'09 H-D Hamsterized Road Glide
If you keep writing Craigslist personals references into your bike features, people are gonna start thinking you're one of those creeps that hires hookers online." That's what Toph told me last time I stopped by the Baggers offices for a visit. Guess I won't be writing one of those again.
No, this time we're going to talk about Hamsters-not the little furry kind that make your kids cry when they kick off their mortal coil, but the larger species you sometimes see at bike events. The ones who hang out together in yellow T-shirts.
Jim Fly and Randy Aron are two good examples of the breed. Randy owns and operates CycleVisions (CV) in San Diego, and Jim is a commercial concrete contractor, as well as an avid car and bike guy.
Not only does Jim collect bikes, he loves to ride them-he drag races his toys too. That's not surprising when you consider that Jim is a Hamster. They don't even consider letting you wear that yellow T-shirt unless you're a dedicated custom bike rider. Even then, you need a member to sponsor you, and then you've got to participate in at least one Hamster event a year once you're in the group.
Randy was Jim's sponsor. He rode with them for three years before the founding Hamsters gave Jim the nod. That was four or five years ago, and he's loved every minute of it.
He must have. Why else would he have this bike painted in the Hamster color scheme, complete with their logo on the Tour-Pak? Fly Glide here is the latest of the four hot custom cycles Randy has created for Jim over the years, and it serves as a clear illustration of Fly's Hamster pride.
When Harley reinvented its bagger frames for 2009, Jim jumped at the chance to have one. Between the dropped seat height and the increased stability at high speed, Jim knew he wanted one for the Hamsters' annual trek to Sturgis.
Randy had no problem helping his buddy out with that. "Jim's one of those guys who's really easy to work with," Randy recalled. "We like to keep our customers involved in the decision-making process when it comes to building their bikes. He's very involved in that."
Naturally, Jim's speed jones demanded power, power, and more power. Harley's 96ci Twin Cam comes fairly well equipped in that department, but hey, there's always room for more, right? He gave Randy an open checkbook when it came to amping up the pony factor. CV's motor man, Dr. Jim, re-imagined Fly's engine with a plethora of upgrades to punch it out to 107 cubic inches-new cams, pistons, cylinders, heads, pushrods, and valves. After topping it off with a MoFlow air cleaner, a Power Commander V, and a SuperTrapp exhaust for better breathing, Jim's optimized mill kicks out a reported 120 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. That should keep a steady supply of bugs in Jim's teeth!
With all of that power, you can see why he might like Harley's new touring frame over the old one. Jim and Randy didn't leave the chassis alone, though. CV added 5 degrees of rake at the neck for a slightly longer, lower look. Randy says the bike handles great, even when Jim's pushing it beyond the 100-mph mark. Surprisingly, Jim left his frame's front fork length stock instead of lowering it. He did, however, change over to a Legend Air Ride suspension configuration out back.
The new rake isn't the only change giving this bike a lower profile, though. When Gary Chipp at Fat Baggers Inc. came out with his new 3-inch drop seat kit, Randy pounced on one for Jim's Road Glide. That's how CV gave Jim a low-slung tourer without sacrificing front fork travel. He can ride low, fast, and do it in comfort.