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"Baggers", June 1, 2012



WORDS: Buck Lovell

PHOTO: Buck Lovell

Mister Mark Miran is no stranger to two-wheeled transportation. At age 13 he was bouncing dirt bikes off the various track surfaces in his area, and running all over the competition. Mark had become a biker without realizing it. He spent the bulk of his spare time involved with motorcycles, motors, and all thing two wheels. As a young motorcycle rider he got the impression that anybody riding a Harley-Davidson “dresser” was at the very least an old geezer. Full dressers hadn’t yet become “baggers” and were perceived as heavy and clumsy to this young rider. But the popularity of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle swayed his opinion. He built his first Harley-Davidson custom in the year 2000. Because he was enamored with chopper-style two-wheelers, that first bike was based on a Harley-Davidson FXR-style chassis. He sold that first bike to an eager buyer. Fours after building that FXR custom, Mark designed and built a Pro Street style bar “bar-hopper” which he says, “Was way cool and fast, but way uncomfortable.” That’s OK Mark, bar-hoppers are always fast and uncomfortable, you’re not on them long between bars, and your ass is usually so numb, comfort ain’t a factor. Anybody who’s ever built a bar-hopping bike will agree, a discussion about comfort didn’t come up when gather parts. Mark sold that machine as well. He was wanting something a little more comfortable but he didn’t want a bike he perceived as a “Geezer Glide.” I’m thinking Harley-Davidson should actually have a model called a “Geezer Glide.” Being a so-called geezer these days definitely does not have the stigma it had in the past. Today’s rider’s usual average age is higher than most of us would think. Geezers are cool, but that’s just my opinion.

Mark got a good look at a Harley-Davidson FLH touring motorcycle built by his good friend, Darwin Hansen, and realized that being comfortable when you’re riding is every bit as important as looking cool. Custom built and custom painted baggers were just staring to come into vogue. Mark like the idea of a custom bagger so much that he went to work for Darwin at the Custom Werks Designs shop in Boise, Idaho. He performed fabricator and mechanic duties, and well as input into paint designs and other creative endeavors. Gee, what a deal. If ya can’t build a knock-out custom bagger when working at a top-of-the-line custom motorcycle shop, when can ya?

Mark located a 2001 Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide, a Geezer Glide to him even then. That motorcycle was already equipped with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch custom rear wheel and long, tall ape hanger handlebars. It was as if he already purchased a Geezer Chopper Glide sorta huh? Mark kicked out the bread and hauled it over to the Custom Werks Designs facility.

Darwin immediately began designing a paint scheme for Mark’s new Geezer Glide. Before the paint was applied, they Frenched the taillights and license plate with CW filler panels. Then Mark bolted on a bunch of chrome components. You know the expression; chrome don’t get ya home, but it sure looks good when you’re parked. Mark rode this blue bagger for a year. He was ready for a change so he sold the wheels, tires, and all of the tinwork to a friend of his. Then he and Darwin proceeded to build what you see here, a bagger named “Blue Evil.” Working with the Custom Werks team, Mark now has a bagger that can pull the front wheel way off the ground, yet is still comfortable enough for long, warm weather rides. And he also gets far more attention than his old “bar hopper” ever generated! After a neck-rake modification and the installation of raked trees to accommodate the custom 23-inchwheel, Mark says, “This bike handles better than any stock Harley-Davidson FLH! Mark has plans for 2012. He’s going to swap the 23-inch front wheel for the latest 26-inch and will have some performance enhancing motor work done as well. Why not...he’s got a friend in the business. There is just no such thing as a “Geezer Glide” when they leave the Custom Werks Designs facility. “Bad Ass Baggers” are what ya get. Being Italian, the “Bagger Mafia” moniker really is fitting.

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