The Accidental Paint Job | 2009 Harley Davidson Street Glide - Baggers Magazine
What's the last thing that goes through a cat's mind when it hits the front bumper? It's ass" -Old joke
In that brief moment where time stops, when you realize your bike's going down, a lot of things can go through your mind. Most of them involve scenes from your life, or the words, "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit..." Nobody says to themselves, "This is gonna suck, but hey, nice color on that hood that's accelerating toward my bike."
Unless you're Joe Corso.
Joe owns Corso Cycles in Woburn, Massachusetts, and had that thought when a Camaro in Synergy Green paint decided to blindside his '09 Street Glide. Joe had the bike out on a goodbye cruise-his way of saying buh-bye to the previous version prior to modding the motorcycle.
Or, we should say, re-modding. Starting over again is sort of a hobby for Joe. He's a former network engineer and after his third layoff in two years, Joe was done. He was fed up, needed to do something he loved, and needed to do it now. That's why he jumped ship to making custom motorcycles.
Joe's not one of those fair-weather fabricators who got into the business on some whim, though. Classic cars and motorcycles had been in his blood for some time at that point. He was no stranger to rolling up his sleeves and turning wrenches on his machines. His friends thought he was nuts, especially with his first child on the way, but he stuck to his guns.
Right about this time, Joe bought a Street Glide. He'd traded in his Springer Classic, put a bunch of cash down, and rode it off to his shop. That is, if by shop, one means a motorcycle lift at one's house. Joe dove in immediately, stripping the then-red Glide down to the frame for changes, round one. That incarnation saw the addition of Bad Dad's extended bags and rear fender, which Joe painted red to match.
Eventually, that led him to local custom bike shows, where he started building a small clientele. Time marched on, business grew, and one day Joe found himself in a 2,200-square-foot facility with five bike lifts and a paint booth. And it was all his.
This is where starting over comes into play. If you're going to use the same bike over and over to rep your business, you have to refresh it from time to time. Joe started off round two with a healthy dose of pony power, courtesy of Hillside Performance in New York. He is a drag racer, after all. They machined the heads and cylinders to a bolder 107 inches. On top of that, they gave Joe's motor Wiseco pistons, Kibblewhite valves, and Woods 7H cams to take advantage of the handiwork. Stock breathing on a high-displacement motor is a bit of a crime; Joe's Twin Cam got a Screamin' Eagle EFI control and air cleaner for sucking and a Vance & Hines exhaust for blowing.
After that, he gathered the parts he wanted, got his crew ready for the project, and purchased Lamborghini green paint for it. That was on a Friday; the Glide was scheduled for surgery the next Monday. Everything was coming together; life was good.
So good, Joe took his baby out for nice goodbye cruise into New Hampshire. However, what started off as a going away jaunt came to an abrupt, metal-screeching halt on the sidewalk at a dealership. That's where the Camaro mauled Joe's Street Glide. Bike accidents will always suck, but if fate insists on giving you one, we recommend having it right before you plan on rebuilding your scoot anyway. "Right then, I knew I was going to be calling PPG for that color ('10 Camaro, Synergy Green) Monday morning. The color has a nice gold tint, which works incredibly with the Pearl White from Harley. We toyed with purple, blue, silver, and white pinstriping before settling on the blue we have on there," Joe reminisces.
Reconstructive surgery took about three weeks. Luckily, the frame was intact or it might have taken longer to get the baby back on the road. In its current life, the Street Glide is a sanitary beast raked out to fit a 23-inch RC Components wheel. Right behind that you'll find a chin spoiler Joe fabricated in-house, as he also did the license mount and LED taillight and turns. If those turn sigs look like Paul Yaffe's Wedgies, that's intentional. Joe cites them as inspiration for the ones he made for this Glide. At the end of construction, the bodywork went into the booth where it not only got the Synergy Green, so did the color-matched windshield.
The last layer of clearcoat marked not only the end of the project, but also the end of a new beginning. Joe never intended to have a bike accident. Then again, he wasn't trying to become a bike builder when he started his first computer gig. In both situations, though, he turned tragedy into triumph. Knowing that, his Street Glide testifies not just for his skills, but his character as well.
|BUILD TIME||Three weeks|
|CYLINDERS||H-D machined by Hillside|
|HEADS||H-D machined by Hillside|
|AIR CLEANER||Screamin' Eagle|
|EFI CONTROLLER||Screamin' Eagle Super Tuner|
|EXHAUST||Vance and Hines|
|TRIPLE TREES||Tricky Trees with 5-degree rake|
|WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES|
|BUILDER/SIZE||RC Components Calypso/23-inch|
|FRONT CALIPER||HHI six-piston|
|FRONT ROTOR||RC Components 13-inch|
|BUILDER/SIZE||RC Components Calypso/16-inch|
|COLORS||2010 Chevy Synergy Green, H-D Pearl White|
|GRAPHICS||Pinstriping by Jesse's Custom Designs|
|FRONT FENDER||Paul Yaffe Bagger Nation|
|REAR FENDER||Bad Dad|
|GAS TANK||H-D with Bad Dad tank shroud|
|HANDLEBARS||HHI with 1-inch spacers for the trees|
|MIRRORS||Forever Two Wheels|
|TURN SIGNALS||Corso Cycles (inspired by Paul Yaffe)|
|LICENSE MOUNT||Corso Cycles|
|SEAT||H-D covered by All Nu Upholstery|
|BAGS||Bad Dad shaved bags|