As of late, the "Outlaw" or "Club Bike" seems to be the rage, and for good reason. They are function over form, easy to care for and most of all fun as hell to ride. Though new to some, this style of bike has been around for quite some time. The look of the murdered-out Dyna actually originated on the FXR chassis and it has been freely accepted that certain clubs situated in and around California's Bay Area were the first to run loud, blacked-out Harleys with high-rise T-bars, extended-travel suspension, mid controls, and quarter fairings. This look, which now has been adopted by the mainstream, does not garner red and blue lights and hands in cuffs anymore. Now most of the attention these "thug" bikes get is the usual, "Hey bro, nice scoot," comments at the local watering hole.
After the newness wore off of our '10 Harley Davidson FXDB ($13,374), we took a long look at our Street Bob and decided that we had enough of the "bobber" look and decided to get down and dirty. Since the bike was already halfway to the dark side with its lack of chrome and Denim Black paint, we decided to take it up a few more notches to full-on "outlawclubthug" bike. After scouring the internet and stacks of catalogs here are the parts we used to turn this bike from Bob to mob at a total price of about $18,818 ($5,444 in parts).
Once the bike was converted to the "outlaw" style, after a few miles on the odometer we found it much easier to ride over the stock situation. The T-bars were in the perfect "arms out" position for comfort on short or long rides. The narrower handlebar width made lane splitting effortless and coupled with the footpegs, we found it was downright comfortable to ride standing up like a dirt bike over dips and railroad tracks. The upgraded suspension made the bike handle more like a sportbike and less like a cruiser even with the increased stance. The fairing, although good-looking, provided a place to store items and took some of the wind shear off of us at higher speeds.
Though this bike possesses the "in style," it is safe to say that this fashion of bike was the end product of 30 years of outlaw evolution and was definitely worth looking past its current popularity. By delving into the mechanics of why this style of bike came to fruition and is still prevalent today, we took an already good bike and made it better by all accounts. Even if it does look like the bikes we see on TV Tuesday nights.
Wanting the best for our 49mm frontend, we installed a set of gloss black lowers from an H-D Fat Bob. This swap gave us the ability to add another H-D brake caliper on the right side of the bike for even more stopping power. Inside the fork we installed a Race Tech Caddies kit with Gold Valve emulators and high-performance progressively wound springs. When installing the kit, we also massively preloaded the forks to keep the bike from bottoming out at high speed on harsh roadways. The final result of the new internals netted a ride height of 3/4 inch higher than stock. $1,400
Out back we went with a set of Race Tech G3-S Piggyback shocks. These shocks feature an external "piggyback" reservoir that provides extra space to allow the displaced oil to escape. The extra fluid in the reservoir also reduces heat, allowing smoother oil flow which provides a better ride. The shocks also feature an internal floating piston design with external high- and low-speed compression adjustments and rebound damping. We ordered the G3-S shocks 1/2 inch longer than stock to give us enough travel and keep the frame from scraping even if we incurred any bottoming out at high speeds. $1,550
Another thing we did to stiffen up our soggy stock ride was to add a Superbrace in Denim Black to the fork. Even with the beefy OE 49mm fork tubes already doing a great job, we immediately felt the frontend torsionally tighten up just by clamping on the computer-designed, CNC-machined brace between the top of the two lowers. $200
To add even more ground clearance in the twists and turns of daily riding, we swapped out the stock rubber footpegs for shorter Joker Machine Serrated footpegs. These billet aluminum motocross-style pegs offer better foot support and are lean adjustable with a single Allen key. $185
The first thing we ditched was the saddle-style Street Bob solo seat. After looking for may options, we went with a Le Pera Bare Bones saddle. This seat makes the bike look less bulky and more pared-down over the OE H-D seat. $200
For handlebars, we went with a set of gloss black 10-inch handlebars from West Coast T-Bars. They're built in the USA of top-quality materials and have just the perfect pullback and bend for aggressive riding. By using the 10-inch bars, we didn't need to swap out any cables or brake lines, so it made for an easy upgrade. $235
Wanting a good set of mirrors that conveyed a more hardcore look over the stock versions, we went with a set from Joker Machine. The mirrors are CNC-machined from solid billet and anodized industrial black. We mounted them under the bars, which worked just fine due to Joker's convex mirrors that let you see much more behind you than normal mirrors. We also opted for a set of Joker Machine billet knurled grips, which are surprisingly comfortable even on long rides. $115
We wrapped up the frontend up with an Arlen Ness quarter fairing. The one we purchased is a new twist on the old Ness design. It is made just for 49mm H-D Dyna forks and comes complete with all the needed attachment hardware. Once we had Santini Paint color match it with a generous coat of Denim Black, it went on in minutes with the two fork clamps and headlight relocation bracket provided in the kit. $399 ( after paint)
Breathe In, Breathe Out
The stock Street Bob air cleaner was way too much chrome for what look we were after, so we decided to install a unit that had a meaner look and better sucking power. We opted for the K&N; (model) due to its blacked-out looks and reputed claim of adding at least 10 hp to any Twin Cam-powered bike it is fitted to. $350
Exhausting all of the spent gasses out of the stock pipes just didn't have the note we were looking for, so we chose none other than a Thunderheader 2-into-1 exhaust for a raspy life-saving tone. Before installation, the Thunderheader had been treated to 50 feet of black Accel pipe wrap to keep the temperature down and add to the utilitarian look of the bike. Next issue we'll report on the power this bike makes with the K&N; and Thunderheader when the blacked-out 'Bob gets strapped to a dyno and managed with a TTS Mastertune program. $810
(216) 688-8300 | accel-motorcycle.com
(925) 479-6350 | arlenness.com
Call your local dealer | harley-davidson.com
(909) 596-9690 | jokermachine.com
(800) 858-3333 | knfilters.com
(818) 767-5110 | lepera.com
(951) 279-6655 | racetech.com
Santini Paint & Body
(714) 891-8895 | santiniusa.com
(800) 322-4783 | superbrace.com
(510) 234-7547 | thunderheader.net
West Coast T-Bars
Call your local dealer | westcoast-tbars.com