Saddlemen Offers New 1WR Gripper Seat for Sportsters

If you love wheelies, burnouts, drifting, wild motorcycle modifications, adrenaline filled performances, and the sight of road bikes blasting down dirt roads, the new 1 WR Gripper Seat will deliver. The amazing new Saddlemen 1WR Gripper Seat co-developed with V-twin stunt rider Rob Carpenter to specifically meet the grueling demands of the professional stunt scene is now available for the H-D Sportster. A single screw installs the hi-tech seat that fits the rider, their style and the motorcycle.

Based on 30 years of street and track testing, the designers at Saddlemen know how important the interface between the body and seating surface are to motorcycle control, especially during aggressive conditions. This new seat utilizes a unique Tri-Gripper cover with diamond waffle pattern developed after years of studying frictional contact mechanics under real world conditions. Underneath, Saddlemen’s UltraFOAM provides a perfect balance of rigidity, user compliance, durability and comfort.

Saddleman 1 WR Gripper Seat

Key features include:
• Tall lumbar support combined with Tri-Gripper cover locks the rider into the bike for increased bike control during acceleration, braking and extreme angles which directly translates into improved rider confidence.
• Made in the USA
• Fits both 3.3 and 4.5 gallon fuel tanks
• Ride the seat that Rob Carpenter from 1 Wheel Revolution recommends.
• Specially formulated foam that provides feedback and control as you steer the bike

All Saddlemen seats are designed, tested, and built exclusively in the USA for the long ride. American made quality and craftsmanship is something Saddlemen takes very seriously. Every seat since 1987 has been constructed at Saddlemen’s Long Beach, California manufacturing facility. Every detail, every stitch, and every step of the process from raw materials to the final product has been carefully considered and inspected to insure that Saddlemen’s standards for quality, craftsmanship and comfort are continuously upheld.

Saddlemen remains America’s first choice when you decide to upgrade your motorcycle seat because Saddlemen recognizes everybody and every bike is built a little different and that sometimes even the best motorcycle seat may not meet everyone’s expectations. Unlike other seat companies who might defer the blame on the rider or their bike, Saddlemen will help make it right, call and their friendly Product Specialist will gladly assist.

Saddleman 1 WR Gripper Seat on Off-Road Sporty

Saddleman’s 1 WR Griper Seat looks great on this off-road Sportster.

Fits 2004 – 2016 XL Sportsters with both the 3.3 or 4.5 gallon fuel Tanks. Priced at only $305.

Saddlemen seats are available at most local motorcycle shops served through Drag Specialties, a leading distributor of accessories and parts for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Call 800-397-7709 or visit

Harley Brings Roadster Back – 2016 Sportster Roadster XL1200CX First Look

2016 Harley Roadster

Highlights of the 2016 Sportster Roadster XL1200CX include a new 43mm inverted fork, emulsion shocks, dual discs on the front, lowered handlebars and chopped fenders.

The Harley-Davidson Dark Custom lineup has a new addition. With a minimalist, fastback design inspired by classic racing motorcycles, the nimble Harley-Davidson Roadster will inspire a new generation of riders to take to the streets.

“Since its introduction in 1957, the Harley-Davidson Sportster has proved capable of constant reinvention, and the Roadster writes a new chapter in that story,” said Harley-Davidson Director of Styling Brad Richards. “We’ve watched our customers take the Sportster in so many different directions. The Roadster is a mash-up of styling genres, but the intent was to build a rider’s motorcycle, a Sportster that’s lean and powerful and connects the rider to the road.”

Roadster stars in “Cut Loose,” the third commercial in Harley-Davidson’s ‘Live Your Legend’ global marketing campaign that shows how riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can enable riders to create deeper bonds and share richer experiences with friends and family. ‘Live Your Legend’ campaign ads include snapshots of life-enriching moments, as well as the unique and unforgettable bonds of friendship that riders develop by riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

As the newest member of the Dark Custom lineup, Roadster combines modern performance and retro-inspired styling with premium suspension components, an air-cooled 1200cc V-Twin engine that delivers a strong pulse of mid-range torque and a profile reminiscent of vintage racing motorcycles from the 1950s and 1960s.

“We wanted to give the Roadster some DNA from the high-performance KHR models of the mid-50s, and later Sportsters tuned for the drag strip,” said Richards. “Those bikes had fenders cut to the struts, the small fuel tank, and were stripped to their bare essentials to achieve a singular performance purpose.”

