I've worked in a Harley dealer, so when I read that this red Street Glide was built when Ocean County H-D (New Jersey) "challenged (its) technicians" to "give our loyal customers another reason to visit..." I was both inspired and suspicious.
Inspired, because embarking on projects like this when the economy is in the weeds and employees might be sitting idle, is exactly the sort of investment a company should be making to set itself apart from the crowd. And a fun, creative project at work is exactly the sort of thing employees need when they might be worried about not having jobs in the near future, or are just worried about life in general.
But, since I've worked in a dealership environment and had bosses that only half jokingly would bark things like, "This is employment, not enjoyment!" when it looked like we were having a little too much fun, I wondered. Was this a team-building exercise to make employees feel empowered? Or was some poindexter standing by the time clock to make sure work on the bike only happened during lunch hours and breaks, Wal-Mart style? Was the bike a free "demo" ride for some egomaniacal sales manager? What really happened?
Well, we may never know. Judging by the sweet bike the Ocean County folks came up with, I'd guess they were having fun building it. Bikes built by dealers usually either stray into having way too many genuine H-D accessories on them, so they look like something that could have been pulled from the catalog itself. But there are others, like this one, that deftly mix the best of the genuine parts with the best the aftermarket has to offer, and come up with a unique look that looks far from bolt-on (which it is). Mostly, anyhow.
One decidedly not off-the-shelf unit is the 113ci Twin Cam engine. While it uses mostly H-D's Screamin' Eagle performance parts (including the top end, cams, and 58mm throttle body), the rods and flywheels were carefully gone over by Dark Horse Crank Works. Rinehart True Duals take spent gasses on a curvaceous route to freedom.
But it was on the body panels that the Ocean County techs really shined. Harley lower fairings off of an Ultra perfectly matched extended bags out back, creating a different line than the norm. Turning the long, low machine into a solo tourer further accentuated the lowness and added to the unusual coolness of the fairing lowers.
While the staff went minimalist on the seating arrangements, the same cannot be said of the sound system. The extended Arlen Ness bags also have Loud Lids atop the saddlebags that really stand out visually on the solo mount, but no doubt sound even better with a Dragonfly 160-watt system pumping juice their way. The system comes with an integrated dash that takes the (painted) inner fairing from gauge-laden airplane to sleek, tight spaceship...one that rattles windows on takeoff.
Naturally the bike's got bling out the yang with a furious blend of H-D and aftermarket goodies colliding in a very eye-pleasing way. Genuine H-D controls and seat are joined by Hamster-designed sheetmetal by Arlen Ness and detail pieces by Paul Yaffe. The twin spinning chapels of bling are RC Components Calypso wheels and matching rotors.
Years ago, when custom builders became rock stars, thousands of aspiring rock stars pushed the price of building a custom bike down to ridiculously cheap levels, prices that dealerships (even pricing well below their hourly service rate) couldn't match. Now with an industry shakeout and dealers idle for longer stretches, it's once again time for cool dealer-built bikes like this one. Were the employees on the clock or off the clock? Did they build it at service rates, or call the whole thing a marketing expense? Was it all a cunning stunt? Or is it the other way around?
We may never know the answers. The folks at Ocean County H-D are keeping their secrets guarded. But what we do know is that Ocean County H-D built one hell of a cool machine.