The stock handlebars were replaced with a set of gloss black Sinister Industries Hot Rod bars.
Remember back in junior high when wedgies were a bad thing? Now they’re a set of Paul Yaffe taillights.
Aside from blacking-out the motor, the cylinders were bored out to accept Wiseco pistons, and the heads were ported and polished.
Summoned to Queens for a gathering I couldn't resist (my cousin Gino's ordination as a Catholic priest, if you can believe that), I took to one of my favorite hobbies while traveling: looking for local talent. After all, in a metro area of almost 19-million people, there ought to be a good bagger or two, right? A short search led me to Darius Vick, owner of this Road Glide. It turns out he's a freelance photographer who's shot bikes for this very magazine (or was it Hot Bike?), but hadn't submitted his own for some reason. As Darius is a high-end studio shooter much of the time, and my friend who introduced us is a talented photo jockey as well, to say the pressure was on is an understatement. In reality, all we did was talk bikes, not lenses; photography is Darius' job, riding is his passion.
This is Darius' second motorcycle. His first was an American Ironhorse LSC Rigid Chopper that he bought seven years ago. But, as these things happen, he got the urge for more comfort, more features, and more ability to go for long rides in the country, and the rigid wasn't doing it. He knew he wanted a bagger, but wanted to make sure he put his stamp on it.
Like a European bike or car, the focus was not on graphics, but rather on shapes, lines, and textures. "When you see those cars fly past you on the highway, all you know is something red or yellow with black wheels just blew your doors off. I wanted the same effect when someone saw my bike," said Darius, but in this case it's Pepper White. A stock color on the Mini Cooper, it has a slightly yellowed, vintage look to it. With no graphics, the pure field of color helps accentuate the lines of the shark-nose fairing all the way back to the tips of the bags. Shapes were important as well. As a visual artist, Darius was trained to create art that draws the eyes over the entire work. He used Paul Yaffe parts to help shape the lines of the bike from the side covers to the tank, bags, and rear fender. One cool side-effect of the paintjob is that the rubber fairing gasket stands out as a nice black pinstripe, drawing the edge that separates the inner and outer fairing as well as the windshield.
Black is the natural foil to white and colors most of the rest of the machine. Not content to go full monochrome, the black comes in a range of textures and finishes. Darius explained, "It was important that people got to appreciate the color, so making practically everything else black made for the perfect backdrop." The blacks come in flat, denim, wrinkle, and occasionally gloss, to give a close-range richness to this monochrome world. The focal point of the whole frontend is the single Porsche-style red six-piston Performance Machine caliper. It even draws the eye from the right side of the bike through the spoke-like Primo wheel.
As with all real customs, the devilish details are important. The Le Pera seat was reupholstered with perforated leather for a racy feel while the American Suspension fork lowers with a hidden axle helps clean up the frontend. And of course, it's not all about shapes and textures; the bike had to perform as well. The '08 came with a 96ci Twin Cam that was bored out to 103 ci and the heads were ported and polished, all done by M&D; Performance. To help pump out the tunes, the Road Glide was fitted with a Hog Tunes amp and speakers.
It's a small irony that this bike has almost no chrome on it. Why? Ask Darius, "For the past four years I've been working on a photo documentary titled Denim & Chrome. The documentary captures [African-American] bikers and their biker lifestyle on and off the road throughout many parts of the country. A coffee table book and short film will follow the completion of the project. People can see the trailer at denimandchrome.com."
|Bike Owner||Darius Vick|
|Shop Name||M&D; Performance|
|Shop Phone||(516) 352-4580|
|Year/Make/Model||'08 Road Glide|
|Build Time||Two months|
|Air Cleaner||Vance & Hines VO2|
|Exhaust||Rinehart True Duals|
|Manufacturer Front||American Suspension|
|**Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Wheel Height/Width||21x3.5 inch|
|Color||Pepper White (factory mini cooper color)|
|Rear Fender||Paul Yaffe Chuppa fender|
|Fairing/Windscreen||H-D/H-D 6 inch|
|Gas Tank/Cap||Paul Yaffe/Paul Yaffe|
|Hand Controls/Grips||H-D diamond cut|
|Turn Signals rear||Paul Yaffe|
|License Mount||Paul Yaffe|