The 19-inch front and 18-inch rear Offset-Split 5-Spoke cast aluminum wheels were designed specifically for the Roadster and contribute to its balanced, athletic stance. The Roadster puts its rider in an aggressive posture with a new low-rise handlebar and mid-mount foot controls that center the rider’s weight over the classic profile of the 3.3-gallon Sportster fuel tank.

2016 Harley Roadster

The 2016 Sportster Roadster will be offered in four color choices: Vivid Black with a charcoal denim pinstripe; Black Denim with a red pinstripe; Velocity Red Sunglo with a red pinstripe; and two-tone Billet Silver/Vivid Black with a burgundy pinstripe.

“The wheels were inspired by classic laced wheels, and are the most intricate cast wheel we’ve ever created,” said Harley-Davidson Industrial Designer Ben McGinley. “The interlacing spokes shoot outward toward opposite sides of the wheel, creating a dramatic visual effect. These wheels are also very light for their size, which contributes to the Roadster’s handling performance.”

Roadster’s suspension is enhanced by new 43mm inverted single-cartridge forks with tri-rate springs gripped in robust triple clamps and rear suspension featuring gas-charged emulsion coil-over shocks and tri-rate springs with adjustable pre-load that offers greater suspension travel than any other Sportster model – 4.5 inches in front and 3.2 inches in the rear. Outstanding stopping power is achieved with dual 11.8-inch floating rotors on the front wheel. The Roadster is available with optional ABS.

In keeping with its stripped-down styling, the Roadster’s rear fender has been clipped 1.5 inches shorter than previous bobbed Sportster fenders. The slotted belt guard and muffler shields mimic the lightening holes drilled in race-bike components, and a single four-inch diameter instrument tucked low in front of the triple clamp features a sweeping analog tachometer with an inset digital speedometer. Rear turn signals mounted directly to the fender struts, a side-mount license plate and fastback seat design give the rear of the bike a tight and uncluttered look.

“The seat’s profile flows into the very short rear fender,” said McGinley. “The cover features a series of pads inspired by an armored leather jacket, and the rear of the seat is designed as a passenger pillion, to give the Roadster added versatility.”

The Roadster model will be offered in four color choices: Vivid Black with a charcoal denim pinstripe; Black Denim with a red pinstripe; Velocity Red Sunglo with a red pinstripe; and two-tone Billet Silver/Vivid Black with a burgundy pinstripe.

To test ride a Roadster or any of the 2016 motorcycles, visit a Harley-Davidson authorized dealership or schedule a test ride online at

2016 XL1200C Roadster

The inverted fork and updated rear shocks should make the 2016 Sportster Roadster a blast to ride.

NEW IN 2016
• Premium emulsion technology rear shocks with screw style pre-load adjustment
• 43 mm inverted front forks with premium cartridge dampening technology and triple clamp design
• Optimized steering geometry for a responsive, confidence-inspiring ride
• Two-up seat with ribbed detail and minimalist styling
• Lightweight, Offset-Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum wheels; 19-inch front, 18-inch rear
• Lowered handlebar
• Extreme chopped rear fender
• Finned cast timer cover
• Custom tank graphics

2016 Roadster Unique Features 
• Blacked-out powertrain with gray oval air cleaner
• Shorty-dual exhaust with chrome tapered mufflers and laser cut black heat shields
• 43mm front fork with massive triple clamps
• Slammed drag-style handlebar and gauges
• Black headlamp bucket with chrome trim ring
• 3.3 gal “walnut” gas tank
• Black, top-mounted mirrors
• Side-mounted license plate (U.S. configuration)
• Two-up seat optimized for maximum comfort
• Lowered handlebar
• Forward riding position with mid-mounted controls
• Dual-disc front brakes
• 4-inch Dual speedometer/tachometer gauge, integrated into handlebar clamp
• Includes digital odometer, clock, dual trip meter, miles to empty, gear indicator (1-5), and analog RPM output
• Blade key ignition; fork lock common with ignition key
• Single, push button hazard warning
• 19-inch front, 18-inch rear cast aluminum wheels
• Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series radial blackwall tires designed specially for the XL1200XR to
achieve excellent ride, handling and maneuverability performance
• Closed loop exhaust system meets worldwide emission standards
• Rubber-mounted, Air-cooled, 1200 cc Evolution engine
• Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) with heated O2 sensors
• 5-speed transmission
• Confidence-inspiring front-end geometry
• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) (factory installed option)
• Smart Security System with hands-free, proximity based security fob and keyless ignition
(factory installed option)

2016 Sportster Roadster

Harley says the 19-inch front and 18-inch rear Offset-Split 5-Spoke cast aluminum wheels were designed specifically for the Roadster and contribute to its balanced, athletic stance.

