When one of our readers thought about his next Bagger, he thought about the three options:
- Buy a new stock bike and add some customization
- Buy an already custom built bagger
- Buy something that has lived a great life and give it a new one
It became clear that not only was #3 the right option but reviving a former Harley Davidson Police Road King would be the only suitable path. So the search started.
He found a bone-stock 2008 Black and White Police Bike that had only 8,500 very abusive miles on the odometer. The only areas that were changed from former use were the mandatory removal of the siren and flashing lights (two elements he would have gladly kept). The bike looked beaten-down, most closely resembling an aged faithful K-9 companion who was just a shadow of his youthful days. The swagger was gone from this once majestic beast… but if tins could only talk, the stories would no doubt be captivating!
The work would be difficult. Parts would have to be replaced. New paint was necessary and even the performance would need to receive major attention to get this lethargic creature back in it’s own saddle. The work would take six months but would be truly worth it in the end.
First – Pick a direction.
The owner wanted a stretched look but would ride the bike hard – as it was meant to be ridden. The plan was to build the bike and take it on cross-country pilgrimage including Sturgis and some very technical roads… not the kind of ride not meant for a trailer baby.
Keep it clean:
The look had to be clean. Black from a distance but upon close examination – a twist of evil that would have people saying “that’s the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen”.
Make it fast:
It would have to be fast on the low end and scream on the high end! He wanted to avoid the normal motor parts and do something a bit more custom that would push the dyno techs to their limits.
Respect the roots:
This is a Harley Davidson – why would you ever hide the fact that you are riding a machine made by the most iconic brand in the United States!
The artwork would have to be original. To do this, it was necessary to step out of the normal motorcycle culture to find the perfect design. One day at a conference it happened… he saw a piece of work by pencil artist “Joe Fenton (http://www.joefentonart.com) ” that was so confusing, so messed up that he had to contact the artist. After going through the portfolio of work that Fenton had done… all by hand… all by pencil, the piece “Lullaby” stood out.
Next, he had to get this work to his painter. The owner had worked with Mitch Omar before with incredible success. You may have heard of Mitch or O’s Custom paint as he was the person responsible for painting many of the late Bruce Rossmeyer’s personal cycles. Several digital zooms and emails later, Mitch knew what the tank art would look like. It would be ghosted black and would jump out with the sunshine. Without the sun, at the distance, it would be vivid black.
Mitch picked out a few specific elements to highlight from the picture and went to work.
The motorwork wouldn’t be too invasive but would get it more torque. The stock 103″ that came standard on the Police Bikes would be a great base, especially when upgraded with Woods 777 cams were out of the ordinary but would be the perfect mix of low and high end torque for this bike.
The Yaffe Pipe would be tough to tune and would require a bypass of the O2 Censors by the owner but the look was dead on allowing for better symmetry with the bags.
The rest of the parts just came together over time including some great work by Bad Dad with a clean, seamless fender/bag combo that didn’t look bulky and fat like some aftermarket bagger parts tend to do. Bad Dad cut the HD bar and shield logo directly into the parts and incorporated the lighting behind the tins to commemorate the HD lineage.
After it was all said and done, the owner ended up paying just slightly more than the cost of a new bagger but had something that was unlike anything out there. Over the next few months the bike would be ridden more than 12,000 miles, participate in Sturgis and return to it’s birthplace of Milwaukee WI. Most importantly, second chance at life for this distinguished and recently retired public servant would finally come to fruition!
Partial parts list:
- 16” Pissed Apes by Carlini
- Holeshot 18” front wheel by RC Components along with matching rotors wrapped by a Bad Dad front Fender
- Bad Dad Rear Fender and Stretched bags with the HD bar and shield & symbols built into the bags/fender respectively
- Progressive 944 rear shocks and front fork inserts
- HD 11” windshield
- HD Speedo/Tach dash mount combo
- Yaffe Pipe
- Woods 777 Cams
- Headwinds directional/fog
- HD Daymaker headlight
- RSD Breather
- Battistinis Floorboards, shifter, brake pedal and linkage