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Keith Wong is nationally renowned for his custom motorcycles. But the award-winning Seattle craftsman says he's never built a bike like his current creation - a one of a kind tribute to the Seahawks.
It's a labor of love that started when Keith got a call from Patrick 'PT' Town, the founder and executive director of Union Ride & Charity Rally - a charity event to raise money for several non-profits including Northwest Harvest, A.N.E.W., Helmets to Hardhats and the Awareness, Education and Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Youth Football.
The Hawk Bike was the brainchild of Town and his wife, who approached the Seahawks with the idea for the custom motorcycle as a unique way to raise a significant amount of money for good causes. After coming up with some preliminary concepts, the Seahawks gave their blessing. Town needed to find a builder, and Keith literally rode into the picture.
"They'd seen some of my other work and saw me ride up on my own Harley and asked if I'd do something special for them," Keith says.
He couldn't refuse. But he soon realized it wouldn't be easy.
"I've never built a bike like this. I looked at it and thought 'Oh man, I only have three weeks to complete this bike?' The other shops said this will take four months and I said 'oh well, I'm going to give it my best shot.'"
Keith worked with Town and other collaborators to come up with a one-of-a-kind design based on the Seahawks uniform and CenturyLink Field. They bought a 2005 Harley Davidson Road King to start with, in homage to the Super Bowl Seahawks.
"In my opinion, we won the Super Bowl. So that's why we picked a 2005. It means a little more," Keith says.
The next challenge was convincing others to help. While he was willing to donate all his labor, he still needed other specialists to create the custom bike. Along with the crew at his own shop Zackys Custom Rods,a number of other people, including the guys at Doghouse Engineering, donated their time and talents. They did everything from completely rebuilding the engine to fabricating the custom parts. The paint job mirrors a Seahawks helmet. And the upholsterer is making seats from game-used footballs.
Even more impressive, he did it all in off hours around his day-job working on cars.
"I did it at night and weekends when the body shop wasn't busy," he says. "All told, I probably put in about 300 hours."
The result is nothing short of stunning. From the handcrafted Seahawks head attached to the front of the bike, to the reversed exhaust pipes shaped like talons, the creation is a true work of art. The autographs of coach Pete Carroll and a number of players will be the finishing touch.
So what could possibly inspire him to devote so much of himself to the project?
"It's such a great opportunity for me to do something that everybody gets to see, support the Seahawks and help a really good cause. What more is there?" he says.
Union Ride & Rally will raffle off the bike for charity at a special, free event on Sept. 7 at Downtown Harley Davidson of Renton. The raffle tickets cost $50 each and can be purchased at a number of locations. That's a great deal, considering while it's priceless, Keith figures a similar bike would cost you around $60,000.
"I'm looking forward to riding it down to CenturyLink Field to show it off before the raffle," he says beaming with pride. Then he's looking forward to getting back to his own bike and watching the Seahawks storm their way to the Super Bowl.
Fans can check out the Seahawks bike for themselves and next Thursday at the pre-season game against the Oakland Raiders.