Surreal is a good descriptor for Memo Maldonado’s ’07 Road King. Not in the sense of him putting some weird Dali-esque paintjob with melting clocks on it or some shit; the illusion is more deceptive than that. It’s a lot like one of those dreams that seems perfectly sensible until something totally out of character slaps you upside the head.
Memo sets you up by letting you think this is just a great looking customized Road King. The 20-inch Carlini ape hangers catch your attention first, then Danny D’s blue tribal flames draw you in a little further to check out the details.
You walk up. Each step brings you more and more detail. Your eyes catch some of the obvious ones. He’s upped the style ante with Performance Machine’s wheels and brakes. They’re not too extreme size-wise though. Apparently, he likes smooth handling over big rims. Memo hasn’t changed the frame, the motor isn’t some drag racer’s dream mill. Maybe you can tell the air cleaner is a stage one upgrade, maybe not. The Cary Faas Racing pipes are pretty obvious and let you know Memo means business, even if he doesn’t have a high-displacement aftermarket power monger in his bike.
When you’re a few feet out, the small details start to flood your perception. Although he didn’t route the cables through the bars, they are braided steel, and they look great. Their flashy shine is right at home with all the rest of the chrome and polish. PM hand controls adorn either end of the Carlini apes. Pro One mirrors top both of his mitt holds. They’re matched down low by shiny Pro One footboards. The Adjure Tri Bar up front is a nice touch, but not off the reservation as far as Road King mods go.
Take a couple of steps astern toward the bags and rear fender and you pick up the small stuff. The Danny Gray solo seat is certainly more streamlined than the stock touring throne but again, solo seats are a sensible change to many custom tailored motorcycles. Finally, you rest your eyes on the Küryakyn LED lighting. It’s a really nice change from the butt clutter that sometimes passes for stock illumination. Maybe you kneel down for a closer look…
…And that’s when the shockwave explodes. All of a sudden music blares out at you. What you most likely didn’t see was Memo’s badass sound system. It’s completely contained in the saddlebags—it doesn’t even have a dash for the iPod. If you need a change of pants, chances are it’s because Memo just hit the sound system’s remote control.
He’d be hard pressed to carry groceries on this Road King. Inside the saddlebags you’ll find a Kenwood amp, four Kenwood speakers (two 6x9-inch, two 5 1/4-inch), and a custom iPod under the control of said remote. “My buddy has a shop and he did it for me,” Memo says. “I told him what I wanted—nothing to be seen. I want people to look at it and go ‘Where’s the music? Where’s the speakers at?’ And they do. The cutouts face toward the rim.” Needless to say, the elaborate stealth job was the most challenging change made to this motorcycle. There isn’t even a switch on the bars to warn you before Memo hits the music.
Which, of course, is what I was talking about earlier. From the first look, Memo’s King looks like a great customized Road King—no more, no less. The more you look at it, the more that bears out until he breaks the rules with his remote controller. That’s when the dream shatters and gives you a nice, loud wake up call—in crisp, distortion-free stereo. B