No one’s ever going to accuse Roger Vaughn of subtlety. He’s way too dynamic for that. Even when I interviewed him over the phone about this ’02 Road King, his voice practically crackled with energy as he described the hows and whys of taking a bike some riders would consider ready for retirement age and evolving it into a show-conquering custom beauty.
It’s the sort of energy that serves you well on a project like this. Roger was tired of seeing scoots where the owner swapped the wheels, changed the paint, and called it a day. He really wanted his King to stand out. Most people would’ve stopped at the Maserati theme and the 14 speaker stereo system, but for Roger, something was missing. Apparently, his Road King needed a PlayStation 2. Oh, and a Wii console.
Yes, when he needs a break from the saddle, Vaughn can stop and play Call of Duty any time he wants. While that’s by far the most indulgent addition he’s made to this Road King, it may or may not be the most ambitious change. That title might be a toss-up between the chromed frame, the video games, and the Maserati spoke wheels, which are one-offs specifically for this bike. I could run on at the keyboard about this bike, but I’d rather let Roger do it.
Baggers: What’s your background?
RV: I’m a laborer in the refineries. I got into riding with a Honda 750 that I modified to sound like a Harley. I worked and worked to get one but didn’t have the money. That Honda wasn’t the one I wanted. My mother was tripping on me riding a bike, then I put it away. She died, and I started riding. It was always amazing to get on two wheels instead of four.
Baggers: What about your electrical skills? Wiring all this up couldn’t have been easy. You’ve got not just the stereo and lighting, but the games too.
RV: I’m not a full-on electrician, but I used to work with one. When I see something, I learn it. One thing I picked up is that if you do any wiring, make sure you make the connections right and solder them. I saved a lot of money doing it myself.
Baggers: Why the Maserati style?
RV: It was different. I wanted to let people know you can go to town instead of just wheels and paint. The goal was something to amaze people. A lot of them think you can only go so far but if you can do wiring and other stuff, you can go a long way.
Baggers: What do you like most about it?
RV: I love the feel of it. Harley-Davidsons, there’s nothing like them. The way it handles, feels, and vibrates. It’s just a beautiful bike.
Baggers: What was the hardest part of making it all happen?
RV: Trying to map it out. Breaking it down to the frame and getting the frame chromed. The guys at Rebel Design helped me get it down and get it to the chromers. I had no idea how that was going to turn out. Then I did all kinds of trick stuff like the Maserati one-off wheels and Maserati theme. I looked at the emblems when the wheels came back and they made it all look authentic to me.
Baggers: What would you do different next time?
RV: I’d change the theme to either Astin Martin or Rolls Royce. I’d want it to be something fantastic you won’t see somebody come up with.
Baggers: Why a Road King?
RV: Baggers with fairings were for old men so I bought the King used at Bob Dron’s Harley-Davidson. It was purple so I started doing it all in purple. I wanted no fairing. Now, everyone has a fairing, so I got one. I put everything into that including the navigation, and I’ve earned a lot of awards.
Baggers: How many?
RV: Probably 38 Best of Shows and Firsts.
Baggers: Why so many awards?
RV: I think it’s all the different, unique things I put into the bike. It’s got a hydraulic lid on the Tour-Pak; then there’s the PlayStation 2 and Wii on it, not to mention the chrome frame. I used 360 brakes so as to eliminate the rotors. That really shows off wheels; I’ve flabbergasted people with that.
Baggers: You didn’t exactly leave the stereo stock either, though, did you?
RV: Yeah, you could say that. [Laughs] I used a GVC system with an Alpine digital amp. It’s got a total of 14 speakers, including Morel 6x9s, plus an Autobahn subwoofer amp. I just won last year’s Arlen Ness stereo contest.
Baggers: What’s with the video games? Do you play Wii Fit on the road?
RV: It fascinates kids. I did a lot of trick stuff. People said it couldn’t be done, so I did it.
Baggers: What’s next?
RV: A ’74 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce. I’m going to start doing car shows.
Given what Roger did with just two wheels, the idea of him working with four is a little mind-boggling. Maybe he’ll throw in an Xbox 360 this time. B
|Build Time||Months and Months|
|Builder||Xtreme Custom Iron|
|Air Cleaner||Rebel Design|
|Exhaust||Rinehart True Duals|
|Year/Type||’02/H-D Road King|
|Shocks||Legend Air Ride|
|Wheels, Tires, And Brakes|
|Front Brake||360 Brake|
|Color(S)||Custom Purple Candy,|
Gold, And Silver
|Painter||Jame Dean At Rebel Design|
|Front Fender||H-D (Stretched)|
|Rear Fender||H-D (Stretched)|
|Gas Tank||H-D (Stretched)|
|Turn Signals||Rebel Design|