Barn Find Bagger
While hanging around talking at a bike and car show, Chris from Fox Custom Paint and Ric Greene from Southeast Custom Cycles vaguely threw around the idea of doing a "faux patina" themed bike. They were noticing how much attention the rat rods in the show were getting versus the glossy, show winning hot rods and even the bikes. Throughout the entire sea of bikes there wasn't a single one that had that naturally old look they were envisioning.
The thought of taking all of the chrome and scuffing it down to unfinished metal was heartbreaking for the pair. As Ric was sitting scuffing perfectly good chrome he started to think, "most people would shoot me for doing this to their bike." Ric was also thinking that he has to be able to sell the bike as a finished product. He wondered if the idea was going to work out or if the bike he was defiling would turn into his 'personal' bike when it wouldn't sell. Ric's mind wouldn't stop running.
Later in the week Chris called Ric and told him he had been sleepless because the paint scheme in his head kept invading his dreams. Chris was a little scared that the paint job would either make or break the project. With all of that going on Ric was really getting the old stomach butterflies and doubting the whole idea. But, Ric rationalized that in order to be truly different one must take the occasional risk. Ric had never seen a bagger built in this fashion and he figured he'd either set a trend or make people scratch their heads and wonder what's going on inside Ric's brain. Hmmm, maybe both.
During the painting process Chris and Ric stayed in close contact. Chris had just told Ric that he sprayed $400 worth of paint on the bike and was now sanding $300 of it back off. That's efficiency! The paint process implemented several layers of basecoats and different color primers. To get the optimal rust effect, a spray bottle of different color base was squirted onto the bike. The spots ended up adding texture to the paint that enhances the patina look.
When it came time decide on the subtle graphics on the bike the pair chose a 1936 replica H-D paint scheme. Ric and his crew always try and incorporate a bit of art deco style into their bikes. They didn't exactly have a '30s bagger to pull inspiration from so the stripe placement was a challenge. They decided to have the faded out white come across the top of the front fender and the tops of the back of the saddlebags. This arrangement allows the three-inch stretch of the front fender and the Milwaukee Baggers stretched saddlebags appear even longer.
A large stereo was a must for this build so Ric went with a Hoppe Industries Quadzilla fairing outfitted with four speakers and an Eclipse stereo. Ric knew from the outset he wanted ape hangers and went with a set of Wild-1 bagger apes and had them powdercoated black. A set of Hog Pro Black Magic Indy wheels with a single sided rotor up front was paired with the stock H-D caliper. Suspension was handled with the stock one-inch shorter RK Classic shocks and adjustable lowering kit on the rear and a two-inch drop kit from Progressive Suspension in the forks. For some extra power a Screamin' Eagle 95-inch big bore kit was installed.
Once the bike was completed Chris and Ric's fears of the bike being an ugly monster were negated. They feel the bike sets a new look in the growing sector of baggerland. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but, then again Ric's not in business to build bikes like everyone else. We asked Ric if this bike is the new trend on the scene and he said, "probably not, but it sure is cool seeing people's reaction to the bike!"