Into the Dark

Hillside Speed Co FXR Custom

A Harley-Davidson FXR built for performance

My name is Tyler Bex and I'm just a 27 year old punk rocker from Indiana. There isn’t much here but corn and rednecks but it's where I call home. I've always had a thirst for anything with an engine. I grew up racing circle track, my Dad got me into it at the young age of 6. As I grew older I went to two wheels when I got my first dirt bike, an XR100, and never turned back.

When I was 16 I was driving a Jeep Cherokee and there was a short course offroad racing track for trucks and buggies in town and it mixed my interest of 2 wheels and 4 wheel background so I built the Cherokee into a prerunner. Things got kind of out of hand with it so I downgraded dailys to a ford Taurus and bought a full tube chassis Toyota short course offroad truck. After racing it for a few years the series started to die off so my interest shortly followed and the truck went to a guy in Michigan to use in the sand dunes and I hooked up with a guy from Michigan and started flying out to Nevada to race desert with him.

FXR Custom

Tyler's FXR was the Harley-Davidson he didn't like with a chin spoiler he didn't want. Then he rode it and became a believer.

Into the Dark

I went straight back to two wheels since I no longer owned a race truck and there wasn’t a future in it locally, and I bought my first road bike. Like most kids I wanted something and I wanted it right now. I had no money though, so I bought a brand new Sportster from the local Harley-Davidson shop. I built that thing up to be about as crazy as you could build one without making it a rigid and I rode it equally as hard. Within the next year I realized that bike wasn’t capable of being built into what I wanted, though. This is about the time that I started thinking about my future and since I was still racing in the desert, I started my own offroad apparel brand. Since the Sportster couldn’t be built to what I thought was proper, I sold it.

Although I meant to start buying a frame and everything else the apparel brand was operating so well I didn’t want to rob the money from it to fund the bike. In the mean time, I made the mistake every 23 year old kid dreamed of: I thought I found love. And I was ever so wrong.

I dropped everything other than the apparel brand to pursue it. After just over a year of living with her I quickly realized it wasn't meant to be. We split paths and there I was, with all the free time in the world. It was time to get back to two wheels!

FXR Custom

Even as we speak, there's a 113-inch S&S motor on order for Tyler's FXR. That'll make things fun!

Into the Dark

I had already learned that buying new wasn’t for me, so I wanted a cheap, low key rigid bike and my Dad just happened to have the basis for one in his shop. A Paughco framed Ironhead. I took over that build and took it a little ways until my long time buddy Casey of Hillside Speed Co bought an FXR. At first I wasn’t a believer because I thought shocks were for pussies and I was a diehard rigid chopper guy. He started building on that thing and it started really catching my attention. I was sold. That thing handled so well and it clicked with my go fast roots. You could ride that thing like Satan. I had been looking around for a few months and the FXRs are a tough find (in my area of the country at least). The next spring I finally found one.

It was already done up with the police bags, 2-into-1 exhaust, and Arlen Ness fairing. The bike was just what I thought I wanted but was still kind worn out. It was all there though and at a decent price so I grabbed it up anyway.

I hated the paint, it had a fat bob fender on the back, so I had planned on having Casey paint it anyway. Once I started tearing it apart to take the parts and pieces to him, I called him up one night and told him to hold off on getting started with the paint work. The quality of parts wasn’t there for the amount of time he was going to invest in the prep, layout, paint work, etc.

I looked around and looked into the different styles of fairings available. I called up Conelys. Their Mid-Glide fairing went perfectly with my racing background. While on the phone with them I had them go ahead and throw in their chin spoiler. I wasn’t a big fan of chin spoilers but they worked on some bikes and didn’t on others in my eyes, but that’s hard to judge without just seeing it, so I figured we would buy it, paint it, and see how it all worked together when the whole bike was done. I think the verdict was obvious because its still on there.

fxr custom

I also hated the fat bob tank and rear fender, but the repop ones just don’t have the original quality so I got with Elvis Place and got an FXR fender and tank and FXR Division for the dash. All FXRs of course need a 2-into-1 exhaust, so I got with Sawicki Speed and had them build me a single step version. The bike originally had an ostrich seat on it and it just looked dumb, so after looking around I ended up going with the Roland Sands 2-up Fastback style seat. I never have been a fan of chrome anything so since the bike was basically stripped down anyway, I took the wheels, handlebars, air filter cover, coil cover, tail light base, and several other small parts to Metal Finishing Co in Indianapolis to be stripped bare, then I took them to Phil Johnson to be powdercoated gloss black.

