We’re sure that nearly all of us can remember the very first motorcycle we owned. For some, it may be as far back as a rigid mini-bike sporting a 5hp pull-start Briggs & Stratton engine. For others, maybe it was a dirt bike that we raced across the hills near our parents’ home. Even some, we’re sure, cut their teeth on an early street bike that handled poorly and stopped even worse. The bottom line is that memory is a part of our ingrained spirit driving us to feel the rushing air as we sweep along those favorite open highways and backcountry roads. One thing we probably didn’t have as a very first scoot was a totally customized Harley-Davidson Road Glide. If we could all be so lucky.
Challito Chavez didn’t get to pop his cherry by swinging an inexperienced young leg over his trusty steed of a small-bore motorcycle and promptly burning it. What he did get to do was strut into his local Harley-Davidson dealer and plunk down the hard greenbacks necessary to roll out the door with a brand-new black 2010 Road Glide … as his very first motorcycle, ever. Now for most folks, riding off into the sunset with their first two-wheeled terror would be enough of a pleasure in its own right. For Challito, his first ride wouldn’t be ready to call his own until it sported plenty of custom optimization. Step one on the path to righteousness was when the call was made to Nautical Customs in Yuba City, California.
Before the keys were handed over to Nautical’s owner, Cisco, he received clear instructions on what to do. As Challito states, “I didn’t want it too crazy. I needed it low for sure, with a candy paintjob and a loud sound system.” Maybe it wasn’t so clear, but Cisco was given loose guidelines; more of an open canvas with a defined starting point. Cisco jumped right on the candy train and began by tearing off every piece of bodywork he could. Cisco knew the majority of the original pieces could be retained, as long as the right ratio of aftermarket tidbits were stirred in. With a full smothering of Candy Tangerine Orange on everything, the Glide was reassembled with many of Sinister Industries’ killer parts. The most noticeable of which are the 4-inch stretched saddlebags squeezing in around the Accent rear fender. With the fuel tank devoid of graphics or emblems, the Sinister dash panel lends an additional aura of sleekness. Up top, the HD fairing wears Sinister’s Wicked paintable windscreen. Underneath, a 21-inch fender holds fast between the chrome Motor Company forks.
Big, huge, and absurd wheels are all the rage right now, but as Challito states, “I wanted a big wheel, but I figured I can always upgrade later, so I stayed with a 21-inch for now.” In keeping to the guidelines, Nautical installed Sinister 3-D wheels. The 21x3.5 wrapped in 120/70-21 rubber and 18x5.5 wearing a 180/55-18 can both be found sticking to the pavement thanks to Avon Venom treads. Keeping the impressive theme going are matching dual front and single rear 3-D brake rotors. Knowing that this was his first motorcycle, Challito made the decision to keep his 96-inch engine mostly stock for the time being. We say mostly because there’s really no way to ride a bike this clean without having a little something extra in the oomph department. An Arlen Ness Big Sucker combines with a Rinehart True Dual exhaust system and Power Commander V to liven things up just enough to keep the Glide’s owner out of too much trouble. Tucking the bagger down tighter to the tarmac are 2-inch Progressive lowered forks and Nautical’s own rear air suspension system running off CO2.
With the three-month wait for his completed freedom machine over with, Challito has been content hitting the streets of northern California as often as possible. He entertains himself (and plenty of other people nearby) with his full tilt Cerwin Vega sound system controlled by a flip-face Kenwood head unit. Apparently happy, he says it best, “ I told them I needed a sick bike. It was in their hands, all I had to do was turn over my wallet! The hardest part for me was not putting on a bigger wheel.” Enough said.