Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles: Custom Paint by Gilby’s Street Department

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger paint by Gilby's Street Dept.

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger paint by Gilby’s Street Dept.

After nailing the paint on last year’s Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger, Gilby’s Street Department got the call once again from the Sturgis Buffalo Chip and Kuryakyn to paint this year’s bike. Doesn’t hurt that your company does world-class work and completed last year’s project ahead of schedule.

“We always have a deadline and I think that’s why they went with us again because last year we were ahead of the deadline and got done early. This year, the same thing, we had it done ahead of time,” said Todd “Gilby” Gilbertson.

With all of the insane motorcycle racing going on at The Chip this summer, from Super Hooligan dirt trackers to street drags to supermoto through the campground to an American Flat Track TT race in the amphitheater, Woody and the gang wanted a bike that symbolizes its impending “Moto Stampede.”

“They wanted to have a racier theme so they went with just straight lines so it had a race feel to it. I think that’s because of all the flat track racing that’s going on right now, that’s kind of a big thing,” said Gilby.

Kuryakyn and The Buffalo Chip collaborated on the paint scheme, picked the colors, then gave Gilby’s a drawing.

“I just followed what they wanted, the colors, the stripes, the matte finish and all that, it was all on paper. All I had to do was follow their directions.”

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger paint by Gilby's Street Dept.

But don’t let Gilby’s downplay their role. It’s a labor intensive, multi-step process, from base coat to clear coat to satin finish. And executing somebody else’s vision on paper doesn’t directly translate to a three-dimensional medium.

“The lines match up real well so it looks real simple but when you do layout the paint scheme, just as a painter, it’s way more complex than what it looks. It’s almost like drawing a perfect circle or a perfect straight line. Both of them are pretty hard to do and we have tons of straight lines on that one, ya know?

“So when you’re looking at the graphics on a piece of paper, it’s flat, and we’re working on a round tank and rounded covers. So when you lay the lines out they gotta be at a certain angle so they appear straight. It takes a lot of trial and error and you’re putting tape on and off and standing back to look at it. And the bike of course is on the lift and at eye level looks one way, then you put it on the ground then your lines line up differently so you gotta find the happy medium.

“The paint is super high-quality (They used House of Kolor paints on the project). When you paint stuff that’s matte finish you can’t have no dust or nothing, it’s got to be perfect because you can’t sand or buff them out,” said Gilby.

Once again they nailed it on the head. The thick, offset stripe on the front fender and fairing set the tone. The stripes flow perfectly from the tank to the side covers to the saddlebags. The lines themselves are tight and precise.

“I think the theme is awesome. When you look at the front of the bike, it’s got that racy look because it’s got one stripe off to the side, one side’s fat and the other side’s thin, so it’s got that cool, early hot rods look. Squared off, streamlined, it’s not peacocky, it’s not dancin’ around. It’s pretty much flat out,” added Gilby.

Gotta love a company where you can drop off the parts and “Wham, we went to work and got it done.”

Gilby’s got it done all right. Ahead of schedule. That’s a big reason why they’re a well-known name in hot rod and custom motorcycle circles. Gilby’s will “Get-R-Done.”

Broken Bows and Valentines: 6 Days in Nebraska’s Sand Hills on the Indian Roadmaster

The 2017 Indian Roadmaster has its own 111 locomotive.

The 2017 Indian Roadmaster has its own 111 locomotive.

Throw a dart at the heart of a map of the USA and there’s a good chance you’ll hit Nebraska. But much like my home state of Oregon where everybody thinks it rains all the time, Nebraska is also subject to misconceptions. I’m guilty of it myself. When picturing the state, long stretches of flat grassland broken by green patches of cornfields comes to mind. After six days exploring Nebraska’s Sand Hills region on a 2017 Indian Roadmaster, I learned though much of what I thought was wrong.

