Back in 2001, baggers were just catching the attention of customizers and riders alike. It was about halfway through the summer of that year when Mike Carrell was in his garage removing all the detachables (saddlebags, windshield, etc) from his Softail after another road trip when something inside of him just snapped. He was tired of having to put all these parts on his bike to get it ready for long trips; he was ready for a bagger.
He went to see his buddy, Butch Apple at Electric City Harley-Davidson, to find out about ordering an '02 Ultra Classic with the new 1-inch rear axle, Delphi fuel injection, Tour-Pak, and the whole ball of wax. Butch knew Carrell wouldn't be happy with the Ultra because of his very aggressive riding style, so he pulled his buddy into the back and showed him a an '01 Screamin' Eagle Road Glide that was still in the crate. Mike left the dealership kind of confused about what to do next.
Mike went home, packed some luggage on his Softail, and he and his wife went on one of their weekend-long road trips. As they enjoyed the open road, he finally brought up the subject of buying a comfortable, rubber-mounted bagger. It only took another 100 miles on the Softail before Mike got the green light to go back to the H-D dealer and buy his bagger of choice. Butch's words had a couple days to sink in because bright and early Monday morning, Mike was on the phone telling Butch that he would take the Road Glide.
Mike picked the bike up on Wednesday. By the weekend he had already cut-down the windshield and built his own air ride system and was ready for a few years'-worth of long road trips. Somewhere along the way, Mike also installed a Pioneer AVIC N2 in-dash navigation system coupled with an MP3, DVD, and CD player and a back-up camera. As Mike racked up the miles on his Road Glide, he noticed that more-and-more of his buddies were to tradeing in their rigid frame bikes and Softails for Street Glides, Ultra Classics, and Road Glides. He went from having one of the only baggers in the parking lot at his local watering hole to wondering which bagger was his. That was when Mike knew it was time to change his bike up a bit, so He ordered a set of Baker DD6 gears and a pair of 18-inch RC Components Royal II wheels with matching rotors and pulley. For as long as the bike looked fairly stock, you would think that these changes would have kept Mike and his lust for aftermarket parts at bay for a while.
But the new parts were short lived as Mike found a rear fender cover from Milwaukee Bagger, a fork lowering kit from Progressive, and a 21-inch Royal II front wheel from RC Components. He also converted the bike from the M&M fuel injection to a 45mm Mikuni carburetor, and replaced the head pipes that were prone to cracking with a set of Vance & Hines head pipes backed by Bassani slip-on mufflers. The Bassani mufflers didn't fill up the space at the back of the bike, so Mike built a set of 5-inch rolled tips to attach to the rear of the mufflers. He followed the tips with the addition of one-piece RTM long bags to complete the look of the bike.
While the bike is flashy and fast, it is also seriously comfortable for the long road trips that Mike and his wife like to take. The bike has been modified for increased luggage capacity and the detachable Tour-Pak still fits, so this is a real-deal custom touring bike.