Nice Harley... "This is a comment I get all the time. I sure get funny looks when I say, "Nope, it's a Yamaha." I usually hear "Wow, a Yamaha, really?" If they only knew what an awesome bike it is.
Guess I should give you all a little background on the bike. I own a company that tours the USA putting on BMX (bicycle motocross) camps for kids. While I was in Minnesota putting on a camp, my son Bubba Harris bought the bike for me. I am still pinching myself. My wife had passed away in the summer of 2003 from a long battle with cancer, and Bubba thought it would be a good thing for me to start riding again, so that's where the story starts.
Like most guys who get metric bikes, they want to fix them up, and every time you want something cool to put on them, you will hear that it won't fit. You know, I got tired of hearing that and found a company called Pacific Coast Star in Spokane, Washington. The owner there is Greg, and this guy made me feel good about building a metric, as that's what they do and they do a great job. When I called them, it started out, "Hey, can you guys lower my bike?" and from there it took off. First they lowered it, then installed a Chubby beach bar and a Headwinds headlight and moved the boards forward 3 inches, and let me tell you, it really makes a difference. These guys are great, willing to take that phone call and answer question after question of "Will this work?" or "Can I do this?"
Well PCS did the basic changes for me in December of 2004, and then I started in with every billet part Yamaha and Kryakyn produce for this bike. I chased down a set of Arlen Ness teardrop-shaped floorboards, and then--yup, the bagger bug bit--I started looking at the Internet and found Klock Werks. And being that guy who's not afraid to ask a question, I sent an e-mail to Brian Klock asking about what I could do to turn this bike into a bagger like the ones on his site. Guess what? He answered me personally within two days; that's pretty awesome from a guy who is backed up I'm sure with projects that need to be completed and shipped. He did give some suggestions, and off I went to start, bags being the first thing. Went with Harley only to hear they would not work on my bike ... hmmm. I thought they were wrong, so I purchased a set of 2005 Road King bags and brackets and did a little fabrication myself and within two hours had them dialed in. So I guess they can work, you just have to dive in and do it.
So after two years of running a bagger with no fairing or windshield (just could not do a windshield), I decided to chase down a fairing that would work and look clean. I was in Northern California and stopped by Corbin to see the new fairings they were doing only to find out the one I wanted was still in R&D, so I waited. Last year in Sturgis I went by and talked to Jose at Corbin and had one overnighted for the very next day--at a cost of $300. Paying that kind of freight is pretty crazy, but you know how it is when you are ready for something and have to have it right now! Well it got there the next day, and when we went to bolt it up, it would not fit, not because of Corbin but because I had changed the headlight. So there I was with a fairing in Sturgis that would not fit. The guys at Corbin were great; we split the cost of freight, and I think they sold it after I left. Well I was determined to have that fairing and make it work, so I contacted Sergio at Corbin in Florida, and we discussed the brackets, and yeah, I decided to overnight it again ... no patience, I guess. It came in the next day, and I was in the same spot as I was in Sturgis, with a bitchin' fairing that didn't fit. So like any good ol' boy, I grabbed a hacksaw and started in, lowering the fairing 2 inches and fabricating a new bracket, and guess what, it worked perfectly. Guess the idea here is you can do it if you really want it.
The paint was done by Letters, Lines & Designs in Lake Havasu, Arizona. The owner's name is Scott, and this guy has become a good friend. He is willing to listen and give you exactly what you want. Oh yeah, and he did it in two weeks ... yep, the patience thing again. I travel 200 days a year, and the bike is always with me, so there is no time for it to be down. I am sure all of you reading this understand; we have bikes to ride and time down means no riding. And as proof that this bike gets ridden, on the day of the photo shoot it rolled over to 50,000 miles.
I could go on and on about my Road Star, but the thing I have always enjoyed about riding are the people we meet along the way ... something I really want to say is that without guys like Brian Klock, Greg at PCS and Scott at Letters, Lines & Designs, it would just be stock, and stock sucks...
Funny thing about Brian Klock, while I was at Arizona Bike Week and was at Klock Werks' booth buying a new windshield for the Corbin fairing, Brian asked, "So have you had your bike in a magazine yet?" and I said, "No." "Would you like to?" he asked. Well long story short, he introduced me to the guys from Hot Bike Baggers, and we made arrangements to shoot the bike the next day. That's why this guy will always be successful: He pays it forward to all he meets...thanks, Brian.
So they shot the bike in the morning, and that afternoon I left for Australia to meet up with my son Bubba for a 2008 Olympic qualifier and hope to bring home to the USA a gold in August in China...go USA!