More Ultra Than Electra
Like many of us in Baggerland, Ray Hangliter started with a factory-offered touring bike. Unlike most, he chose a brand-new Screamin' Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide. His limited edition from Harley's own Custom Vehicle Operations unit came equipped with a 103-inch Twin Cam, limited-edition paint and a few chapters' worth of add-ons from the Parts & Accessories catalog. Due to exclusivity and the parts package, CVO bikes are used less frequently as a palette for ground-up customs.
After riding the bike for a while, he upgraded little things here and there. One area he wasn't happy about was the power output for such a big bike. Other than the big FL, an American IronHorse chopper resided in his stable. It was sleek, low and fast. He really loved the comfort of the dresser but wanted it to feel sportier. A decision was made to sell the Texas Chopper and turn his everyday ride into lots of show with plenty of go.
A first attempt at a custom touch coated the still mostly stock gray sheetmetal in black with red ghost flames. It wasn't enough. Ray wanted more radical-for people to really see it coming. With good friend and owner of Lucky Cycles, Jim Purdy, the bike was progressively built into the machine you see here. A Fat Baggers rear fender assembly was used to fatten up the rear and accommodate a 200mm rear skin. The lines of the fender blend into each of the H-D saddlebags with Pro-One latches. Suspending the rear end is a pair of Legend Air Ride shocks attached to the wider FBI swingarm. A long FBI fender hugs a 21-inch RC Comp front wheel. Both the front and rear have matching RC Comp rotors clamped by Hawg Halters calipers. Liking the lines and shape of the stock tank, Ray just dressed up the top of it with a Klock Werks dash. Although the factory Electra Glide fairing was used, it's held by a Pro-One fork in H-D trees.
Ray happens to be from Maryland, which is where Zipper's Performance is located. Zipper's was developing a new engine Muscle 103 kit and EFI controller. They used Ray's bike as the mule to develop and refine the new motor and electronic goodies. Nothing on the motor was left untouched. With help from Jim, the 103 cubes were breathed on, Zipper's-style, leaving just the flywheels and cases untouched. Every part was designed to make power all the way to the unbagger-like two-into-two Vance & Hines Big Radius exhaust. The curved shorty pipes give this bike a different look than the traditional two-into-one found on most H-D touring bikes. When all was said and done, a Bandit clutch transmits over 120 ponies and lb-ft through H-D's Cruisemax tranny.
After not being completely satisfied with the first two paint iterations, Ray turned to Shady Side, Maryland's Pro Art Works to come up with something flashy. Ray met with painter and designer Barry to design the motif and colors. Barry and Ray worked out the scheme over the course of a few meetings. Barry would draw out what he had in mind and pass it by Ray. After three visits, the project got to the point where Ray gave Barry free reign to finish the job. A basecoat of House of Kolor orange was laid down on the skins, followed by a different PPG orange mixed with metalflake. For the graphics, Barry used silver, black and root beer to create the art deco (mixed with a hint of tribal) graphics. It definitely came out unique and achieved Ray's goal of being noticed.
Although the sheetmetal, paint and motor were top-notch, Ray just wasn't done. Inside the painted-to-match fairing lives a high-powered JVC stereo getting a boost from a Hawg Wired amplifier and crossover. This particular JVC unit is also DVD- and satellite-compatible, allowing entertainment on the fly and at the campsite. The speakers were also replaced with a higher-power handling set from Hawg Wired. A really nice set of Kryakyn mirrors flank each side of the smoked windshield.
Ray's goal, aside from having a sweet ride, was to get noticed. It worked as I stumbled upon this bike while at a major bike rally many states away from Maryland. After spotting it standing out in a sea of black bikes, I was somewhat dejected that I couldn't find the owner. After leaving my business card on the seat, I walked away hoping I'd get a call when the owner returned. About an hour later, I spotted a group of guys around Ray's bike looking at my card. Running over, I introduced myself and scheduled a shoot for the next day. But I just couldn't take a chance that weather and schedules would coincide, so I went back as they were putting on their helmets and asked if we could do it immediately. Although Ray and his group of friends were on their way for a ride, they obliged. Aside from having an awesome, one-of-a-kind bagger, Ray's got himself some very cool friends. Of course they were all riding and all on baggers.