Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The ever capable FXR.

I think one of the biggest sins committed against the FXR is that of trying to make it look to “Harleyish.” I have seen Wide Glide front ends, springers, 21” front wheels, (even the factory attempted this, though I did like the Super glide style tank they used with the offset gas bung,) I have seen raked out front ends, fringe covering the side panels, ape hangers, forward controls, and in the case of the former owner of my FXR, chrome side covers slathered with “Live to Ride” googaw from stem to stern.

When I discovered Steve B’s FXR, I bookmarked and kept going backto it as a blueprint of how I wanted to re-engineer my FXR. Badass and functional. Serious and stylish. While I won’t build mine as a replica/tribute, he sure built a FXR which inspires me…and just like me, he isn’t afraid to change things around to see what works and find what does.

Steve B. can relate. When he bought his FXRSP from the original owner who was selling it because of a divorce, it was covered in LTR treatment. Steve, living in both the IH era and Connecticut, wasn’t about to build his FXR as if he were trying to get laid at Hooters’ bike night in North Hollywood. He lived in the greater NYC area, he had to build a bike that suited his riding and sheet metal battling environment. He started building and experimenting with modifications to his bike to make it what Erik Buell had originally designed to be, the do everything and never let them see you sweat bike.

Dual Sport touring bike…before there was such a thing? Check.

Convertible touring bike? Check.

Lane splitting NYC curb jumper? Check.

Blacked out and Classy enough to take the wife to the local Valet parking required restaurant…hey it’s a FXR! Fucking eh!

Blacked out in a manner that causes the over-done user-repellent flat black crowd to scratch their head and wonder what kind of motorcycle it is… “Yo dude, is that like a new Honda Nightstar/ShadesofCustom…hey I’m wearing my new Dickies and Work Jacket…did you see my bias plied tires?” Yeah Steve, I’m afraid either we were ahead of our time or we were trendsetters. I’m going to blame you; you worked for a magazine that had more readers than I did. (Can we just blame Buzz? The obvious trendsetter!)

Fast and great handling curve carver, (well it is a FXR, that’s kind of a given, but the 89” S&S stroker kit installed by Tom Haner of H&L Performance really upped the ante.) You know that Erik is secretly reading my blog right? You know he is! How proud he must be!

I really dig the blacked out treatment on his FXR. I’ve joked about my driveway, but it really is rough and my shortcut to work is a downhill, (or uphill on the way home,) gravel road and I leave my bike outside in the rain at work…black works for me the same way it works for Steve… polyester aesthetics; rinse and ride. Plus it looks great. But what really stands out is that Steve’s bike was built as a real rider, you can look at the changes and see that he messed around with what worked and changed it according to what suited his need. I really dig his Cut-up Gunfighter solo seat…those Gunfighter seats were butt ugly to start with; another weak attempt at making an FXR look Harleyish…just like that gawd awful Warbird fairing kit Hamsters used to install on their FXRs. (I should have my readers dig thru their old mags, and scan pictures of the gawd awful renditions of FXRs the Hamsters did…) However, Steve made the Gunfighter seat actually attractive thanks to a Sawzall and a good fling!

Steve can been found at (where you can also find a updated version of Walt Siegl’s Shovelhead…the very same Walt Siegl featured years ago in IH with a primer grey shovelhead built by English Don, Steg and Indian Larry.) You can also find Steve at SteveB’s leatherworks;

Hopefully next spring Steve will give us here at the Chronicle a curb jumping epic celebration of Industrial NYC …stayed tuned!

AtlasFlynched indeed!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! Love to see owner R&D in the process!