John (that's not him in the pic) kind of built this bike twice. This is the first version, before he tore it down and powdercaoted the frontend, frame, and engine components white to match the rest of the bike.
John (that's not him in the pic) kind of built this bike twice. This is the first version,
Most, if not all, people have made a bet at one point in their lives. Bets are exciting. They make things more interesting. And what's the most important part of any bet? The wager. John Shope of Sinister Industries placed a bet with a buddy on a Super Bowl game where he wagered his wife's Softail, unbeknownst to her, to win a '97 Road Glide. If he lost, he'd probably end up divorced. If he won, he'd be the proud owner of a Road Glide that he'd customize to something unrecognizable from its stock form. Guess what happened?
After collecting what he'd later call Dirty Money, John started out with an idea in his head of what was to be the Glide's finality. He didn't sketch something on a napkin, and he definitely didn't take his idea to a professional sketch artist for a rendering. John's ideas are in his head, from tip to tail, start to finish, where he keeps them. He's an artist that sculpted bronze and molded clay to pass the time when he was younger. He'd custom-make bronze portraits for customers, and he loved dong bronze sculptures of Mexican Bandoliers in full bullet-belt attire, like you'd find in an old Mexican Revolution photograph circa early 1900s. But John eventually branched out to sculpting ordinary Harleys into rolling artwork.
He opened Ssinister Choppers in June 2000, but overhauled the company's name, and business direction, after realizing the wide-tire, long, low chopper market was dying out, so he changed it to the more all-encompassing, John Shope's Sinister Industries. After winning CMT's Chopper Challenge, beating many notable builders in the industry, he never got one order as a result of being the victor. Nothing. At the end of his bike-building rope, John went down to the local Harley dealer and bought a brand new Street Glide for a little R&D. "I brought it home, cut the neck off it, tore it all apart, and my wife came out, worried about me, and asked me what I was doing," John remembers. "'Leave me alone,' I told her, 'I'm busy,'" John said. In a marathon session, he later emerged from his garage with the hamster wheel turning, telling his wife, "This is the last thing I'm going to do and I'm getting out of the bike business if it doesn't work." After finishing the Street Glide, he cruised it around Scottsdale and the locals went apeshit! He decided to stick around for a bit. The custom Road Glide featured here is another great representation of his capabilities. From front to rear, this is one of the bikes that leave you scratching your head in wonderment, thinking to yourself, "How did he do that?"
For this project, John didn't want to do another Twin Cam bagger. He wanted to use the gone-but-not-forgotten Evolution powerplant. He ordered up a 113ci S&S engine and mated it to a Baker six-speed trans with a Performance Machine hydraulic clutch and a Barnett open beltdrive. To suck air into the motor is the Edelbrock stack that just oozes cool. One of the coolest components of the build is the Flame Throwers installed in John's custom-made, front-facing exhaust pipes. His pipes have become kind of a Sinister trademark and the Flame Throwers shoot 10-foot flames to literally blow the competition away. Just ask John's friends which side they'll never pull up next to when riding with him.
For more aggressive lines, John cut the frame, dropped it, stretched the neck, and put 9-degree trees on the frontend for a low, aggressive stance. And when he added a Metalsport 26-inch wheel up front, he'd achieved the roller he envisioned. As for the bags, John wanted them to open/close a bit differently. They don't utilize a latching system, instead he ran actuators inside so that they open/close outward from the back with the push of a button and when raised up, the leopard print interior really catches your eye. Sitting inside each bag is a 6x9 to blast his favorite tunes. Front and rear air ride systems slam the bike to the ground and also bring it back up to appropriate ride height with compressors hidden underneath Sinister's custom side covers.
In the bodywork department, John wanted a kickass stereo to keep him company so he installed a top-of-the-line system with a Pioneer deck and two 6x9s in the fairing. To make room for the fairing speakers, instead of incorporating the gauges from the stock fairing into his one-piece fairing, he installed them into the gas tank. Huh? To do this, John drilled holes through the top of the tank and ran exhaust tubes top to bottom in order to fit the gauges and route the wiring. Instead of reusing the stock fuel gauge he installed a sideline fuel indicator with a clear tube to tell whether or not he'll run out of gas; an old chopper trick.
There are many parts on this Glide that come straight from Sinister's catalog, such as the fairing and bags mentioned earlier, but also the Gnarly Series floorboards, Wicked Road Glide handlebars, and much more. There are also way too many details on the bike to list (we'd fill up the entire magazine!). Luckily for you, this Glide is for sale, that way you can spend as much time as you want figuring out how John did everything.
John's rolling sound machine can be heard from a mile away...maybe two miles.
Sinister's Gnarly Series floorboards are machined from billet and available for baggers.
Caution: Never ride on John's right side. The pipe's Flame Throwers will do some serious damage!
Caution: Never ride on John's right side. The pipe's Flame Throwers will do some serious d