My Motorcycles

Screamin' Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide


On the Tail of the Dragon

Kiro Riding the Dragon

As I write this account in late 2015 this bike has around 9,000 miles on the odometer. I did not take it west when I was working there, so the first two years of ownership were fairly quiet. This didn’t stop me from spending a good deal of capital on winter modifications though. Being a member of the on-line CVO Forum presented all kinds of worthy ideas, items to investigate and changes to implement. Here is the short list of mods to date: Exhaust: Fullsac DX headers, V&H Monster Oval mufflers & SE Extreme Ventilator air breather. Suspension: Axxion AK-20 Cartridge front, Bitubo 330mm WME rear shocks. Lighting: Daymaker head & auxiliary lamps, Motolight LED caliper lights, Dynamic Ringz LED Running Lights, H-D LED Smoked Laydown taillight. Other: EZ-Up Center Stand, Anderson Tour-Pak relocator, Brukus SaddlebagSecure & Boot Shield, Mini-beast Horn and a tune by Big Boyz Head Porting.

This motorcycle is a joy to ride on the open road. Surely cannot say the same at parking lot speeds. When the engine's not pulling, i.e, no throttle engaged, the front end has a nasty wobble that can be scary at times. I need to investigate this further to learn if this is just my bike or is common to all the 2013 touring models, but suspect it is from the weight of the batwing fairing on the forks. This bike weighs in at around 940 pounds fueled – it is big, heavy and difficult to move when pushing it around and parking. If you end up on an incline and need to push it out, your workout for the day will be fulfilled. Due to this I had a Baker F6R reverse gear installed in July of 2015. This has been wonderful as I can back into my condo, the storage shed where I store my bikes, and drive out when leaving. This really simplified things. This is an expensive mod with the labor/material cost, but I found it to be worthwhile.

Without Tour-Pac

Also during the summer of 2015, I installed components to dismount the Tour-pac, making it detachable but also able to be remounted with everything working same as stock. The audio amp mounted under the Tour-pac was a bit of an issue as it had to be relocated. In the end result I took the bike to Infocus Mobile Audio and had a custom installation installed on the audio system. This eliminated the stock tuner and a few other components I did not care about, Sirius Radio and the CB. The new Rockford amplifier was relocated to the fairing, where it should have been in the first place, so it ended up in a final location and is out of the way forever. Justin at Infocus installed superior Focal speakers, a far more powerful Rockford amplifier and a Kenwood marine tuner. The system is run by my iPhone 5s installed in a cradle where the Garmin GPS formerly resided. This serves as the navigation system, and is set up for I Heart Radio, Pandora and AM/FM radio. There’s a hidden, fairing mounted antennae for AM/FM, which I rarely use. The Kenwood receiver has single CD capabilty and has an USB input, which I use more than anything else, as it has my database of 500 selected songs which I play through a thumb drive. I just about got this CVO set up as I wished. It is comfortable, well equipped, paid for and one fine road bike. And it should be for what the MoCo charges for them.

In April 2015 I purchased an AlloyBoltz Engine Kit and changed out most of the fasteners. Some you cannot back out without pulling off parts, so I figured to exchange these by and by when working on the scoot or when I have it in the shop. The AlloyBoltz Show Polished Grade 8 Stainless fasteners have 12 point heads and are beautiful when compared with the stock cadmium bolts the MoCo provides. Stainless steel wont rust and there is no chrome plating to crack or peel. I find it difficult to believe you can spend as much as a CVO cost new to find it comes with non-chromed or polished fasteners that stick out like a sore thumb against the glistening chrome. As Bob at AlloyBoltz indicated, once you see the new bolts installed you will want to change every fastener on the bike.

A Bit of Background...

