Let's get one thing straight. This Road King, Thug Life, is no one's trailer queen. Gordon Van Doorenmaalen rides it, rides it, then rides it some more. He's never done with his bagger; especially when it comes to tweaking it at his shop of choice, DD Custom Cycle. Although his scoot lives in a state of flux, throughout it all DD makes sure his rig is one thing: practical to ride.
Why the constant changes? For starters, Gordon is a proud member of a one-up club. You know, the group of guys who live to outdo each other. They're a close knit, competitive group and the trash talk flies thick. On any given Sunday Gordon will show up for a ride with something new on his bike, the others dish out the appropriate rash of "criticism," and the next thing you know, they're all looking to get the same doo-dad for their own motorcycle. You might say Thug Life sets the standard for what the rest want to achieve, but won't admit it.
Gordon has an eye for detail. It's a boon and curse that has him constantly upgrading his motorcycle. DD Custom Cycle owner Dave Dupor told us, "I've known Gordon awhile. Every month when something new comes out, he wants it."
At first, it was a 21-inch front wheel, then a 23 incher. Then, it snowballed from there into the shiny blacked-out street thug pictured here. As it exists now, the '05 Harley is super clean and packs some serious upgrades: pimp audio, extended bags, and Renegade wheels, just for starters.
What really makes it unique, though, is the front suspension. Yes, lowered forks aren't a new thing, but a front air suspension? DD has their own kit for making just that, and Gordon's King has got it. Not only can he raise up or slam down the back with the press of a button, there's another one on the bars that lets him do that up front too. Gordon wanted the low look of a '50 Mercury but he also likes to take long runs. Air adjustabiltiy in the forks gives him the best of both. Dave also installed rubber stops to keep the forks from bottoming out when the bike is in low mode.
After he got the adjustable air suspension, Gordon may or may not have heard his buddies' trash talk about his low ride, courtesy of his booming audio setup. DD gave Thug Life a total audio makeover from front to back. You'd never know without taking a real close look, though. True to form, the shop hid everything wherever possible, in order to keep Gordon's baby absolutely sanitary. The system is based around an Alpine 4x150 watt amp, with two Kenwood tweeters hidden in the side covers. Check out the Lindby crash bar and you'll find two 4-inch speakers in H-D headlight buckets. Apparently, Gordon likes a little noise with his noise; four 6x9-inch speakers are mounted inside the extended hard bags. DD Custom Cycle also hooked him up with its signature recessed dash with iPod mount. Did we mention Gordon likes loud music on a long trip?
If the last thing you'll see on this King is the audio combination, the first thing you'll notice is the smooth, sexy profile. That comes courtesy of the sleek Bad Dad gas tank extensions, tire-hugging Fat Katz front fender, Bad Dad rear fender, and the meticulous attention paid to clutter elimination throughout. Dave prides himself on the details. He hid all the wiring and hydraulics with the patience and care of a jeweller. That's hard enough to do on any motorcycle, but throw in the tangled nest that comes with all of that extra sound gear, and you really begin to appreciate just how well he and his shop did their job. Gordon had Thug Life coated in black powdercoat and Dupont Black paint. Black paint can be a real dirt magnet, but according to Dave the Dupont Black mix used by Hot Rod Haus has a wet look that hides dust better than other gloss black paints.
All of that's just fine with Gordon. It means less time between washes, which means more time in the saddle. When you've got competitive friends like his, every moment showing off counts. Hopefully they'll see this story and want us to run stories on their bikes too. Maybe we will-if they're cool enough...