2004 Electra Glide
When you write this story, give props to Brian Horsman. He's responsible for the design and artwork. I just paint 'em." That's what Scott Baugherty of Airea 5150 told us when we asked him about Psychotic, the '04 Harley Electra Glide Standard that Big Al's Chop Shop brought to him for transformation. Although Scott's a passionate painter himself, with 32 years of experience at the craft, he cited Brian as the driving force behind Psychotic's intricate graphics. And that's not all he had to say.
HBB: How'd the build for this bike come about?
SB: It was originally built for a longtime friend of Alan Bridges (Big Al's Chop Shop owner) named Kenny Talley. It was all black at first. Then the bagger craze started; one thing led to another until Alan tore it apart, did the motor work to it, some other parts stuff. Then Alan eventually called us for paint. It sat at our shop for two months waiting for a paint decision from Alan. He told us he had a budget of x, and to just give him what we could for that money. Kenny kicked in with, 'Just not pink.' This bagger made its first appearance at the House of Kolor booth during SEMA. Now it's getting a prestigious painter award in 2009.
HBB: Why this style of paint and graphics?
SB: It's kinda funny. Brian's a hell of an artist. He got the idea from a tattoo artist in New York. We went back and forth on the colors but the design came out of his head. You see a lot of custom baggers these days with flashy skulls and flames all over the place. That's fine but we wanted something subtler. You have to look at this bike for five minutes before you can really start to take in all the work we put into it.
HBB: What was the hardest part of painting it?
SB: None of these bikes are that difficult to do; it's just a matter of getting them done to the expectations of their owners. People expect the best from us because we've been so good for so long. Some folks think our work is out of their price range. Sure you can't have Champagne taste on a Budweiser budget, but that's true of anything. We're not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for. We're very proud of the prestige we've attained but the only thing that counts is what the owner thinks when it's done.
HBB: What do you like most about this bike?
SB: You mean the bike or the paint?
HBB: Let's go for the combo plate.
SB: It rides like a dream but I like Brian's artwork for the paint itself. It's a very unique paint for a bagger. The overall appearance is very clean and semi-understated until you look at it.
HBB: Anything you'd do different if you did this one again?
SB: I don't think so. Overall it's really pretty to look atit's more elegant than flashy. Some people like flashy but this is different.
HBB: How'd you get into painting?
SB: (laughs) Because I stole a lawn mower. Took it apart, spray canned it, returned it a few days later. I dunno. It wasn't out of necessity but a desire to make things pretty. I know that's kinda lame, but that's it. I could've done anything if I'd stayed in school but I didn't.
HBB: How long have you been painting?
SB: Almost Thirty-two years. I started pushing a broom at 14. Went full time at 19 to 21. I grew up hard and had to work with some of the most brutal painters but I thank them for kicking me in the ass and making me do any grungy job. Some aren't with us today but are/were very talented. Brian is 100 percent self-taught. He's just very persistent in what he does and he comes up with oddball shit. He really, really busted his butt and deserves some recognition.
HBB: How would you describe your style?
SB: Creative. I'll try anything once, seriously. But I know ugly and I try not to do ugly. I came up with a warning label on my website regarding why you should check out a painter first before you choose one.
HBB: What's different about painting bagger bodywork versus a chopper or a pro street?
SB: You have more canvas to work on and that leads to more ideas to put on it. Choppers and old school bikes are all cool. I don't care what you ride as long as you ride. Bagger owners are more apt to want more because generally they've come into their own.
HBB: On your website you have a bagger paint swap program. Tell us about it.
SB: We swap the bodywork on all '01-07 Road Kings, Street Glides, and Ultras. We're looking into doing '08 and '09 models too but the gas tank and fender changes for those models are holding us up right now. The great thing about it is it lets the owner continue riding while the paint is being done. We use all factory original metal from Hacienda Harley-Davidson out of Scottsdale [Arizona]. Missy is the head cheese in their parts department and really knows her shit. She's an absolute Harley parts brainiac. We're also doing flush mounted taillight LED turn signals in the bags and fairings, as well as gas tanks to fit factory original EFIs.