We get a lot of guys and gals from all over the world sending in pics of their baggers, with most of them being the normal FL-based Harley-Davidsons. This month we look at some bikes that are based on the Softail chassis and see just what the ingenious minds of our readers have come up with.
If you are interested in being a part of this section, send those pics to Hot Bike Baggers Readers' Rides, 2570 E. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806.
Rick Van Auken rides a '98 Fat Boy that has slowly evolved from a barhopper to a bagger. A captain with the Orange County Fire Department for 32 years, Rick spends most of his off-duty hours taking weeklong trips throughout California, Nevada and Utah.
He rides a Softail because of the lowprofile look, and he prefers the handling compared to the FL chassis. Rick has played around with a few different-sized bags and has found the H-D bags off of a Softail Deuce to be his favorite. To keep the wind off of him during his 1,500- mile rides, he custom-fabricated all the quick-release brackets to work with his cut-down FL fairing, which he is now producing for a few buddies.
This bike truly shows that even guys with demanding jobs such as a fire captain can still find time to convert a lowly Fat Boy into one tricked-out bagger that is capable of logging hundreds of hours of saddle time.
|Owner||Rick Van Auken|
|City/State||Aliso Viejo, California|
|Carburetor||S&S; Super G|
|Pipes||Vance & Hines Big|
|Handlebar||Bikini Beach Fat Bar|
After building a custom chopper for himself, Jeff decided to transform his '00 Night Train into an affordable bagger. Using eBay as his main source for acquiring mildly used or take-off parts, he spent substantially less than buying a new bike without losing one ounce of cool.
The bike features an '07 wide tire off a Softail Custom, a Fat Boy rear fender, a set of used bags and fenders all painted black. Up front, a cut-down FL front fender is wrapped around a smooth 21-inch rim. In the engine department, Jeff employed the same thrifty approach and scoured the Internet and swap meets to find a potent mix of 10:1 pistons Screamin' Eagle ignition and 211 cams; he also bored the H-D carburetor to 42mm and decided to do all the head work himself to further save on the build.
This bike is a testament that with a little parts-chasing and a lot of determination, a guy can build one killer bagger out of just about any bike.
|Carburetor||H-D bored to 42mm|
|Wheels||Front: American, Rear: H-D|
|Tires||Front: Avon, Rear: H-D Dunlop|
MJ sent us a pic of her slammed '06 Heritage Softail Peace Officer Special Edition complete with hockey-puck bags and custom fender with molded taillight treatments. Tons of chrome has been added throughout the bike. The throaty Samson True Dual fishtails do a great job of setting off MJ's neighbors' car alarms as well as keeping the SUVdriving soccer moms at bay. The bike also has a killer one-off custom-stitched blue flake seat with memory foam that keeps the buns from going numb with style. In the paint department, two-tone gray and blue pinstripes break up the OE Harley Vivid Black finish. The 12.5-inch ape hangers, twisted 80-spokes and Caddy emblem let you know that this bike is a Cali Cruiser for sure.
|City/State||Santa Clarita, California|
|Color(s)||Black & Blue|
|Seat||Custom blue flake|
Coming to us all the way from Canada, this custom build was indeed a true family affair. Kim Green and her husband Dave built this bagger from the ground up with a Softail frame from Ultima using a Twin Cam Harley-Davidson motor rebuilt by none other than her son Kyle. Kim wanted a bagger that reflected her love for the cars of the '50s, and with the low-slung stance of this bike coupled with a two-tone black and '57 Chrysler Parakeet Green paint job, the theme has proven to be well executed.
Keeping with the sleek retro theme, Kim used a 2-inch under billet frontend with mid-'80s Tour Glide fairing and Dakota Digital gauges, which follows the line of the custom-stretched, one-piece, 5 1/2-gallon tank and LePera Silhouette seat to a tee. The bags are Harley-Davidson with custom LED lighting and are attached with a bracket kit from Cycle Vision and finished off with a set of chrome trim moldings from H-D's Parts & Accessories catalog up top. The bike rolls on an 18-inch 80-spoke wheel from DNA in the front with a solid 16-inch H-D Fat Boy wheel out back.
It seems that bikes are a labor of love for the Green family as well as a vehicle, so to speak, through which they can show off their own brand of family values.
|Pipes||Vance & Hines|
|Wheels||Front: DNA, Rear: H-D|
|Brakes||Front: Ultima/DNA, Rear: H-D|