Seeing how I’d be living out of saddlebags for the next six days I was grateful to see a Roadmaster waiting for me upon arrival in Denver. With a dinosaur of a laptop and its 17-inch screen, camera equipment, rain gear, and clothes for a week I used just about every inch of storage. As a 270-mile ride to a city I’d never been to lie ahead of me, I punched the address into the fuss-free Ride Command System and got ready to hit the road. But not before one slight detour. I’d picked up the Roadmaster a few blocks from Sports Authority Field at Mile High and couldn’t resist a spin by the stadium for a quick photo op. Luckily I was able to get a few guerilla-style snaps of the bike in front of the stadium entrance before a security guard rolled up and asked me to kindly move my motorcycle off the Mile High sidewalk.

Union Pacific's Bailey Yard below Golden Spike Tower is the largest "Classification Yard" in the world.

Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard below Golden Spike Tower is the largest “Classification Yard” in the world.

On the road to North Platte I quickly became a fan of 75 mph speed limits and cheap gas. I like that eastern Colorado encourages drivers to keep an eye out for bikers thanks to “Check Twice for Motorcycles” signs on top of gas pumps. The stretch is long and straight and the absence of curves reminds me of the run on I-5 through California’s Central Valley. The Roadmaster thunders along at 80 mph with relative ease, the needle on the tach tickling the 3000 rpm mark.

Finally found another biker in Valentine's Sand Hills!

Finally ran into another biker in Valentine’s Sand Hills!

My first day riding through the Sand Hills teaches me some quick lessons. Tractors have the right of way ‘round here. Don’t think I’ve ever seen more tractors on the roads than in Nebraska. We are in an agricultural epicenter after all. Tilling the soil and reaping the harvest is a long-standing tradition in this part of the country. As is ranching, the fields filled with calves chasing mothers and barrel-chested bulls. Railroads are the lifeblood of the region as they connect the East to the West. From our view 100 feet in the air at Golden Spoke Tower, Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard teams with life, an intricate network of rails and hubs, engines and rail cars mixed and matched with NASCAR-like precision. Bailey Yard seemingly stretches as far as the eye can see, the “World’s Largest Classification Yard” processing an average of 139 trains and 14,000 cars through its system every day. Every day. Union Pacific’s history runs deep in these parts. As does Buffalo Bill, the supreme showman who called North Platte home a larger than life figure in this neck of the woods. From the plight of settlers in sod houses captured through the lens of Solomon Butcher to yarns about the daring riders of the Pony Express, veins of the Wild West indeed run deep in these parts.

The legend of Buffalo Bill is strong in these parts.

The legend of Buffalo Bill is strong in these parts.

And while this area of Nebraska is rich in history and rooted in agriculture and ranching, scratch the surface and you’ll find fresh new nuggets of treasure. The micro and craft scene is gaining steam, from Pals Brewing Company in North Platte to Kinkaiders in Broken Bow to Bolo Beer in Valentine. The foodie scene is growing too, from artisan vinegars in Cody to whipped honey butters in Anselmo. Pals brought a taste of their former home state of Wisconsin to its menu in the form of a pizza with kraut, brats, and cheese a half-inch thick while the chef at Kinkaiders transported a bit what she learned in the Portland, Oregon scene to the Sand Hills by pairing her food to beers and creating beer-infused recipes. We discovered a mountain biker’s paradise at Potters Pasture, trails upon trails spidering up and down ridges and through trees in a place whose popularity is growing by word of mouth. We’ve seen a world class golf course carved out of the Sand Hills, the lodge of the Prairie Club rising like a beacon above the rolling mounds. Yes, there’s definitely more going on in these thar hills than first meets the eye.

There’s plenty more to this tale, but we’re saving that for another day. Keep an eye out for a full feature about our adventures in Nebraska’s Sand Hills in a future spread of American Iron Magazine.

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles: Kuryakyn Precision Line

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion custom 2017 Harley Street Glide

Kuryakyn might have officially announced its Precision Line for Milwaukee-Eight models yesterday, but guess what? Just about everything from the Precision Line is already on the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger. Kuryakyn’s latest is designed to dress up areas of your engine that often get overlooked and will help riders spruce up their Milwaukee-Eight with a slew of bolt-on covers.

