Caught Between Two Worlds | 1992 Harley-Davidson FXRS

An FXR That's Accepted Everywhere Yet Fits Nowhere

Today, what is considered a stereotypical V-twin owner/builder is undergoing a major changing of the guard and emerging from different backgrounds. Guys like Chip Kastelnik are part of that new generation of builders and riders that are out to make different types of bikes that break all the established rules. Not having grown up around the biker lifestyle, this SoCal-based former skater kid brings with him a different style and attitude into each and every build.

“I don’t fall into the stereotypical Harley guy. When I started I didn’t know the difference between a bagger, Sportster, or a chopper. To think that was only 10 years ago is pretty insane. I started getting involved in the motorcycle scene because I thought it was very similar to the skateboarding world in that you can be yourself, be unique, and can do what you want with an ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude (even if you do give a shit). Don’t get me wrong, I care about the end result and I care about how I get there.”

This FXR is good example smashing a square peg into a round hole. Caught between a bagger and a club bike, this machine doesn’t seem to fit the any mold, yet looks local in every crowd.

Bike owner Matt Barker and Chip have a long-standing friendship beyond the customer/builder roles. “I met Matt Barker a few years ago and have made him a few bikes. He came to me and said he wanted to trade one of his choppers for a FXR that he’s going to make into a FXRT.” When asked why build a bike that fits so many different genres, Chip said with a grin, “Matt is a guy who likes bikes from all eras. He wanted a bike with bags but didn’t want a ‘bagger.’ The FXR is a great handling bike. He already has a performance-built Dyna, so it’s logical to get the predecessor to the Dyna and make it as fast, handle good, and still make it to be able to have bags.”

One day Matt showed up on his doorstep with the perfect donor bike to build. But it wasn’t an all easy-peasy paint-by-numbers build. “The bike was a rat bike. After the bike was here, we started to figure out which parts we were going to do black. Well that turned out to be all of them. It had an inverted frontend on it, quarter fairing, and was a bunch of different colors. It was also leaking from here and there.”

Once disassembled, the two got down to business to improve the functionality and appearance. “I took off the frontend and replaced it with a FXDX adjustable frontend. It had pre-’99 dual discs, so I updated it with 2005 four-pistons Harley calipers.” One of the most obvious upgrades was the fairings but even those needed some fabrication to make work. “We had to figure out how to mount the fairings. The top fairing came with the bike. The lowers, Davey Beardo made them. We also redid all the wiring to fit the fairing.”

The bike was rock-steady-ready late the night before an event, when a minor oversight set them back. “We were in a rush to get it done to leave the next morning to The Hippy Killer Hoedown and Matt really wanted to ride it out. The plan was for Matt to ride home, get all his stuff, and meet his friends. We rushed putting in the oil lines and one of the oil line feeds went to the wrong place. We fired it up and it worked. He got about a mile and half from my house, pulled over, and called and told me to come get him. It didn’t sound right. No oil light came on so there was no reason to think there was no oil pressure. After all, it sounded great in the driveway. We came back and ending up tearing it apart and realized there was no oil in it.”

Obviously both were deeply disappointed. But they didn’t let the major shot to the kisser put them out for the count. Rather than just rebuild it back to stock, Chip saw a great opportunity to give the show some more go. “I ended up rebuilding the motor completely. I didn’t want to rebuild it with stock parts again. For the budget we had left, we went the more economic route which was tear it down, clean it, get everything out, replace, and inspect everything. For the top end we got a hold of the guys at Revolution Performance. I didn’t want to split the cases. They make an 85 cubic inch kit with Weisco pistons and it’s a bolt-on with no machining needed.” This time, nothing was left to chance and the bike has been running solid since.

The lessons learned the hard way are often the most impactful for this new generation of builders. “Every day is a learning experience. I find that asking questions is helpful. You always get a little bit of information from everyone’s answer.” Lesson number one: double-check all oil lines before riding the hell out of it. HB


**Owner ** Matt Barker
Shop San Diego Customs
Year/Make/Model 1992/Harley Davidson/FXRS
Fabrication Chip Kastelnik and Matt Barker
Special Thanks Davey Beardo, Cody Lainge, Keenan Tatro, Otis Little, Reeps, Swank
Year/Type/Size 1992/Evo/85 ci
Builder Chip Kastelnik
Cases 1992 H-D
Cylinders 2
Heads H-D
Rocker Boxes H-D
Cams Andrew – EV27
Carburetor Mikuni (worked)
Air Cleaner Arlen Ness back plate with K&N; Filter
EFI Controller N/A
Exhaust SuperTrapp 2/1 Ceramic Coated
Year/Type H-D five-speed
Gears Stock
Clutch Screaming Eagle plates and spring
Primary Drive H-D
**Frame **
Year/Type 1992 H-D FXRS
Rake/Stretch 28 degrees
Frontend 2003 FXDX Adjustable
Length Stock
Triple Trees FXDX 39mm
Swingarm Stock
Rear Shocks Works Performance
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes
Builder/Size FXDX 19-inch Front, Dual Disc
Tire/Size Dunlop 100/90/19
Calipers 2004 H-D
Rotors H-D Floating
Builder/Size FXDX 16-inch Rear
Tire/Size Dunlop 100/90/19
Caliper H-D
Rotor H-D Floating
Pulley H-D
Colors Black
Paint/Graphics Arnold Shackleford at Custom Concepts
Powdercoating Jose at San Diego Customs
Front Fender 2001 FXDX
Rear Fender H-D
Gas Tank H-D
Dash H-D
Gauges H-D
Handlebars West Coast T-Bars
Grips Joker Machine
Mirrors Joker Machine
Hand Controls H-D
Foot Controls H-D
Headlight H-D
Taillight H-D
Turn Signals H-D
License Mount Drag Specialties
Seat La Pera

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