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"Baggers", September 1, 2012

BLACK ’N’ BEAUTIFUL

RC COMPONENTS’ ROAD KING

WORDS: Brian Wilcher

PHOTO: Jeff G. Holt

When RC Components decided it was time to feature its two new wheel designs — the Majestic Eclipse and Majestic Flipside — conventional logic would suggest the need to build two bikes, one to show off each. But, when you have one guy in your sales and marketing department who also happens to have a background in graphic design, and another guy in your R&D department who has spent years building custom bikes, conventional logic flies out the window. Yep, in that case, you build a bike that showcases both designs on the same bike — a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (or in the case of the bad-ass H-D Road King you’re looking at, a “Mr. Hyde and Mr. Hyde”) ride that also sports RC’s new “Flat Line” matte black finish on several components, including those bipolar custom wheels.

The designer in question is Chris Cross, who was charged with using his Photoshop skills to dream up said bike.

“Rick, the owner of the company, wanted to turn one of our shop bikes into a radical custom,” Chris explained. “He wanted something rat-rod-inspired — flat black with flames — that would draw attention at rallies like Sturgis and Daytona Bike Week. We came out with our Flat Line finish this year, so we wanted to feature it to get the look of an old-school hot rod on a bike. I was a graphic designer before I started working here, and that skillset still comes in handy every now and then. I’ve tweaked quite a few photos for them since I started, so they told me to work my magic on this bike.”

And work his magic Chris did. Starting with a stock 2008 H-D Road King, he conjured up an image of a lean, smooth, dark bagger with low-profile handlebars and flat silver flames to accentuate the Flat Line finish on the wheels, which he designed to feature RC’s Majestic Eclipse design on the rotor side and Majestic Flipside on the obverse.

Once the design was finished, it was time for Brent Moore, RC’s resident builder, to turn Chris’ vision into reality.

“I started off by cutting and raking the neck to accommodate the 26-inch front wheel,” Brent said. “In order to feature both the Eclipse and Flipside designs, both the front and rear wheels were machined twice, then coated in our Flat Line finish. To really show off the two designs, we used our Eclipse front rotor and Flipside air cleaner so that each side of the bike has matching components.”

Next, Brent went to work finding and modifying parts that would bring the rat rod cycle to life.

“One of the first things we did was find a Fat Katz front fender and a Klockwerks rear fender, then extended them both,” Brent said. “We also modified the filler panels between the rear fender and the saddlebags and frenched in a set of Yaffee snake-eye LED taillights.”

When it came time for paint, Brent called on Johnny Doyle from Hotrod Johnny’s in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, to apply the flat-black-and-silver paint scheme Chris had designed on his computer.

The finishing touches included a set of RC 4-inch mufflers with Excalibur XXL tips, matching Excalibur handgrips fitted to a set of Sinister Industries low-profile bars, a custom Saddlemen seat with silver stitched flames, a flush-mount gas cap, and — thanks to Nu Image — a customized speedo featuring the RC logo and blue LED lighting.

So, how does the boss like his rat-rod bagger with the split-personality 26-inch front wheel?

“The bike rides great, smooth as silk,” Brent smiled. Rick likes it so much that he’s got me building six or seven more right now — all with 26-inch wheels.”

Hmm — I wonder how many personalities those bikes will have?

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