While Casey was hard at doing the paint work I was hard at doing the rest of the bike build and ordering parts. Ramjet Racing supplied the smoked LED taillight, Renthal supplied the grips, Barnett clutch supplied the Clutch, platinum clutch cable, platinum throttle cables, and platinum brake cables. ChopperHauss had just started making some selfie stick pegs so it had to get a set of those, as well as their Omen Pegs. We had some time to spare still because we put a lot of detailed in the paint, so I contacted Works Performance and got a set of Billet Trackers for the rear and a set Fork Springs and Cartridge Emulators on order for the front.

FXR Custom Gas Tank

Casey Bastin's artwork brings depth to the paint on this FXR.

Into the Dark

When Casey had the paint done, I loaded the bike up in my truck and took it to his shop. Our buddy Cody jumped on rewiring the entire bike while Casey and myself assembled the sheet metal back onto the bike. By the end of the night it looked insane. We loaded it back up into my truck and I take it back to my garage where I still had a few loose ends to work out. One Sunday evening I thought we were done. I thought I had it. But when I turned the key, it had a bad voltage regulator and it shorted out a bunch of the wiring and the LED voltage regulator for the taillight. I immediately called up Ramjet and they got me a replacement LED voltage regulator out the door. My Dad, Brother, and myself jumped all hands on deck and again rewired the majority of the bike.

It seems like it took an eternity, but in reality it only took 8 short weeks to redo this bike from the day I bought it. It wasn’t anything but a frame and engine the day after I bought it. The end result came out spot on to what I had imagined. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Casey at HillSideSpeedCo, he knocked the paint out of the water on this one. After riding it around a few weeks I quickly realized the stock 80ci wasn’t going to cut it. Theres an S&S 113ci Black Edition on order that will be dropped down in this thing over the winter months.

FXR Custom

The North American FXR speed demon, at a rare moment of rest in the wild. Shh... You'll spook it.

Into the Dark

Owner: Tyler Bex
Shop: Hillside Speed Co
Year/Make/Model: 1992 Harley-Davidson FXR
Fabrication: Hillside Speed Co
Build Time: 8 weeks
Year/Type/Size: S&S 113 on order
Builder: Solenberg Racing Engines
Cases: Stock
Cylinders: S&S
Heads: S&S
Rocker Boxes: S&S
Cams: Andrews EV72
Throttle Body: N/A
Exhaust: Sawicki Speed
Air Cleaner: S&S
Year/Type: 1992 Harley-Davidson
Gears: Harley-Davidson
Clutch: Barnett
Primary Drive: Harley-Davidson
Year/Type1992: Harley-Davidson FXR
Rake/Stretch: Harley-Davidson
Frontend: Works Springs and Emulators
Shock: AbsorbersWorks Performance
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes
Builder/Size: 21-inch
Tire/Size: Dunlop D402 MH90-21
Calipers: Harley-Davidson
Rotors: Harley-Davidson
Builder/Size: 16-inch
Tire/Size: Dunlop D401 150/80-16
Caliper: Harley-Davidson
Rotor: Harley-Davidson
Pulley: 46-tooth chain drive
Colors: Turbo Blue
Paint/Graphics: Casey Bastin / Hillside Speed Co
Plating/Polishing: Metal Finishing Co Indianapolis
Powdercoating: Phil Johnson
Front Fender: Harley-Davidson
Rear Fender: Harley-Davidson
Gas Tank: Harley-Davidson
Dash: FXR Division
Gauges: Harley-Davidson
Handlebars: 12-inch T-Bar
Grips: Renthal
Mirrors: N/A
Hand Controls: Harley-Davidson
Foot Controls: Mid-mounts
Floorboards: n/a
Headlight: Harley-Davidson
Taillight: Ramjet Racing
Turn Signals: Ramjet Racing
License Mount: Drag Specialties
Seat: Roland Sands Design