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"Baggers", June 1, 2012

Straight Jackin’


WORDS: Brian Wilcher

PHOTO: John Jackson

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure: case in point, the woeful ’09 Harley FLHX Jevon Lau of Pickard USA stumbled upon at auction last year.

“It was completely smashed,” Lau recalled. “The frame was so jacked up. We figured it would give us the perfect opportunity to design a shop bike that would not only display all our new bagger products — as well as parts from other supporting manufacturers — but also create something that would take the bagger to a whole other level. And, since we wanted to have the bike ready for the 2011 V-Twin Expo, we only had three months to finish it.”

So, with no time to spare, the salvaged bike was completely stripped, and its transformation from stock Harley to far-out showpiece started with the badly damaged frame.

“The frame was modified with an arched backbone, single curved down tube and new frame rails to give it more of an old-school chopper look,” Lau explained. “The only thing left stock was the swing arm and sub-frame.”

The stock tank was ditched in favor of a pair of custom-fabricated split tanks that would accentuate the frame’s sexy curved spine. Next came a café racer/pro street-inspired one-off solo seat wrapped and stitched by Saddlemen.

When the time came to bolt the rear end back on, Lau and his crew knew that run-of-the-mill bags would have no place on the rump of this sexy beast.

“We called Derk at Bad Dad and told him about our new build,” Lau recalled. “He jumped on board and sent us a set of Bad Dad’s new extended, shaved bags that feature a special hinge that allows the lids to come up and away from the bike and eliminate the need for latches — it’s the cleanest setup we’ve seen so far. He also sent us an extended rear fender with flush-mount lights and the company’s new hide-a-plate.”

To adjust the ride height, Lau called Corey from Arnott, who contributed one of its 12-inch air ride systems, which come complete with everything you need to raise or slam your bike to your personal satisfaction.

With all the sheetmetal in place, Lau knew that Pickard had the perfect rear wheel to get Sugah Daddy rollin’.

“Our new two-piece wheel called the Black Sugah completed the look. We were able to squeeze a 200mm tire in the rear and mount a matching pulley and rotor to complete the set.”

When it came time to overhaul the motor, this time it was his buddy, Luke at Feuling, who got the call.

“He sent over a complete Feuling kit, that included its signature cam plate, high-flow oil pump, lifters, adjustable pushrods, cams, and gaskets, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of putting a motor together,” Lau said appreciatively.

Next, the crank was sent out to be lightened and balanced while the heads got a nice port-and-polish. When it was time to put the engine back together, in went a set of forged CP pistons. And to add the finishing touch, Joe at Marin Bros. Exhaust fabbed up a one-off two-into-one pipe with heat shields and a custom billet tip sent to him by Lau.

Lau and his team settled on an inverted frontend with air ride, which made mounting a system for the scalloped front fairing and Kicker Audio stereo components a rather daunting task.

“We had to machine some brackets and modify the stock ones to clamp onto the forks, while allowing enough clearance between the headlight and our 26-inch Black Sugah front wheel.” Lau explained. “Our friend Randy at B’Cool Fenders finished it off with his heavy-duty 12-gauge wraparound steel fender.”

The finishing touches came courtesy of Gary Queen from Other Side Custom Painting, whom Lau knew was the only painter who could get the bodywork, molding, and paint done in a week’s time.

“His crew worked day and night to get it done, and the paint came out flawlessly,” Lau emphasized. “We decided to do a couple shades of metallic blue, pearl white, and some lime green pinstripes in a clean pattern that would really highlight the unique aspects of the bike.”

So there you have it — from outhouse to penthouse, from junkyard to genius. I wonder how green with envy the original owner would be if he saw his wrecked bike now? Lime green, perhaps?

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