Once back at The Shop, I received a phone call from Aaron Glenn of Glenndyne Design, a long-time friend who has been involved in many of my bike projects. Aaron explained that he had a great trip planned to Las Vegas Bike Fest and wanted to know if I still had my Road Glide. I just said, "Hell yeah," because I knew this would be good. Aaron showed up at The Shop with a set of his crazy internal brake wheels on a stand. We sat and talked about how he was prototyping sets for Harleys and especially baggers. Since he wanted to release them asap, Aaron jokingly asked, "Would you be interested in being the first one to roll the re-invention of the wheel?" I laughed and said again, "Well, hell yeah!" After talking it over, and considering today's economic market, Aaron and I decided to build a solid rear wheel that matched the front in finish and hardware. This was also due to the popularity of stretched bags and the fact that most people don't want to spend money on things they can't see. We decided this would be a great option.
We knew very quickly that the bike would need a mild makeover along with some added details to get the wheels installed and ready for the dealer show in Cincinnati. Once again the bike was torn down and a new, richer basecoat was applied by R.A.B. The graphics were laid down by none other than Aaron Glenn himself. With the help of the same crew, we rebuilt the bike again. While we were doing R&D on the wheels, I decided to install an open primary that we modified to add to the hard look. We just wanted a real crossbreed bagger, "hardcore with elegance," and without a doubt the front wheel sets it off.
During the build-up many people who heard about the wheels from previous shows and articles would stop by the shop just to see the bike come to life. This made things difficult sometimes because we all enjoy talking with people-after all, who wants to spend money at a shop where the people are rude? So after a late night at the shop, Aaron approached me again and said, "You know I enjoy fabricating and developing new products. Why don't we make The Shop the exclusive dealer for my new internal brake wheels?" At first I was like, "Why would he want to cut me in on all those possibilities?" After speaking in more detail, Aaron explained, "It always takes a great team to succeed. None of us can do it alone, and we each excel in different ways. I love to create and develop new things, and with your setup for retail, why not coordinate our businesses to reflect that?" So from that conversation the race was on and business picked up for us both. Aaron does what he does, and The Shop handles the retail sales end.
We still had a bike to finish though. It took about five months of work to get it ready, including all the new business in between. We also had to build the wheels and wheel components and perform all R&D work, as well as the testing since this bike was the first factory-based bike to roll the wheels. With this modification, we shaved the front lower legs of their original brake tabs as well. We're all pretty pleased with how it all turned out. The bottom line is it takes a team of great people, and it really, really pays to have great friends with a passion for badass bikes.