Stage 1 Performance…

I opted for a simple Stage 1 upgrade. I’m around other sleds enough to have heard a wide variety of exhaust setups. As with anything on my sled it’s personal preference. My last HD was a 2003 FLHR with straight drag fishtails. Needless to say they were hell of loud and had the higher pitched sound. During  idle, it had the classic potato rhythm HD is known for and seem to have lost with the recent model sleds.

My exhaust system consist of Vance & Hines Dresser True Duals, HD Screamin’ Eagle air intake and Rinehart 4″ slip-ons. I’m using a closed looped system with the Vance & Hines FuelPak. I can tell a difference in power with this basic setup and definitely like the exhaust note (of course everyone says that after spending grip).


The Rineharts 4″ mufflers reminds me of a pair of bazookas from the rear. I went for the black style end caps to keep the sleds theme. I’m digging the sound at both idle and highway speeds when you goose the throttle it has a nice bark to it. I had a VTX1800R that I had customized. I worked with Jardine exhaust in prototyping different baffles for a change in sound and performance. After months of messing around with the exhaust I finally had that deep rich tone. Just like a pooking speedboat…

I knew I didn’t want the same sound as my VTX exhaust. Back then I thought low rumble was good but now appreciate the middle ground of low rumble and a higher tone. When I say higher tone I don’t mean the eardrum damaging Blat, Blat, Blat my straight drag fishtails produced. It’s hard to explain, just come by and listen for yourself.

Not much to say about the FuelPak, you have to punch in a set of numbers manually. I contacted V&H’s and let them know what setup I had and they sent me the settings a couple days later. Nice.

I have even less to say about the Screamin’ Eagle intake setup. I plan on changing this out later. I’m not sure what model or make yet. I may powder coat the stock football derby cover and figure it out later.

One note about the exhaust setup. I’ve since dropped the bike -2″ up front with a 21″ wheel and a 0.5″ in the rear with a 16″ wheel. I had a concern that the crossover pipe below would scrape when I dug deep in the corners. So far I haven’t scraped but then again I haven’t turned on one of those roads with a hump in the intersection. I’ll update this blog if things change.



Paul Yaffe Monkey Bars…

I went with the Paul Yaffe 10″ Monkey bars. Nothing much to say about them that hasn’t been said already on the World Wide Web (remember that term?) One note about the 10″ bars you can use the stock cables but you will have to reroute it a bit to make it work. At least this was the case on my 2013 model.

I mentioned earlier when you spend some dough on a part you begin to justify the cost by overlooking its shortcomings. If I were to do this over again (which I plan to do) I will go with a 14″ bar. I was used to riding with 16″ apes on my last sled. I thought it wouldn’t fit the aesthetics of the sled having these bug like antennas sticking above the fairing. I’m still not digging that look entirely but having the comfort of a higher bar is worth it to me.


EDIT: after researching I the different handlebars available I’ve decided on getting the Buky Bars “Malo” model. I’m going to ride with the Monkey bars for awhile, maybe a year then switch over.

EDIT: Ordered the Buky Bars Malo’s Version 1, meathooks, powder coated gloss black and 1.5″ diameter – estimate 3 1/2 week lead time (ordered August 2, 2013)

Powder coated parts…

The theme for this sled will be black on black. More specifically gloss black on denim black. My plan is to have the factory original chromed parts powder coated gloss black to highlight accents. I’ll throw in a few chromed or machined pieces in to add some contrast.


Having the fork tube and covers was definitely going to be part of the first batch of parts to the powder coat shop. The blacked out highway bar changes the front end look as much as the front suspension. IMG_3966

Powder coat strip down…

The powder coating of parts will take me awhile but there were a few key pieces I wanted to get started early on. A key service I like about After Hours Custom Cycles they will remove the parts for you and have them sent to the powder coating company. You go over expectations and agree on pricing and Dave E. will take care of the rest including the installation of newly powder coated parts.




Build time…

I’ve done my share of builds in the past. I’m at a point in my life where I’d rather ride then wrench. I’m fortunate to have more than one sled so having a bike in a shop for a period of time won’t effect my ride time.

There is only one place in town I will bring my sled to be worked on. The shop called After Hours Custom Motorcycles, owned and operated by David England. He’s been a Harley Davidson Tech for over twenty years and knows these bikes past and present. You can check out his website at here.


This is my FLTRX completely stock. Here is a list of the work to be done during this service visit:

  • Powder coat front turn signals gloss black
  • Powder coat rear turn signal gloss black
  • Powder coat highway bar gloss black
  • Install Klockwerks windshield
  • Install Paul Yaffe 10″ monkey bar apes
  • Install Arlen Ness Rad III clutch and brake lever system
  • Install Arlen Ness Bagger mirrors
  • Install Arlen Ness Grips
  • Install Vance and Hines True Dresser Duals
  • Install Vance and Hines Fuel Pak
  • Install Rinehart 4″ mufflers
  • Screamin’ Eagle air intake (using stock derby cover)


I plan on keeping the stock exhaust system as the California laws are getting fairly stiff and the 2013 models are a magnet for inspections and fix it tickets.

Dave England After Hours Custom Cycles, Stockton, CA.


Quick visit to HD service…

I took an early ride to the local HD dealership to have that strange “thump” sound coming from the right side of the fairing checked out. The HD dealership was very good in taking me in and checking out my bike. The service department took off the fairing and found that the right turn signal wiring was the reason for the noticeable noise when parked at an angle. A few tie downs later I was back on the road. Wolfed down a few tacos as there was a Cinco De Mayo celebration going on, goat tacos..

Picked up my 2013 FLTRX (Roadglide Custom)

I’ve been looking at the Harley Davidson FLTRX (Roadglide Custom) for a few years now to replace my 2003 HD FLHR Gun Metal Pearl Standard. This morning my wifey and I rode over to local HD dealership to check out the black denim model. A close Brother of mine  was able to give me a good deal and I was able to bypass the price negotiations. The sled had been set aside for me and ready for purchase.


Before heading out for the first time on the sled my wifey had me do the obligatory “I just bought a bike, now stand by it” photo.

I live close to the dealership about a 20 minute ride away on the freeway. My first impression was good. I also ride a 2005 GL1800 that I use for long distance riding and I’m used to the idea of a frame mounted fairing. Not much of an adjustment there. I did notice the toe nail sized windshield didn’t offer much protection. I could barely hear the stock radio at free speeds. I later found wearing a full or 3/4 helmet makes a big difference compared to the half head I was using.

When I parked the sled in the garage I was pushing on the handlebars and noticed a thumping sound coming from inside of the fairing. Since I just brought it home I thought I’d have it checked out by the dealership in the morning.