For the past couple of years, the 30-inch front wheel has been the subject of great debate. Some love it, some hate it, but all have something to say about it. No matter what side of the fence you sit, the battle of the big wheels is now a part of today’s custom bike scene.
Anyone who has ever visited Florida for bike week is well aware of the year-round riding conditions and endless back roads and highways that offer the perfect location for all-day cruising with the tunes blaring in the breeze. It was that desire to hit the road with style that prompted bike owner Robert Barnes to take his 2010 Street Glide to the sleepy town of Sarasota, Florida, to Roaring Toyz for some major cool-guy surgery.
After taking a short break in the build, Robert Fisher, owner of Roaring Toyz, explains what happens when you stop to smell the flowers. “Our customer Robert Barnes originally came in a couple years ago to add a 26-inch wheel, stretched bags, and this green paint,” Fisher tells us. “After leaving a deposit to order some parts and a little wait time, life hit Barnes with some unforeseen emergencies, which put the bike on the back burner.” In the Sunshine State, being in the back burner is like being stuck in orbit while everyone else is headed to Mars. Sit too long, and the world as you know it will change beyond all recognition. “We spoke with Barnes and decided to sell his parts and get back to the project when the timing was better,” he continues. “Now fast-forward a year and a half. During this time several of his friends and riding partners had stepped up their game and done custom baggers with big wheels and such. Barnes had been out of the riding circles and wanted to sneak back in with a big surprise. By this time 26s were small, so he chose to step up to a 30 with all the fixings.”
Fixings are what Roaring Toyz is known for, and for this build no expense was spared to get Barnes back up to speed. “We used one-off Creations iPad mini upper fairing and dual 6-inch speaker saddlebag lids,” Fisher says. “We custom cut billet rings to mount Performance Machine air cleaner faceplates that match the wheels with the speaker grilles. For the front, we used a Roaring Toyz custom upper fairing with a Kawasaki Z1000 headlight, Roaring Toyz billet Pin Stripe clutch and brake levers, ignition switch cover, and front and rear floorboards. We decided to short-neck his frame adding the big 30-inch wheel, stretched and customized his entire body kit, add custom lighting, front and rear instant-up air ride, killer sound system run by iPad mini, along with a host of other goodies. As you can see, Robert made a big impression when he came back on the bike scene!”
In a scene that changes day by day, to sit and wait leaves you spinning like a spinner, cool for a second but quickly made fun of once the motion stops. Now that Barnes is back on top, you can bet this won’t be the final version for this mean-green-big-wheel-bagger.