2007 H-D FLHX
Back in the '60s and '70s, a rider couldn't just open up a mega catalog to outfit and customize their bike. Motorcycling was more of a grassroots endeavor that relied upon local shops and the powers of a mechanic to bring ideas to life. Not just merely wrench-turners, these early bike gurus often knew their way around heavyduty metal-molding machines and could wield a mean torch. Perry Sands, who later went on to start Performance Machine, was a proponent of high performance, seeking out ways to not only make bikes go faster and look good doing it but also ways to improve on stopping power.
Perry and crew made one of their first big hits by designing and building hi-po disc brake systems. PM's brakes were not only the choice for the discriminating street rider but also were prominently used on all different levels and types of racing motorcycles. With the advent of technologically advanced CNC machines, PM tackled the world of wheels. Today, PM's wheel designs and cutting-edge quality are still revered by motorcyclists everywhere. Continuing in his dad's footsteps, Roland Sands is an important creative member of PM's design and development.
Responding to the marketplace has always been a hallmark of PM's philosophy. Now in its fourth decade, PM is increasing its presence in the bagger niche by showcasing some of their product line on this '07 FLHX. The first order of business for the Street Glide was putting it up on a lift and unbolting the wheels, brakes, controls, mirrors and rear fender assembly. The bike's fork and shocks were also removed for a suspension upgrade. While parts were gathered from PM's vast warehouse, the fork was fitted with a Progressive Suspension lowering kit. On the rear, the stock shocks were replaced with an Air Ride suspension system.
In place of the stock rear fender, the Glide received a PhaTour wide-tire rear fender with bag supports and filler panels to accommodate a 200mm rear tire. This swap necessitated the switch from a final belt drive to a chain and the addition of chain sprockets front and rear. Holding the new Metzeler low-profile 18-inch rubber is a PM Strut-style wheel with matching rotor and sprocket. The swirling pattern on these components gives the impression of movement even while standing still. A four-piston PM caliper clamps down on the stocksized 11 1/2-inch rotor. A 21-inch wheel was used on the front, and instead of utilizing the stock dual-disc arrangement, it uses a larger, single, 13-inch Torque/Strut floating rotor. To haul the bagger down to a smooth, controlled stop, PM went with a macho six-piston caliper.
While all of the sheetmetal was off at Air Trix for a bath in blue metalflake, the motor received some bling in the way of a pair of Roland Sands Design Vintage rocker covers. Helping the fuelinjected motor expel its waste products is a set of Vance & Hines pipes. To lighten clutch action, a PM clutch master cylinder on the left side of the handlebar was combined with a slave cylinder at the transmission end. Goodies from PM abound in the cockpit area with the addition of grips, Contour hand controls with microswitches, fluted speaker covers and a matching fluted fuel door cover (these items are also available in a smooth style). Sleek Touring mirrors fit well inside the stock FL batwing fairing, giving a nice view of the road you've just traveled. To treat the feet, the stock floorboards and foot levers were pitched in favor of the functional and stylish PM units. The passenger boards were similarly replaced with the uniquely shaped PM boards.
Before the final assembly of the rear end of the bike, a sleek PM taillight was installed in the rear fender. This unit features integrated turn signals built right in, furthering the clean lines of the rear of the bike. A clean license plate mount is also part of the light assembly. After the newly painted hard saddlebags were installed, a set of PM bag latches were put on. They not only look good, they operate well and utilize the stock locking mechanism.
Over the course of two weeks, the Roland and PM crew and PM R&D member Jason Tiedeken turned a new, mild-mannered, stock scooter into a jaw-dropping custom tourer. PM has done all the homework for us; their parts are well conceived, well designed, and they work. Luckily, all we have to do is visit our local dealer or fire up the Internet to have 40 years worth of ingenuity at our disposal.