The concept started as a sort of joke between the two close friends while working on Greg’s Benchmark Bagger several years ago. “Tom Motzko from Drag Specialties had built a bike he called ‘Black Attack’ that had been featured in several magazines and he was kind enough to let me ride it in Sturgis,” Greg explained. “All of the sudden, I had an affinity for FXRT style fairings. One day I was driving back across the state fromSioux Fallsand Brian asked me to stop at his storage shed, pick up a trailer and haul it to the Klock Werks shop in Mitchell. While I was picking it up, I spotted a fairly mint FXRT fairing that Brian had stashed among a pretty sizeable inventory of used parts.”
“Yeah, and from that point on, Greg was always telling me that HE had an FXRT fairing tucked away that would work on this or that project,” Klock laughed, “It seemed that we were destined to design our next bike together around that FXRT fairing. We thought it would be kind of fun to try something to help the V-Rod that no one had done before and Randy Aron of Cycle Visions, who had been working on his Road Rod kits, got behind our idea.” The FXRV uses Cycle Visions’ prototype front and rear fenders, modified by Klock Werks. Tom Motzko himself lent his talent of welding ABS Plastic to the project and he and Greg re-worked and smoothed the coveted fairing. Don Hotop supplied a set of his new side panels to accent the racecar looking frame tubing.
Jim, Al and Jimmie at Black Hills Harley-Davidson were also on board and found the pair a holdover 2004 V-Rod that had the right parts for what they had in mind. “When I picked up the V-Rod, I rode it across the overpass and stopped in to show it to Jesse Jurrens and Michael Prugh at Independent Cycle / Legend Air Suspension,” Greg said. They were developing a prototype front air suspension, which is installed on this bike, along with a Legend Air billet rear airspring suspension. Combined with Metzeler ME 880’s, it handles absolutely great through theBlack Hillscanyons with the full air setup, according to Wick. Klock Werks’ Tim Wagner, responsible for the fabrication and assembly, managed to squeeze a 200 Metzeler rear tire under the wide fender, putting a little more meat on the ground to help the bike hook up.
Greg drew an airbox cover which would hide the boxy top frame rail and he and Brian set about trying to get some curves in the design. They talked to legendary builder Donnie Smith and his metal fabricator Rob Roehl inBlaine,MN. “Rob is extremely talented working with metal on an English Wheel and we’d been at a demonstration he’d put on creating a tank,” Wick said. Brian found that Smith and Roehl were in the process of refining a cover design similar to what was needed for the FXRV for another friend of theirs, Clyde “the Glide” Fessler.
Through Donnie’s support, the faux tank airbox cover on the FXRV is an early prototype of what became a Donnie Smith Custom Cycle part that should be available by the time you read this. The piece helps smooth the lines of the bike so it can carry the fairing and deep curve of the rear fender. It is also the main reason people miss that it’s a V-Rod when they first give it the once-over. It looks so convincing in fact, that at a recent show the judges insisted in taping over the Arlen Ness gas cap even though the tank is still under the seat.Nesswas also called on to supply the shapely designed mirrors the V-Rod now sports.
Other pieces debuted on the FXRV that are currently in production at Klock Werks are the smooth rear custom bag fillers designed by Klock and fabricated by Wagner. “Tim did such a clean job of integrating the fat fender with the bags that we wanted to lower the bag lid height to emphasize the fender line,” Wick explained. “I worked on chopping the lids with Rick Gaudette, who’s known for building street rods at his Mirror Finishes shop inRapid City.” Rick had a radical ’61 Chevy he was finishing and it was his idea to mirror the hood line with the bag lid – subtle, but slammed. Brian’s guys said the lids were so good they looked like they came right off the Motor Company’s shelf.
One thing V-Rods are known to sacrifice is gas mileage, something Wick found out when he and Motzko, a friend of Tom’s and Keith Terry of Terry Components rode to Klock Werks for Brian’s annual Moonlite charity ride. Running through theBadlands, he was getting between 25 and 28 mpg. “Those guys got a little tired of me having to stop at every station, kind of like an early chopper with a raked peanut tank,” Wick said. “We jammed up along theMissouritaking the scenic route and stopped after the reservation in a little town that no longer had gas.” Luckily some people were barbecuing onMain Streetand a good guy there sold them a few gallons from a can.
