Although big bikes are all the rage, many lack a true hand crafted persona, being complied from the multitude of catalogs circulating reading rooms throughout the land. Nothing wrong with building a big custom from available parts, but we strive to bring something new to the table in terms of bike features.
While at Cycle Fab I saw this machine on a lift taking shape with Jay working out some final drivetrain fitment challenges. I asked Cycle Fab’s guiding light, Dave Perewitz about the machine and he filled me in on some of the challenges they faced when reworking this 2009 Street Glide for a good shop customer. A careful look at the bike on the lift and it was clear, this was no off the shelf custom bagger. I made a date to come back to the shop when the bike was done, get the story and meet the owner of this striking machine.
With 3 bikes in hand from Cycle Fab and currently working on a 4th – the owner Tony, a man of very large stature, knew what he was in for and had some specific ideas to guide the initial dialogue. He wanted a full out custom, he wanted a big wheel out front, he wanted enough rake to make the bike reference a chopper in both handling and looks and he wanted it to be a stunner.
The machine took a modest 14 months to pull together from initial purchase through delivery. Straight off the showroom floor, with zero miles, the bike was torn down. A little crazy, yes, but then that’s the way it happens at this busy shop. After sitting down, Team Perewitz realized nearly all of the parts they’d require weren’t available (remember there were chassis changes that year) and so the commitment was made to make all and any of the parts needed themselves. There was a lot of work ahead to craft the bike to meet everyone’s high expectations.
Big Ron Landers split the bikes backbone and widened it 3” to accommodate the fat meat was one of the first challenges in making this new machine into a full-out rip your head off your shoulders custom. Stuffing a JIMS 131 into the cage was no mean feat. Dave suggested the beefed up power plant to add the motive force he thought necessary, in this case, a lot. Implementing a final drive chain, a sensible move when calculating the stress of driving a big bike, a big owner and accommodating big horsepower, was a challenge, one that required some careful thought and measurement, but the crew out back made it happen, it’s what they do.
A scratch built front fender and very heavily reworked rear stock fender (both made of metal, no glass or filler) wrap beautiful hoops, the front a 23” big wheel, the rear a 18”.
The open primary, not something commonly seen on a big baggery bike, is a beautiful addition, presenting an “all-business” attitude.
Enough rake was added to kick the big 23” wheel out far enough to clear all the vital parts and to give it the long look needed. This bike will no doubt be on rails when hammering down the highway. The front fender being tailor-made and perfectly proportion allows the big wheel looks perfectly at home.
The stunning PPG paint is a knock out, the unusual green comes from the Lexus color cards, the metallic is courtesy of Dave’s spray booth alchemy. Keith Hanson’s multi-colored “tigers-eye” inlays are really a showstopper – amazingly deep and complex. It is no wonder this shop does paint for the stars, the work they do is killer. You could spend 15 minutes just checking out the batwing, there is that much going on.
The Danny Gray seat was an owner spec’d color and material, in this case ostrich. Solenoid powered bag lids help keep the Bagger Bill’s bags, latch free and clean in appearance. Operated by remote, the lids can surprise the unsuspecting passer-by if the owner is in the mind to play a prank. Not that it happened to me, mind you……thanks Jay.
So there you have it, an amazingly complex, clean custom machine from a shop that knows how to consistently pull it off. By the time you read this, the machine you see here will have gobbled up a respectable amount of Maine’s finest highways, which is just the way it should be, right?
910 Plymouth St
Bridgewater, MA 02324