Here we present you with a custom bagger that might just win a few of the haters of custom baggers over although there will always be something to complain about whether it’s the paint or the model chosen to name just two obvious ones. Our über talented veteran (Navy) lens man and senior rally editor, the always smiling Jack Cofano, captured this late model Harley Street Glide custom at the Myrtle Beach Rally earlier this spring and its’ a great example of a custom bagger that crosses the line and comes back with its interstate touring DNA intact. Plus, it is without a doubt a custom bagger that someone still put a damn good amount of time and money into to get it where it is today.
I’m going to guess that this was built for someone on a budget so-to-speak and a time frame. They wanted a custom bagger that they’d never lose in that proverbial Harley bagger parking lot and they also wanted to be able to ride to that parking lot no matter where it might be. No harm was done to the touring capability of this FLHXS during its transition to attention grabber bagger. All the good bits are still there although some things have changed for sure.
It certainly popped out of Barnett’s Magazine Online’s huge online photo gallery just by possibly biggest flame paintjob we’ve ever featured. Whether you’re a fan of the flame or not, I would bet it grabbed you too by the eyeballs even if you just wanted to dump on it. Such is the power of paint and the owner/builder/painter really decided to go for it and succeeded as far as I’m concerned. There was not the least bit of pussyfooting when it came time to flame on. No ghost flames, no real flames, no suggestion of flames, this bagger got flamed out in a hot rod style that leaves no doubt what the owner wanted. Flames, flames and more flames and he got it. It’s a five-alarm paintjob.
You’ve probably noticed that most of the bodywork is as delivered to the dealer and that’s cool for this build. A custom five-spoke and speedholed contrast cut-style design lets you know it’s not factory and the size and the beefy front tire did not require fame alterations for big wheel. The OEM dual disc setup is lone gone replaced by a single six-piston caliper and a big rotor that should be more than able to handle any braking even when loaded up for touring. Out back, for once I can see the rear wheel since the build doesn’t include an air ride suspension capable of hiding it. Here, it’s a laced stock-style wheel but who cares? You can’t see it unless you really try.
Another reason why I can tell what kind of rear wheel is running is because the bags are stockers, not extended or played around with in any way. Same goes for the side panels, fuel tank and fairing too. Here only the front fender had to be changed out to fit the slightly larger front wheel. Funny how that one piece of bodywork can seemingly change so much without doing too much, but it does, Looking at the back of the fairing and the rest of the bike, there’s no additional speakers or saddlebags full of electronic equipment. Yup, there’s still space for stuff, your stuff.
The Twin Cam engine did get a bit of sprucing up both looks and performance-wise from the plethora of machined engine covers and a Stage 1 kit. For most riders, the Stage 1 with a free-flowing custom air cleaner and true dual exhaust along with the appropriate tune livens a Twin Cam in performance, looks and sound. For most riders the added pep is enough and fuller sound than a stocker heals any wounds that might be left. The rest of the drive train remains as York-built.
As always, handlebars can be a game changer and that’s exactly what’s going on here. Bringing on the attitude comes courtesy of some nicely sculpted mini apes with custom hand controls prominently featured. No, they’re not just a chrome upgrade over the stock ones, but a completely custom cool set of new button controls. The contrast cut-style foot controls are another shrimp-on-the-barbie component that lets you know they’re not stock equipment the second you look at ‘em. Why the second you look at ‘em? Let me put it simply ─ this is a bagger with no floorboards. Forward mount pegs make me think the owner’s a bit long legged and this works out well for him as well as adding a serious custom touch.
So we’re back to the paint again. Which color, black or orange, is the base color? Not necessarily what color was painted first, but which one would you consider the base color? I’m going with black although it probably occupies less space than the orange to red flame graphics. Can graphics be considered a base paint? I think not, so I’m going with black. Either way, it’s quite an assemblage of flame graphics that are so over the top they look cool. Somebody out there loves their flames and I’m sure that’s all they see when they look at their bike.
But, what I see might be a little different. This bagger looks like a mild custom build using some nice aftermarket bits and a flame paintjob tghey couldn’t get enough of so they flamed the seat too. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out our mystery owner might think “Flame on!” every time they fire this bike up. Get it? I knew you would. And to all the Doubting Thomases and naysayers out there, maybe you can have your cake and eat it too with a wild looking custom bagger that has no compromises when it comes to hitting the road or a nearby local show.