Rarely do form and function meet on a level playing field, but when a person finds a way to blend the two it’s like mixing vanilla with chocolate ice cream—everyone loves it. The combination of the two is appreciated by all because it appeals both to the flashy person that only cares about looks and the guy that only cares about how well it functions. That’s the same rationale behind why so many people feel certain styles embody an entire class and become the standard that every other entry in that class is judged against. Aaron Glenn, owner of Glenndyne Design in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has a motto that he’s quick to deliver, “A design should flow seamlessly and effortlessly across each detail, blending form, function, and genuine style in harmony until it meets a place where everything works perfectly.” And, speaking of function, his latest creation serves two: he wanted a practical bike that he could ride on a regular basis and he wanted to show off some new parts.
It’s hard to beat a Road King for cruising comfort, so Aaron searched for and found a used donor bike built in 2007. Immediately the bike was whittled down to the frame and cases in preparation of the modifications he had in mind. The motor received his attention first, and he punched out the cylinders to up the displacement to 107ci and reassembled it. The original air cleaner was replaced with an S&S air cleaner and the pipes were swapped out for Glenndyne’s own “Buck-Nasty” two-into-one system with full-coverage heat shields and a definite performance gain over stock. Maximizing performance, Aaron upgraded the ECM to a ThunderMax EFI module with Auto-Tune; optimizing his other performance enhancements. Given the reliability of the rest of the drivetrain, the transmission and primary were kept as they arrived from the factory.
As a revolutionary wheel designer, (he holds a few patents on the internal brake three-piece wheel that he invented). Aaron’s company manufactures some uncommonly cool versions of the wheel, but this bike’s purpose was intended to be for regular riding and he wanted to use his new 26-inch wheel, called the G5 Ano-Accent, for the front with a matching 18-inch version for the rear. A huge seven-spoke 16-inch rotor was attached to the front wheel with stopping power provided by a bright-red four-piston Wilwood caliper. One might suppose that a wheel and rotor combo of this size would have to weigh a ton and make the bike difficult to handle at low speeds, but Aaron knows the opposite is true: “I did a bunch of extensive research and testing on these (and all my) wheels. I kept the ratios between the rim diameter and rotor identical to their stock counterparts and kept the outer perimeter as light as possible—this gives the wheels excellent handling characteristics and that 26-inch wheel only weighs about 17.5 pounds.” Given his history with wheels, it’s not hard to believe his claims that in addition to looking far better than anything OEM, his brake/rotor/wheel culmination is lighter and stops quicker, too. A bike only needs so much braking ability on the street, so Aaron felt that the stock H-D caliper mounted on one of his seven-spoke, 11.5-inch rotors at the rear would be more than adequate for this bike.
There are custom frontends, and then there are custom frontends. The suspension for the front wheel is of the latter type, and at first glance, it is hard to find anything that even resembles a factory part. Although he did retain the Road King’s original triple trees, that’s where the recognizable parts end. Starting from scratch, Aaron bent tubing, cut plate-steel, and welded together a mono-shock springer frontend that is engineered specifically to handle 23- and 26-inch wheels with no frame modifications. Appropriately named the G-Spot Springer, it features an adjustable Progressive shock with a custom spring for superb handling. “One of the most difficult parts of this build was engineering the frontend to perform perfectly,” Aaron said. With his penchant for extensive R&D;, it’s safe to assume that he spent more than a few hours on this part of the bike, and one can rest assured that it performs exactly as he intended.
Simple and elegant, he laid down a healthy helping of Hyper-Mint Pearl to cover the majority of the bike, and accented the tank with Vintage Vanilla
In order to balance the oversized parts on the front of the bike, Aaron had to enlarge aspects of the rest of it as well. He started with a large and smooth Yaffe gas tank that he modified and fit to the backbone. An extended and modified Klock Werks rear fender was fit to cover the rear wheel with spacers cut to span the gap between the fender and bags. Hix Design made a custom two-up, tuck-and-roll seat that segues between the tank and fender with the help of a slick-looking dash that matches the color of the seat. There aren’t many bags longer than Milwaukee Baggers extended bags—they’re stretched a full 4 inches—anything longer and the bottoms would scrape on every turn. It almost goes without saying that Aaron modified the bags, but Milwaukee did a great job on the aesthetics, leaving the fitment to Aaron. “I enjoy a bit of ’glass work now and then—all I had to do to get the bags to fit right was cut a channel and exit for the tip of the exhaust pipe. Luckily, I designed the tip of the pipe with a double wall that acts like a heat shield which allowed me to tuck the pipe in closer to the bag without any risk of melting the fiberglass or ruining the paint,” Aaron said.
Speaking of paint, it’s unusually important to an engineer type of person like Aaron, but that’s how he originally started in the industry, as a painter. “Without a mind-blowing paintjob, you might as well not even build a custom bike,” is one of his common sayings. Not everyone would agree with him on that point, but no one would disagree with the fact that he did a fabulous job painting this King. Simple and elegant, he laid down a healthy helping of Hyper-Mint Pearl to cover the majority of the bike, and accented the tank with Vintage Vanilla in a pattern that duplicates its contours.
The real evidence that Aaron practices what he preaches is that this bike doesn’t scream, “Custom!” It’s only when a person looks close at the details and compares it to a stocker does one realize how far removed from each other the two actually are. In other words, the bike is good-looking and completely practical—the form and function are in the “harmony” Aaron strives for, and clearly his goal was achieved. HB
|Bike Owner||Glenndyne Design|
|Shop Name||Glenndyne Design|
|Shop Phone||(405) 401-8707|
|Assembly||Aaron and Tyler at Glenndyne Design|
|Build Time||Two months|
|Manufacturer Front||Glenndyne Design G-Spot|
|Triple Trees||H-D/Glenndyne Design|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Manufacturer Front/Type||Glenndyne Design G5 Ano-Accent|
|Rotor||16-inch Glenndyne Design Seven-Spoke|
|Manufacturer Rear/Type||Glenndyne Design G5 Ano-Accent|
|Rotor||11.5-inch Glenndyne Design Seven-Spoke|
|Color||Hyper-Mint Pearl and Vintage Vanilla|
|Rear Fender||Klock Werks/Glenndyne Design|
|Gas Tank & Cap||Yaffe/Glenndyne Design|
|Headlight||Glenndyne Design/Lazer Lights|
|License Mount||Klock Werks|
|Seat||Kyle (the badass) at Hix Design|