Baggers: You made molds of the bags and fender afterward. Do you plan on turning them into some sort of parts line or was that just for this bike?
Matt: Both. I didn't want to do those parts out of metal because then you're vulnerable. It takes so much time to fix the metal if it gets damaged. That's why I used fiberglass. The molds let me make a new set just in case. I've had a few customers ask me to reproduce the set but the work is so intense. However, I'm working on trying to patent this bike and how it all works.
Baggers: What do you like most about the bike?
Matt: There's something in every piece but it's not too crazy. This motorcycle has a poured metal look like it's wet. Beyond that, there's just these subtleties that you don't notice until you look really closely. I don't do over the top but this is over the top in different ways like the lights in the fairing, the EFI gas tank, the TV dash, and the rear fender and bags. Most people don't understand the ass end of it. All you guys have been complaining about not being able to take your bags off and still look great. Now you can. You can go from bagger to bagless in 5 minutes.
Baggers: Tell us more about the wheels and changing up the look?
Matt: Basically, I started with a Performance Machine billet wheel which I made panels for that fit in between the "spokes." The panels are color-matched blanks.
Baggers: How did you hook up the rear lighting for fast detach?
Matt: It bolts and unbolts from the back of rear fender. There are two bolts under the rear fender. The lights just plug in like everything else on the bike and Harley compatible.
Baggers: You used to work for a dealership. How did that come into play with this project?
Matt: I can't imagine doing this without working at a dealership for ten years like I did. This bike is built around stuff Harley knows works and that I know works. The tank is one of my EFI tanks but I added a bodyline to it. The EFI pump inside it is stock Harley. If you're on the road and have a problem, a dealership can fix the problem. Also, all of the mounting for the bags uses Harley mounting pins and lower bushings on custom made supports. I'm making five of these tanks right now. Some are even going to Australia. It uses the stock setup but everything is hidden.
Baggers: Thanks Matt; we'll let you get back in the shop. We're looking forward to the next project.
From a customer perspective, making a motorcycle this beautiful and ambitious takes just two things—time and money. Jim Stuart had both and he lavished them on this project unconditionally. His trust in Matt's skill and ambition was not misplaced, as you can see. Not only did Matt have the creativity to make something very different from what we expect in a custom bagger, he also had the good sense to not fall off the razor's edge and turn it into a two-wheeled museum piece.