2016 Harley Roadster XL1200CX Specs

Length – 86 in. (2186 mm)
Overall Width – 33.1 in. (841 mm)
Overall Height – 42.6 in. (1082 mm)
Seat Height:
• Laden – 29.5 in. (749 mm)
• Unladen – 30.9 in. (785 mm)
Ground Clearance – 6 in. (152 mm)
Rake – (steering head) 28.9°
Fork Angle – 27.4°
Trail – 5.5 in. (140 mm)
Wheelbase – 59.3 in. (1505 mm)
Tires (Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series, radial blackwall front and rear):
• Front – 12070R-19 M/C
• Rear – 15070R-18 M/C
Fuel Capacity – 3.3 gal. (12.5 L) (warning light at approximately 0.8 gal.)
Oil Capacity (w/filter) – 2.8 qts. (2.6 L)
Transmission Capacity – 1 qt. (.95 L)
• As Shipped – 549 lbs. (249 kg)
• In Running Order – 568 lbs. (258 kg)

Engine Air-cooled, Evolution
Valves – Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; two valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke – 3.5 in. x 3.811 in. (88.9 mm x 96.8 mm)
Displacement – 73.4 cu. in. (1202 cc)
Compression Ratio – 10:1
Fuel – System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)

Primary Drive – Chain, 38/57 ratio
Final Drive – Belt, 29/68 ratio
Clutch – Multi-plate, wet
Transmission 5-speed
Gear Ratios (overall):
• 1st 9.315
• 2nd 6.653
• 3rd 4.948
• 4th 4.102
• 5th 3.517

Frame – Mild steel, tubular frame; circular sections; cast junctions
Swingarm – Mild steel, rectangular tube section, stamped junctions; MIG welded
Front Fork – 43 mm inverted
Rear Shocks – Variable rate spring over 36 mm piston nitrogen gas-charged emulsion
style shock with thread style preload adjustment
Wheels: Offset-Split 5-Spoke
• Front – 19 in. x 3 in. (482.6 mm x 76 mm)
• Rear – 18 in. x 4.25 in. (457.2 mm x 108 mm)
• Caliper Type – Dual-piston front, dual-piston rear
• Rotor Type – Front floating, Rear uniform expansion rotor
• Front (dual floating) – 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5 mm)
• Rear – 10.24 in. x .28 in. (260 mm x 7 mm)
• Anti-lock Braking System Optional
Suspension Travel:
• Front Wheel – 4.5 in. (115 mm)
• Rear Wheel – 3.2 in. (81 mm)

Engine Torque:
• 76 ft. lbs. @ 3750 rpm (103 Nm @ 3750 RPM)
Lean Angle:
• Right – 30.8°
• Left – 31.1°
Fuel Economy – 48 mpg (4.9 L/100 km)


And Then There Were Four – Harley Custom Kings Contest Final 4

And then there were four. The NCAA Men’s basketball tournament isn’t the only one creating a little “March Madness.” Harley-Davidson Custom Kings contest is generating its own buzz as the field of 64 customized Sportsters that kicked off the contest have been narrowed down to four.

The premise was simple. Harley challenged dealerships across the country to build a kick-ass custom based on the versatile Sportster to showcase their in-house skills. These Sportsters were then pitted against each other in a bracket-style competition based on region. While Harley dealers could let their imaginations run wild for the Custom Kings contest, they were also critiqued for their use of parts from the Harley-Davidson Genuine Parts & Accessories catalog. With pride, prestige, and bragging rights on the line, there definitely was no shortage of creativity as the final four includes a Sportster bagger, trail-capable hybrids, and vintage flair. Fans have voted for their favorites on-line and now have a say in the winner.

Harley says: “Pick your favorite from the 4 head-to-head match-ups, and keep voting each day. The #HDCustomKings winner will be crowned April 12.

“Only one vote per person allowed per day. You must vote for one bike in each of the match-ups in every Region in order to submit your vote. Round 5 voting will close April 3 at 11:00 p.m. EST.”

