With the engine and front end done, the final installment of the 2012 Motorcycle Superstore Harley Road Glide project digs into the conversion of the rear end.
Cue the trumpets. Let the ticker tape parade begin and the confetti fall. We’re proud to announce the Motorcycle Superstore Bagger Project is complete. Work on the tail section is finished, the audio system is installed, the air ride suspension is in place, and we’re the proud parents of one ultra-cool hot rodded 2012 Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Now it’s time to release our baby to the world as it makes its local debut before being carted off to Sturgis just in time to embark on a Biker’s Choice tour.
To bring everybody up to date, the Motorcycle Superstore Bagger Project demonstrates what just about any rider with basic mechanical skills can do to customize a Harley-Davidson Road Glide using a host of aftermarket products from companies including the Motorcycle Superstore, Biker’s Choice and BikeMaster. The metamorphosis has seen two installments so far, from the addition of an S&S Cycle 106” Big Bore Kit and Kerker 2:1 Supermegs (read all about it in our Motorcycle Superstore Bagger Project – Engine article) to a total revamp of the front end and conversion to a BDL open belt drive (see our Motorcycle Superstore Bagger Project – Part II feature for details). The final installment focuses on the revisions to the bike’s backside, from the addition of a Fat Bagger Drop Seat Kit to new speakers in the saddlebag lids to slammin’ it to the ground with Progressive Air Ride suspension, along with any other tidbits we may have missed.
Daley began the rear end conversion by taking off the seat, saddlebags, rear fender and covers until all that remained was the swingarm, rear wheel, shocks and stock sub-frame. With everything out of the way, he set about installing the Fat Bagger Inc. (FBI) Drop Seat Kit.
The FBI kit comes with a rear sub-frame assembly and the seat. Daley said all the components to reposition the battery and the fusebox and turn signal modules are included in the kit. It also comes with new side covers. The battery is repositioned down a touch and turned sideways but pretty much stays in the same location. According to FBI installation instructions, “Since the ’09-later models are bolted together beneath the seat at four frame points, you simply remove all outer components, unbolt the factory rear/upper chassis section, bolt on the new FBI replacement sub-frame then re-mount your stock fender, bag mounting brackets, bags, etc.”
“I liked working with it. It was the first one I had done and it went together real well,” Daley said.
With the new drop seat in place, it was now time to begin installing the Progressive Air Ride Suspension.
“Basically we removed the old shocks, wired in a compressor in the left saddlebag, and then wired in a pump switch to pump it up and a dump switch to dump the air out,” Daley stated.
In order to remove the stock shocks, disconnect the air lines first by pushing in on the outer collar and pulling the lines out. Free of the air lines, the stock shocks could then be removed. The Progressive units utilize the stock mounting hardware, so the next step meant inserting mounting sleeves into the new shock eye before the Air Draggers are placed back in the same location as stock. The important thing here is being sure you have the air fitting at the top. Once in place, be sure to check for adequate clearance around the shocks before tightening down the bolts. Next, it’s time to swap out the old air line for a 5/32” line that comes with the shocks before connecting it to the “T” fitting. The tubing for the air compressor was than attached and a 5/8” hole was drilled inside the wall of the left saddlebag to run the two lead wires and one air tube through to the compressor mounted in the left saddlebag. Wiring to inflate and deflate the shocks was then wired to switches positioned under the seat.
With the new seat and rear suspension in place, the stock tire was swapped out for a Dunlop D207 ZR Radial Rear Tire. The tire was originally designed for the V-Rod but serves the needs of our hot rod bagger well, too, and has a W-rating for speeds up to 168 mph. With the hopped-up engine, the decision was made to update the brakes as well and Hawg Halters answered the call with its 4-piston rear caliper. The piece-de-resistance to the rear end conversion is Ridewright’s wicked new 18-spoke mag wheel.
But the project didn’t end there. People are going to be able to hear more than the bellow of its Kerker 2:1 Supermegs thanks to the installation of a premium audio system. With the J & M Rokker Speaker Kit already hooked up in the front, he gave the back more boom by installing a set of Fat Bagger Speaker Lids, a direct replacement for Harley-Davidson standard hard bag lids for all ’93-later models. The system includes two 6” X 9” speakers and an amplifier and is designed so the amp leaves room in the saddlebags after installation. The saddlebag latches are Thunderstruck originals and part of the new “Sniper” line from Mark Daley Designs, the design studio the newest expansion of Daley’s enterprise. Two other new products coming out of Mark Daley Designs include the slick air cleaner and horn cover, both available to the public by contacting Daley at Thunderstruck Customs. (541-779-0340)
Of course, the new bags, rear fender and side covers are slathered in the Gun Metal Grey and Black Ceramic paint to color match the tank and front fairing. Many thanks to Jason Titus for his painting skills in applying the custom ceramic treatment. The big number “98” on the bags signifies the year the Motorcycle Superstore came into existence but fits the racy disposition of the “super bagger.” Daley recently took the Motorcycle Superstore Harley Bagger out to the local Iron Horse Rally to get some initial impressions from hardcore bikers.
“We probably could have sold it two or three times. People were asking if it was for sale, or a bike like this, which is what you want to hear, definitely,” Daley said.
Mark Daley worked his magic on the stock Harley bagger, transforming it into a hot rod for the Motorcycle Superstore.
When asked what was the most challenging aspect of the build, Daley said the installation of the PIAA lights was the most difficult task, noting that everything else was pretty straight-forward.
To honor Daley for all his hard work, the Motorcycle Superstore is holding an “Appreciation Party” for him July 21 at the Touvelle Tavern in Central Point, Oregon. The party runs from 6 – 10 p.m., the Motorcycle Superstore is springing for free “Touvelle Burgers” for the first 100 people, a “Show and Shine” will be held so people can showcase their bikes with a $100 gift certificate to the Motorcycle Superstore going to the winner, and local band Red X will be supplying the party music. And of course, the Superstore Bagger will be the other guest of honor to showcase Daley’s amazing custom bike building skills. Then the bike will be whisked away to Sturgis just in time to begin the second phase of its new life as it embarks on a Biker’s Choice tour.
We’d like to thank all of the parties involved who made this project possible, from the Motorcycle Superstore to all the businesses under Tucker Rocky’s vast umbrella who supplied parts. And of course there’s Mark and Travis from Thunderstruck Custom Bikes who put it all together. We can’t forget giving one of our own, VP of Design Brian Chamberlain, a shout-out for coming up with the cool graphic design and color scheme.