We have known about the boys from Ballistic for quite some time. First with crazy choppers and custom bikes and now with award winning baggers that have seemed to have turned the custom touring word on its ear. Ballistic Cycle’s baggers are sleek machines that look more at home at speed than standing still. Bikes with wildly creative bodywork, extremely large wheels, and paint schemes that seem to come out of a future chock full with coolness.
After seeing Ballistic’s 30-inch wheeled bike at the V-Twin show in early 2011 we just had to sit down with the guys and have them give us the straight story on there latest two-wheeled work of art.
So, tell us what’s the deal is on this bike?
Well, it’s a follow-up bike to the 30-inch front wheeled “Paradigm” we built last year. This one we named Ravenous, and instead of being a prototype bagger, this one is all about production. Paradigm was the world’s first 30-inch front wheeled custom bike and bagger. It brought a lot of controversy, much of which is still talked about today, but we also started a trend with it.
Ravenous was built as a shop bike for Ballistic, something for us to take to shows and ride around town with, but most of all, show off the parts that are now in production. We put about 5,000 miles of open highway and country back roads on this bike over the summer and never had an issue with handling even on tight corners. The bike rides as smooth as it looks and it’s all due to the engineering behind the bike, which is what’s most exciting.
Tell us a bit about your custom parts featured on Ravenous.
There are many custom one-off parts on this bagger, but also quite a few production parts that are available to the public. We have neck rake kits and everything else someone would need to build a bike similar to this. The main difference would be the front fairing, which has a lot of customization and prototype work done to it. The inner and outer fairing started off as stock Harley fairings, and we hacked them up like we always do. Custom cutouts for the speakers, a special mount inside the fairing for the amplifier and then bonded the inner and outer fairing together. Everything is wired into the stock Harley wire harness. A custom fairing mount was designed and built for this bike so the fairing could turn with the frontend like it does on a Street Glide. It adds a unique look with the 30-inch wheel and fender that rides up into the fairing, while also giving it a safe and reliable function.
The 18-inch front rotor was designed and added for looks and most of all extra stopping, and that it does. The rotor is perfect for single disc big-wheeled baggers that don’t want to sacrifice breaking ability or looks. Getting it to work with the caliper took a few special pieces, but it works great.
The saddlebags have an internal hinge assembly designed by us that has a dual-purpose shock that will hold the lid open and hold it shut. Before the lid can swing forward, it must rise straight up on a different axis to give proper clearance from the edge of the saddlebags. The engineering behind the assembly is one of a kind, and every piece is CNC machined. The bags are also made using vinyl-ester and a vacuum infused process for exceptionally clean and sharp edges matching the other bodylines the bike has. This process also allows the bags to be much more durable and lightweight than traditional fiberglass. We are also designing an ABS version of these saddlebags that will be available in early 2012.