Maybe that’s not exactly how former racer Paul Tracy started his company Black Label Baggers in Scottsdale, Arizona, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Paul always was and still is his own guy on or off the track and whatever takes his fancy seems to turn out successful. Black Label Baggers will be no different with a steady procession of stunning custom baggers with performance you’d never expect out of a big wheel bagger that have won more than their fair share of awards. Paul’s always been kind of an extreme guy and everything I’ve seen come out of Black Label Baggers completely embody his extreme to the max personality trait. And, that’s not a bad thing, just take a look at this 2014 Harley-Davidson turbo’d Street Glide and tell me otherwise.
One thing Paul’s done that is extremely smart is to ally his company with others like Precision Billet in nearby Gilbert, Arizona, who provide all BLB’s billet accessories. Just like a racer who is part of a team, Paul’s gone the smart business route and works with other parts companies to get exactly what he wants and needs for not only his own personal desires, but those of a large customer base. For instance, take a peek at the Carbon and Billet floorboards BLB and Precision Billet have collaborated on and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Not revolutionary stuff, but damn good looking pieces made in America and that’s all that really matters in the long run.
If you’re going custom bagger extreme, these days you’ve got to have the biggest front wheel you can get and BLB doesn’t disappoint with a giant 32-inch front wheel. Metalsport Wheels in Southgate, California, provided one of their new 32-inch 3-D Corleone front wheels to set the tone for this build. A lot of professional frame hacking and whacking followed to enable this wheel to not only fit, but get the best possible rake and trail figures so it would be not only rideable, but be able to withstand the high horsepower the turbo makes without turning into a wet noodle on two wheels.
Whether there is a matching wheel out back is anybody’s guess as the front and rear air suspension sits this baby right on the ground and I mean like engine-cradle-on-the-ground down. No kickstands need apply. BLB’s own Street Sweeper rear fender and 9-inch Diamond Stretched saddlebags look great while performing guard duty to make sure no one ever sees the rear wheel. Oh, besides not showing the rear wheel, they also hide the taillights from sight. Actually, they light up through the fender extension to the bags as needed and looks pretty damn trick doing it. Other bits of bodywork consist of BLB’s stretched tank and custom dash built for them by TOL (Top Of The Line) Designs in always exciting Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Street Glide fairing has worked over nicely and houses some of the bits of the 800 watt Rockford Fosgate audio system consisting of four speakers, four tweeters, and two 400 watt mini amps. You could probably murder somebody like a bad neighbor with that system set to max volume and at the very least they’ll never care how loud your exhaust is again after a long session with 800 watts at full gallop. I’m not recommending anyone should do this, but it’s nice to know you have the aural capacity just in case. As Paul has said about his company, “Big wheels, big power, big tunes, generally speaking, it’s what we do.”
Speaking of power, there’s an elephant in the room that needs some discussion before we go any further. That elephant is not the fabled 426 Hemi V8 that was nicknamed the elephant, but it is a classic 45-degree Harley V-twin pumped up until it thinks it’s got a Hemi. Built from the ground up (or inside out as the case may be) by CMP Motorcycles in Phoenix, Arizona, the 107-inch CMP modifed Twin Cam engine provides both performance and reliability upgrades from the crank to the heads to allow CMP to install one of their CMP turbo kits to unnaturally aspirate this engine to horsepower levels that would keep a former Indy car racer’s performance appetite satiated. Oh you know little things like a Timken conversion and a high-capacity Feuling oil pump, CP pistons, head work and a whole lot more. CMP’s turbo kit is icing on the cake with their mechanically cool looking Deep Breather air cleaner kit and their butch big mouth exhaust providing additional decibels to the always- climbing horsepower proceedings.
The show polished cases and peek-a-boo engine and clutch covers add some extra spice to the turbo V-twin recipe. I wish I had dyno charts to see what this engine “will really do” as they say, but I couldn’t find any info. In lieu of what’s been done, I’d say like Rolls Royce always said when asked how much horsepower their engines made “Adequate.” In this case the chauffer is one Paul Tracy and his version of adequate is much different than a guy driving Lord and Lady Balderdash around the English countryside. Paul is more Thunderbirds Are Go! than Balderdash slow so I’m partial to believing this makes big power from idle to redline.
After tidying up the rest of the details like the custom suede saddle and picking the right height (available in fat, long, and short sizes) BLB Johnson handlebars, it was off to paint. Bodyparts were shipped to Brian Horstmann of Sinthium Custom Paint in Phoenix for the ride of their unpainted lives and where the whole paint party began. Over a base of deep gloss black, there are layers of design work ranging from gold panels, lace, ghosting pinstriping, graphics on the tank I can’t say in print without getting in trouble and probably a few more techniques I’m missing. Suffice to say a whole hell of a lot is going on, yet it’s done so smoothly and subtly that it doesn’t in any way look busy. I don’t know whose idea it was, but Sinthium pulled it off and that’s all that counts. The end result is a pretty bike (sorry, it is pretty) that goes like hell and provides its own split soundtrack (engine and audio) with rideable drama combined with show worthiness as it’s main theme. That’s a combo most anybody could love. I know I do.
For more info on Black Label Baggers, visit http://www.blacklabelbaggers.com/ or visit their Facebook page.