Motorcycle and Powersports News

Project Bike: 2008 Road King


July 1, 2008

It’s my favorite time of the year, project bike season! We have been doing these since 2003 and they have been a blast every year. This year I decided to stick with the touring theme that we ran last year. Touring bikes in one form or another are by far the leaders of the V-Twin market, especially the past few years. And 2008 will be no different. This year’s bike was provided by our friends at the House of Harley in Milwaukee. These guys are the leader in the Milwaukee area and they have been blowing the doors off the joint for the past few years, and we always enjoy dealing with Rob McDonald and the entire crew there. Once I got the bike home it was time to decide what to do with it. I decided to go with a toned down customization to show the impact a couple of well-thought changes can make on a stock bike. We took a base FLHR Road King in your basic black and took it from there. I know the blacked out thing has been done a million times (hell, we did it in 2004 on our FLHT). But I wanted to show that you can make a really killer looking bike without spending a small fortune on chrome. You can very easily take a regular part, and paint or powdercoat it, and turn it into a total custom piece for a fraction of a new part. We had Ryan Fielding from Paragon Customs do the work for us again this year, and as usual he did not disappoint. He tore down the whole thing with the help of his top wrench, Craig Hitchcock. After tear down, it was off to powdercoating where Tracy Horkan of Horkan Custom Concepts took all of the pieces and turned them into one big shiny pile of black gold. I think we’ve hit the jackpot! MPN would like to thank everyone involved with this year’s bike, and we can’t wait until next year’s sixth annual project bike!

V02 Air Intake

VO2 is engineered and manufactured entirely in-house with an all aluminum venturi to shape the air for improved flow, and a precision-formed steel cover for a distinctive design that is a perfect match for any exhaust system. It includes a high-flow washable and reusable air filter and retails at $229. We’ve painted it black, but it will soon be available from Vance & Hines as part of its black line.

For More Info: Vance & Hines, 13861 Rosecrans Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670; (800) 592-2529; www.vanceandhines.com

Big Shot Duals Black

The new Vance & Hines Black Line of exhaust systems features full-coverage heat shields coated with durable, race-quality black ceramic. True dual design eliminates header crossover for reduced heat and cleaner lines, and welded-in ports fit factory oxygen sensors. Contrasted with a signature chrome badge and end treatment, the Black Line fits right in on our Road King.

For More Info: Vance & Hines, 13861 Rosecrans Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670; (800) 592-2529; www.vanceandhines.com

Fuelpak

We are huge fans of the Vance & Hines Fuelpak, and are stoked that it’s available for metric and off-road applications as well. This plug-and-play fuel management system adjusts the air/fuel ratio to match the changes made by the addition of our performance exhaust system.

For More Info: Vance & Hines, 13861 Rosecrans Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670; (800) 592-2529; www.vanceandhines.com

430 Series Rear Shocks & Lowered Fork Springs

Progressive Suspension ensures a smooth ride with the addition of the Progressive 430 Series Shock. Its high-pressure gas mono tube design with deflective disk-damping creates high-performance ride control and can also be mounted rod up or rod down, depending on your application. Threaded pre-load adjusters allow for tool-less adjustment, and effortless tuning of ride quality. We’ve opted for the contrast cut black, but chrome is also available. We combined the shocks with Progressive’s Lowering Fork Springs for a low, custom look.

For More Info: Progressive Suspension, 11129 G Ave., Hesperia, CA 92345; (760) 948-4012; www.progressivesuspension.com

Heathen Contrast Cut Wheels

New for ’08, the Heathen starts with seven spokes at the rim and splits into 14 ornate tendrils before blending into the rim center, and then follows with a complimentary design on the outer edge of the subtly curving rim face. Like most all PM products, the Heathen comes in polished, chrome, black anodized and contract cut, which we’ve opted for here. For More Info: Performance Machine, 6892 Marlin Circle; La Palma, CA 90623; (800) 479-4037; www.performancemachine.com

Heathen Rotors, Six-Piston Caliper and Four-Piston Caliper

Performance Machine has our annual project bike stopping on a dime, thanks to the Heathen rotors and the combined stopping power of the six-piston caliper we’re running up front and the four-piston in back. PM boasts that their discs have a higher coefficient of friction than other discs, resulting in more responsive braking. Holes are drilled to reduce weight and create a wiper effect that removes brake pad material, minimizing pad- and disc-glazing.

For More Info: Performance Machine, 6892 Marlin Circle; La Palma, CA 90623; (800) 479-4037; www.performancemachine.com

Contour Hand Controls With Three Button Switch Assembly

We’ve added a little refinement with this brake master cylinder, which boasts a gracefully curved, one-piece body with an adjustable-reach handle and refined internals. It’s been paired with the three-button switch assembly, which includes 36-inch leads. We could have opted for the single-button housing, too. For More Info: Performance Machine, 6892 Marlin Circle; La Palma, CA 90623; (800) 479-4037; www.performancemachine.com

Heathen Belt Sprocket

Rounding out our selection of Performance Machine goodies is the Heathen Belt Sprocket. A part of the Image Series, the pulley gets a finely machined surface that mirrors the design of the wheel for a complete look. It’s designed to work with OEM belts in 65- or 70-tooth versions.

For More Info: Performance Machine, 6892 Marlin Circle; La Palma, CA 90623; (800) 479-4037; www.performancemachine.com

Foot Boards

The pros over at Cyclesmiths have hooked us up with a sweet duo of boards. First up, the 19-inch Banana. Its also available with rivets, but we wanted to stay true to our blacked out look. A 14-inch banana is also available. For our passenger pegs, we’ve gone with these all-black beauties. Again, we could have gotten rivets, and these represent just one of four styles to choose from. For More Info: Cyclesmiths Inc., 8754 Helms Ave., Ranco Cucamonga, CA 91730; (909) 987-3890; www.cyclesmiths.com

10-Inch Ride Ape Hangers

One thing to keep in mind is that 2008 Touring H-Ds require a completely new handlebar in order for the throttle by wire to work, so any old bars will not work. These bars from Cyclesmiths are engineered to work on the ‘08s, and they did exactly that. We’re running these 10-inch ape hangers, but riders can go to extremes with rises up to 16 inches in the Cyclesmiths arsenal of bars. We’ve powder-coated ours black, which Cyclesmiths can do for your customers, too. Both Drag Specialties and Custom Chrome carry these $169.95 bars.

For More Info: Cyclesmiths Inc., 8754 Helms Ave., Ranco Cucamonga, CA 91730; (909) 987-3890; www.cyclesmiths.com

Headlamp and Turn Signals

I wanted to lose the tri-bar headlamp setup and clean up the front end, and Biker’s Choice came through with some lighting that really makes the difference. They sent us an Adjure headlamp that really looks great and some Lazerstar L.E.D micro B turn signals in a black anodized finish that completes this flashy look.

For More Info: Tucker Rocky, 4900 Alliance Gateway Freeway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; (800) 347-1010; www.trdealer.com

ME 880 Tires

The ME 880 lineup of premium tires has provided our go-to treds for our annual project bikes. Designed specifically for cruiser and heavy touring bikes, the tires feature high-tech construction with a fashionable design. The soft compound gives the tires high grip for great torque output with total control. The machine-specific carcass construction provides exceptional riding comfort and stability at all speeds, even under heavy loads. For More Info: Metzeler Motorcycle Tires, 100 Pirelli Drive, Rome, GA 30161; (800) 747-3554, www.metzelermoto.com

 




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