Here’s the four Sportsters who have risen above the rest in the Custom Kings competition along with a short description provided by the dealerships that built them. (Courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

Yellowstone H-D Belgrade, MT H-D Sportster Forty-Eight XL1200X "The Maestro"

Yellowstone H-D Sportster Forty-Eight XL1200X “The Maestro”

The reigning National Champions, at Yellowstone Harley-Davidson are back in action with another Custom Kings build. Taking it back to the root consumer of the Motor Company, our goal is to build an awe-inspiring machine that is unique but obtainable; one that could be built by the working man, the vet, or the woman that puts in a 12 hour work day, then heads straight to her own garage. Simply put, this bike will be just plain badass. Six months ago we put Belgrade, Montana on the map. We plan to keep it there.

Hal's H-D New Berlin, WI H-D Sportster Superlow XL883L "General Mayhem"

Hal’s H-D Sportster Superlow XL883L “General Mayhem”

Custom built for the millennial or young-at-heart to cruise around town and then head straight out to the hinterland. For a rider that likes an aggressive vehicle for the urban environment and the occasional fire road on the weekend.

Four Rivers H-D Paducah, KY H-D Sportser Iron 883 XL883N "Go Dammit"

Four Rivers H-D Sportser Iron 883 XL883N “Go Dammit”

H-D SPORTSTER IRON 883 (XL 883N) 2016
When Brady first brought up the idea of entering the “The Custom Kings” we asked ourselves can we do this and we thought of the H-D promo “Roll Your Own” and what would be our theme. Somehow the phase of “Go-Dammit” evolved out of our discussions.

Immediately we started talking about which Sportster would be our choice and the bad ass XL883N Iron 883 was the obvious choice. We had a Black Denim unit in stock and it was the perfect one.

We wanted to have a highly customized Iron 883 that would be different than any we had ever seen, yet maintain the Harley-Davidson blood line and define our build to be 100% HD Genuine P&A and Four Rivers fabrication and modifications. We were able to do this and utilized only HD components from other models such as FXSB, XL883L, XL1200X, FLTRX, FLHX, and many Genuine HD P&A items. By adding many customization efforts from creating a FRHD”Go-Dammit” custom exhaust from the stock system to the special Ostrich orange/white stitched XL seat to the custom paint job with silver leaf accents, we believe we have hit it out of the park!!!!!!!. Not only was our Build Team excited, the entire dealership staff became excited to see each day’s progress.

We proudly present our XL883N Iron 883 “Go-Dammit Bagger” and its Four Rivers Harley-Davidson Custom Kings package for your consideration and thank you for the opportunity to participate.

Southside H-D Virginia Beach, VA H-D Sportster Forty-Eight XL1200X "Trail Bob"

Southside H-D Sportster Forty-Eight XL1200X “Trail Bob”

Built on the foundation of simple yet functional, this “48”-based custom stays true to its roots. With the attitude of a post-war bobber and the functionality of a trail machine, it’s equally at home cruising the city streets or carving up the gravel back roads. To accentuate the styling, special attention was focused on trimming down and streamlining all of the unsightly necessities that are generally associated with ABS, fuel injection, hands-free security, and key-less ignition systems. From its stout riding position and high-riding exhaust to its aggressive dual-sport tires, this go-anywhere Sportster means business in any environment. From all of us at Southside Harley-Davidson, we proudly present the 2016 Harley-Davidson Trail Bob.

American Iron Garage: RSD Turbine Black Ops Air Cleaner Install

Air Assault

RSD Turbine Black Ops air cleaner


The Roland Sands Design Turbine air cleaner in Black Ops finish comes with a washable, rechargeable air filter.

The Roland Sands Design Turbine air cleaner in Black Ops finish comes with a washable, rechargeable air filter.

Before ...

Before …

intro by Tyler Greenblatt
photos and captions by Tricia Szulewski

The Motor Company gets a lot right. But it has more than a few limitations placed on it by various governmental bodies. One of the most detrimental (and easiest to fix) areas affected by regulation is your Harley’s air cleaner. As part of our Roland Sands Design (RSD) bolt-on performance upgrade project, we’ll be installing the Turbine Black Ops air cleaner (#1010-0964/$429.95) onto our 2011 Sportster Forty-Eight.

... After!

… After!

