I think we all can agree that the sooner we’re all prepared for the coming zombie apocalypse, the better. Unless, of course, you’re one of those sickos who likes being a Manwich for the undead (you know who you are). Beyond the basic earthquake preparedness, first aid, and MRE kits found at any military surplus store, you’ll need three things unique to fighting the dead—weapons, porn, and transportation. The first is pretty straightforward; buy a shotgun, pistol, and a machete or a baseball bat, and you’re covered. The second? That’s for morale and subject to you’re own personal tastes, of which it isn’t our job to judge. Zombie experts are of at least two minds on the best transportation, however. Some like boats because you can take them to an island somewhere. Car proponents prefer autos for their secondary uses as shelter and weapons. Kody McNew and I advocate motorcycles. Their increased maneuverability, better gas mileage, and ability to fit where cars can’t are all to your advantage when fleeing zombie hordes. Also, if you run into a pack of survivors, you don’t want to run with, having a bike gets you out of it politely: “Sorry, guys, I’ve only got room for me and maybe that hot stripper in your group. We’ll repopulate the Earth. You guys hold ’em off.”
Kody owns and operates VooDoo Bikeworks. Like me, he’s also a self-taught zombie guru. This ’08 Street Glide, Rollin Dead, is his brainchild. It was inspired by the hit AMC TV series The Walking Dead, which was itself inspired by the Marvel Comics graphic novel series of the same name. Kody knows you can’t go wrong with a Street Glide when the dead rise—its roomy bags, good gas mileage, and on-board stereo system let you carry your kit, listen in on emergency broadcasts, and look good in the process.
That last item comes thanks to all of Kody’s hard work in turning the Glide into a one-off custom job. The fabrication, assembly, and paint were all done in-house. Kody transformed the stock touring machine into a one-off custom in five weeks. The short build time might come from prudence. You don’t want your ride up on a lift when the dead start eating the living.
You also don’t want your bike crapping out on you in the middle of a zombie mob. This may be why VooDoo kept the motor modifications to a modest minimum. Sure, a drag-racing motor means unfettered power at your command, but it also means a lot more noise and higher maintenance. If you’ve ever seen The Walking Dead, you know zombies (aka Walkers) have great hearing. Moreover, if the movies have taught us one thing, it’s that zombies love to hang out at gas stations. A hot rod motor sounds great. Right up until you get eaten looting some motor oil, and loud pipes do NOT save lives in a zombie uprising. Still, a few extra ponies and a little extra torque don’t hurt. He got both by creating his own stylish air cleaner, adding a Power Commander EFI controller, and making his own flame throwing exhaust system.
Kody’s shop was a little more ambitious with the frame. By raking the neck out to 43 degrees and stretching the backbone 2 inches, he not only lengthened the profile, he made room enough to run a 26-inch SMT front wheel wrapped in a Vee Rubber tire. The rear, though, he left stock. He didn’t see any reason to change the wheel if it was only going to be hidden under a lot of beautiful metalwork.
Which is truly the star of this show. When society dies in the movies, there’s this natural tendency for the hero to grab the sexiest vehicle out of his/her price range and turn it into a makeshift people mower. Kody eliminated that first part by making his own smooth, flowing fenders, gas tank, and bags. Those last parts were extended 7½ inches. They not only look good and flow beautifully with the elegant rear fender, they also hold a little extra shotgun ammo when you need it. VooDoo’s handiwork also went into the evil-looking fairing with its unique dual headlights and air scoop in the middle. Nu Image gauges with red illumination take the sinister look a step further.
Rollin Dead’s paint is as unique as its sheetmetal. For starters, VooDoo Bikeworks zapped it with black paint with a tricoat crackle finish. Then came the elaborate, time-intensive labor of love that is its airbrush work. Eerie flesh-eating ghouls lurk on Rollin Dead’s surfaces on the front, sides, and back, all in vivid ghostly detail.
Five weeks after he first tore it down, Rollin Dead was ready to rock. Kody was so happy with it, he sent photos of it to The Walking Dead’s creators. They must have liked it, since they let VooDoo bring it out to Hollywood and autographed the bike. That’s one more point in Kody’s favor when the dead rise and Rollin Dead is put to the final test. B