Friday, February 29, 2008

Still Cool After All These Years

This is my buddy Scott’s bike, cool huh? But Scotty is pissed off. Why is Scotty so PO’ed? Look a little closer, Scott’s bike looks just like a Harley Davidson Street Glide. Wrong! And that is why he’s pissed.

Scott’s bike does not look like a Street Glide, a Street Glide looks just like Scott’s bike. Therein is the tale. Scott’s bike is a 1996 Electra Glide Standard. A 1996 has an Evolution motor. The Street Glide was not “invented” by Harley Davidson till 2006 and has a Twin Cam motor.
Scott’s bike was at the vanguard of the “bagger” revolution. The bagger revolution was when the collective consciousness of the biker world changed. Before Scotty finished building his bike all Electra Glides were known as Geezer Glides. Old men rode them, and customizing them meant adding all the chrome and running lights that could be fitted. This type of bike was called a Dresser or more appropriately a Full Dresser.
With the Evolution motor Harley moved a giant step forward. Harley knew the motor had to be completely reliable and absolutely leak proof. They succeeded. Former chopper guys began to realize the utility of saddle bags and a windshield. But every hot rodder has to customize, it’s in their blood. So where would these guys find fulfillment. Not in the gaudy, over chromed, over lighted and overdone full dresser. These guys dechromed, lowered and simplified the lines of the Electra Glide to make what I call an art deco masterpiece.
Look closely at Scott’s bike, you will see that he got rid of the over stuffed seat, chopped down the windshield and put on a front fender without chrome. There are dozens of custom changes that Scotty did to his bike and that brings us back to why Scotty is not happy. Scotty’s bike was very cool and very unique, you rarely saw anything like it. I was so impressed that when I bought my Electra Glide Standard that was the direction I wanted to take my bike. But I wasn’t the only one, and Harley soon recognized this and now Scotty’s bike is just like a zillion others. Do you understand why he’s not too happy?

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