Last summer, the Baggers crew (at the time, that was just me) headed out to the Bonneville Salt Flats for BUB's Speed Trials, an all-bike event dedicated to setting the two-wheeled land speed record in myriad categories. The reason we went, besides the beautiful, empty Nevada roads and Brian Klock's wedding, was that there was supposed to be a flotilla of FLs (10 was the rumor) stalking the sand in search of the record set by Brian Klock's fiance, Laura Ellifson, back in 2006. The fleet of high-speed touring yachts didn't materialize in the two days we hung out, so we bailed. The sand was a little mushy from some recent rain, so conditions were less than perfect, and the baggers that did make it barely made it into the triple digits.
One of the missing bikes is right here on these pages. It seems that one of Klock's main sponsors, Drag Specialties, was stirring up a little rivalry by tossing money and parts around at a few notable dresser builders. Binford's Custom Cycles is not in the league of Klock Werks or FBI but does a brisk business in customs (especially dressers) in an area hard-hit by the current housing bubble explosion. Aside from Drag, Corbin as well as some others represented on this bike's many sponsor stickers kicked in to help out with the project.
In case it wasn't obvious, the key to this aspirational salt runner is a lightly built-up motor (mostly built to last) with three bottles of nitrous oxide hooked up to it. Paul Binford collaborated with Bob Wood to build a stout 95-inch Twin Cam powerplant with a cocktail of motor parts from S&S, Screamin' Eagle, Harley-Davidson and Wood providing heads and cams. With the Zipper's NOS system activated, it makes an alleged 190hp on the dyno. We've been told by Paul Binford that the bike has been clocked at 159 mph on pavement, which we would have to assume was operated by a professional in a closed-course environment...
With the power taken care of, Binford moved on to the sound system. Klock set the bar pretty high for salt bikes with his Biker Build-Off-winning custom, so Paul wanted his creation to rock in every way possible. However, this is where the train left the tracks. He spent over 75 hours fiberglassing the new dash and bags to accommodate the 1200-watt, 10-speaker stereo system, and it was during these labors that he had a bit of an epiphany: This bike was never touching the salt. True, that sort of invalidated its whole raison d'tre, but who in his right mind would take a bike with this much custom work in it out on a wickedly corrosive surface like that?
It did take to a different sort of circuit: the show circuit. It's won a couple of shows now, including the Easyriders Sacramento show, so it's completely validated Paul's obsession with making it as trick as possible.
The monster stereo and electronics package (dual game systems in the bag lids, rearview camera, nav system and DVD player blasting through those same premium speakers) has actually already paid for itself. With the NOSty sitting around the shop for the past winter, guys who'd come in for something else were exposed to the possibilities of just how much entertainment you can pack into a bagger and have stepped up to build their own systems on their bikes. It's gotten so crazy that Paul's had to hire a dedicated stereo guy to handle the work. Sure all those amps and speakers cut down on your bag space, but that's what the Tour-Pak is for, right?
With the accolades of the show circuit behind him, Paul's now mostly come to terms with potentially destroying his beloved machine out on the salt plains of Utah. Last we heard, his wife Diane e-mailed that they were indeed planning a trip out to Bonneville this coming September...packing unpainted fiberglass bags to take off some weight from the bike and some abuse to the big-bucks stereo, of course. B