Like the Slant 2-into-1 exhaust system we install next (page 74), the Turbine is all about flowing air as efficiently as possible and looking great while doing it. RSD’s unique two-tone Black Ops finish mates up perfectly with the blacked-out Forty-Eight’s powertrain and general sinister attitude. But more power and a more efficient engine are what’s important here. The Turbine carries a K&N air filter within its jet engine-shaped body for the ultimate in air filtration technology. RSD includes a new, smoother-flowing backing plate with its air cleaner kits as well as hidden, internal crankcase breathers. Even though we went with the Black Ops finish on our Forty-Eight, the Turbine is available in a variety of finishes for Sportsters and Big Twins.

Glen Helsley at Woodstock Harley-Davidson in Kingston, New York, handled this project for us. We find ourselves doing performance and custom work at Woodstock H-D quite a bit and have always been impressed with the quality of work found there. To see the complete gains and the installation of the final piece, a Power Commander with Auto Tune, turn to page 84.


Read the 10 step-by-step photos by getting the issue on newsstands NOW!


Also available via digital delivery via Zinio by clicking here!


Check past AIG issues at!



Roland Sands Design

Woodstock Harley-Davidson

American Iron Garage: Garage Built

DSC09300Lemonade Vodka Build

Steve changes his ’74 XLCH chopper into a Knuckle lookalike

text by Steven Wyman-Blackburn photos by Steve Lita

Why or how lemonade became the accepted platform to describe how people make the best of otherwise unpleasant dilemmas is beyond me. While I understand that the metaphor is contingent upon the originating sour situation, I’ve always felt that lemonade was tantamount to a failed mixed drink. For starters, I prefer iced tea. Luckily for me, when talking about Steven Peters’ 1974 XLCH, my particular stance on the popular saying actually works quite well. Steve basically skipped the lemons altogether and began with the “improved” beverage.

DSC09441While the bike wasn’t a lemon to begin with, it wasn’t perfect, either (hence the lemonade). It was riddled with dents and scratches, which signified a motorcycle that was well-worn and far from show-floor ready. And that’s not even taking into account the failed attempt of whomever drilled holes in the rear fender to accommodate the two-up seat it originally came with. (I say failed since the holes weren’t lined up properly.) It didn’t help that the Sporty had a slight chopper look with the small rear wheel and large front wheel. However, when all is said and done, the bike could start and perform well, and, duh, it’s an Ironhead. The fact that it came with the original frame, powerplant (save for the ’86 carb which Steve installed years later), rear swingarm, fork, and wheels made it the perfect canvas.

It all started when Steve bought a Harley 350 Sprint in 1985. Over the six years he rode it, he became friends with a salesmen from the local House of Harley-Davidson dealer. Well, when the kickstart XLCH you see here appeared at the shop, being a smart guy who could connect the dots, the salesman thought Steve might like it. So he pulled Steve aside and said, “Steve, we’ve got a bike with your name written all over it.” No joke. Steve was etched on the price tag and the letters from P to R could be found in every nook and cranny. The fact that it was a vintage bike was another plus for Steve. In April of 1992, the chopped bike was his.





Okay, so you know that Steve didn’t (and still doesn’t) want a XLCH chopper. So what did he fancy? If the Knucklehead style nuts on the stock rocker boxes weren’t a dead giveaway, Steve tried to emulate the look of a Knucklehead or, to be more precise, something from the 1930s-40s era, and it makes sense, too, since Steve’s dream bike is a 1936 EL. That said, the fact that a Knuckle has always remained in dreamland and never actually pushed its way into reality (i.e. Steve’s world) is essential when defining the bike for it ultimately shapes the Sportster’s overall theme. It’s part Ironhead, part Knuck wannabe. For starters, the fenders are aftermarket parts for Sportys and, probably the most conspicuous one of all, Steve kept the peanut tank. “I originally thought of changing it to a Fat Bob tank, but then I decided not to,” says Steve. “It’s still a Sportster.” When you pair that with a few of the illusions on the bike, you’ll see what I mean.


Now I’m not using the word “illusions” sparingly. Upon first glance, you might think that a particular area on the bike seems legit. But when you get a little closer, you’ll realize that, in actuality, the look or style is a façade. Don’t feel bad if you were fooled. I thought Steve replaced the original suspension and bolted on a hardtail frame. However, the Sporty suspension is just blacked-out. It doesn’t help that the leather saddlebags are also covering that particular area. I also falsely assumed that the front forks was a springer since the lower legs are blacked-out. It’s what Steve calls “black camouflage.” Those springs up top are what fooled me. In fact, the springs are the only, in Steve’s words, “real” vintage DSC09439parts and needed to be cut shorter to fit onto the bike properly. And bring your attention to the “springer seat.” It’s in quotes for a reason. The side flange is covering the fact that it’s actually solidly mounted. “It looks
like it’s floating on a pogo stick,” says Steve.