The list of products from Kuryakyn’s Precision Line featured on the custom 2017 Harley Street Glide Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger includes a Precision Transmission Shroud and Top Cover, Inner Primary Cover, Cylinder Base Cover, Tappet Block Accent, Starter and Oil Cooler Covers, Voltage Regulator Cover, and Servo Motor Cover. Considering the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Street Glide was used to launch a new product line before it was available to the public makes it stand out even more in the crowded bagger segment.

So, if you didn’t already know, the RRR bike is for sale. To drive this point home, we hand it off to hype man Greg Smith of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. Here’s how Greg broke it down on Facebook.

NEWS BREAK: The 2017 Kuryakyn-Buffalo Chip ROCK RUMBLE REBELLION BIKE is for SALE. It is a 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide complete with newly released Kuryakyn Mesh, Riot accessories and much more (over $13,000) It is being listed at a price of $43,500. Paint by the one and only Gilby’s Street Department. If you’re interested in getting the Complete Parts List and or more information please message me. FRIENDS PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS THAT MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN OWNING THIS ONE OF A KIND BIKE.

‘Nuff said.

View the entire Precision Collection at www.kuryakyn.com/c/precision

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles: Kuryakyn Crusher and Hypercharger ES

Crazy John Street Drags at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip loves power so much it holds drag races right down the middle of its amphitheater! (Courtesy of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip) 

Power. Bikers can never get enough. That’s why the first thing many riders do is swap out their stock air intakes and exhaust. It’s one of the easiest, quickest ways to boost horsepower and torque.

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip loves power. Why else would it hold drag races right down the middle of its amphitheater headed up by a guy named “Crazy John!”

The Chip’s love of power can also be seen in the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger Kuryakyn built for them. This custom 2017 Harley Street Glide isn’t meant for simply cruising. It’s definitely got a performance bend to it.

For one, it’s already equipped with the new Milwaukee-Eight 107 claimed to put out 114 ft-lb. of torque at 3250 rpm. So what’d Kuryakyn do to squeeze even more power out of Harley’s new V-Twin? It followed the tried-and-true formula of swapping out its intake and exhaust.

Kuryakyn Hypercharger ES on Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger

The Kuryakyn Hypercharger ES got a fresh new look and a few performance tweaks. 

To get the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger breathing deeper Kuryakyn threw on its new Hypercharger ES intake. While the Hypercharger has been a staple in the Kuryakyn repertoire for about 20 years, they’ve revamped the ES with a modern, edgy look. On the performance side, Kuryakyn states “An integrated electronic servo motor delivers precise RPM-based butterfly engagement. The all-new custom Kuryakyn-designed high-flow K&N filter delivers approximately 10% more airflow than previous models for improved CFM rating, and a new internal ‘stinger’ design on the end cap maximizes airflow to the throttle body.” Kuryakyn’s Hypercharger ES is scheduled to be available for Twin Cam/XL models this month followed by the Milwaukee-Eight in late June.

Providing even more punch is a set of Kuryakyn Crusher Maverick 4” Slip-Ons for the Milwaukee-Eight in black. You think this thing barked before, you should hear it now. And while the Maverick Slip-Ons are available to the general public, you’ll only find the Crusher One-Off Custom Headers on the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Street Glide. To ensure that the new air/fuel ratios are dialed in just right and the bike’s running at peak performance, the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger has been outfitted with a Vance & Hines Fuelpak FP3.

Kuryakyn Speedform Saddlebag Extensions on RRR bagger

The Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger runs a set of Kuryakyn Crusher Maverick 4” Slip-Ons for the Milwaukee-Eight. In black, of course!

While we’re excited to be running a full feature on it in American Iron Magazine Issue #352, the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger would have fit right in with our American Iron Power issue that’s just about to hit newsstands. From a turbo-boosted Sportster to Pete Hill’s Bonneville Racer to STAR Power’s Twin Cam upgrade, this special issue lives up to its name – American Iron Power! Even though it doesn’t hit newsstands until May 16 you can get your copy now at Greaserag.com

2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering Winners, Photos & Review

Chris Carter 2nd Place American Class 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Chris Carter took second place in the American Class for his 1914 Jefferson Board Track Racer.

