Twelve Feet Of Rompin’ Stompin’ Freewheeler

Written by  Story By Fidel Sassoon Photos By Jack “Chillin’ On The Veranda” Cofano Sunday, 29 October 2017 14:58
Published in Modified Stockers
    Well it’s about damn time Barnett’s Magazine Online is featuring a custom trike and it’s even better it’s based on a Motor Company-built trike and not a conversion. We’ve been hoping to feature more custom trikes especially since the introduction of Harley-Davidson’s Tri Glide and especially the sporty Freewheeler model, but they’ve been a little far and few over the past couple of years.

 

   So, with that in mind, we’re giving a satisfied custom trike shout-out to the crew at Beach Customs Inc. in Little River, South Carolina, for showing its smarts and taking on a factory-built trike as the basis for a pretty rad trike. That it looks more factory than over the top show bike crazy is also a plus. I’m not sure who is personally responsible for the conception, but whoever came up with the idea has their finger on the trigger of what’s happening or maybe I should say what should be happening.

 

    Customizing a Harley-built trike sure gets the build off to a hot start with basically having to forgo the whole trike rear end conversion. And, in the case of this big-wheel build, there was a keen eye involved as to what stuff from stock needed changing or could be used almost as is throughout the trike. I’m not saying someone took the easy way out or cut a corner in any way, I’m just saying they were smart yet tasteful and still did a lot of damage (in a good way) to the stock Freewheeler which also did a lot of damage (in a good way) to a Tri Glide. I’m not a big trike guy, but I gotta say the basic Freewheeler is a pretty decent looking trike. Without all the extensive touring-oriented bodywork of a Tri Glide and a heavily restyled trunkette complemented by rear fenders with a sense of flow, it was definitely something new and different from The Motor Company. It looked like hot rod fun on three wheels.

  With the trike rear end engineering out of the way, it was time to replace just about everything up front and do a bit of serious modifications that ended up looking factory as hell to me and that’s a compliment.

  Beach Customs raked out the front end for the pièce de résistance of just about any build these days, the big ass front wheel. In this case, though, it looks okay and probably even makes quirky sense on a trike. RC Components was called on for one of its new for 2016 30-inch Valor Eclipse wheels that adds a beefy bit of flash and makes for a more eye-pleasing/eye-distortion tire sidewall and rim ratio in black that helps hide the ultra-low aspect 30-inch tires. More like a modern hot rod wheel/tire look and it even makes the inside of the rim look a bit visually smaller and again, nicer looking, at least to me anyway.

  Show chrome fork legs with a bit of added bling bring a bit of visual lightness to the dark front end while the stock H-D calipers grab a set of RC’s custom discs and do what they already do very well and look decent doing it. Leave well enough alone and just move along. Out back a set of RC’s matching Valor Eclipse 18-inch forged trike wheels replace the stock 15-inchers. The larger diameter wheel size visually fills out the wheel-well area way, way better and the reasonable 5.5-inch width rim encourages tires that look like they should be there and not sticking under the back end of a Pro Street Camaro.

  Bodywork consists of stock, but cleaned-up pieces like the rear fender that’s lost its running lights or the OEM fuel tank that kept the chrome dash and badging, but now with billet aluminum caps and a killer paintjob. Not stock is the lovely headlight nacelle that reaches out a bit over the front end or the chin spoiler that really, really nicely fills in a bit of the area created by the radical rake. Visually, the swath of paint in that spot brings a bit of stylistic harmony that otherwise would be a visual black hole. The tire-hugging, 180-degree front fender looks the biz too while giving about as much protection as a fender can possibly give ─ that’s definitely a plus if this ever sees some serious road time which I think it will.

   In case you’re wondering why I think it might see road time it’s all because of two items that are both genuine Harley-Davidson Freewheeler accessories and something you would not expect on a show-only bike. Find ‘em? Yep, it’s the H-D Air Wing luggage rack and the quick-release passenger back rest or in Harley-speak, the Quick Release Sissy Bar Upright and Leather Passenger Backrest Pad specifically made for the Freewheeler. One good reason for the luggage rack is the trunk is now filled with junk. Where there once was space for packing, it’s now packing a killer Kicker audio system and acts like a giant speaker housing for the four fender speakers and the bass whumper thing mounted in the trunk itself. Plenty of sound to go around if that’s your thing and not an Ultra style antenna in sight. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that neat little bumperette running around the back end that looks like it could be off an old hot rod. Cool piece.

   I’d venture to guess the way this build went, the 103 Twin Cam is still stock as hell and that’s okay. With the crazy-cool and slightly-over-the-top S&S single bore tuned induction kit stylishly doing its thing off the side of the engine and the Rinehart Xtreme True Duals (with Rinehart’s trike kit adapter), it’s gonna look good, sound good and run just that much better. It’s that leave well enough alone again thing. The Freewheeler’s engine had a lot of chrome to begin with and there’s even a touch more so it picks up the paint in its sheen. A direct hit by the sun could be deadly, but the engine’s a peach as is.

   Where this trike really all came together for me was the use of the traditional Harley orange, black and silver color scheme in an anything but traditional hue. The candy orange with a hint of gold base paint painted by Jimmy Jackson pops while the black and silver graphics spice up the bodylines with lines of their own. That paintjob would look killer on a dead stock FLTR just as it is and it certainly looks even more killer on this big wheel trike. It looks CVO before CVO got a hold of it.

    Beach Customs Inc. did one fine job building one fine trike that even non-trike guys just might take a look at. It’s cool, it’s different, it’s showable and it’s rideable. If I were a Freewheeler owner, something like this might just get those creative juices flowing. If you can’t build it yourself, but can afford to have someone else do it for you, you now know of a shop that can.

    Check ‘em out at http://beachcustomsinc.com/ or visit their Facebook page for more info.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Monday, 17 April 2017 posted by JARO

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