Almost a decade ago John Dodson opened up Johnny Legend Customs in Villa Park, Illinois-located west of Chicago. Johnny, like many builders, originally started out his shop out of his personal garage until the business took off and he needed bigger digs. Johnny was initially involved with the popular bikes of the time: big, fat tires, long and low chassis, and big-inch high horsepower pro street styled bikes. He strove to be unique and liked to add his special twist to each build he produced.
With the custom, one-off market waning in popularity Johnny refocused his efforts on what the market dictated, and that would be baggers. Chicago Baggers was started as a subsidiary of Johnny Legend Customs and Johnny wanted to show off some of his skills. Instead of finding a customer or outside funding for his showcase bagger build, Johnny decided to build one for himself as a rolling calling card for Chicago Baggers. Johnny's previous main ride was a 10-foot-long, 127ci, pro street with 60 degrees of rake and a fat 360 tire out back. That bike, Switchblade, was featured in Street Chopper magazine in May 2007. Keeping with a play on the name of the chopper and Johnny's move over to riding a bagger, the name Switched was appropriate for this bike.
Although Johnny started out the project with an '05 Harley Ultra Classic Electra Glide the bike he created doesn't look much like a decked out big daddy dresser. It's definitely more Street Glide-esque as it lacks a Tour Pak and front spotlights. Once Johnny had the Ultra in his shop he tore the bike down to the frame, cleaned up any unwanted tabs and brackets, molded it smooth and set it aside for paint. All of the sheetmetal was pitched into the recycling bin, and Johnny went to work on making the stretched gas tank along with a custom dash. For the rest of the bodywork Johnny sourced the parts from Jim Nasi Customs.
One of the more eye-catching features on Switched are the saddlbags with side exiting exhaust. It's reminiscent of a muscle car and in this case very appropriate considering the 95ci mill puts out over 150hp thanks to a ProCharger supercharger running 10 pounds of boost. Johnny frenched-in his signature JLC turn signals into the back of each saddlebag. Nasi was also responsible for supplying both fenders as well as the flowing side covers that complement the saddlebags. The rear fender conceals a 200mm Metzeler tire wrapped around a billet Wicked Image wheel that was made possible by adding a wide swingarm from Big Boar. A tire hugging front fender frames the front 21-inch wheel, also from Wicked Image. A set of fork legs from American Suspension were used to clean up the 2-under frontend and allowed the use of a single left-side six-piston brake setup.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this bike is the fairing that started out as a factory Harley unit. Johnny cut, messaged, and molded the Batwing fairing to utilize two projector beam headlights. Johnny likes to call the headlight arrangement his signature alien setup. The inner fairing received the Chicago Baggers treatment as well with a reworking of the instrument cluster. A large dual speedo/tach from AutoMeter was employed although its 120mph max reading is sure to fall short on this bike. A boost gauge for the supercharger was also added as well as a pyrometer that measures exhaust gas temperature. On high-output forced induction motors the exhaust gas temp can be used as a diagnostic tool to warn of any impending motor doom. A stock voltmeter and gas gauge are also present along with a high-power Pioneer stereo.
Once all of the sheetmetal and bodywork was mocked up for fitment all of it and the frame were shipped across town to the Paint Spot where a House of Kolor Candy Green was laid over a pearl basecoat. This was followed by some subtle graphics that highlight the exhaust openings in each bag. Marbling was applied to the front fairing, gastank, and the side covers to bring the whole bike together and add contrast.
Johnny is really happy with how Switched came out. It's fast and mean. In fact, Johnny got a fat speeding ticket during his first day in Sturgis last year. When we asked him why he painted the bike green, Johnny responded "because nobody paints a bike green." While we are coming across more and more green bikes we're not about to argue with Johnny, especially since this is one of the finest green bikes we've seen.