Us biker types who live in the snowy winter states sincerely appreciate the warm weather riding months, and probably appreciate the seasonally warm weather more than those riders who live in the more southern latitudes. Cold weather for snowy state riders usually means maintenance and rebuilding duties are to be performed before the next riding season begins. Sometimes instead of doing the maintenance or overhauling the motor, some guys just trade their existing motorcycle for a new one. Not Todd Bolken. He told me this is his “Forever Bike” and it will never be sold or leave his possession. How’s that for loyalty?
Todd was born and raised in a small North Dakota town called Watford City, just a stones throw from the Canadian/American border, and coincidentally just a tad more than 100 miles north of Sturgis South, home to the world’s biggest and best motorcycle rally (my opinion). His two-wheeled riding career was initiated by his being given a 50cc Honda off-road midget machine for his seventh birthday. He rode that little booger until the wheels fell off, and/or he simply outgrew the thing. Todd’s memory of those years is blurred. His second two-wheeler was a Honda also, an SL 175…that motorcycle too was well ridden by this budding biker. All that riding off-road really hones one’s skills for road riding.
His first Harley-Davidson was an ’82 Wide Glide, which of course was powered by the ubiquitous Shovelhead motor, sometime referred to as a trouble-head by those less mechanically inclined. Displacement was 80 ci, the first that motor was available. It is this writer’s experience that Shovelheads can “take a lickin’, and keep on tickin’.” It just take a little know-how in the maintenance department.
In 1993 Todd designed and built his own custom motorcycle from the bottom up using an aftermarket Softail-style frame, an S&S V-Motor, and a ton of other aftermarket components. The only genuine Harley-Davidson piece on that home-built custom bike was the Springer front fork. Harley-Davidson had recently re-introduced the Springer fork with modern upgrades including the fact that the bushings in the rockers now have the loads centered properly for reduced wear. That Springer fork is still in the H-D lineup. Todd sold that bike to a SoCal rider in 1999.
Wanting to have the latest and greatest of American motorcycle technology, in 2002 Todd ordered a bagger from the local Boise Harley-Davidson dealership not knowing it would take almost two years to take delivery. When the bike showed up, Todd had the dealership install a 95-inch kit which took about 30 days. Todd rode that motorcycle in virtually stock form until about 2009 when he decided he wanted something flashy, something that would get more than a single glance. He was referred to Darwin Hansen at Custom Werks Design who is the go-to painter at High Desert H-D.
Todd’s forever bike is powered by a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 95ci motor which provided plenty of torque solo or packing a passenger. RevTech wheels and Shinny Chrome hubs host Avon rubber donuts. Upfront is a 120/60-23 Avon Venom. On the rear wheel assembly is a 150/60-18 Avon Venom. Brake rotors are Revtech. Front and rear fenders are from California Bagger with proprietary mods by Custom Werks. The gas cap is from FBI. Gauges are Klock Werks products. Custom Werks Design dash sits atop that splendidly painted gas tank. Cyclesmiths 11½-inch rise handlebars with Avon grips keeps Todd’s hand happy when riding. Shining to the rear are a Radiantz taillight and turn signals. A Custom Werks air cleaner supplies plenty of cool air to the throttle body, while a Bassani exhaust system efficiently extracts the burn gases for deep breathing at all rpm.
HHI triple clamps, and a fork tube assembly that has been lowered a full inch matches the 1-inch lower ride height of the rear suspension for a lower center of gravity and improved seat height. Is this a motorcycle you would keep forever? Todd says this is the sweetest ride he’s ever had, and he wouldn’t give it up for anything. B