Interestingly enough, this dichotomy between Ironhead and Knucklehead wasn’t the original look Steve initially tried to tackle. When the bike first made it into his garage, the only mission on Steve’s mind was to unchop it, if you can even call it that. That move is apparent through the first mod Steve made to his Sporty. “It originally came with an aftermarket chrome headlight,” says Steve. “It was installed lower than it is now and was pretty small.” The unchopping began when he replaced it with a much larger, teardrop headlight from the 1935-48 era and embellished it by reinstalling the original bracket upside down to push it up higher on the forks.





The XLCH also came to him with differently sized wheels, a 21″ front and 16″ rear, which contributed to the original builder’s quest for increasing rake. Steve leveled out the playing field by adding the correct size 1974 wheels: the rear wheel is now 2″ bigger and the front wheel is now 2″ smaller. Steve adds, “It levels out the bike perfectly.” Chopped culture also reared its (subjectively ugly) head in two other areas. While the rear fender was fine (besides the mismatching holes mentioned earlier), Steve had to reinstall the front and rear turn signals since the original owner had chopped them off, but the tombstone taillight was already on the bike, so Steve painted it black.  And in the front, Steve made the bike complete by replacing the small chrome front fender. “I’ve heard some people say that my new fender looks like a Model K,” says Steve.

Steve’s artistic trajectory began to head toward vintage styling when he saw a Sportster that had been converted into a Knucklehead lookalike. “I was at the 90th anniversary celebration for Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee,” Steve recalls. “I thought, ’Yeah! I can do that. I already have the headlight and taillight anyway.’” With this new direction in mind, Steve quickly went to his local Harley dealership and chose the pair of used handlebars you see here from a selection of three. “It’s 3′ wide, which is similar to the period. It was from that point when I took off the buckhorns that the project really started to change.”

DSC09382And that change soon led to the gas deflecting, shark fin muffler, a 1935-40 reproduction aftermarket part. The mufflers received the black satin treatment only after Steve tried to rub off some spots on the flat black paint, an action which smudged the coloring, making it resemble a black satin finish. Speaking of color, the bike originally came in burgundy. Steve almost altered it when he realized it was commonly used in 1949. Win-win! For something more substantial, the “springer” saddle illusion mentioned earlier was not intentional, either.

A few other mods that convey the movement toward a Knuckle include his slow but steady change from chrome to blacked-out parts, the 1947-50 chrome and red Speedball tank emblem, and the 1935-57 art deco horn (which is actually paired with and located in front of another usable horn since the retro one isn’t loud enough). Then there’s the stripes on the rear fender, which Steve calls Art Deco speed lines even though people now refer to them as Sergeant Stripes. His reasoning? That’s what they have been called since the late ’40s. The speedometer was also moved and the tach removed. “It’s kind of like the dashbars from the early ’30s,” says Steve. “It doesn’t look like a dash, but it has the same feel.”

1974 XLCH 1




As we all know, customizing comes with its fair share of trials and tribulations. The pipes you see here were actually a nuisance. The rear pipe would have originally gone through where the kickstart lever is currently located, so Steve had to cut and twist them before installing it back on. However, that only pushed the front pipe 3″ forward, forcing Steve to cut 3″ from the bottom. Some of the brackets he created also came at a price, especially the left- and right-side streamlined half moon footboard brackets (which were bent inward with a slight upward tip bent into the front and took an entire day each to create). Another troublesome story involves what I like to summarize as the goodbye-shifter-peg-during-ride scenario, but that’s a whole different ball game.

Oh, and see the picture of a trailer to the left? I called it the Medieval tour pack during the interview, but Steve clarified by saying that it’s modeled after the Mullins auto trailer built only in 1936-37. For those of you who are curious, the trailer attaches to the bike’s swingarm with a carabineer-type clip rather than a trailer hitch. Like the XLH’s gas tank, the trailer also features the speed lines. “I built the trailer myself,” says Steve. “It has a steel frame from a bicycle trailer. Save for the hinges, latch, and handle, everything else is made from hardboard, pine, and oak wood, and hardboard like Masonite. Even the fenders are made from wood.”

