First and foremost, everything you see that’s orange is steel. Not steel and fiberglass, just real steel. I’m easily bowled over by the rare custom bagger builder that struts his stuff armed with sheet metal and a welder. Not the easiest approach by any means and it’s probably hard for a lot of people to comprehend the time and effort that goes into making a bike like this a reality. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m giving two thumbs up to builder, Dan Rollins of Flypaper Customs in Poquoson, Virginia. This piece of orange science fiction on two wheels blows me away every time I look at it and I’m not a big custom bagger kind of guy. But, I sure do like this one.
What was originally just a matter of fact old 2002 Harley-Davidson Road King now looks the biz in its new set of duds. But, before getting to the duds, we gotta get to the FLHR underpinnings and see what’s up. Needless to say, the stock H-D frame had to be cut and stuck so the lovely 30-inch Chip Foose front wheel with its Hawg Halters Inc. six-piston caliper and 13-inch rotor would have a place that fit it correctly. Nothing too rad there as most big wheel conversions requite that, but this build is quite different. Check out the chin spoiler. A majority of custom baggers have an add-on chin spoiler to either cover up something or fill in the space between the downtubes and the front wheel that also gives it more paint space. Paint space is very important in a bagger as often that’s the main difference between one bagger and another to a lot of show goers.
Dan was looking for more than paint space and if you looked closely at Sr. Cofano’s photos you’d have noticed that the straight stock downtubes have been replaced with twin curved ones that interestingly become the leading curved edge of the spoiler. Any other chin spoilers I’ve seen were stuck on units and that’s cool, but not as cool as this setup. Dan welded sheet steel between the tubes so it forms into a one piece, but I really like the way the two tubes still shows just enough so you know this wasn’t just a chuck of material turned into a single downtube. Kind of like a tight pair of jeans on a good looking man or a woman depending on your preference. You can’t see anything really, but you can see what’s there.
From the bottom of the chin spoiler back, Dan replaced the engine cradle and the seat platform into his version of a lay frame and drop seat. With the frame sitting on the ground and the seat not too far away, it really adds to the voluptuous overall look. Just below the seat, the steel frame covers, the saddle bags and rear fender are welded directly to the frame forming one continuous hunk of sheet metal and tubing love. Opting out of becoming one with the ass end, smooth bag lids with not a speaker in sight complete the package of utter beautiful lines and simplicity. A single round taillight is sunk high up and into the rear fender and there’s a frenced-in license plate mount near the bottom of the gracious sweep of the fender that‘s mimicked by the bags. It’s like a sculpted waterfall of sheet metal perfection.
Same thing goes for the fuel tank that forms itself over and into the frame showcasing the smooth filled-in neck. With nothing playing with the lines other than that tiny recessed alloy gas cap, the lines just roll along uninterrupted like a fast moving river does to the shore. If smooth jazz was as cool as this smooth bodywork I’d be a fan, but I’m a big fan of Dan’s metal work and the imagination that went into it. Anybody can have a great imagination, but making imagination into reality is something not a lot of people can do. Especially with the superb execution you see here.
But, the pièce de résistance for me is that nose cone fairing/dashboard/handlebar setup with a mini-projector headlight that ties into the taillight with placement and being sunken. The shape, the style and the uniqueness of design make it a thing I really have great respect for. This is all a new one for me anyway and I really appreciate what Dan came up with ─ the completely unexpected. The beautifully integrated orange “fork covers” seemingly coming out of this bit of bodywork just looks so right hovering over the American Suspension air ride fork. The low, swept back bars carry Outlaw Cycle Products hand controls with twin master cylinders for the brake and the clutch. An internal throttle helps keep things nice and clean with Speed Dealer Customs grips finishing it off. Speed Dealer also supplied the handsome foot controls and pegs.
The Garmin GPS sitting there in the middle of all this front end beauty acts as a speedo and maybe a design point too. It’s just so brash to have only one instrument in view with nary a speaker in sight. Even though we’ve never met, Dan and I have something in common when it comes to motorcycles custom of otherwise. We both don’t care about audio systems on bikes and he wouldn’t install one if you asked him to, but he made sure there was room to add one if an owner cared. He’s very polite about it, but surprisingly firm when approached about audio systems on a motorcycle. Ah, you gotta like a guy like that who has his own standards and draws a line in the sand when it comes to having them breached.
Moving all that steel is the responsibility of the original Twin Cam 88 that underwent a muscular transformation courtesy of a genuine 95-inch Screamin’ Eagle kit featuring an S&S Super G carb providing a cocktail of fuel and air for the combustion party that happens every time the button’s pushed. I say party meaning the fun that happens when the burnt gases are shoved out the flight-of-fantasy curvaceous twin stainless headers just kinda dancing around in the air or so it would appear. Where they’re mounted other than the exhaust port is a mystery to me. I even like the silly holes Dan drilled inside their mouths for reasons unknown to me other than being just a bit different. I like different.
With all of the pieces in place to complete this build, there was only one thing left and, you guessed it, the paint. After all the sheet metal and frame work and getting it all in basically one piece, Dan sent it of to Camtech Custom Baggers for finish work and paint. Camtech came up with a doozy of a finish spraying a really sweet looking layer of Houses of Kolor orange that seems like it changes its base color with every change of light. The combo of orange with not a hint of graphics or badging anywhere and the rest of the bike’s abundant chrome and raw aluminum finishes is so striking it’s hard to believe. Very blingy yet very elegant. How can something so technically simple be so damn gorgeous? I guess it’s the fact that what you see is what you get. The bodywork needs nothing but a coat of paint and its own lines to make a complete statement. That those lines are so beautiful and so different adds dramatic impact to that statement further enhancing what you see and how you feel about this radically beautiful bagger.
Dan Rollins took this Road King to a new level of style and grace forging its own path along the way. And, there’s just something about having newly formed steel everywhere you look. It’s a quiet revolution in orange and I really dig it. Man., I gotta go through Barnett’s Magazine Online’s huge photo gallery and see if there are any more Flypaper Customs waiting to be found. I know I won’t be disappointed when I find more. Oh, did I mention this particular ride, unsurprisingly, but not too imaginatively, named Sheet Metal is for sale for only $24K? As my childhood buddy, Mendel Steinberg, always used to say, “Such a deal!”
For more info on Flypaper Customs you’re going to have to get social as Dan also seems to hate websites as much as audio systems.