In 2011 I was asked to serve as the Owners Representative on a restaurant build-out on the Santa Monica Pier in California. It was supposed to be a quick and dirty task over over the winter, so I agreed and mobilized in February 2012. Although a story in itself, I ended up in California for thirty months. In January of 2013, I returned home for a few weeks. My Road Glide Ultra was stored at Big Moose Harley, my local dealership, and I wanted to have a few winter mods implemented while they had the bike, so stopped in to speak with them. I wanted to keep this bike stock for the most part because if you trade you will get hammered on modifications, making this a poor investment. I checked out the new bikes and was drawn to a wild Tribal Orange paint job on a CVO Electra Glide they had on the floor. I remember looking it over, checking out the price tag and thinking, I would NEVER pay that much for a motorcycle. The MSRP was simply insane!

I spoke with a salesman, who wanted to talk about the bike. I indicated I really was not interested at that expense, but I did like the idea of the fit up on the Custom Vehicle Operations motorcycles and the 110 cubic inch mill. Needless to say, this got me to thinking, but I went on my way as I had things to do. Later, back in California, I decided to call the salesman to see what he had to say. I indicated they had my bike stored, have your manager look it over to see what the trade offer may be. Of course once they saw I had an interest everything accelerated from that point. Eventually we started to hammer out a deal although I was still incredulous. Thinking about this far too much, I figured if I buy this CVO, it would be the last new bike I would buy - ever. I could mod it to my hearts content and ride it until too old to stay upright on two wheels. I should point out there are no good deals at a Harley dealership and this one was no exception, but I could live with the end result. I purchased the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide on Valentines Day, February 14, 2013.

1986 Superglide in Stock Paint

Kiro86 - Antique Plate
1986 FXR - Super Glide

The Evo Lives on!

I bought this motorcycle new in 1987 and have owned and operated it since that time. I paid the discounted cash price of $7,000 and before I picked it up had the stock pipes and carburetor removed and replaced with Python 3 pipes and a re-jetted Screaming Eagle carb. We have been friends a long time but as I am older now, decided it was time to get something a bit more comfortable, particularly when riding two up and freighted. I laugh about this still because all my friends could not believe I would buy another Harley where I owned one already. I guess they did not realize that I’d had the FXR for nineteen years at that time, as to this day it looks new. This motorcycle runs great and the engine is strong. When you snap the throttle on this machine, even after twenty something years, you want to be holding on.

A group of us traveled to Sturgis in 1995 for the 55th Annual Black Hills Rally and after that trip seeing all the custom scoots, I decided it was time to make some modifications. It was not exactly stock then, but still had the candy apple red factory paint on the stock tank and fenders. Over the next three years I had the bike rebuilt from the frame up. The stock frame was powder-coated black; the engine was torn down and rebuilt with oversized pistons, single fire ignition (employs two sparkplugs on each head) and a thunder jet on a new S&S carb; a big-ass EV5 cam, a plethora of new components and parts too numerous to mention. I purchased a new tank and fenders and had everything sone in custom paint. My friend Alden Dyer was running a motorcycle shop at that time and he did all the work except for the paint, which was done by Ron Miller, a painter from Greene I met through a friend of mine.

Kiro after the retrofit - looking better than new...

I finally got around to taking some new shots of my FXR in May of 2009. The images below find the Superglide up and ready to run.

1986 Harley-Davidson FXR

1986 Harley-Davidson FXR

The paint is unique and includes a tank graphic I took off a tee shirt from the 1995 Sturgis trip. I have been back twice since then and in 2000 sought out the tee shirt artist and showed him his design on the tanks; he was pleased and had his photo taken with the bike. The front air dam added (which has an oil cooler behind it) has a crescent moon and palmetto graphic honoring my state of heritage, South Carolina. On either side of the air dam is a western skull motif with a blazing sun behind. The front fender has a star for each Confederate state and the rear bobbed fender has the regimental flag of the 3rd Arkansas, my re-enacting regiment from the War Between the States with the letters S.C.V, Sons of Confederate Veterans. So, looking at the scoot from the side displays kind of a western motif, while looking front to rear is more of a Civil War motif. Plus the stars tie in with my astronomy interest. The color scheme is also unique as far as I know - black fading into a scarlet red with a champagne gold overspray that changes color when walking around the bike in sunlight. One personal detail was a custom leather dash insert with a plaque in remembrance of my father, John S. Rogers, Jr.; he died about the time the final touches were being applied on the rebuild and is sorely missed.

