My grandma used to say, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” Knowing this, it was only obvious that Will Hayward’s ’09 Fatboy would end up at the Bad Dad shop for a complete custom build.
Bad Dad built an ’07 Road King for Steve Palmer in the winter of 2007. Steve was in Iraq at the time he began working with Bad Dad on the ideas for his custom project. Steve’s brand new Road King was eventually shipped to Bad Dad’s shop where the bike was built and then delivered back to Steve’s home before he returned from Iraq. A year later, Steve would refer his friend, Rico Yanez, to contact Bad Dad about a Road King project of his own. Rico also contacted Bad Dad from Iraq and his 2005 Road King would eventually make its way to Bad Dad’s shop as well.
So there was really only one answer for Rico’s friend Will when Will decided to build his ’09 Fatboy: Will emailed Bad Dad from Kuwait in May 2011, project arrangements were made, and Will’s Fatty was sent to the only shop it could possibly go.
The Fatboy has a lot of sentimental value to Will and he says that the bike was his one single gift to himself for his deployment overseas. He trusted the guys at Bad Dad enough that he also gave them a lot of creative license with his bike. Because he initially fell in love with the bike’s original blue paintjob, Will’s only one requirement for the project was that the final product must be blue. Oh, and it should be cool too!
Since Will wanted to build a Bagger, Bad Dad began the project at the rear of the bike. The guys at Bad Dad began by fabricating a custom rear fender to fit the Fatboy’s huge 200mm rear tire. Bad Dad designed the custom fender as a full load-bearing part and the fender uses more than 20 square yards of fiberglass mat—easily the biggest rear fender Bad Dad makes. The Fatboy’s custom rear fender was then fit with a custom frenched in license plate.
With the rear fender in place, this soon-to-be bagger still needed some bags. Bad Dad fashioned a set of its Shaved Saddlebags with its internal hinges and then mounted the bags to the Fatboy. Then Bad Dad modified the bike’s Vance & Hines exhaust system by extending the pipes to fully exit out the rear end. Bad Dad stretched the pipes, angle cut the pipes to match the slope of the bags, and then custom fit the exhaust openings to match the bags and fender. Finally, Bad Dad finished the back of the bike with a set of its flush mounted taillights.
The back of the bike was the challenging part as the 200mm Softail was a new platform for the guys at Bad Dad. With the Fatboy’s rearend finished, Bad Dad was able to sort out the rest of this bagger project. The bike’s frontend was chromed and lowered 2 inches, and a Legend’s air ride system was added to the rear to give the bike the perfect stance. A set of Ride Wright’s Fat Fifty spoke wheels were Bad Dad’s choice to keep the bike looking elegant and classy.
Next Bad Dad outfit the front of the bike with its 21-inch Wrap Fender to show off the bike’s custom spoke wheels. The frontend was elongated with Bad Dad’s Stretched Headlight Nacelle, and the custom nacelle was then fit with an HID headlight. A set of Bad Dad’s King Midas Bars were used to keep the frontend looking long and low. A pair of grips and some chrome items from Harley-Davidson were added to the bars and new braided lines were installed to complete the frontend.
Bad Dad then turned its attention to the bike’s gas tank. The tank was stretched using Bad Dad’s Stretched Tank Shroud and its Low Profile Dash was installed too. Knowing that both the devil and the key to an amazing custom bike is in the details, Bad Dad flush mounted the Fatboy’s warning lights completely flat into the dash panel and then relocated the ignition switch to the back of the headlight. The end result is a completely smooth dash panel that flows down the tank and into the seat. Finally, the tank was custom tailored to match the bike’s Le Pera seat, which was recovered and custom stitched by Ride-N-Leather of Indianapolis.
After the bike was completely mocked together, the Fatboy was sent into Bad Dad’s spray booth. The bike needed to stay blue per Will’s instructions, and since there was not a single piece of original sheetmetal left on the bike, Bad Dad upgraded the bike’s paint to House of Kolor’s beautiful Strato Blue Pearl. House of Kolor’s White Pearl was used to contrast the blue, and Scal Graphix finished the bike with pinstriping across the entire bike. A set of custom Bad Dad floorboards from Ronnie and Bill at Custom Billet Designs was used to leave the final Bad Dad mark on the Fatboy, and then this Fatboy-turned-Bagger was ready to roll.
While it may be useful to have friends in high places, it is also important to have friends in the right places. The great transformation of Will’s 2009 Fatboy began with the great friends who ventured before him. Following their lead, Will took the bike that started as a gift to himself for his extended service to our country and turned that bike into a truly great custom bagger. B