Bagger Nation Adding Dragonfly Fairings to its Playlist
OK, I never thought the following words would ever come out of my mouth. But, after a long weekend in Seattle, riding several different styles of bikes...I want a bagger. There, I said it. In print, no less.
I have been a hard-core chopper girl for the past several years. Even my beloved Dyna with its 18-inch apehangers and custom Marine Corps themed paint job got sold after the chopper took up residence. When Kevin Martin of Dragonfly Cycle Concepts invited me to Seattle for his grand-opening party and a bike-star studded weekend of events, how could I refuse? I should have known he had ulterior motives.
The Seattle Children's Run is in its 14th year, raising money for patients of Children's Hospital who couldn't otherwise afford necessary treatment. Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation has been involved with this event for the past seven years and has built a bike for the auction every year. Paul has a special connection to this event, "I have a close friend whose daughter had leukemia, and ended up having a kidney transplant there. They took great care of her, she's 23 now and healthy."
Paul did an incredible re-build of a 2009 Road King donated by Destination Harley-Davidson of Tacoma. With help and donated parts from Arlen Ness, Brian Klock of Klock Werks, and Kevin Martin of Dragonfly Cycle Concepts, just to name a few-Paul created a souped-up, drool-worthy bagger. Fans and interested bidders even got to watch the build online via Paul's website. One of the watchers and eventually the winning bid was Kyle Mussman, owner of the Marcus Whitman hotel in Walla Walla, Washington. For $45,000, Kyle also got the chance to break it in the next day on the VIP ride. "We rode a little over 140 miles through the mountains, just an incredible ride on an awesome bike," beamed Kyle, who's also a member of the Hamsters and has been involved with this event for six years. "It's just such a great cause, we really look forward to it every year."
Paul had another reason to celebrate-the two-year anniversary of Bagger Nation. "It's really taken off and doing great. Even in this economy if you provide quality, the customers will continue to buy." And speaking of quality products, Paul is taking on yet another venture, becoming the Arizona dealer for Dragonfly Cycle Concepts' custom fairings. Ed Goettel lives in Seattle but works for Paul in Phoenix, which is quite the commute. Ed told Paul about Kevin's custom fairings, and Kevin got down to Arizona Bike Week so Paul could check out his work in person. "The sound and quality of the stereos Kevin puts in his fairings are just incredible, and like I said, it's all about quality," Paul told me.
And almost on cue, while at the Dragonfly Cycle Concepts party on Saturday, I overheard someone ask where the DJ was, obviously wanting to request a song. I had to point out to them there wasn't a DJ-the sound was coming out of the custom blue bagger parked next to the beer tub girl. "No way!" the guy yelled as he walked over to the bike to check it out. Paul and I just laughed. "I swear that wasn't set up," Kevin said.
While many in the biker biz are downsizing teams and shops, Kevin and the Dragonfly crew just moved into a 10,000 square-foot shop last weekend. "We needed the space, not only for product, but I wanted my own paint shop, too, so we can get quicker turn-around for our customers."