Some bikes fly in the face of convention. This one slaps it around and snatches its lunch money. Not only does it have big chopper lines (6 inches of stretch up and out, 36-degree neck rake), it also goes against what you usually think of when someone says, "Bonneville racer." Namely, a motor that's so tweaked it isn't suitable for all-day road riding. It's the brainchild of Redneck Engineering's Mike Marquart, who also happens to be a longtime touring enthusiast. Over the course of his long love affair with motorcycling, he's owned a myriad of dressers, both domestic and imported. Mike's also been known to personalize them from time to time, like the original Undresser custom he made back in the '90s.
That bike was the inspiration for this one. "This is my other Undresser on steroids," Marquart told us. With high-displacement motors being readily available right out of the crate these days, he wanted to revisit his original concept of a chopperized tourer, only built around such a meatier V-twin. That was the initial inspiration for this Undresser, but it was also the first step on a long journey that led from South Carolina to Utah.
At first Mike planned on riding the Undresser on an Iron Butt trip, hitting all 48 continuous United States in 10 days, but since Redneck planned on turning the bike into a production bagger, he figured he'd generate a lot more buzz by riding it out to Bonneville and racing it instead. There was only one tiny little obstacle in his way: time. After the design was on paper, Redneck only had two weeks to fabricate, paint and assemble the Undresser if Marquart was going to make it to Speed Week in time. As one of the largest rolling chassis manufacturers in the custom industry, though, Redneck got the job done and Marquart was on the road with a few days to spare.
The 4,500-mile run to Utah and back was the Undresser's trial by fire, and it rose to the occasion better than Mike anticipated, courtesy of the various innovations he and Redneck incorporated into the design. "Of all the tourers I've owned, I'd say this one's the most comfortable," he said. He credits a lot of that comfort to the internally counterbalanced JIMS V-twin, which is practically vibration-free. Not only was it smooth sailing out and back, but nothing shook loose; he had absolutely no mechanical problems whatsoever. The fairing setup was another key player in the comfort part of the show. Redneck mounts theirs to the frame instead of the fork, much like a BMW or sportbike. That way, there's no wind pushing on the frontend.
Another luxurious innovation was the saddlebag design. "No one was doing R&D on bags and fairings, so we did," Mike said. Not only are the cargo haulers extended, he also used a Softail-esque shock set so he could do away with the shock tunnel that runs through normal stock Harley bags. Marquart had so much room, he was able to fit a big rain suit, cold weather gloves, rain boots and a week's worth of normal clothes into just the two saddlebags.
By Monday of that week, he was at Salt Lake City Harley-Davidson, where he dyno tuned the Undresser for its run on the salt. Come day's end, the motor was honed to a keen edge, ready to make a go at a speed record. Tuesday held a bad surprise, though. Over the last few weeks, rain saturated Lake Bonneville, starting to turn it back into, well, a lake. It was like riding on snow slush, and as Mike brought his bike onto the scene, everyone was packing up for the day. He checked into his hotel and cooled his heels. After two frenzied weeks of preparation and two more long days in the saddle, it looked like the trip was for nothing.
Then Wednesday hit. The salt had dried enough to draw folks back out to the lake, and Mike had his shot. Conditions were still far from perfect, but even so, he clocked a 132.253-mph flying mile to become the world's fastest standard pushrod bagger. He just wanted to make a run and show off his bike, but as added bonuses go, that one doesn't suck. Come the predawn hours of Thursday, though, Marquart hit the road for the long haul back home.
Since then, the Undresser's design has realized its other role, that of production custom. How big a run does Redneck have planned for the first year? "As many as people want," Mike told us. "Between frames and bikes, we're thinking 35 to 50 in the first year. With a bike like this, you get into a price range where it's not everyone's deal. A guy who wants a $19,000 Street Glide isn't looking for a dresser that's $35,000 at entry level like ours. This version's $41,000, and if you want more, you can keep throwing dollars at it. We also offer it with two-up seats and rear pegs." You may not want a passenger along for a Bonneville run, but as good as this bike looks, you won't want for volunteers when cruising the bar scene on an Undresser either.