There was the historic, like Chris Carter’s immaculate 1914 Jefferson Board Track Racer and Gary Landeen’s 1942 Indian Pre-War Big Base Scout. There was the exotic, Virgil Elings’ pristine, unraced 1995 Britten V1000 coming to mind, the superb superbike No. 10 of 10. There was next-gen goodness in the form of John Bennet’s wicked Motus Streetfighter built by Bryan Fuller and the Fuller Moto crew, the custom Motus delivering a thunderous note you could feel in your bones.

Quail Lodge host of the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

The Quail Lodge hosted its 9th annual motorcycle concourse on its grounds with over 3,000 estimated attendees. 

For the 9th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering over 350 motorcycles sprawled about the verdant lawns of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club. A grey, overcast sky and cool temperatures couldn’t deter over 3,000 people from milling around the grounds to witness the moto-spectacle, a celebration of all things two-wheeled. American racing royalty Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey and Mert Lawwill added to the pomp and circumstance by regaling the crowd with tales from their storied careers. John Goldman, winner of 2015 “Best of Show” laurels, added another notch on his victory belt with his 1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Racer with Dual Overhead Cams and a race fairing that’s almost impossible to find.

1995 Britten V1000 #10 Significance in Racing Award 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Jeff Elings sits on the 1995 Britten V1000 #10, winner of the “Significance in Racing Award” at the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering. The rare Britten superbike is extra special because it’s never been raced.

In the American Class, Kalle Hoffman captured top honors with his art deco 1937 Indian Chief.

“I’ve had the bike for about eight years. I bought it as a project and restored it. It took me about three years to get the bike on the road. I got the bike on the road for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Hoffman. His compelling back story provided further motivation to complete the restoration.

“The first civilian bike to cross the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937 was a 1937 Indian Chief and that bike was ridden by a club member. I’m in the San Francisco Motorcycle Club and club member Hap Jones so it’s very close and dear to our group as far as that our group carries on this tradition. This year is the 80th anniversary of that bike and the Golden Gate Bridge so I decided to complete the bike this year to commemorate it.

Kalle Hoffman's 1937 Indian Chief American Class winner 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Kalle Hoffman won the American Class with his beautifully restored 1937 Indian Chief.

“I got it out of Alabama from a fellow Indian enthusiast. It was in bad condition. He had been working towards a custom bobber with everything wrong. When I bought it I wanted to restore a ’37 Indian. That bike is as close to original as I can get it.

“Getting it reliable riding on the road was the most challenging part of it. After you put a bike together and get all the parts there, that doesn’t mean it’s a bike you can get on and ride. So working through the nuances and subtleties of the magneto, working through a failed bolt in the transmission, and revisiting issues I thought I’d already solved, that was the most challenging thing for me. Assembling the bike, getting the bike rebuilt, getting the motor worked on, paint, that’s easy. Getting the bike as a reliable bike you can ride, that was the most challenging. I have to admit assembling a beautifully painted bike was a bit of a nail-biter. Lots of blue tape and not my favorite task,” he added.

Wayne Rainey 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Three time World Champion Wayne Rainey has long been a big supporter of the Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

They say a picture’s worth 1000 words, so we’ll let our photo gallery tell the rest of the story that was the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

 

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering 2017 Award Winners

Best of Show

1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Double Overhead Cam, John Goldman – California

Spirit of The Quail Award

1948 Triumph T100 Tiger, Jonnie Green – California

50th Anniversary of the Norton Commando

1968 Norton Fastback, Jeff McCoy – California

Industry Award

2015 Prototype Fuller Moto Motus Naked, John Bennet – California

Innovation Award

1991 BMW Alpha, Mark Atkinson – Utah

Design and Style Award

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T, Untitled Motorcycles – California

