If you recall a few years ago, the proliferation of custom bike builders popping up all over the country and everyone cashing in on their overpriced houses had people dumping their used Harleys for next to nothing to get a leg over the custom bike of their dreams. It wasn’t too long ago a guy could cruise the Cycle Trader, Craigslist, or eBay and find dozens of smoking deals on used Harleys. While the busted economy also helped dump a ton of used Harleys onto the market, it seems more and more people have caught onto this trend, making those smoking deals a little bit harder to find.
Sure the used market is still often the first place many people look for their “new” ride or project, but another market where people are scoring great deals on bikes is gaining momentum: the used and abused market. Now we’re not talking about excessively high-mileage bikes, or bikes with a few dings and bruises. We’re talking about bikes that were crashed and written off as totaled by insurance agencies and have to be registered as a salvaged title in order to get back on the road. Michael Wishon is one those aforementioned people.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, it was on a warm, muggy Austin evening hanging at a bike night event that Michael saw a done-up Street Glide roll by and he turned to his buddy, Bronson of Southern Metal Choppers and said ,“That’s it, that’s what I want to do. I want to take that bike and make it my own, stretch it, drop it, and build the sickest Street Glide in Austin.” Being a man of few, but direct words, Bronson’s reply to that proclamation was “I have a few ideas for you.” And with that the plan to build this incredible bagger began.
“After some major reconstructive surgery, a makeover, and rehab, Michael got exactly what he wanted, a hot, fresh-looking girl to ride around on that turns heads everywhere they go.”
When asked about the staggered mini HID headlights, Bronson said it was just to be different and break up the symmetry of the bike.
When asked about the staggered mini HID headlights, Bronson said it was just to be differe
Michael got a line on an ’05 FLHTCU that was deemed totaled, but with a price tag of $7,500 and a wad of cash from recently selling his house and with the help of Bronson and the rest of the SMC team, the bike could be resurrected and saved from being melted and recycled into someone’s new patio furniture. “When he unloaded the bike off the trailer, it was in pretty bad shape,” Bronson tells us. “The fairing was busted up, the crash bar was folded back against the cylinder head, cylinder fins were broken off, the trans case was cracked, it was missing the left-side cover and saddlebag, and all the sheetmetal was dented. Like I said, bad shape.” However before SMC blew the thing apart, Bronson asked Michael if he wanted to take it on one last ride. Always down for an adventure, Michael obliged and putted down the block and pulled back into the shop and shut the battered ol’ girl down. It seems that short last ride was all she could muster because as her heart came to a quiet stop, the floorboard dropped to the pavement. Needless to say it was going to take a lot more than just a nip and tuck to get this girl to be the center of attention.
The bike was torn down to the frame where the neck was then stretched 2 inches and raked out to 48 degrees. Next, a Mean Street frontend was modified to accept an internal air ride system that would allow the front to drop 2 inches with the push of a button. To get the full stop-and-drop effect, an Arnott Air Ride system was mounted in the rear. For that “look at me” wow factor, a massive 26-inch black powdercoated Renegade wheel was secured between the fork legs and a 360 Brake setup was utilized so everyone could get a great view of the massive hoop. Out back a matching 18-inch wheel with a Renegade rotor and H-D caliper were used.