Sweet Golden Springer

Written by  Story By Jake Blake Photos By Jack “All’s Quiet On The Eastern Front” Cofano Thursday, 20 April 2017 15:36
Published in Modified Stockers
I was working in my shop today when I found an old 35 mm film container full of tiny instrument bulbs in my tool box from who knows where and when. I remember when these plastic containers were my go-to holder of all small things from master clips to cotter pins to whatever. Somehow they had all disappeared but this one, but as I held it in my hand I felt a tinge of nostalgia for the days when I was swamped with these things from taking photos. Man, digital photography sure has taken over and I’m not even sure if Kodak is still in business. All of this made me wonder how many film containers our man about town, Barnett’s Magazine Online’s chief lens men must have used back in the day. Thousands and thousands would be my guess, but where are all those film containers now? 

  When Mr. Cofano goes to an event, he hits the ground early and runs hard until the sun goes down taking more photos than I can even begin to comprehend. Honestly, he doesn’t miss a single bike other than stockers and his feet are like a shark’s fins, always moving, and his finger is busy clicking the shutter like he’s in a fight with it. He and I can be walking along a Daytona street talking and he’s constantly finding cool bikes and shooting them without skipping a beat. He doesn’t have to shoot like he’s got an AR-15 on fully automatic like some photographers do, each shot is a keeper although he might take ten shots of a particularly good bike. Some of the best photo galleries he’s done are of bikes just parked in the street as he and I both appreciate a good custom with a license plate and a bit of road crap on it. Unfortunately, we often can’t get a bit of info on them as it’s rare to find an owner anywhere near their bikes.

   And, mi amigos, that is exactly what we’ve got here. A striking late model Harley-Davidson Springer Softail if there ever was one that stopped us dead for a few seconds before Jack fired off a few shots and we continued on. Way too bad that we couldn’t get any owner info as this heavily-modified stocker is right up our alley and, I’m sure, yours too. Kind of a perfect definition of a eye-ball gathering Harley custom that the owner could use as any everyday rider as well as enter in shows if he or she felt like it.

  Obviously, the first thing that grabs you is the gold paint that was shockingly captivating in the bright Florida sunshine. I mean, I don’t think anyone could just walk by this bike without giving it a good onceover even if a low rider-style springer is not your cup of tea. It’s that unforgiving just sitting there dazzling anyone strolling around Daytona’s bike-filled streets. Some bikes have style, some bikes have outrageousness and some bikes just have presence. This gilded springer has presence and a sense of complete satisfaction how it turned out. Like they say, it just looks comfortable in its own skin even if that skin is gold paint like the unfortunate Jill Masters in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.

  Although there are really only two colors on this Springer, gold and chrome, you couldn’t pick any others that went together so well and were not overdone to death like black and chrome. Hey, nothing against black and chrome as it’s one of my favorites, but it’s not sidewalk-stopping stuff like this baby. But, there’s a lot more going on here than just paint and chrome. I’m sure now that the shock value of so much gold paint has worn off a bit, you couldn’t help but notice there’s a lot of other stuff going on too.

  First off, I should say that this was no spray and play custom as it required complete, and I mean completely complete disassembly since the frame was up for Golding (apparently not a real word, but it is in my head) too. The rear end got slammed in the reassembly, but the chromed springer stayed pretty much stock and that’s cool with me. I admit it, I’m a fan of Harley’s springer fork as is and never ever turn down a chance to ride one. I love watching a springer in action so much it’s probably almost as bad as texting while riding. Larger diameter gold-rimmed wire wheels sport low profile whitewalls that give it the LA lowrider look without trying too hard.

  Up front, a Performance Machine four-piston caliper and custom floating rotor replaces the stock single pot setup that came stock while out back another PM caliper squeezes a custom solid rotor. If there was one thing a stock Springer lacked, it was braking, but that’s no problem here. Whoever built this knew what they were doing and they obviously intended to ride it like a motorcycle should be ridden. All good stuff that looks custom and works even better than stock ─ that’s win-win if there ever was one.

   The Twin Cam engine beams more bling with a dip in the old chrome vat and a gathering of Roland Sands Design Nostalgia engine covers from top to bottom. It doesn’t take much other than a pile of money and a bunch of Roland’s exquisite, yet tasteful billet pieces to make a Twin Cam look way more interesting than stock. Throw on a fancy lad billet air cleaner and a set of straight pipes that are not only straight, but very long and you’ve got attitude no pipes under a set of bags could ever have.

  Speaking of attitude, there’s a lot of that going on elsewhere too. Take those tall apes for one, I mean nothing says attitude like a tall, wide set of apes wearing only gold grips and a small mirror. There’s not a hand control in sight unless you totally discount the gold-grip hand shifter that rises to the occasion like the tall apes. Wearing its clutch on its sleeve so to speak, the shifter incorporates the clutch lever into it making rolling away and shifting completely contained in one hand instead of involving a foot lever as you might expect. Like anything custom, there’s a tradeoff involved, but this is one that many hand shift freaks choose so there’s got to be something to it. All I know is that it just looks the biz and if were any taller it would be a premature fork stop.

  It’s no surprise that a Springer would have a springer seat too. Nothing’s better than just bob-bob-bobbing along on steel wound into a spring or two bringing a bit of Old School nostalgia to a modern bike. I just hope there’s a nice padded leather cover to come so you wouldn’t feel the seat spring bolts directly on your butt like this one surely does. Hey, maybe it’s just not completely finished yet and the seat covering just didn’t make the time cut before Daytona.

   Other than some RSD gas caps, the tank looks pretty stock along with the oil tank too. Not so with the fenders, though, while the front looks fairly stock other than the running light, the tail dragger unit out back just brings on the lowrider style without losing its usefulness too. Man, that’s another of those win-win things right there. Cool looking, yet practical too. Where things go a bit crazy are the three pointy lights up front that look more like UFOs in flight than lighting. At first I wasn’t too crazy about it, but it grew on me now to the point I can’t see this particular bike with any other setup. Let’s just say they’re nutty-cool and leave it at that.

   Matter of fact the whole bike is nutty-cool and I gotta give credit to the builder for taking a chance with all the gold paintwork that few would have the balls to try and pull off. In this case it comes off as perfect for making a really cool ride even more interesting and daring than it really is. I don’t know who you are Mr. or Ms. Gold Springer, but I gotta give you two thumbs up for taking a big chance and pullng it off so well. Bling never looked so nice.

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