense, he enlisted some local help. Lowering the rear-end, changing tires and the first set of 6-degree triple trees were done by Duane Curl at Frenchie’s Service Centre in Goose Bay. More recent touches like a replacement set of 6-degree triple trees (the first set of trees didn’t cooperate) and 6-inch over forks, Roadhouse exhaust and more tires were installed by Barry Hicks at Scotts Motorsports in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

Boyd doesn’t consider his bike customized, but instead he thinks of it as being personalized, and he is now finally done his personalization of his newly named Road Chief. While the Road Chief is Boyd’s regular ride, he thinks that a touring bike might be in order for the future. Now he just has to work on getting more than four months of riding time in a year.

If you are going to be in Corner Brook, Newfoundland this July 17-19 for the International Northern Stars Cruise-in , be sure to look up Boyd and his personalized Road Chief. I’m also told that if you are from ‘away’ you will even have the opportunity to be ‘Screeched In’ during the weekend’s festivities.


Special thanks to Duane Curl at Frenchie’s Service Center in Goose Bay, and ultimate thanks to Barry Hicks at Scott’s Motorsports in Corner Brook. Also thanks to the Geo Centre, St. John’s for the photo shoot location.


Owner: Boyd Collier
Make: 2001 Yamaha
Model: Road Star Midnight
Builder: Bolt on Project
Time: 6 years
Name of Bike: Road Chief

Year: 2001
Builder: Yamaha
Displacement: 1600 cc / 98 ci
Cases: Stock
Heads: Stock
Carburetor: Patrick Racing
Air Cleaner: Patrick Racing
Ignition: Dyna 3000
Exhaust: Roadhouse Dooleys

Year: 2001
Builder: Stock
Type: 5-Speed

Front End
Triple Trees: Barons Custom 6-degree
Forks: Forking by Frank 6-inch over

Builder: Stock

Front: Stock
Tires: Metzeler ME880
Rear: Stock
Tires: Metzeler ME880

Mels Autobody

Front Fender: California Custom Cruiser Vintage Indian Chief
Seat & Saddlebags: Courtesy of Rocky at RJ Hardbags
Handlebars: Barons Nostalgia Bar
Headlight: Indian Scout
Spotlights: Adjure Blue Dot Trillient
Taillight: J&K Starline Blue Dot Tombstone




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