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Parking Lot Bike of the week
There’s no gray area when it comes to radical custom baggers. It seems Harley-Davidson freaks either love them or absolutely hate them with every molecule of their being. The haters dislike the changes made for eye-grabbing looks that change up the usefulness of a Motor Company stocker as far as they see it. Can’t be ridden is the first one of the thoughts of the collective of commenters that always rises to the top of any discussion. Can’t go around corners without scraping is another and being too low to use on the street. There’s a million more, but since you already know what side you’re on, pro or con, you already know what the complaints are.
Contrary to popular opinion, actually riding a radical custom bagger can be totally possible if the builder has the smarts and is able to keep their imagination from getting the better of them. If you build enough different styles of big wheel baggers in differing front wheel sizes, you know what really works and what doesn’t if a customer plans to ride it as well as show it. But, more so on the ride-side and nobody should complain about that. Although I sincerely appreciate the work that goes into über-radical show bikes, I love custom bikes that can hit the road just for the hell of it.
So, you’ve finally stepped up and bought a new Harley-Davidson Street Glide, the bike of your dreams as well as many other bagger freaks. Apparently it’s Harley’s biggest selling model and the sleek and low look appeals to many other like-thinking Harley owners. Your friends, relatives and neighbors have all complimented you on your good taste and the dream seems to have really come true. But, as the months roll on the stream of compliments appears to be drying up. Your tasteful, bad ass black paintwork and factory chrome still gleams with all the polishing you’ve done, but something’s just not the same.
One thing that always comes up in any discussion (especially online) about big wheel custom baggers is whether they’re strictly a show bike or can they be ridden on the street? My answer to that question is “could be” and “maybe” although I definitely can say “can be.” Like every custom bike you see it depends on whether it’s done the show circuit and who owns it. No matter what it always comes back to the owner. That’s it in a nut shell as far as I can see. Maybe it’s not the interstate tourer it once was but that doesn’t mean an owner with a penchant for getting attention can’t use it as a knock-around bike. Obviously big wheel custom baggers are all about showing off a bit and if that’s what the owner wants, it’s fine by me.
You’re looking at a rare beast. Yes it’s another example of a custom big wheel bagger with all the right stuff to compete in shows or just show off at a local watering hole, but with what I consider a major difference. Oh, if you look closely to find what I’m muttering on about, you’ve totally missed the point. It’s as simple a difference as it is a major difference and it probably wouldn’t apply to anything else but a custom bagger. Hey, I’ll stop the crap and get right to it. Here’s a hint, a strong hint, it’s the paint.
One of the things that separate humans from animals is pet peeves. We’ve all got a list of them we usually keep rather quiet about because no one cares, that’s why they’re called pet peeves I guess. One of my biggest pet peeves is vanity license plate surrounds that say, “My other car is a . . .” I was stuck behind a gentleman in traffic today in his shiny new black Escalade with his license plate declaring, “My other car is a Porsche.” Is that just bragging about how cool you are or do you feel the world needs to know or cares in the least. I know I don’t except I was forced to read it over and over again with each small move of traffic and started thinking about him. Does his Porsche’s plate say, “My other car is an Escalade?” Somehow I think not, he just wanted to let me know he’s so cool he’s got a Porsche at home, but why the hell were you driving the Caddy then? Are you not proud of it too or is it not cool enough?
Published in Non V-Twins
Well the New Year’s here and I hope you had a lovely celebration including stories that will be told over family holiday dinners for years to come. But, it’s time to get back to counting the days until spring (my life partner says I count the minutes) and custom bike dreaming the winter away. No, I’m not spending as much time in my cold garage working on bikes (it’s cold out there!), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the work of those that do. Matter of fact, I only encourage them to spend more time out there so I can wile away dark, cold days next winter with exciting new rides to gawk at.
Well we’ve had quite a run of hot rod bobbers and choppers as feature bikes lately so we thought we’d offer up a bagger for a change. And, not just any bagger, but another wild concept bagger by none other than well-known bagger master, John Shope of Dirty Bird Concepts in Phoenix, Arizona. John’s been a very busy guy since baggers got hot and he’s been at the forefront of custom baggers with one outrageously wild bagger after another. I don’t know if he’s corralled the Keebler Elves into working on bikes instead of cookies, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I found out it was true. A lot of custom baggers come out of the Phoenix area and a lot of them are Dirty Bird bikes so the 24-hour-a-day work schedule that elves keep might make sense after all.
Well it’s been a good week or so since Barnett’s Magazine Online has had a Harley-Davidson big wheel bagger as a lead story. So for all you bagger freaks out there, this one’s for you. Hopefully you’re looking for tastefully extreme as that’s exactly what this 2015 Street Glide built by the performance-minded crew at Black Label Baggers in Phoenix, Arizona. They’re definitely a radical custom bagger bunch, but with former professional racing driver, Paul Tracy, at the helm, it’s no surprise there’s a performance adder on board as well as the usual air suspension.
Neil Dellinger’s home town of Hickory, North Carolina, is a typical small city with all the typical things you expect of a city that was originally built around a tavern located under a hickory tree. The city was even named after the tavern and the tree as Hickory Tavern before someone got the bright idea that a town should not be named after a tavern so they just dropped “Tavern” from the official name. Hickory was once the epicenter of the furniture building business, but like most cities, things have slowed down a bit with furniture production although it still continues today. It seems like a lovely little city and a good place to live, but it looks too nice and too normal for me.