Superglide Details

1986 Harley-Davidson FXR 1986 Harley-Davidson FXR
1986 Harley-Davidson FXR 1986 Harley-Davidson FXR
1986 Harley-Davidson FXR 1986 Harley-Davidson FXR
1986 Harley-Davidson FXR 1986 Harley-Davidson FXR
1986 Harley-Davidson FXR 1986 Harley-Davidson FXR
1986 Harley-Davidson FXR 1986 Harley-Davidson FXR

2011 FLTRU103
Road Glide Ultra

Traded for a 2013 CVO Electra Glide

2011 Road Glide Ultra

I was in my local dealership one day looking around. I had recently purchased a Ford F150 pick-up and wanted to obtain a decal for the rear cap window. We had just returned from a few weeks in the Texas Hill Country with our friends Steve and Pam Hudson from Patterson, Georgia. Both ride, and while we were in Texas we rented bikes one day to do some touring along with some other friends. In any event, Steve is well versed on motorcycle lore and got me thinking way too much about all this stuff. Going to the Harley dealer so soon after all the motorcycle immersion probably was not the smartest thing I could have done.

I was interested in seeing some 2011 bikes with the new 103 cubic inch engine the MoCo had just came out with. This was offered on a few of the new bikes, but afterwards it became the standard touring engine. To make a long story short, after a lot of dickering I ended up trading my Road Glide Classic for the 2011 FLTRU103 viewed in these photographs.

2005 Road King Classic

Road King Classic

Traded for a 2011 Road Glide Ultra

Now this was one fine motorcycle… I do not think any of my four-wheeled vehicles were as comfortable as my Road King Classic. With plenty of power, although it doesn't have the snap of my sport bike, the RKC provides a feeling of safety and stability and I liked the fuel injection - no more turning the gas on and off.

When I started thinking about buying a new Harley I began investigating what I may be interested in purchasing. I wanted a touring bike as my FXR still has plenty of what a sport bike is all about, even with the older technology. It was not about money so much, just making the right choice because I'll probably ride this scoot for a long time. You can buy radios and CD players, all kinds of different options and I considered going that way. However, in the end result, I just could not get away from my sport riding roots with all this stuff. I figured a windscreen was consolation enough and I never had much interest in riding with fairings and fiberglass bags. That is what is great about these motorcycles, there is something for everyone and one does not have to look too hard to find a suitable model.

I bought the FLHRCI right after the new models came out for that year and this photograph was taken in the fall of 2004 shortly afterwards. I had a Vance & Hines oval pipe system and a Power Commander fuel management system installed before I took the motorcycle home. Since that time, like most riders do, I spent several thousand dollars in chrome and accessories to dress it out to my taste. Things added included a new seat, handlebars to change the riding position, a removable padded sissy bar/luggage rack combination, oil cooler and various chrome components. Some of these modifications are visible in this shot, but much was added over the winter of 2004/2005. There are photographs of the Harley in the story referenced below with the new accessories mounted. I also had it wired to accept a Lowrance GPS unit which fitted nicely behind the windscreen when touring; this can be mounted or removed easily when required. I did not consider any engine work on this bike until it got more wear on it. It had just around 4,600 miles on it when I stored it for the winter going into 2006; not bad for one riding season in Maine. With what a new Harley cost then, I did not pay cash for this one…

Engine Views

Our first road trip of consequence with this new machine was through the Canadian Atlantic Provinces and then by ferry to Newfoundland. My account of this journey can be found here should you wish to check it out:Touring Western Newfoundland via Harley-Davidson. I must say, this motorcycle was everything I hoped it would be and we had a great time in our travels. I am waiting for time off and warmer weather to plan the next excursion. I would ride this scoot cross country if I had the time available to do so. If you're considering buying a touring bike and aren't certain about the RKC, in my opinion this motorcycle will not disappoint. After I got a few miles on the new machine it made me wonder why in the world I waited 19 years... Many Harley enthusiasts have told me they believe this to be the finest of the models being produced these days. And no, they don't all ride Road King Classics, they only wish they did...

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