The residential construction world has a lot in common with the motorcycle construction world, most notably the manner in which a project comes together. In both worlds the builder will either follow a plan laid out by the owner’s specific wants and needs or the builder will use his own free will to design and create what he thinks will sell—often outfitted with upgraded amenities to help attract buyers. The latter method is referred to as building on speculation, meaning the builder is speculating that there is someone out there that will want to buy what they’ve built. If you’ve ever been house shopping you may have heard this thrown around in its more commonly used shortened form, a spec home. And if you’ve spent any time in a custom motorcycle shop you know that bike builders will sometimes create spec bikes as well. Just like a spec home, building a spec bike is a roll of the dice that takes a lot of confidence and commitment on the builder’s part as they are putting up their own money on the project in hopes to eventually sell it and reap the rewards.
For the past 13 years, all the bikes Dave Dupor of DD Custom Cycles has built have all been pre-sold or built for specific clients. This sleek Road Glide however, is the first spec bike Dave has ever built. “I built this bike to sell it,” Dave stated. “The bagger market is booming and after seeing what has been selling for such ridiculous amounts, I wanted to put my design which has so many details, sheetmetal fabrication, and motor details, in the market place and really give the buyer a true one-off custom without the typical off- the-shelf parts.
Amazingly the bike started out a nearly bone-stock 2007 Road Glide that Dave got hip to via his contacts over at House of Harley in Milwaukee. The dealer offered Dave a smoking price on the stocker and even though his shop was full with customer projects he wanted a platform to create a bike for the cold Midwest winter bike show circuit. “It was in great condition and it would have been a great bike if it was left stock, but we all know that was not going to happen,” Dave commented.
Once at Dave’s shop, the bike stayed in its stock form for about a week until it was stripped all the way down to the frame. With free reign on the project, Dave had big plans for the RG and wanted to create a bike that fit his specific vision. “I am a big metal guy and am not into the whole fiberglass fender covers and tank covers,” Dave said. “Over the years I have developed a certain style and special touches that I implement into my bikes that really make them stand out in a crowd and make customers happy.” This bike was no exception.
One of the things Dave’s bikes are known for is putting the rider in the bike for that low-slung look and feel rather than on top of the bike. That’s easy enough to do when working with the late model two-piece bagger frames, but takes a little more work with the earlier frames. “Since the bike was a 2007 model, the older frame style, I could not do my typical drop seat configuration that I use on all my 2009 and newer bikes,” Dave said. “So to get the drop seat look and in the bike feel on the 2007 I raised the rear fender about 2 inches and stretched it about 10 inches with all metal fillers and side walls. Then I made a seat pocket that makes it appear like a drop seat chassis. This seat configuration puts the rider in a pocket which helps supports the rider and looks really aggressive.”
Big wheels are all the rage and Dave was determined to outfit this RG with a high roller. So to accommodate the new front wheel and ensure the rake and trail were set up properly the frame was cut, stretched, and then raked to accommodate a 26-inch front wheel. Many people have unfounded opinions about the handling and ride characteristics of a bagger with a huge front wheel. And for those people Dave offers this bit of info. “When it is done correctly, the bike rides like a stock bike, even better in my opinion. Maybe you can’t weave in and out of a tight set of cones due to its length and lower center of gravity, but it ‘glides’ on the highway, hence the name Road Glide!”
One of the standout elements on this RG is the drivetrain. Many people go for a blacked-out look but rarely truly achieve it due to not finishing it off with black hardware or skimp on blacking out minor pieces. Dave’s Complete Flat Black Out motor package, however, is so complete the center of the bike is awash in a sea of black. When it comes to Dave’s signature touches the most notable on this bike is his handlebar setup. Basically all you see is the bars and hand controls, everything else (electrical, throttle, brake, and clutch lines) is hidden. Other design cues include a stretched and tapered gas tank the blends right into the side covers and overall clean flowing lines with minimal gaps between the various body components. Dave added some European flare to the bike by incorporating grille inserts in to items like the side covers, gas tank, chin spoiler, and the front of the fairing.
When it came time for paint, Dave decided to stay away from bright and flashy colors, and instead opted for the more refined yet stealthy appeal of a black and white color scheme accented by a hint of red pin striping. The color combination was made even subtler by utilizing flat instead of gloss paints.
From the moment he rolled the completed project out of his shop it has caught the attention of many admirer’s. The bike won best in show at the Annual Chicago Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet and won the Grand Champion Award at the Chicago World of Wheels show. Now it’s just a matter of finding the right buyer, which we suspect won’t be too hard. “The color was a risk, but it came out really awesome, totally different,” Dave stated. “I hope it lands into good hands!”