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Parking Lot Bike of the week
Harley-Davidson Flatheads are what a lot of people might say is an acquired taste much like gin, Moxie, and OnYums. It might not be love at first ride for those used to the power of late model Harleys, but there’s something about the old 45-inch Flatheads that makes for a satisfying experience. Yeah they sound like a Harley should, but they’ve got their own beat and bark that’s a bit more relaxed in tempo. They are a 45-degree air-cooled V-twin, but they look so different you’d never mistake one for any other Harley design even though the very basic engine architecture is the same. Flatty’s are a simple side-valve design from a time when simple was a motorcycling necessity for riders who were usually their own mechanics.
Published in Bobbers
Some people can talk forever in endless, excruciating detail about their motorcycles and some seemingly could care less. Brandon Frye of Hickory, North Carolina, falls into the latter category and I don’t think he would care that someone he didn’t even know was categorizing him. And I am, but in a good way from my point of view. The title of this article is all he has to say about his forlorn looking bagger which is far from forlorn. It might just be one of those custom bagger strokes of semi-genius we occasionally run into here at Barnett’s Magazine Online well from my point of view again.
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.
Learning to ride a bike is something every one of us has in common. Everybody’s got their own story of that first ride (or the first attempted ride) that usually involves some sort of silly mayhem and a bike they either remember with total fondness or try to forget about like it never existed. Some people start off at what I’d consider the “top” (at least from my own first riding experience) like Michelle Baringer of Southern Pines, North Carolina, did on her very own 1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883. How cool is that?
Published in Modified Stockers
Around the office here at Barnett’s Magazine Online, we’re big fans of Jerry Covington and his long, long resume of custom work over what is now measured in decades instead of years. That resume also includes just about every type and style of custom motorcycle that’s come along since the wheel was invented. Nothing was dumbed down to cut costs, and everything was finished to a high degree that could withstand any show judge no matter how picky.
Okay, okay ─ the title is a bit misleading, but it’s not very often you get to refer to “crazy beavers” attacking a motorcycle, so it was something I couldn’t pass up. Just the thought of beavers attacking a motorcycle leads one to picture total destruction, but after taking one look at this highly-customized Road Glide you know exactly the opposite is true.
Somewhere I once read a quote supposedly from a General Motors executive during the muscle car era that went something like this, “You can’t sell an old guy’s car to a young guy, but you can sell a young guy’s car to an old guy.” I didn’t get it (or probably care) when I was young, but now that I’m an old guy I totally understand. Perhaps that’s why you could get a six-cylinder Chevy Impala SS with all the looks of a young guy’s car, but with an old guy’s oftentimes boring sensibility. At the very least, that kind of thinking brought people of all ages into the showroom and that’s half the battle to begin with.
Every time I get a new (at least to me) bike, I always wonder if this one will be the forever bike I’ve dreamed of keeping or is it just another pleasant step along the way. Although I’ve dearly loved just about every bike I’ve owned, it unfortunately became time for some of them to hit the road for practical and/or new bike lust reasons. Just like most of you, I can be tempted with a different (and not necessarily new) model, color, use, whatever excuse I need at the time.
Slowly but surely I’m beginning to think that trike people just might be the most hardcore, ardent, and vocal fans of their own particular niche among the many niches of the custom motorcycle world. It’s one thing to customize a two-wheeler and all the moolah and hard work that it entails, but with a trike there’s even a larger commitment of time and money involved just because of the extra parts and acreage involved. No matter what, the initial investment before you ever start customizing is greater just because of the trike conversion compared to two-wheeler. There are a lot of good, practical reasons people ride trikes nowadays, but don’t ever think the motorcycle passion is gone. It’s there in spades and we have bikes like our feature trike to prove it.
Let’s see, you’re a well-known and respected builder and you’re planning a pretty big ride in less than a month from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Rockingham, North Carolina, that you need to complete in three days and you need a bike to do it on, what are your choices? Well you could borrow a buddy’s bike, but that would be kind of lame or you could head to your nearest Harley-Davidson dealer and pick up something shiny new, but as a hard-core builder, riding a stock factory bike is sacrilegious. For John Dodson of Gangster Choppers in Richmond, Virginia, the only thing to do was start from scratch with a 50-year-old Panhead he had lying around and hustle like hell until you had not only a rider, but a damn fine one as well as a looker too.
Published in Choppers