Iron Steed 2009 H-D FLTR
Tony Kalis hadn't planned on a career in motorcycling. He dedicated himself to military service in the US Army. Fate had a different plan though. Tony's army career ended after his second tour of duty in Iraq due to injury. That experience left a void in his life that he struggled to fill. Tony tried paintball, fishing, carpentry-anything to fill the gap. This is what led him to Harley-Davidsons and, eventually, this beautiful '09 Road Glide.
We're getting a little ahead of ourselves, though. His first scoot was an '04 FLHPI. Prior to 2009, he logged more than 75,000 miles on it and also went to work in the service department at Iron Steed Harley-Davidson in Vacaville, California.
Harley then relaunched its whole bagger line with those wonderful new frames. Tony loved his 2004 but the new 2009s blew him away. Tony had to have one. So, Tony picked up his new toy, and took it out on the road for its maiden voyage-all 78 miles of it. Nothing bad happened. Quite the opposite-the bike swapped its stock life for rebirth as a flamed-out custom job. Tony stripped it down on the lift the same weekend he'd picked it up from the dealership.
Over the next few weeks, he and Jason Lloyd of Reality Custom Paint brainstormed the re-design for Tony's Glide. Because his last motorcycle was all chrome and shine, he pulled a 180, going with matte finishes, hold the chrome; even the paint. Valley Spring Works powdercoated everything on this bike that even looked like it wanted to shine-forks, motor, floorboards, you name it. The only aspect of this sweet ride that's even remotely chromey is the RevTech wheel set-Valley Spring Works coated them in a transparent candy that looks like a red chrome. It's a bright offset to all that flat finish.
Tony moved forward from that point with some trick fabrication. Rick Houston and Sam Johnson are two of Iron Steed's top techs; their knowledge and insight were a big advantage in transforming Tony's Road Glide. Part of it was a straightforward matter of cleaning here and there, like the rear fender work. Jason Lloyd filled the holes and sunk the license plate into it. Moves like that add up to really sleek your ride out. What sets Tony's motorcycle apart, what truly makes it unique, is the front turn signal set. Jason cut out a large part of the outer fairing then sank in clear plastic, followed by a light coat of paint over it. Tony installed LED lighting behind the fairing. Now his turn signals are invisible until he turns them on, at which point they shine through the thin paint. Now that's going the extra mile for a clean ride!
The rest of the changes were pretty simple by comparison. Tony left the frame alone, although he slammed it front and rear with Progressive Suspension shocks and springs. Motor-wise, he upgraded the breathing with a Roland Sands air cleaner, Vance & Hines pipes, and a Power Commander 5. Tony seemed pretty happy with it: "This is an awesome setup. Every time I ride my bike, she gets better and better-no need for expensive dynos every time I make a change." As often happens when you get used to a motor, your hunger for more speed grows in direct proportion to your comfort zone on the throttle. Tony is already hard at work on the next round of changes. "I'm piecing together a 113-inch hot rod motor for her," he said. "I hope to finish her off with a Trask turbo kit by the end of the summer."
With that much enthusiasm, we'd bet money that void in Tony's life is all but gone. He described the biker bug as "consuming." What could be more proof of that than all the hard work and attention to detail that went into custom-tailoring his Road Glide?