HVA Preservation Award

1942 Indian Pre-War Big Base Scout, Gary Landeen – South Dakota

The Cycle World Tour Award

1980 Suzuki GS1000S, Trevor Franklin – British Columbia

Significance in Racing Award

1995 Britten V1000 #10, Virgil Elings – California

Why We Ride Award

1978 Yamaha XS750, Fernando Cruz – California

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award

1983 Honda Factory RS 750 Flat Tracker, Anthony Giammanco – California

Extraordinary Bicycles/Scooter Class Award

1971 NYPD Lambretta LI150 Special, Siobhan Ellis – California

Antique 1st Place

1918 BSA Model H, Bud Schwab – California

American 1st Place

1937 Indian Chief, Kalle Hoffman – California

American 2nd Place

1914 Jefferson Board Track Racer, Chris Carter – California

British 1st Place

1939 Brough Superior SS100, William E. “Chip” Connor – Hong Kong

British 2nd Place

1936 Vincent HRD Comet, Mitch Talcove – California

Italian 1st Place

1959 Moto Parilla 99 Olimpia, Vincent Schardt – California

Italian 2nd Place

1967 Benelli Custom, Carmen & David Hearn – California

Japanese 1st Place

1976 Yamaha XT500C, Owen Bishop – California

Japanese 2nd Place

1969 Honda CB750 Factory Police Special, Peter Rose – California

Other European 1st Place

1976 Hercules W2000 Wankel, Stephan Haddad – California

Other European 2nd Place

1969 BMW R60/2, Kenneth Morris – California

Competition Off Road 1st Place

1975 Husqvarna 360 Flat Tracker, Clyde Williams – California

Competition On Road 1st Place

1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Double Overhead Cam, John Goldman – California

Custom/Modified 1st Place

1958 Triumph Tiger, Bryan Thompson – California

Custom/Modified 2nd Place

1968 BSA Thunderbolt, Richard Mitchell – California

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles: Kuryakyn Mesh Collection

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Bagger 2017

News flash – it got jacked! The Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger was last seen heading down I-90 in the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, it was the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s Lon Nordbye and Greg Smith who coordinated the heist. After months of searching, The Chip finally narrowed down its 2017 Poster Model to one lucky girl, Tawnielle Childs, who’s wasting little time settling in to her new role. Apparently The Chip did a photo shoot with Miss Childs and the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger and we hear it was smokin’ hot. We’ll see if we can’t get a hold of some of those photos to share with you somewhere down the line.

Meanwhile, Kuryakyn just released its all-new 2017 Catalog with over 400 new product releases. You’ll find many of those products on the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger, including several products from the company’s Mesh Collection. Launched in January, Kuryakyn says “The entire Mesh Collection incorporates multi-piece construction throughout. Most parts utilize a three-piece design integrating chrome or satin black aluminum outer frames with a satin black aluminum baseplate that’s exposed through satin black or chrome stainless steel mesh panels.” Hence the name.

RRR Street Glide 2017

You’ll find plenty of parts from Kuryakyn’s Mesh Collection on the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger including this Chrome Mesh Derby Cover. 

In the case of the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger, you’ll find the Mesh Collection on the Timing Cover Kuryakyn has created for Harley’s new Milwaukee-Eight engine, some of the first trim you’ll find for H-D’s new powerplant. On the flipside of the bike is a sharp-looking Chrome Mesh Derby Cover.

While these two covers are easy to spot, you have to look closely to appreciate the other items from the Mesh Collection, one because they’re satin black instead of chrome and two because they blend in so cleanly to the build they’re easy to overlook. But the difference between a good bike and great is in the details, right? Peek at the brakes and you’ll find Kurakyn Mesh Caliper Covers adding a sweet custom touch. Up on the bars are a Mesh Master Cylinder Covers for both the front brake and clutch. In the recess of the Batwing fairing you’ll see a Mesh Fairing Vent Intake. Head back to the bags, look close and you’ll find Kuryakyn Mesh Saddlebag Hinge Covers.

Kuryakyn and The Sturgis Buffalo Chip Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles

In the recess of the Batwing fairing of the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger is Kuryakyn’s Mesh Fairing Vent Intake. 

