Don Kates

Vintage Paint Meets Modern Road Glide

Harley-Davidson of Quantico redefines old school in custom paint

Custom painting a bagger is never easy, but this one kicks the difficulty factor up a notch. See, whenever you go to put pigment to a touring bike, it’s like painting a 3-D jigsaw puzzle with giant pieces. Unless you want the paint job to suck, the graphics in one part have to match up with the other painted pieces next to it. Since most of us don’t care much for ugly paint outside of a rat rod, making sure the puzzle pieces work well from the fenders to the tanks, covers, and bags is a pretty big deal. The crew at Harley-Davidson of Quantico understands how much an amazing paint scheme can really set off a bike, and so they went into this old-timey paint job armed with that knowledge.

harley-davidson custom painted bagger

Arthur Davidson and William S. Harley gettin' tanked.

Don Kates

Harley-Davidson of Quantico is a franchised Harley dealership that builds around 75 custom bikes a year. With that kind of custom business coming in, they’re always looking for paint ideas. So when H-D of Quantico’s Ken Barner decided to build his 2017 Road Glide into a killer custom job, he contacted his go-to painter Brian Morgan and told him, “I want to raise the bar on this build.”

“Give me a few days,” Brian responded. “I have an idea.”

harley-davidson custom painted bagger

With Walter Davidson on the other side.

Don Kates

Time passed. Within a few days Brian called Ken and pitched him on the idea of “old-time historic paint job meets modern tech” Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Now by “old-time” I don’t mean a 1970s or 1960s retro chopper look. Think older than that. Like, pre-motorcycle level older. Got it in your head? Good. Now you’re in the ballpark of what Brian had in mind.

harley-davidson custom painted bagger

Racers were pretty cheeky back in the day.

Don Kates

Ken and the painters threw several ideas at each other with that overall theme in mind. They wanted to cover as much of the history as they could fit on one motorcycle. The bike in question being a bagger, there was a double-edged sword at work. On the one, dressers have more bodywork to work with, giving the paint shop the most canvas on which to cram all that art. On the other, like I talked about above, all of that paintwork had to fit beautifully with the other pieces of the sheet-metal puzzle.

harley-davidson custom painted bagger

Painters Brian Morgan and Danny Robledo did a tremendous job capturing the look and feel of Harley-Davidson's early days.

Don Kates

It wasn’t easy and it took a long time. “There is roughly three months’ work just in the airbrushing on this bike,” Ken says. “Being a franchised Harley dealer we figured this bike would be perfect to display on the showroom floor. We are in a very historic area of Virginia.”

harley-davidson custom painted bagger

Harley-Davidson's founders sit atop a Milwaukee-Eight motor. Famed H-D racers Ralph Hepburn and Shrimp Burns.

Don Kates

harley-davidson custom painted bagger

Harley-Davidson of Quantico's rolling tribute to history.

Don Kates


Spec Sheet

Bike Owner Ken Barner
Shop Name Harley-Davidson of Quantico
Shop Phone (703) 221-3757
Shop website
Year/Make/Model 2017/Harley-Davidson/Road Glide Special
Fabrication Harley-Davidson of Quantico
Assembly Harley-Davidson of Quantico
Build Time 3 months



Year/Manufacturer 2017/Harley-Davidson
Type/Size Twin Cam Stage 4/114 in.
Builder Harley-Davidson of Quantico
Cases H-D
Cylinders H-D
Heads H-D, CNC ported
Rocker Boxes H-D
EFI/Carb Screamin’ Eagle 62mm throttle body
Air Cleaner Screamin’ Eagle heavy breather
Exhaust Freedom Performance



Year/Manufacturer/type 2017/H-D/6-speed
Case H-D
Clutch Screamin’ Eagle
Primary Drive H-D



Year/Manufacturer 2017/H-D with MC bagger bolt-on rake kit
Rake 38°
Stretch None



Manufacturer Front Dirty Air
Length Stock
Triple Trees MC Bagger
Manufacturer Rear Dirty Air
Swingarm H-D


Wheels, Tires, and Brakes

Manufacturer Front RC Components
Height/Width 26 x 3 in.
Tire/Size Metzeler 120/55/26
Caliper H-D
Rotor RC Components
Manufacturer Rear RC Components
Height/Width 16 x 5.5 in.
Tire/Size 180/65/16
Caliper H-D
Rotor RC Components



Color Dakota Bronze Mica
Painter Brian Morgan at BKP Art
Graphics Danny Robledo at BKP Art



Front Fender RC Components
Rear Fender Top Shop Black Death
Fender Struts H-D
Gas Tank & Cap Top Shop Money Maker
Oil Tank H-D
Handlebars H-D
Hand Controls H-D
Foot Controls H-D
Footpegs H-D
Headlight H-D
Taillight CVO
License Mount Top Shop
Seat James Carter Seats
Saddlebags Top Shop Black Death
Saddlebag Latches Top Shop billet
Audio H-D Stage 2 Boom audio with Kicker 8-in. subwoofer mounted in Tour-Pak