After going through the troubles of owning a custom-built chopper, Brian Ratkos, owner of BRC Creations, decided it was time to buy a bike he could ride like he stole it and not have the bike falling apart every time he rode it. Brian wanted a scooter for the long haul and to carry some extras along with the ladies that want some air in the hair. In the fall of '06 Brian got rid of the chop and he sought out a carbureted 2006 Street Glide, the last year for the carb option. His mind was already buzzing with the prospect of his new canvas.
Before getting to any visual upgrades, Brians first order of business was power. Out came the stock mill and all of its internal components. The Screamin' Eagle (SE) stroker crank was welded, lightened and balanced while the stocker cylinders were bored out to accommodate the bigger slugs. Brian and crew reworked the SE performance bathtub heads for better flow and power before they were sent to Diamond Heads to get the bling treatment. A set of high-compression pistons was used along with roller rockers and a high-flow Feuling oil pump to keep everything well lubed. For good measure Brian ditched the cam chains and plastic shoes in favor of no-maintenance Andrews' gear drive cams. The stock CV wouldn't flow enough for the added power so Brian installed a big-bore carb along with larger intake manifold. BRC Creations fabricated baffles and end caps for the Rinehart True Dual exhaust system.
After the motor work Brian was searching around the internet and saw a set of killer extended saddlebags and wide rear-fender cover on a bike. After a little more research Brian learned the parts came from Milwaukee Bagger (MB). Brian contacted MB and was put in touch with Nick Tripi. The two quickly developed a friendship as they had similar ideas as to how and what a bagger should be. Nick convinced Brian to wait a few months for MB's new Resin Transfer Mold (RTM) extended saddlebags would be done. Brian stated the RTMs were easy to work with; no bodywork was required and they were nice and smooth inside and out right out of the box.
After Brian got the bags he and Nick stayed in touch. Brian was planning on building 180 wide tire kits that an at-home mechanic could easily install without the need to rip into the primary and swingarm and wanted to use MB's rear fender overlay in his kit. Nick also helped Brian sort out the open primary setup he envisioned by putting Brian in touch with Jon at Tech Cycle. After some conversations Brian decided on Tech's two-inch primary with sculpted motor plate that still allowed Brian the use and comfort of a heel-toe shifter. The Street Glide was beginning to take shape and Brian dug into his chopper bag, pulling out the big guns to chop the stock bagger frame. Brian wanted additional rake but still wanted to maintain good road manners. He raked the frame to 36 degrees and adjusted the geometry through the use of short springs and 10 1/2 inch shocks out back. This led Brian to extending the stock fuel tank four inches and topped it with a Klock dash.
Brian sat back for a year contemplating the paint scheme; he was shooting for tasteful, yet not over the top. He's loves flashy but was afraid he'd get tired of that look so chose the classic black and silver hues that shimmers in the sunlight due to the 70s era big flake. For extra wow-factor Brian had some Black Ghost Fire and silver leaf applied to the sheetmetal. A trick, Pickard 21-inch front hoop was added along with a single-sided PM brake unit. All that was left to hit the open road was adding more juice to the stock radio in the way of a Hawg Wired two-channel amp and speakers.
After a couple of years Brian's bagger was finally done, reworked into his vision of a bike that looks great and can still be ridden for the long haul. Brian's motto is if he builds it he must ride it, not to build bikes that are all show and no go.