What if you had unlimited access to resources like Motorcycle Superstore.com, Biker’s Choice, and BikeMaster to choose from with the objective to customize a 2012 Harley-Davidson Road Glide? Which direction would you take it, bold and blingy or dark, moody and hot rodded out? That’s the beauty of a bagger, they’re such versatile machines, you can take them in almost any styling direction you want.
For the last few months, creating a custom bagger sourcing aftermarket parts that anybody can buy and most can apply has been the task at hand on the Motorcycle Superstore Bagger Project. We’ve been keeping Mark Daley and his partner in crime Travis of Thunderstruck Customs busy lately as the handy men on the build and in our last installment, the dynamic duo hopped up the stock Twin Cam 103 by installing an S&S Cycle 106” Big Bore Kit to go along with a high performance cam job. A custom Thunderstruck Air Intake and a set of Kerker 2:1 Supermegs ensure that we’re leaning more toward the hot rod side of the equation. Since it’s been a while since our last update, we recently got a chance to pop into the Thunderstruck garage to see how the project is coming along.
Turns out the boys have been busy revising the entire front end. It starts with the addition of an Arlen Ness contrast cut fork that barely debuted a few months back at the Cincy V-Twin Expo. The unit is a direct replacement for the stock fork, but before work began, Daley sent the Arlen Ness Deep Cut Fork Boots and Legs over to Jason Titus for the Gun Metal Grey and Black ceramic treatment. This really accentuates the cuts in the sharp-looking fork and to go along with the swap, a Progressive Suspension Lowered Fork Spring Kit was used which drops the front end a couple of inches. To make sure these great looking fork legs get their just due, Daley lopped off the stock highway bar and capped it off so the mount and support for the fairing remains intact.
(L) The addition of PIAA off-road lights give the Road Glide project a unique profile. (M) The stock dual discs of the Road Glide have been replaced for a single Arlen Ness unit with Hawg Halter 4-piston calipers. (R) A BDL 2″ Open Belt Drive and JayBrake Forward Controls are a big step up from the stock primary drive and floorboards.
Next came the addition of some 18-spoke Ridewright mag wheels. While the bagger craze has made 21- and 23-inch front hoops all the rage, Daley resisted the temptation to go big and ran with a 19-inch Ridewright Windmill wheel instead because he wants this thing to really ride. Only thing is, the fact that he wanted them drilled out and studded got lost in translation, so he had to manually drill the holes for the 12-point screws inserted into the rim. Ridewright does sell them pre-drilled, so don’t fret if you like the look but don’t really want to bore 36 holes in each wheel. The wheels were likewise given the Gun Metal Grey ceramic treatment, which contrasts well with the black screws. To bring more attention to the front wheel, the stock dual disc set up was ditched for a single Arlen Ness disc mounted on the left side. Hawg Halters four-piston calipers were also installed, but not before Daley split them apart and sent them to the painters too because they originally came in chrome. With a custom bike, it’s all about the details, right?
With the lower half of the front end done, it was time to focus attention on the fairing. The stock Sharknose fairing on the Road Glide already has unmistakable lines, so subtle modifications were the key here. The coolest mod perhaps is the addition of a set of PIAA off-road lights. With their black stamped steel housing and grill covers, the PIAA’s inject the front with even more attitude. This required taking out the original assembly. Daley also removed the molded bezel so
he could make his own trim ring, heating it up with heat gun so he could bend it up. He also built a plate, basically metal studs on a panel for the PIAA’s to bolt in to. He rewired it, too, because the turn signals for the front are now integrated behind the lights. The revised front fairing also received a short Wave Windshield that originally came with dark tint before it, too, was coated in Gun Metal Grey. Daley shaped it just a tad to give it more of a racy number plate look and the number 98 was added, the year Motorcycle Superstore got its start in the motorcycle industry.
Moving to the cockpit, a Dakota Digital Dresser Gauge Package with blue LEDs replaces the stock gauges. The blue gauges match the blue accents in the pinstriping on the fairing and in the Motorcycle Superstore logo and the digital displays keep it current. The addition of a J&M Rokker Speaker Kit will give the bike more boom as two small J&M speakers were nestled into the recesses of the inner fairing with more to come on the backside. New glove box accents complete the conversion as the cockpit is ultra clean and tidy.
The final conversion covered in this installment of the Motorcycle Superstore Bagger Project comes in the form of the switch from a closed stock primary drive to an open belt, opting for a Belt Drives LTD (BDL) 2” Belt Drive Kit. The new primary by BDL is made for Dressers and comes with BDL’s ball-bearing lockup clutch which has a new full-coverage side guard and top mesh belt guard. The 52-tooth front pulley and 69-tooth rear pulley is matched to a 142-tooth belt. A motor plate is included. Of course, before installation it had to be coated with the ceramic Gun Metal Grey and Black, just like the rest of the bike, to give it more of a stealth look. While Daley was at it, he swapped out the stock floorboards for a set of JayBrake Radial Forward Controls with Full Rubber, but not before they were two-toned as well. An industrial strength shift linkage was added for good measure.
The Motorcycle Superstore Bagger Project is really taking shape. The back end comes next, including the addition of a drop seat, speakers in the bags, Go Pro cameras, air ride suspension and more goodies. Stay tuned as the project nears completion before heading out for appearances at various rallies and functions this summer.