Keith Terry called a few weeks later and with his engineering team fromCalifornia, developed a new closed loop fuel injection module for a V-Rod to test on the FXRV. It worked well, made good power and the gas mileage went up to around 33 mpg, enough to make fuel stops more infrequent. Then Terry called again and told Greg he’d been getting about three calls a day from V-Rod guys and that one of hisCaliforniaengineers was going to be back in the Spearfish, SD shop. “Keith told me they had another idea for the sensing system and module and that he thought they could improve on what we were getting,” Greg said. After they worked their magic, the bike now gets an average of 42 mpg and even better yet, the seat of the pants feel through the power band is very noticeable to the rider.
The FXRV gets much of its presence through the choice of Performance Machine’sEl Doradowheels and the single-sided front brake setup that shows off this design to its fullest. Brian and James Mayer, Klock Werks’ in-house paint specialists, worked with PPG to obtain the custom Hamsta Yella mix. Though appearing initially like a pearly metalflake yellow, the finish changes slightly depending upon how it’s viewed in the sun. From one direction the metalflake appears a light blue-green and from another a subtle red-orange. “PPG finishes are great to work with,” according to Mayer, “on this particular fairing it was tricky to get the full color change effect we were after.”
The judges at the 2005 Metzeler Tire Custom Bike Show during the Sturgis Rally awarded the FXRV the trophy for Best In Class – Stage Three and indicated the fact that the bike was so heavily altered from stock and the attention to detail in the fabrication were the deciding factors. One of the Metzeler judges told Wick after the show that Willie G. himself had checked it out and said he thought the idea was a great use of a V-Rod. No Joke.
Up Close: The Harley Davidson FXRT Fairing
Installed on Harley-Davidson’s popular FXR frame in the 80’s to convert the bike to a sport tourer, the FXRT fairing was the butt of many jokes and the bikes usually languished on the sales floor. Discontinued in 1993, the fairing was generally thought to have made the bikes look too “Japanese” and the market for a Harley sport tourer never really materialized anyway. It didn’t help that the bikes were sold in large numbers to the police force, so most people’s first look at one was usually in their rear view mirror as they prepared a story about how their father and grandfather were also policemen (see You Don’t Know Jack in this issue to explain this reference). Customizers were quick to pick it up, however, and with a little cutting and slamming, some of the first high end, super custom dressers were built. These fairings can usually be picked up used or slightly damaged from Harley dealers all over the nation. A quick look in the back revealed four on the shelves here at Barnett Harley-Davidson.
Builder:Tom Motzko of Drag Specialties
Brian Klock comes from a rural community of 389 people in Eastern South Dakota. His first home was above his parent’s gas station. Influenced by his father's love of cars and motorcycles at an early age, he became fascinated with hot rods and custom bikes. In 1997, Brian opened Klock Werks in its first location in a single stall of a mentor's garage. In 1999, Dan Cheeseman came straight out of the local university to join Brian in his design efforts. For the next 5 years, they proceeded to take their talents to the streets from a 700 square foot garage without even a sign. Relying on word of mouth and a strong underground following, they remained one of Mitchell, South Dakota's best kept secrets until their creativity gained wide recognition and Klock Werks bikes were featured in several national magazines.
Klock Werks has expanded into a 7200 square foot space this past year to better meet the needs of their customers. In addition to one of the latest dyno setups by John Patton of Quigley Motor Werks, Todd Snedeker, with his Watercuts.com waterjet machine is able to manufacture an expanding line of parts that appear on Klock Werks Kustoms and are being made available to the enthusiast.
Brian has become known as one of the country's most diverse builders. The guys at Klock Werks pride themselves on not only building great one-off choppers, but also Sportsters and baggers. And lately, they have created a "newstalgia" buzz with their vintage style Twin Cam bikes. You can check out more from Klock Werks at www.kustomcycles.com .
|Builder:||Greg Wick, Rapid City, SD|
Tim Wagner, Klock Werks www.kustomcycles.com
|Designer:||Brian Klock and Greg Wick|
|Year / Make:||2004 V-Rod, FXRV|
|Fuel Injection:||Highly modified|
|Dyno Tuning:||John Patton, Quigley Motor Werks|
|Rear Suspension:||Legend Air Billet|
|Front Forks:||Legend Air Prototype, 4” drop|
Performance Machine El Dorado
Faux Airbox Cover, Donnie Smith and Rob Roehl
|Custom FXRT Fairing:||Tom Motzko|
|Speedlid Bag Lids:||Rick Gaudette, Mirror Finishes|
|Bag Latch Covers:||Dakota Billet|
|Paint:||PPG Custom Hamsta Yella Mix|
James Mayer, Klock Werks
Jim, Al & Jimmie at Black Hills H-D