We advice people who want to start re-building and/or modifying a Harley to meet their own taste and specs and who haven’t done such a thing before, to start with a Street Bob. Why? Because they will not break the bank (second hand you can get one for 6-7K), it’s a great bike for around the city and longer trips as well and relatively easy to personalize. We had to do this to one of our own Bob’s, especially after Dr. J crashed his stock Bob on a rainy afternoon. Actually, he got hit by a 20 year old girl in a pink Fiat 500, but who cares. Our main objective was to clean up the handle bars and take the rest of the modifications from there.
Step 1 – Front End:
– some black powder coat on the leg-lowers and triple trees and headlight housing
– big-spoke rims, hubs adjusted by HD-Oltimer Shop in the Netherlands (see links)
– fitted and Exile Cycles handlebar with internal throttle
– installed a Grip Ace in the Grips to control the indicators, horn, high-low beam etc (see pic)
– new front fender, because Dr.J fucked his up in the crash, but also to hug the front tire a little more.
Step 2 – Forward Controls.
For this we used Exile Cycles controls. Why? Because they are awesome! Nice clean black anodized chunky controls. However, installing them required a bracket in order to get them positioned right. At the time, Exile didn’t make these items for Dyna’s, so we had to do fabricate these ourselves. Thanks again to the Oldtimer Shop!
Step 3- Suicide Clutch – Centrifugal Clutch.
The Suicide Clutch
Yep, there is no handlebar brake lever. Mitchell Russell advised us extensively on the set-up, which basically means installing a Jay-Brake master cylinder on the mounting location of the original mid-controls, and running the front and rear brake from there. It works like a charm. However, with you right foot on the brake (because you want to stop, or when you are standing still on a hill) and the need to put your left foot down (because otherwise you fall over), requires you to be in neutral. Let’s assume you are able to find neutral fast enough, then you still have the problem getting your bike into first gear again (remember, left foot needs to be on the ground and the right foot is engaging the brake because you are on a hill for instance). The solution? Install a centrifugal clutch! This clutch pops into neutral below 1500 RPM in any gear. So just before you come to a complete stop you shift (jockey – see pic) your bike into first gear, it pops into neutral (or you do this with your left foot – extra clutch release) and you put your foot down. When you want to take of again, you just accelerate, the clutch plates engage, and there you go. See the video on the right for a demonstration.
Step 4 – Suspension and seat.
We went for an Air Suspension by Legend, which allows to control for riding hight, ie amount of suspension, with the flick of a button. Even while riding. So you can look cool and low-slung in town, but still have you ass bounce like it’s Kim Kardashians on the high-way. Also, we thought the Harley tan leather seat was a nice touch, right?
Step 5 – Exhaust.
Screaming Eagles, some wrap and you’ve got yourself some nice rumbling pipes to wake up the neighbors.
Step 6 – Back Fender.
We removed the twilight and set the bike up with a side mount plate. We are not happy about this ‘of the shelf’ Harley part, so don’t be suppressed if you see us change this in the next few months. We chopped the fender and welded up the mounting hole for the passengers-pad and the taillight assembly. All in all it cleans up the rear.
Step 7 – Paint.
wanted to keep the bike in style with Exiles clean looks and asked Jan Wielinga (see links) to put down some thick flames on a matt back tank. He did an outstanding job, like he always does.
You be the judge. we believe the bike stands out in the crowd of standard Harley Street Bob’s. But then again, we are biased as hell.