2007 H-D FLHX
We have all heard the saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know," and when it comes to building custom motorcycles, it is so true. That said, this is one of those stories where it's all about the connections you have to get the job done. Jimmy Mason is the son of Jim Mason Sr. who was the head build tech for Fat Bagger Inc. (FBI) for years. Jim has built many bikes that have been seen on the pages of many of our magazines as well as others. So this is not the first time the father/son team story has been told and not the first bike either of the Jims have built, but this one got started a bit different.
It all started when Jimmy picked up a stock '07 Harley-Davidson FLHX with just more than 1,400 miles on it. At the time he was not really in the market for a new bike but the price was too good to pass on and with the low miles and all stock parts, it would be easier to start a custom build with a stock bike over starting with something someone else had started to customize in a different direction.
Once Jimmy got the FLHX home, he called his dad and told him what he picked up and what he wanted to do with it. The bike never really got a chance to see any highway time before being stripped down because Jimmy Sr. had the two spending the whole next day tearing it down into two piles. One pile was for the parts that would find their way back on after paint or chrome, and the other was for parts that would find their way onto eBay to make back a little money for new parts for the build.
Having a connection to a custom bike shop has its advantages when you need something like good prices on parts or help with installs, but when your dad is the head guy and enjoys it so much he even does it on his days off, that is about as good as it gets. Senior had a plan and a timeframe for what they needed to get done to the bike and still make the trip out to Sturgis. The only thing was this build was getting done after hours and on days off. So to get it done in time to make the family ride, they would need the help of Uncle Kevin. Just like Senior, Uncle Kevin is a bike builder who worked with FBI and just loves to do it, and was up for the challenge of making the Sturgis deadline so they could all ride out together.
Once Uncle Kevin showed up, the build started to move fast from one end of the bike to the other. Jimmy took all of the "to be painted" parts over to 2 Wheel Tattoos to get started on the paint so that MWR Designs would have the time to do all the graphics and airbrushing. With the sheetmetal off to the painter, the next thing was pulling the motor and transmission from the frame. All the welds were cleaned up, and the frame was sent out to get a fresh powdercoated gloss black finish. With the motor out of the bike and just sitting on the bench, Uncle Kevin installed a Screamin' Eagle 103ci kit, but swapped out the H-D cams for a set of Woods Knight Prowlers, and keeping the size to himself. Next, a 51mm throttle body from Horsepower Inc. with a ThunderMax Auto Tune EFI was added and an Arlen Ness Big Sucker air filter was bolted on.
Once the frame was back from getting powdercoated, Senior got started on the reassembly of the frontend and a new FBI 200mm swingarm kit. A new set of Calypso wheels from RC Components was installed, a 21-incher up front, and a 17 out back. Over the next few weeks, the three Masons installed the motor, trans, and the primary, the D&D exhaust system, then re-wired the bike, and installed all the controls and brakes.
With just enough time left, all the painted parts started to show up and the final stretch of the build began. The lines on the graphics from the top of the gas tank to the rear of the saddlebags were just what Jimmy had envisioned. With all the skulls and demons, this was one bad bagger. And if you were wondering, yes the bike was done in time for the trip out to Sturgis where we at Baggers were lucky enough to snap some photos and get the story about the Mason family. We were told that as soon as the bike was home, Jimmy was approached about selling it. The dollar amount was not disclosed, but Jimmy said that it was way more then he felt he could get for the bike, and he had to take it. So it has a new owner now. We hope he takes care of Uncle Kevin and Senior for all the free labor they put into it.