As Dave Cudd’s Z06 Corvette halted in a cloud of dust, Chris Eder thought Dave’s bike build stopped with it. Chris hadn’t slammed the car into Dave’s motorcycle. He just wasn’t gentle behind the wheel of Dave’s car. About halfway through turning Dave Cudd’s Road Glide into the perfect mate to Dave’s yellow corvette, he’d brought the car around for a ride to inspire Chris. That didn’t turn out as expected. “Taking me for a ride isn’t going to inspire me,” he told Dave. “I have to drive it.”
That’s not the sort of request you make lightly. Some guys would sooner let another man sleep with their wives than put them behind the wheel of their high-end sports car. Dave was a little more open-minded than that, though. They hopped in the car, Dave drove the first 3 miles, then they switched places.
The ensuing roller coaster of burned rubber and sphincter-puckering curves ended back at Misfit Baggers where it began. Chris was sure his little hell ride had earned him a canceled bike project or at least some severe verbal abuse. Dave’s response was quieter than that, though.
“That was fun.”
Or Dave could have enjoyed the ride as much as Chris, which is exactly how it worked out. Eder shouldn’t have been too surprised given Dave Cudd’s background. He’s not the sort of guy who buys a Corvette to, ahem, compensate for a shortcoming. Dave’s a real enthusiast who races his vettes at the track. The yellow one he’d brought to Chris’s shop was the one he rode on the street, and the bagger was being built to complement it. The car makes a monstrous 800 horsepower and he wanted a bike to match it when he goes to the races.
Making that motorcycle happen started when Dave came to Misfit and ordered a base bike. Shortly thereafter he decided to have it look like his Z06 racing corvette. Chris was happy to take on the project but he ran into one problem right off the bat—the Corvette’s yellow color and black striping. He likes yellow about as much as most men look forward to a colonoscopy. This was Dave’s bike, though, so yellow had to be included. The two guys talked it out and Chris ended up reversing the two colors.
Before paint, however, there was the small matter of actually creating Dave’s custom scoot. Misfit started with the ass end, reworking everything from the fender to the bag lids and lighting. Making the new bags gave Chris the most difficulty in the entire process. Not only did he have to make the lines flow together, he did so in such a way as to evoke Corvette styling. On top of all that, the back bodywork is extremely clean down to the internal actuaters in the locking lids. That sort of detail is seriously painstaking but you don’t have to tell Chris that: “If I had to make the bags again, I’d call Dave and beg him to let me make molds off of the bike because I don’t want to start over.” Not only did Misfit create taillights like you’d find on a Z06 Corvette, the shop went the extra mile by fabbing a Z06-style spoiler on the fender with the brake light to boot. The side panels are scalloped and the re-worked fairing has the nosepiece to mimic the lines of Dave’s Vette.
Corvette looks were a must-have on this project but they don’t mean much without the balls to back it up. While Dave’s Twin Cam motor may have started out Harley-Davidson, its new top end has very little in common with the stock internals found on most H-D engines. Punched out to 124 cubic inches, the re-imagined mill is as much a speed freak as its owner. Misfit gets bonus points when it comes to the one-off exhaust, though. Thanks to the resonator Chris built for the system, Dave’s bagger even sounds like a Corvette.
Chris even emulated a Corvette interior by matching the seat upholstery and mounting gauges inside the fairing that match those on a Z06. In other words, everything Chris could do to match the Road Glide to the Corvette without making it looking like a theme bike, he did. A radar detector may not be standard-issue on a Corvette, but Dave’s Road Glide got one (and a GPS unit) while Chris was reinventing his electronics package. You’ll find the GPS tucked into the custom glove box Misfit worked into the fairing.
While 99 percent of the alterations to this machine were made with Corvette style in mind, the 23-inch Pickard USA front wheel was possibly the sole exception. It sits between a set of lowered fork tubes topped by Pickard’s special triple trees, which are made just for wheels this big. “For us as a shop, our 23-inch bolt-on bagger trees are something we want to highlight. Everyone that does big wheels has been cutting the neck to make them fit. But there’s a huge market for a bolt-on tree kit for 23s, so we developed it and as far as we know, ours is the only one that actually works,” Chris says.
Eight months after Chris started customizing Dave’s Road Glide, the Z-Bagger was a reality. The day it was done, though, Dave rolled up to check the bike out in a different Corvette. This little detail didn’t sneak by Chris and when he asked Dave about the yellow car, he got a sad and tragic answer. The day before Misfit finished this motorcycle, the black and yellow Z06 burned to the ground due to an engine malfunction. Dave Cudd may have lost the Corvette but at least its memory lives on through this motorcycle. Rest in four-wheeled peace. B