The only person whose abused The Green Goblin more than I have is Peter Parker. In the 12 years I’ve been writing bike features, I’ve whored out those three words as a go-to title for stories more times than I can count. It’s a writer’s crime to which I freely admit guilt.
This is the first time a bike builder beat me to the punch.
This particular Green Goblin’s story originated at Velocity Motorsportz over in Texas. After the ’08 Road Glide’s transformation was completed, the shop guys gave it that nickname. Orlando Aviles owns the place and he’s built, modified, tweaked, fabricated, and painted a lot of machines over the years he’s been in operation. He’s only been involved with the Harley side for about three years, though. Before that, most of his work involved what he calls “kid’s toys.” More specifically, sport bikes, dirt bikes, and ATVs. That wasn’t bringing in enough bacon, however, so he hatched a diabolical plan—he started working on Harley-Davidsons and other cruisers. Well, diabolical to a lot of sport bike or dirt zealots. Not so much if you read this magazine on a regular basis.
The cruiser part of the business quickly overshadowed the sport/dirt side to the point that Orlando partnered with Tom Tucker to start Velocity. Cruisers became their bread and butter while the other stuff was relegated to the status of side dish in the building next door. Nowadays Velocity is pretty much a self-contained operation that handles everything from fabrication to paint, although the chrome work isn’t done in-house.
An untrained eye wandering over this bagger might report to the attached brain that it’s a real exercise in the fabricator’s art. You especially get that impression from the metalwork. From the tire-hugging Sinister front fender to the cleaned up shark nose with its Ballistic front fairing overlay, to the curved Yaffe gas tank that brackets the front of the Le Pera seat, and the skirted Bad Dad rear fender between Sinister bags, you could very easily think that something with a profile this sleek was cut to order. That’s just a testament to how good aftermarket parts have gotten, though. The uninitiated brain might even buy the eye’s story; even someone who’s been around might think that. The truth, though, is that Velocity kept the actual fabricating to a minimum while maximizing the possibilities of bolt-on transmogrification. Or, as Orlando put it, “We built this bike to show that you can bolt together a badass bagger and not have too much fabrication done. Everything on this bike we keep in stock.”
Take, for example, the front wheel. As often as not, you’ll see a 26-inch wheel like the one from Metal Sport here and whoever made it fit cut the frame at the neck, then re-raked it in order to make the mammoth rim fit properly. Velocity used a Kewl Metal fork set and rake kit to do that. The rake kit is a bolt-on made just for running 23-inch-and-larger wheels. The front suspension’s counterpart at the rear is a Legend Air Ride suspension. This is a luxury liner, after all.
Well, only if the Love Boat were built for speed instead of showing off B-list actors in the ’70s. Put another way, The Green Goblin is as powerful as it is luxurious. Velocity stripped down the stock Harley motor and upgunned it with a 106-inch S&S kit and Sinister exhaust. The shop left the primary and transmission alone, although they traded in the stock clutch for a Barnett one.
The Green Goblin has some big upgrades in the sound department, too. Its Sinister saddlebags pull double duty as a badass audio system, complete with color-matched speakers in the lids. Velocity Motorsportz gave the Road Glide a Rockford Fosgate amp, Pioneer head unit, and Polk Audio speakers.
As artistic canvases go, The Green Goblin doesn’t exactly scream “bolt-on” either. In fact, the exacting attention paid to the paintjob goes a long way to hide the off-the-shelf aspect of this bike. Orlando’s shop applied House of Kolor Limetime green not only to the usual suspects (frame, bodywork) but also the fork cups, horn cover, primary cover, velocity stack, rocker covers, and cam cover too. Again, that’s not business as usual on a bolt-on build.
So while I may have used one of my bolt-on titles to describe a bolt-on bike, I don’t feel the slightest bit ashamed, since the name came straight from the builder’s mouth this time. I may have gotten more use out of it than Orlando has, but what he lacks in quantity is damn sure made up by quality. If this Road Glide gets people buying more parts from him, he’ll pass me up in that category, too. B