I have to admit, it’s a really cool gig working at Direct Cycle Parts. Over the last few years, we have shown exceptional growth, we’ve upgraded our facilities and streamlined our processes, all while maintaining a small core group of like-minded powersports enthusiasts that make coming to work a pretty cool experience. However, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine in the Lone Star state. Real life happens to us too. One such event happened a couple of weeks ago, but like any challenge that has been put before us in the past, we are going to make lemonade out of these lemons.
We encourage every rider to dress for the crash, not for the ride. We not only sell but USE high quality gear for most of our rides and even when we are in a no-helmet state, you can usually find us in some of the highest quality brain buckets on the market. Complacency can kick in at any time though and for our owner, it was a UFC Heavyweight kick to the gut. We all have said this, myself included: “Oh, I’m just going across the street, I’ll be fine!” and how many times have we been fine? Most of them. When Frank just needed to ride his personal Road Glide down the street from the office to his house, it was his typical office attire: Shorts, T-shirt, and flip flops. Yes, we are that laid back here.
With a brand-new employee following him in the car, probably one of the worst things happened to him that I have ever heard of. The truck he was behind lost a battery, yes, a full-size car battery out of the bed and it went tumbling and sliding into the front wheel of his 2017 Road Glide. Luckily for Frank, he was riding on slow speed city streets, so he did have time to react a little and slow down. He escaped with only a few scrapes, bruises, and a keen realization that anything can happen at any time.
Since Frank is no worse for wear, of course the first thing any rider does is look at the bike. It did not fare so well. Frank was able to pick the bike up and ride it back to the shop (so much for it being “done” and heading to his house!) but it seemed like every surface of the bike hit the ground at some point. I was oblivious to all of this going down until I got a text message of the wrecked bike that evening. These images were followed by a phone call to explain what happened and after I calmed down from the panic that the boss man had gone down, I heard the phrase through the phone that I’ve grown accustomed to; “So what should we build now?”
As you can see from the pictures, in the first design of this bike, it was more show than go. We specialize in motorcycle audio here, so it featured enough sound to blast Bruno Mars’ “24k Magic” into your neighboring county. Arlen Ness had even used this bike in their event booths from time to time, so it was dripping with their premium parts, or as we like to call it, “Ness’d Up”. The bike also featured a steam roller front wheel kit with 180mm Pirelli Night Dragon tires on the bike front and rear for a very menacing stance. As beautiful as the bike was and how well it rode, we know that it’s time to do something a little bit different.
You’ve been hiding under a rock if you haven’t seen anything to do with the “performance bagger” movement. Hell, there’s even two racing series in the U.S. alone dedicated to top level racers duking it out on road courses several weekends a year on these bruisers. We don’t really fancy ourselves as two wheeled racers here at the shop (4 wheel drag racing is a totally different story!), but we also admit that these performance themed bikes look badass and work surprisingly well.
The poor bike is stripped down to its underdinkles now, waiting for a parts list. As most of you know, parts still aren’t the easiest to get at times, but we are still going to push forward and make this bike into our version of a performance bagger. I’ll throw a little disclaimer out though; this won’t be an all-out race weapon. We want this to be a very approachable, every day friendly bike that you can follow along and replicate along the way. Think of it as a weekend warrior bike. We may even let you guys vote on some parts along the way on our social media channels. Stay tuned during this process, there’s nothing quite like resurrecting a diamond in the rough.