2007 Street Glide
Jefferson Therrien is not your typical, ordinary bike builder. In fact, he probably doesn't even consider himself a builder but someone with mad welding skills who happens to have built two handfuls of bikes. The barely 25-year-old Manchester, New Hampshire native is a sixth generation welder/fabricator in his family's fabrication shop. Basically, if you can't buy it anywhere you can have him make it or build it.
A couple of years ago Jefferson bought a '07 Street Glide and rode it for one season. He dug the bike but just couldn't see himself riding around on a stock, or even dressed up bike. During a gathering with his friends he said he hadn't seen any touring bikes with a single downtube and thought it would look cool. He jokingly said he was going to do it and his friends weren't that surprised that he was going to cut up a practically brand new motorcycle.
Next his youthful enthusiasm took over aided by a 30-pack of barley pops and his friends cheering him on. In his mind it's only metal, so no big deal. After removing the sheetmetal and miscellaneous other bits that were in the way, Jefferson fired up the Sawzall and starting cutting the frame into pieces. He removed the neck, backbone, and downtubes, leaving the motor in place. He replaced the backbone with 2-inch tubing instead of the box tubing H-D used, adding in an extra 3 1/2 inches. He made the single downtube he had in mind and raked the neck to 46 degrees. The motor was left in so he could work out clearances during the initial fabrication stages. Jefferson worked out his trail calculations on paper, tack welded everything into place, then moved the chassis to the frame jig for final welding. To get the exact geometry he was after Jefferson also lengthened the swingarm by 1/2-inch.
Initially Jefferson only wanted a single downtube but again he said f-it. He rationalized that money is useless paper unless you spend it, so the rest of the customization took place. The fairing was modified to get the angle correct with the extra rake in the forks. He modified a set of Trask saddlebags and added in the cool, round Cyclevisions signals into the bags. A stretched Russ Wernimont gas tank and dash were used topped off with a Ness fuel cap. Everything was coated with House of Kolor pigments by the Kandyman from Derry.
Due to the unique combo of rake and downtube Jefferson wanted a one-off wheel for this build. He contacted his friends at Erwin Precision to cut him a 23-inch front wheel to bolt between the shortened forks. A composite rotor from Lyndall is clamped by a single H-D caliper (the bike now has PM units front and rear). Except for a set of Andrews cams the fuel injected motor is mostly stock.
After a long Northeastern winter, and the night before Daytona Bikeweek, Jefferson bolted up the last of the parts to the reborn FLHX. He trailered the bike to Florida and immediately unloaded it and ran it hard through all six gears. His chassis couldn't have performed any better and was stable and straight at triple digit speeds. He put over a thousand miles on the bike in Daytona before returning to home. Soon after getting home he rode the bike two hours away to meet the photographer. The day started out as a nippy 48 degrees that quickly dropped as the sun went down. During the night shots you see here, it was 10 o'clock, the temperature was 23 degrees and frost was forming on his windshield. That's a little more of Jefferson's exuberance for you. Jefferson has his next crazy idea in mind that he claims will blow this bike away, but he needs to sell this one first to make it happen.