Not sure how they’re going to pull it off seeing how the bike was just in Sturgis, but somehow they’re going to get it over to the East Coast just in time for Myrtle Beach Bike Week. It will be on display from 5/12 – 5/17 if you’re headed to the rally and would like to check it out. Maybe its potential buyer will be among that crowd as this thing’s for sale and will be going home with the highest bidder after the Sturgis Rally is over. Letting the bidding wars begin!

Wounded Veteran Aims to Give Back on Border to Border Motorcycle Ride

Wyakin Warrior Tommy Montgomery

Wyakin Warrior Tommy Montgomery is preparing to embark on a “Border to Border” Iron Butt Challenge to raise money to help fellow wounded veterans.

We first met Tommy Montgomery last year at the 2nd Annual Why We Ride to the Quail. We rolled up the California coast with him to Carmel, then spent a day checking out all the glorious bikes at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering. During our ride we learned Montgomery was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. He is one of the numerous veterans who has been wounded while serving our country.

We also heard how Montgomery got the experience of a lifetime when he got to take part in the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis, a wonderful form of moto therapy for wounded veterans founded by Dave Frey. He’s also a Wyakin Warrior, and as such he’s about to embark on an epic ride to help out fellow veterans. – AIM

Wyakin Warrior, Tommy Montgomery, a wounded U.S. Army Veteran, will be riding from Mexico to Canada in less than 36 hours in what is known as a “Border to Border” Iron Butt Challenge. The ride is just shy of 1400 miles and will begin on June 9th.

Tommy’s mission is to increase awareness of services provided for fellow wounded and injured veterans returning home. His goal is to raise funds to support new veterans in the Wyakin Foundation. The cost to support a warrior for one year is $5,000. His end goal is to raise $40,000, enough to support two warriors through the entire program or eight new veterans through their first year.

“Many of the wounded and injured veterans served by the Wyakin Foundation were planning to serve in the military for life. Combat, injury, and stress have derailed their lives. They struggle with great loss – loss of career, loss of purpose, loss of identity, and now adapting to their injuries. Wyakin helped me – I know it can help them.”

He will showcase fellow veterans’ stories through a photo blog on Facebook. To find out more information, and to follow the ride find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/wyakinwarriors/.

You can donate directly here: http://wyakin.org/donate/ or at https://www.gofundme.com/wyakin-foundation-awareness-ride

Ndn Dave Frey and Tommy Montgomery

Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis founder Dave Frey (L) and Tommy Montgomery (R) at the 2nd annual Why We Ride to the Quail.

About Wyakin Foundation
The Wyakin Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, serves wounded and injured veterans in transition to civilian careers through a comprehensive program focused on personal and professional development through mentorship, education, and guidance. With retention and job placement rates significantly exceeding national averages, the Wyakin Foundation is recognized for producing best-in-class veteran talent.

Learn more about Tommy Montgomery here.

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles: Kuryakyn & Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s Bad to the Bone Bagger

Kuryakyn and The Sturgis Buffalo Chip once again collaborated to bring you the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger.

Kuryakyn and The Sturgis Buffalo Chip once again collaborated to bring you the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger.

It’s called the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger for a reason. The Sturgis Buffalo Chip, home to “The Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling,” has been providing the “Rock” to Sturgis rally goers for over 35 years. The tradition continues this year as Ozzy Osbourne, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Shinedown and Blink 182 will amp up energy levels on the Wolfman Jack Stage this summer.

The “Rumble” is twofold. It starts with Kuryakyn taking a stock 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide and injecting it with an attitude and stance that’d be right at home at the Crazy John Street Drags that run right through the heart of the Chip’s amphitheater. From the hot rod design of its Kuryakyn Hypercharger ES Air Cleaner to its stout Crusher Maverick Slip-Ons to the sick FMB drag bars to that sweet custom seat from Mustang, the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger looks primed to grip and rip. The stripes Gilby’s Street Department artistically applied are the perfect complement to the Glide’s sporty new look.

