Kendall Johnson Customs 236HP Killer Klown

Written by  Story By Juan Tanamera Photos By Jack “I’m Moving To The Mountains” Cofano Wednesday, 29 November 2017 13:23
Published in Baggers
  If you want to get the undivided attention of Barnett Harley-Davidson’s GM, Mark Barnett, all you have to do is say two words ─ Kendall Johnson. Mark Barnett is a busy, busy guy with too much on his mind, but say those two words and he’s eagerly waiting to hear anything and everything that follows. Mark, like the rest of the Barnett family, is a horsepower junkie and nothing says 45-degree air-cooled V-twin horsepower better than Kendall Johnson Customs in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. No matter what they build, it’s got more dyno-proven power than anything else like it. If you don’t believe me, just ask Mark. He’ll drop everything and straighten you out.


   What you’re looking at here is a quite lovely looking bagger called Killer Klown that I’d dare say is a bit restrained (yet extremely stylish) custom from the House of Kendall. Kendall’s bikes over the years were pretty over the top in design as well as power and maybe not everyone’s cup ‘o tea. Nowadays it seems like Kendall’s son Zach Johnson and Travis Hathcock are running the show so to speak and are building custom baggers that not only look good, but still go fast as hell, pardon my French. The clown count on Killer Klown’s paintjob is at an all time low and not even in scary circus clown colors.

I’m sure Zach and Travis have a deep respect for the long time heritage of Kendall Johnson Customs, but they want to make a little history of their own. From the looks and power of this build, they’re not clowning around.


   Getting right to the heart of the beast, Zach and Travis threw the book at the 113-inch engine with proven KJC performance and reliability in mind and a bunch of tweaks of their own until the dyno sheets rang out an incredible 236 horsepower at the rear wheels. Just imagine your bagger with four times the power and still being street reliable. The boys say they turn the screw back to 220hp for everyday riding. That’s so sensible of them as 220 is so much easier to live with (said with a slight hint of sarcasm) on an everyday basis. I know Mark Barnett would insist on the last 16 horsepower if he knew it was there for the taking.


   That all-black hunk of fire breathing love gets its unnaturally aspirated horsepower courtesy of the ProCharger supercharger holding court on the left side of the engine before stuffing the EFI full of compressed fuel mixture made consistently denser by the intercooler mounted up and in front. Mix all that up with KJC’s “If I told you I’d have to kill you” specialty cam and head work and dump it out via a very fruity (decibel-wise) D&D exhaust that’s always prepared to get your groove on and you’re master of 220hp. Man, that just sounds good. Maybe I’d never need it (or the 16 extra horses), but I’d sure try to use it. If I somehow couldn’t, it would warm the cockles of my heart just knowing it’s there just in case. Two-hundred thirty-six freaking horsepower.


   Oh, there’s also a bagger attached to that rocket engine and it’s nothing that’s just along for the ride. All the standard bagger accoutrements are included so you don’t have to feel custom bagger cheated in any way. It’s a raked-out, bigger wheel bagger with street as well as show performance in mind. The lines are tight and clean without an excess of furbelows to complicate and mar the view. It’s not a 32-inch wheel bagger parody, but just enough of everything like front and rear air ride and electric center stand (check out the side stand) and audio and, well take a good look and see for yourself. It’s all there believe me.


  Getting back to a point I was trying to make earlier, this 236hp bagger is a restrained Q-ship of a custom. The matte gray base paint with gloss black speed-block graphics encased in blue and white pinstripe outlines is killer. The tastefully restrained aspect continues with a single (!) clown graphic on the bat wing fairing just to let you know who’s in your rear view mirror before they blast by you in supercharged heaven. Of course, the Killer Klown block lettering on the sides of the saddlebags makes sure you know who it was who just passed you and is not the least bit offensive to these clown-scared eyes.


  Once again, I’ve got to give it up once again to the über talented artist for hire, Chad McCreary of Copperhead Graphics in Cana, Virginia, for another one of his always different and always gorgeous paintjobs. The man’s a machine, a super talented machine, turning out every type and kind of paintjob you could imagine and a lot you can’t. We’ve feature his work so many times on Barnett’s Magazine Online that I couldn’t begin to guess how many times. Same goes for the maker of the alligator covered saddle that actually looks surprisingly two-up comfortable and two-up beautiful by local lad, Butch Watson of HighRollers Cycle Seats in Winston-Salem. Both Butch and Chad are like motorcycle’s version of the Keebler Elves with a constant flow of custom work always in demand by builders.


  So as you might have guessed, I’m very impressed with what Zach and Travis have been up to. Compared to a stock Harley-Davidson Street Glide, this bike is way over the top, but it’s got class. A lot of class like a good gentlemen’s express should if he were a hooligan riding bagger freak with a license to kill. And killing it on Kendall Johnson Customs’ Killer Klown is possibly the best thing to have under you when it comes to clowning around on the street.


  For more info on Kendall Johnson Customs, visit or check them out on Facebook.

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