DSC09460With so many mods already lined up — some planned, some not so much — it’s safe to say that Steve still has his work cut out for him. When asked whether or not buying his 1936 EL dream bike would affect the look of his Sportster, Steve had to think about it for a moment. “I never thought of that,” begins Steve slowly. “I don’t know. This one is just so fun and unique the way it is.” Fair enough. After consulting my wife, Jenn, on a closer for the story, she said, “Life gave him lemonade, so he made an Arnold Palmer … with a splash of vodka.”

Wyman Wins Third Daytona AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley Race

Kyle Wyman (KWR/Millennium Technologies) cemented his mastery of the Daytona draft by winning his third AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley Davidson series race in four career tries at Daytona International Speedway Friday, expertly setting up a final lap move that brought him to the front of an 11-rider pack battling for the victory on the last of seven laps around the famed 3.5-mile road course.

Wyman’s 0.068-second margin of victory turned the tables on runner-up Tyler O’Hara (Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels’ H-D), who last year dashed the 2011 and 2012 Daytona winner’s hopes of a third-straight win by a nearly identical margin. Gage McAllister (Folsom H-D) rounded out the podium, as polesitter and defending 2013 series champion Steve Rapp (Aerostar Global/Suburban Motors H-D) fell back in the early laps with a mechanical issue.

“It was awesome,” Wyman said. “This is what we live for, and I was just loving it. That’s the third win for me, and I just love this place. I spent all winter thinking about coming here to Daytona. I’m just so happy to be up here. It was a long year last year, and I feel like we’re off on the right foot.”

Making a strong start from the second row of the grid, O’Hara took the lead into the first turn and led the pack over the line to complete the first lap. As the race developed, a succession of riders hit the front, including former series champions Michael Barnes (Chili Pepper Racing) and Danny Eslick (Ruthless Racing/Trev Deeley Motorcycles), as the leading group grew from five to seven to 11 riders on the last lap.

With each rider dicing for the best position from which to contest the critical last-lap sprint out of the backstretch chicane through the track’s final banked corners, Eslick, the 2010 series champion, found himself in the unenviable position of leading at the exit of the chicane. Sensing the swarm of riders ready to overtake him, he backed off on the high banks, slotting back into the train in fourth position, but as the pack came to the line five-wide, it was Wyman who had outfoxed everyone. Sling-shotting into the lead as the pack crossed the start-finish line, Wyman’s winning margin over 11th place finisher David Estok (Thrashed Bike Racing) was only 0.647 second.

The second round in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley Davidson series is May 30-June 1 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Daytona International Speedway Race Results:

1. Kyle Wyman (KWR/Millennium Technologies), 7 laps
2. Tyler O’Hara (Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels’ H-D), +0.068
3. Gage McAllister (Folsom H-D), +0.108
4. Nicholas Hansen (Aerostar Global/Suburban Motors H-D), +0.132
5. Benjamin Carlson (Suburban Motors H-D), +0.185
6. Eric Stump (OPR/Liberty Chevrolet), +0.231
7. Danny Eslick (Ruthless Racing/Trev Deeley Motorcycles), +0.245
8. Hayden Schultz (Chili Pepper Racing), +0.252
9. Michael Barnes (Chili Pepper Racing), +0.311
10. Barrett Long (Longevity Racing), +0.580
11. David Estok (Thrashed Bike Racing), +0.647
12. Ryan Kerr (Wiseco Performance Products), +4.991 seconds
13. Shane Narbonne (Six Four Motorsports), +25.440 seconds
14. Shelina Moreda (Chili Pepper Racing), +29.765 seconds
15. Paul James (Hoban Cycle/Spectro Oils), +29.864 seconds
16. Darren James (Trev Deeley Motorcycles), +29.953 seconds
17. Josh Chisum (Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels’ H-D), +30.018 seconds
18. Sam Rozynski ( XM Radio), +39.739 seconds
19. Ricky Parker ( Pepper Racing), +39.795 seconds
20. Joseph Rozynski ( XM Radio), +1:03.115
21. Jerrett Martin (CPL Systems/Aggressive Insurance), +1:22.671
22. Todd Keesee (Brevard Superbikes), +1:23.095
23. Jon Foy (Jupiter Cycle Racing/Heroic Racing), +1:59.144
24. Steve Rapp (Aerostar Global/Suburban Motors H-D), 3 laps