Part two of the “Rumble” will come from the racing action taking place at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip come August. Racing roots run deep at the rally, and The Chip is doing its damnedest to keep those roots alive with its Moto Stampede. They’ve gone as far as knocking buildings down so they could build a new TT track in the middle of the amphitheater in order to host the best flat track racers in the world when American Flat Track rolls in to rip at The Chip August 6. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s the Street Drag Invitational with Crazy John we already mentioned to go along with RSD Super Hooligans, AMA Supermoto, and the Dirt Riot Off-Road Racing. To say it’s going to be nuts at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip this summer is an understatement.

Kuryakyn Hypercharger ES Air Cleaner on Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger

We don’t know about you, but we’re really digging Kuryakyn’s new Hypercharger ES Air Cleaner.

And the “Rebellion?” Kuryakyn’s been displaying a little rebellious nature lately by upping its game in the aftermarket arena with products that reflect what’s current in the industry. The Chip? The Chip’s always been a rebel, one of the few remaining bastions of unbridled biker fun. The Chip’s never been afraid to do its own thing.

American Iron is proud to be a media partner with this rebellious duo as we feature this year’s Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger in Issue #352 of our magazine. We’re also going to be taking an intimate look at the pieces of the puzzle that make up the whole in a series of articles online as the bike features parts that just hit the market as well as some that haven’t even been officially launched yet! We’ll also bring you conversations with people who made this project happen. Additionally we’ll let you know where you can check it out in person as it makes the rounds at rallies and various events this summer. In July it’s slated to be at Black Hills Harley-Davidson in Rapid City before it heads to The Chip for another promotional stint. And you’ll want to get an up-close-and-personal look at this bike because ultimately it’s going up for sale to the highest bidder.

Until then, we leave you with this gallery of photos to whet your appetite! Keep an eye out for the next installment of the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles coming soon.

Harley-Davidson to Lay Off 118 at York Plant as Softail Production Moves to KC

Harley-Davidson's York Plant

The York Daily Record is reporting that Harley-Davidson is moving all production of its Softail cruisers to Kansas City, eliminating 118 jobs at its Springettsbury Township plant in York, Pennsylvania as a result. The layoff affects 110 hourly workers, the other eight either salaried workers or contractors. Prior to the move, Harley produced five Softail models at York and two in Kansas City.

Harley reportedly informed employees in November 2015 that the company intended to move production of Softails to KC starting with the 2018 model year. Workers affected by the move “will have the opportunity to apply for jobs in Kansas City.”

Touring motorcycles and trikes will continue to be produced at York. Harley-Davidson reduced shipments of its 2017 motorcycles in the first quarter of 2017 in an effort to help dealers sell down their 2016 models. For the year, Harley-Davidson said it anticipates “full-year motorcycle shipments to be flat to down modestly in comparison to 2016.”

The Curious Case of Harley’s Tilting Three-Wheeler the “Penster”

Clyde Fessler on the first generation Harley Penster

Clyde Fessler sits on the first generation Harley Penster. “That was my project. I called it Project 21.” (Photo courtesy of Clyde Fessler)

The Harley-Davidson Museum calls it “Collection X: Never-before-seen Harley-Davidson prototype bikes created as concepts but never manufactured or sold.” Among those prototypes is an unconventional three-wheeler dubbed the “Penster.” We say unconventional because not only does it have two wheels in front and one in back ala Can-Am’s Spyder, but the front wheels tilt into turns. According to an article by The Kneeslider, the first version was built in 1998, while a final rendition was completed in 2006.

While information about Harley’s prototype is scant, we were privy to a little more of its history courtesy of Clyde Fessler. Fessler was employed by Harley-Davidson for 25 years, working his way up to Harley’s Vice-President of Development. He also served on its product planning committee for 12 years and has written a book about his time with The Motor Company called Rebuilding the Brand: How Harley-Davidson Became King of the Road.

Fessler said that Harley purchased a company called Trihawk back in the early ‘80s. The company made vehicles with two-front and one-rear wheel. They were powered by a 1299cc flat-four Citroen engine, had front wheel drive, and side-by-side seating. Fessler said he was V-P of marketing at the time and claimed “Citicorp killed it for financial reasons.

