Barnett’s Classified Galleries
Parking Lot Bike of the week
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.
For once I love the name of a bike. I’ve never given any of my bikes a name other than what they originally came with and that’s good enough for me. But there’s something strangely satisfying about this camo’d 2015 Harley-Davidson Road Glide that aggressively fits the name and commands your attention. It’s got a bit of stealth and a bit of bling and ready to hit the road or pull up in front of a casino just like James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. I doubt it has machine guns in the turn signals or an ejector seat, but it’s got lots of other goodies everywhere you look and it looks as badass as its name ─ Asphalt Assassin.
Normally when I think of Absolute it has nothing to do with motorcycles and more about what liquor I like in a martini, but not anymore. This dark and stealthy 2009 Road King custom bagger by Jason Geter of Absolute Custom Cycles in Denver, North Carolina, is cool enough to take anyone’s mind off getting a buzz on. Just checking out Jack Cofano’s photos of The “Absolute” King gives me a buzz that’s not only legal, but good for staring at a long time. It may not be murdered out, but it’s damn close and that’s just peachy as far as I’m concerned at least. Jason’s Road King is as pure as a straight up vodka martini with not a lick of silly garnishing in sight. Just like a good martini, it’s the initial simplicity of this build that gets more interesting the deeper you get into it.
Somewhere in the small town of Duncan, South Carolina, there’s a newly-built small garage spewing bright arcs of plasma light through the dead of night until the wee hours of the morning. No, there are no crazy science experiments going on, at least in the conventional sense. This steel structure is busy spitting out cutting edge machines that look like the work of a mad scientist intent on mutating Harley-Davidson’s finest baggers into something The Motor Company could never produce without sending a coven of attorneys in a crazed frenzy. Finally when the sun is closer to rising than not, the lights go out and out steps a young guy named Jason Kurtz who has to get some sleep before he heads to his day job at a body shop. Ah, the life of the hardcore garage builder.
So you’d like a custom bagger to actually use as a motorcycle and maybe enter some big local shows like the Charlotte Easyriders show where Jack Cofano bagged this Road King, but how far do you take it? Full-on show baggers have gotten pretty far out there with acres of bodywork, three-billion watt audio systems, and 30-inch or even 32-inch front wheels dictating an extremely radical look and up-for-argument ride qualities. Sometimes too much is really too much.
So you’ve got a ten-year-old custom bike of your dreams sitting in your garage gathering dust in your garage as you don’t use it as much or maybe not at all as it’s just not cutting edge anymore. Maybe legendary bluesman B. B. King explained your feelings the best in his iconic song, The Thrill Is Gone. Yup, yesterday’s pride and joy often becomes today’s guilt-ridden (the only way it gets ridden) has-been. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve got a little imagination (or know a shop that does), talent (ditto), and some cash (bring some extra) to make it happen, you could be riding a second itineration of your dreams instead of letting it silently rust away in your garage.
Published in Choppers
Man I’m getting a bit jaded, or maybe I’m a bit jealous, after seeing one big-buck, high quality custom bagger after another, but it’s hard to not be overwhelmed. Something’s good in the economy finally and custom bagger builders are taking advantage of it while building some mind-boggling machines I can only dream about. From mild to wild to even wilder, there’s a builder out there who’s knocking out a custom bagger that hits you where you live and makes you run down and buy a lottery ticket.
The owner of this slightly beyond-beyond custom 2006 Harley-Davidson Street Glide, Edward Butler, is obviously no shrinking violet when it comes to his motorcycles. There’s just no way he can stealthily street glide past onlookers without them checking out his Shannon Davidson-built FLHX and, in turn, check out the guy riding it. There are custom baggers and then there are long custom baggers and this baby is one long bagger. From the radically raked-out front end to the way-long rear fender which almost needs a red flag hanging off the tip like a load of lumber extending past the bed of a truck, man-o-man, this bike is long.