Now that doesn’t mean I just clump all custom baggers in one group and give them all leeway to accept whatever they’ve done. I’m not that nice or politically correct. Like any custom including the ones that are near and dear to me, some are just a lot better than others and that’s exactly the case with this big wheel bastard of a radical bagger you’re looking at. First and foremost when it comes to baggers, it’s all about the paint no matter what the construction and I love red bikes. I don’t know if my favorite color is red as I’ve never thought about it that way, but I sure appreciate red motorcycles as much as I do black bikes. Anything else is probably on my “gotta think about it” list.
It also could be I like big wheel baggers sans fairings as I just don’t see the need to have one on a bike that is never ever going to need it. Plus it only gets in the way of ever being able to see that big front hoop in action as I’d feel cheated if I didn’t get to at least see it now and again rolling along. And, who in their right mind would ever ride one of these in the rain anyway? The cleanup could take days. Doing a big wheel build around a Harley-Davidson Road King automatically gets some points from me anyway as they’re more radical chopper than cross country tourer when they’re finished. It’s the same as seeing a windshield on a true chopper and wanting just to rip it off as the unsightly and silly thing it truly is. It just ain’t right.
I can only assume from the end results that the builder’s intent was to build something as radical as anything out there, but do it clean and with style. In my opinion, the mystery builder did just that. The bodywork is flowing everywhere you look, but it’s not flowing out of control. The back end is curvaceously swoopy, but not like a long train on a wedding gown that always seemed a bit over the top to my delicate senses. What’s used fills the bill, but doesn’t reach the proportions like some do where they look like they incorporated the long flowing fenders off a Duesenberg. Proportion is where it’s at on any good looking custom motorcycle no matter the style. This bike has proportion under complete control.
Flow is what this build is all about. There’s a quiet feeling of uninterrupted flow from the fender to headlight to tank flowing into the rear end as smoothly as a flowing river there’s not an ugly spot or stoppage to be found. There’s not a feeling of the bodywork bubbling up trying to disrupt what nature intended. It flows as a wave of continuous bodywork that’s smooth with style points that enhance each and every piece involved. It’s as if the whole bike is a one- piece of sculpture entailing all the separate bits. The lay-down frame only encourages this feeling of harmony like it could be taken of as one piece. The builder had a sense of what makes innate proportion is all about. The stretched tank isn’t just stretched but skewed to fit the area.
The rear end starts and finishes where the tank started off until complete harmony where front meets back makes complete visual as well as feel makes complete sense. Up front the new big tight fender encompasses the front end while making the exaggerated headlight nacelle become a natural part of the landscape and not just an aftermarket add-on. Harmony is the order of the day and the bodywork quietly says it without saying a word. Any excess has been exorcized until the bodywork is about as close to perfect as you’ll find on a rad custom bagger.
Only the engine is a disruptor as well as it should be with a tough, muscular but not overpowering participant in this sleekly smooth bagger. There’s a feeling of true muscle onboard that has strong mechanical overtones to counterpoint that this is a tough, hard machine onboard to counter the arty style of what’s going on around this organic surrounding. It’s a hardcore entity to make sure you realize this is still a fire-breathing motorcycle as well as a pretty sculpture.
Up front the very handsome five-spoke mag also lends the reality of what’s going on with the dual disc brakes that are normal sized in their makeup. Just enough intricate, yet serious mechanicality to add interest to what might be another expected single caliper setup. I like intricate technicality that makes the smooth five-spoke wheel more interesting and more visible while providing a balance that a single setup just doesn’t. Maybe I’m just showing my personal preference on this issue, but I’ll take this setup over anything else for loos and performance.
The end result of this build is covered in a paint job that I couldn’t be more pleased with as it fits and enhances this build without being overpowering like so many bagger paintjobs I’ve seen that takeover what might be going on behind the paint. The lines show through, the engine shows through, the idea of the bagger it began with shows through and it looks liked a startlingly nice custom bagger shows through all the changes that have been made. Nothing as it once was still is a custom Harley-Davidson bagger through it all and that’s a great point to end up with.
For a radical bagger, the end result was sooth, clean and Harley-Davidson with in identity loss. It is an all-out custom that still looks like I could use it as an all-out bagger, The builder made his point and left nothing to discuss on the table. I may not be a big wheel bagger freak, but this is one fine build that might change my attitude about the show-only aspect of big wheel baggers that I have now.