Yes, I know. “Skull Glide” sounds like what Ghost Rider might mount once he gives up his chopper. In reality, though, it’s a sweet ’09 Street Glide decked out in, well, skulls. Covington’s Customs tricked it out to show off its new Machine Head parts line, just in time for Daytona Bike Week in 2011.
With its finned look, the Machine Head line goes well with skulls because the fins resemble ribs on a skeleton in a way. Covington’s sprinkled Machine Head covers from the forks up front to the saddlebag latches out back. Moreover, they incorporated skulls into some of the finned covers, using a combination of black and metal finishes to give the skulls a sense of depth and shadow. It’s a look you don’t usually see from the shop, which is exactly why they did it.
The detailed airbrush work was no happy accident, either. Brian Koker is the culprit responsible for all the detailed brushwork Gothing up Skull Glide’s metalwork. At first glance you’d think this was a black bike with silver and green but that’s only partially true. In fact, the “black” is a Kandy Green coated with some Kandy Black. When the sun hits it just right, you can catch the subtle green tinge, which adds a little more eeriness to an already spooky machine.
“With its finned look, the Machine Head line goes well with skulls because the fins resemble ribs on a skeleton in a way. Covington’s sprinkled Machine Head covers from the forks up front to the saddlebag latches out back.”
All of that artistry works in perfect tandem with Covington’s craftsmanship to make Skull Glide pop. How could it not? The shop tore the bagger down to the frame and raked the chassis out to 45 degrees by incorporating 9-degree raked triple-trees, stretched the backbone 1 3/8 inches out, then lengthened the Harley forks an inch, all to make room for a whopping 26-inch Rampage wheel and V Rubber tire. That’s a lot of love to throw into what was a stock dresser frame.
Just as much attention went into the fairing and metalwork, too. Covington’s had a lonely Road Glide front fairing gathering dust in the corner. It had firsthand knowledge of why Road Glides are lousy for deer hunting, having been on one when it hit said animal. The fairing got tapped for Skull Glide as a way of making the bike stand out even more. In order to make it fit, Covington’s went through all the shaping and bonding necessary to mate it with Harley’s Street Glide inner fairing. In the process, the shop also upgraded the stereo using a JVC head unit with Kicker speakers.
The rest of the skin was either made in-house or bought and tweaked. The steel tire-hugging front fender and its extended rear counterpart are pure Covington’s, as are the fillers between the back fender and the extended Sinister saddlebags. A stretched Custom Chrome steel tank laid off the stock Harley gas sack, and it flows perfectly around the front of a Danny Gray seat coated in shark skin. Covington’s also added its flared side covers to lend smooth lines to the Sinister bags; the whole package is far cleaner than what you’d find on a stocker.
Finally, there’s the motor. Not only is Skull Glide’s 103-inch mill decked out in Machine Head covers, it also shows off Covington’s new Smoothie rocker box covers. The shop is really proud of the covers. Not only do they add custom gravitas to the motor, they’re not even out on the market yet. On top of all the dressing on the motor, the new Vance & Hines air cleaner also got the skull treatment. In fact, Vance & Hines parts are largely responsible for adding more power to the motor. While Covington’s didn’t dig into the Twin Cam engine and change the guts, they utilized Vance & Hines headers coupled with Bassani mufflers and Covington’s tips for the exhaust system. Between that, the new air cleaner, and a Vance & Hines Fuel Pak, breathing is a lot more efficient now.
It took three months from tear-down to full build to reincarnate this stock Harley into Skull Glide. When you’ve got a big event like Daytona looming over your head, you burn the midnight oil and make the magic happen. If you’re a custom shop looking to show off a new parts line, that’s an absolute “must.” Covington’s could have cut a few corners here and there, slapped on the new Machine Head line, and called it a day, but run your eyes over Skull Glide and it’s obvious they didn’t. In the end it’s that kind of devotion to detail that sells parts for you as sure as anything you’ll read in a magazine, if not more so. HB