Will Funches always knew that someday he would own a Harley.
“I can remember as a little boy waiting for my cousins Gator and Nita to ride their motorcycles from Hampton, Virginia, to Franklin for the annual car and motorcycle show,” Will remembered. “I would ride downtown to the show on my 1983 Huffy BMX bike, complete with white wall tires and colored spokes, to meet them. There was something about the distinct sound of the pipes and the way they road into town that made them look so cool; that memory has always stayed with me.”
Interestingly, Will’s fancy was tickled by the Road Glide, a model that is apparently held in less than high esteem by East Coast bikers.
“On the East Coast, the Road Glide is considered the Ugly Duckling,” Will chuckled. “Guys would literally make fun of me on the road. But, I had a vision.”
A vision that Will saw through to the end. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Just how did that ’09 Glide get into Will’s garage in the first place?
Well, it seems that back in 2009 it was rumored to be the last year of the Road Glide (a rumor that failed to come to fruition, but even H-D was saying as much at the time), and since Will had been coveting one, he figured he’d better pull the trigger before they went the way of the T. Rex.
“Before I bought the bike, I was actually contemplating purchasing a 1963 Chevy Impala I had seen at the annual Carlisle, Pennsylvania, fall antique car and truck show,” Will remembered. “I had looked at the bike a few days before, and when the owner of the car contacted and offered to sell it to me, I had to make a decision. The Impala was already done up, and there wasn’t much that I could have changed about it. But the Road Glide was something that I could take my time customizing, so the choice was simple.”
And take his time he did.
“Rather than just layer on a thousand parts, like I’d done on my previous bike, I wanted to take my time with this one,” Will laughed. “With that one, I bought a bunch of stuff that I ended up hanging up in my garage and not using because I bought them without really having a plan.”
So, Will collected books on vintage H-Ds to find his inspiration before starting his project.
“I wanted something timeless and classic—old school with a West Coast vibe,” Will explained.
The finished product is the beauty you see before you, complete with 21-inch white wall tires, gangster spokes, 16-inch ape hangers, Arlen Ness retro fork boots, highway pegs, retro floorboards, and a Klock Werks windscreen. Will liked the stock H-D paint, but felt it could pop a bit more, so he had the clearcoat redone to make his bike really glow.
And glow it does. So much so that when he takes her out on the road, gawking cagers routinely come close to losing control of their cars while admiring her.
“She’s no trailer queen,” Will said emphatically. “I ride her all the time, and more than once I’ve had someone come up along side of me and give me a thumbs up, and the next thing you know, they’re on the rumble strips, almost running off the pavement!”
And how about those guys who made fun of Will’s Glide when he first got her? How do they feel about her now?
“Man,” will laughed, “I rode her down to the annual Biker’s Roundup in Atlanta, and I had guys coming up to me saying, ‘Dude, I owe you an apology—your Road Glide is the deal!’”
So much for the Ugly Duckling. Hey H-D, if Road Glide sales on the East Coast suddenly start soaring, here’s the guy you need to thank! B