End of the Road Glide for this custom 2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
The path to perfection sometimes has curves
Building a custom bike that truly suits the personality of the owner sounds easy but can actually be more complicated than just picking out parts. When you start with a blank canvas such as a Harley touring bike, the directions it can go are limitless with choices from mild to wild and everything in between. Freedom Cycles in Orange, California, is used to building every style of bike possible, and the customer is always right, as long as their credit is good. This 2009 Road Glide actually began life as an Electra Glide that was picked up at the auctions. From there it went down a rocky road of customization that led to several forks in the roads as it changed directions.
This story starts off a few years back a few miles off Route 66 at the Laughlin River Run. Freedom Cycles owner, Devin Wainwright, explains, “The owner Luis had a custom chopper. The bike won Best of Show in Laughlin four to five years ago, and then that night it was stolen from him in front of the hotel. The ‘gentleman’ who stole the bike crashed on I-40 and ended up in a coma and almost killed himself.
The ‘gentleman’ who stole the bike crashed on I-40 and ended up in a coma and almost killed himself.
Luis’ bike was totaled, and he got the insurance money and started looking for a new one.” From there the search began. What Luis originally wanted was a Road Glide, but those bikes always command top dollar because of their popularity. “It started off as a 2009 Electra Glide we bought from the repro auction,” Wainwright says. “We turned it into a Road Glide because that’s what the owner wanted originally. We saved so much money he was able to covert it to a Road Glide, which he initially wanted but they were too expensive to buy. With the money he saved he was also able to add a lot of accessories to his bike.” That’s at least the first round of purchases.
After one bad road led to a new road, phase one began on Luis’ bike. But Luis is a picky guy and kept changing his mind on which direction to take the bike. “We went through three exhausts and two sets of floorboards,” Wainwright explains. “The wheels went from a 19 to a 21 and then again to a 26.
The wheels went from a 19 to a 21 and then again to a 26.
Luis came from a chopper. He likes sitting in the saddle really deep and really low. With the 26 and the 9-degree rake, the bike stands at about 9-1/2 feet long from wheelbase to wheelbase. It is a long bike.”
One part that did not change was the patriotic paint job of red, white, and blue. Paint like this comes with guaranteed visibility no matter where you go, and bike owner Luis had reasons for wanting to wave his two-wheel flag. “The paint was not done by us,” Wainwright says. “He wanted something very patriotic. He is not a vet, yet he feels that is one of his regrets and wished he had served in one of the forces. But he still felt a pulling to do something patriotic. I don’t know if he wanted attention per se. He likes the attention, but he’s not a guy who goes after it. He likes the flash, and on this bike he gets it. You can be recognized without being swarmed by people. People will see you and wave to you.
People will see you and wave to you.
It’s extremely hard to miss.”
Once he took delivery of the bike, some time was needed for it to sink in after all the back and forth and changes that were made. “It’s one of those builds that hits more after the fact that it’s done,” Wainwright explains. “Luis is the guy who will call you after the fact because he’s sitting the garage staring at it for a while. His quote was, ‘I can’t believe this bike is mine.’” Freedom Cycles was able to take a tragedy and turn it into the bike that Luis wanted all along—he just had to figure out how to get there. hb
|Bike Owner||Luis M.|
|Shop Name||Freedom Cycles Inc.|
|Shop Phone||(714) 628-0049|
|Fabrication||Freedom Cycles (FC)|
|Build Time||Eight months (sorta)|
|Exhaust||Von Braun mufflers/Vance & Hines heads|
|Primary Drive||BDL Open|
|Front End||Progressive monotube|
|Length||Lowered 2 in.|
|Rear Shocks||Progressive 970 13-in.|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Tire/Size||Vee Rubber 26-in.|
|Calipers||Single Brembo 4-piston|
|Tire/Size||Vee Rubber 16-in.|
|Plating/Polishing||Dan the Polisher|
|Front Fender||Paul Yaffe|
|Gas Tank||H-D/FBI Kit|
|Turn Signals||Arlen Ness|
|License Mount||Arlen Ness|