Black Is Beautiful
Before I dive into this, whoever the hell thought pina-colada-flavored panties would be a good idea is a genius; the same kind of mad scientist that brought us peanut butter and chocolate, or salted margaritas. I never would've mixed those things together and a year ago I'd be damned if I would've tossed metalflake and flat black together on the same bagger, but well, here we are. Tony Puricelli's '09 Street Glide is a study in those two contrasts and proof positive that breaking the rules is the only real way to stand out from the pack.
It was all Mike Dusold's doing, though. He's a self-taught painter and fabricator who first picked up a sprayer at age 11 while hanging out at his dad's body shop in Chicago. Mike D is Tony's builder-of-choice. For years, Dusold Designs was the go-to shop whenever Puricelli wanted a new rigid chop job. Like an accountant trapped serving a life sentence though, Tony's back bothered him after years and years of hard riding. He's a diehard motorcyclist who finally wanted something with a little more rear suspension than a sprung seat, so he got the Glide and turned it over to Mike so he could cool it up.
"The great thing about Tony is, I've worked with him so much, he just gives me an idea of what he wants and lets me go for it," Mike tells us. "To me, it's a cool-looking bike that's comfortable versus a cool looking bike you just want to get off of afterward."
In this case, the idea was evil, evil, and more evil. Apparently, sinister really does it for Tony. Flat black amps up the nasty factor anywhere it goes; throwing it into the mix on this dresser made sense. However, flat black's also the current fad du jour. Mike was tired of it. Doing it his own way was an absolute must. The question was how?
The answer was contrast. Offsetting the flat with strategic sprinkling of gloss really breaks this machine out of the flat-and-satin mold that's become such a hallmark in custom bike finishes over the last few years. One problem you run into in doing that is balancing out both finishes without one overpowering the other. Mike's approach? Match the tones. Light black is called "gray." There is no such thing. Any color he chose also had to be dark if he wanted the whole bike to look as one unified badass piece of rolling artwork. He went with a deep, dark candy green but he also kicked himself in the nuts with the added creative challenge of metalflake. Or did he? With its hundreds of tiny little reflective surfaces, flake is a schizo that changes personalities based on whatever light happens to be hitting it at the time. It also tends to diffuse glare, compared to straight-up gloss paint. Think of it as a happy medium between the matte and gloss blacks that finish the rest of Tony's Glide.
Mike tells us, "It all came together as one piece. It all looks like everything belongs. That's a good sign you've got everything right-it blends, flows, and comes together. Just looks right on its own. I like the way the candy flake contrasts the black. In some light it's subtle, others loud. I think that's cool about it too." As you might imagine, the paintjob ate more time than any other part of this project.
Most of the other alterations either made this bike angrier or cleaned it up in some way. Mike fired the rear fender and lighting team, replacing them with a cleaner set from Klock Werks. While he was back there, he stretched the bags to smooth out the profile, and trimmed the Corbin seat for the same reason. "There are a lot of details on this one you wouldn't notice unless the bike was next to one that didn't have them," Mike observes.