Trihawk was purchased by Harley-Davidson in the mid-80s

Harley purchased a company called Trihawk which made two-front, one-rear wheeled vehicles, back in the early ‘80s. (Photo courtesy of Clyde Fessler)

“Harley was in straights and we were looking to diversify but they said consolidate and the project was killed. But I fell in love with three-wheelers and always believed in two-ones,” said Fessler.

“So I hired a guy by the name of Johnny Buttera.”

Buttera, aka “Little John,” cut his teeth as a customizer in the hot rod scene before his career evolved into building front-engine dragsters, funny cars and Pro stocks. Known as a chassis master, “Little John’s” clients included Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Don “Stardust” Schumacher.

“He built race cars for Rick Mears for Indy and he built beautiful Softails. All his stuff looked like jewelry. He did the prototype for the project Penster. That was my project. I called it Project 21,” said Fessler.

Harley Penster first generation prototype was designed by John Buttera.

The Harley Penster first generation prototype was designed by hot rod legend John Buttera. (Photo courtesy of Clyde Fessler)

Fessler believed a titling three-wheeler was something the Baby Boom generation would want going forward.

“The mistake we made when designing the Penster was it was from an automotive standpoint. In other words, castor and camber, just like the Can-Am. We’d roll around corners like a truck. The problem with the Penster is that it leaned, but when you wanted to switch lanes, it didn’t react the right way. And even Delphi couldn’t get it. So if you were taking a right hand turn and all of a sudden you had to switch lanes to the left like you can do on a two-wheeler, well it wouldn’t respond but the wheels were still leaning and then you wanted to turn the handlebars they wouldn’t crank over.”

Harley Penster first generation

You can definitely see hot rodder Buttera’s influence on the first rendition of Harley’s Penster prototype. (Harley-Davidson Museum photo)

Still holding onto his love of three-wheelers and belief in two-ones, Fessler later served on the Board of Directors for Lehman Trikes where he was introduced to Bob Mighell. Turns out Mighell owns Tilting Motor Works, a company that has developed a bolt-on, two-wheeled tilting front end kit for Harley Tourers, Dynas and Softails.

“And I took one look at the product and got on it and rode around the block and said this is the magic answer. This is the design that really gives you the feeling of a two-wheeler with counter-steering and has all of the action of a two-wheeler but it’s a three-wheeler,” said Fessler.

He believes in Tilting Motor Works so much Fessler’s invested in the company and was helping out with marketing at the 2016 Sturgis Rally, which is where we first met him.

Harley-Davidson Penster Prototype

The second generation Harley Penster prototype was reportedly completed in 2006. (Harley-Davidson Museum photo)

“I think there’s a place in the marketplace for it. I predict, my gut feeling is Harley’s going to be launching one within the next two to three years, their own two-one,” stated Fessler.

He believes this in part because Fessler claims Harley sent an engineer out to spent five days with Mighell. Later, Fessler tried to make an appointment in Milwaukee with Harley CEO Matt Levatich when Mighell was making a promotional swing through the Midwest, but “they didn’t want to look at it.

“The fact that they didn’t even want to look at it and they had an engineer out there tells me that they got their own project going and they don’t want anything to do with potential legal action later on down the line,” surmised Fessler.

While this is purely conjecture, a three-wheeler that counter-steers like a motorcycle and provides a comparable riding experience would most likely appeal to Harley’s aging demographic. It’s a concept foreign competitors have embraced as well, from Yamaha’s LMW 08H concept to Hoonda’s NEOWING.

Time will tell how this plays out. Erstwhile, we’ve hitched a leg over a Harley equipped with Mighell’s bolt-on conversion. But that’s another story for a later date. Stay tuned.

Harley-Davidson Penster Prototype

The Penster, a three-wheeler with two front wheels that tilt into turns, is in the Harley-Davidson Museum’s “Collection X.” (Harley-Davidson Museum photo)