Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Restoration of a DK General Lee Bicycle

Our good pal and master model builder Chris Dunlap (aka Revshag) recently completed a restoration of a DK General Lee Bicycle.  He was kind enough to share his story and pictures with the DukesCollector blog. Take it away Chris. 

"DK was a father and son company started in 1979 making parts for BMX bikes.  They eventually began making frames and in 1997 introduced the General Lee frame.  It was built specifically for dirt jumping and trails.  If you’re going to build a bike for dirt jumping, what else are you going to call it but the General Lee? It was offered in two colors—orange and black.  The graphics had a vibe similar to our beloved flying orange clunker car.  It was a popular frame from the get-go.  It was strong and well made.

Original DK Frame
Later the DK General Lee was offered as a complete bike.  Another addition was that it was also offered as a cruiser (24” tires as opposed to the traditional 20”)  and was being sold at Walmart.  Over the years there have been some changes in the DK General Lee and differences in the graphics (for more information go to http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/dk/?model=8&pg=5 ).

I got into BMX Freestyle in 1987 and it was a big part of my life until around 2001.  It filled the void in my life after the Dukes went off the air!  In the past couple of years my children have learned how to ride bikes and training wheels have been left behind.  I was looking for a bike that I could ride with them and be comfortable on.  I found this 2003 DK General Lee cruiser on eBay and snatched it up just in time to take on a family vacation to the beach.  I spent some time getting caught up on all that had changed in the world of BMX during the 13 years I was away.  There is a whole part of that hobby that is dedicated to restoring old BMX bikes just like guys rebuild old muscle cars.

Chris's Bike originally
My cruiser was a little rough and needed some attention.  As a dedicated Dukes of Hazzard fan, I noticed the DK General Lee had never been given a proper GL uniform.  I decided to rebuild my bike and do it Dukes-style.  I stripped the original paint and decals off the frame.  I repainted it with Rustoleum Orange which is a very close match to 1975 Corvette Flame Red (the most widely accepted “authentic” General Lee orange).  Chad at CrzyC’s GL Graphics (http://crzycsglgraphics.bravehost.com) helped me out with the decals.  The lettering on the down tube is a scaled down version of Chad’s Valuzet-era roof letters.  The 01 on the head tube was designed by me.  It’s the basic door number with the DK logo in the corner as a nod to the bike company.  I wanted a nod to the Rebel Flag so I came up with the stripe: red, white, and blue with 13 stars.

The frame stripped down
I picked up some taller handle bars.  Other new parts include the seat post, pedals, and brakes.  The new bars, forks , and cranks got a fresh coat of Rustoleum black.  Lastly, I added brown grips and a brown seat as a nod to the General’s brown (or tan) interior.

When I got out of BMX in 2001 I started building model cars, particularly cars from the Dukes of Hazzard. Rebuilding this DK General Lee cruiser brought together my interest in BMX bikes, the skills I learned painting model cars, and my love for the Dukes."

Excellent job Chris.  I must say I am jealous of your bike and wished mine looked as much like a Gen'ral as yours.  Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.  


  1. A M A Z I N G !!! I'd want one too!!! :P

  2. Ive just had my dk frame striped and resprayed just looking at your pictures ive realised it was a general lee as was orange inside the crank!!