Unnaturally Aspirated Softail

Story By Johnny Pants Photos By Jack “Turbo Lad” Cofano
2018-06-12 13:21:31 Published in Feature Bikes

Lately there’s been a return to wholesome natural foods and it probably is a good thing although we’ve got to wait a generation or two to see if it’s actually true. I won’t be part of this social experiment as I like my food unnatural and my bikes the same way. All it took was one ride on a turbo’d Harley and I was sold on the wholesome goodness of excessive horsepower courtesy of unnatural aspiration. That was the healthiest Harley-Davidson I had ever ridden so I rest my case of regular old nature versus forced induction. Yeah, it may not be good, so the experts say, to stuff yourself, but stuffing your Twin Cam engine with turbo is excellent and good for you too.

And, that’s exactly what we’ve got here with this custom Fat Boy that rings all my bells. Personally, I’m not as much into radical unrideable customs as a well-done modified stocker that ramps things up both cosmetically and performance-wise. I love still seeing the stock profile that’s been tweaked so you know it’s special, but still what it is. That takes a great bit of talent to pull that off and still be wonderfully interesting to both look at and ride. This former Fat Boy has it all going on in the engine bay and it looks the custom biz too while still being something you can take for a weekend ride if you feel like it.


   Even though this baby looks like a nice enough Softail custom, there’s a lot that went into it that takes it to a whole ‘nother level. For instance, you probably noticed that this bike is sitting about as absolutely low as any motorcycle ever can and there’s no side stand like every other Harley you see. That’s because it’s been modified into a lay-frame version of the stock frame with air suspension front and rear along with a trick swingarm to boot. Looks wicked cool sitting there parked upright, but with a touch of a button, the suspension wakes up and jumps to attention with a ride height like any other Softail. It’s a cool way to have your custom cake and be able to eat it too.


   If you notice the rear fender, it’s very Rocker-like directly attached to the swingarm and that keeps the distance between the rear wheel and fender the same whether pumped up or not. Everybody seems to like to lower their Fat Boys to try and emulate this look. But, on a stocker you’re only going to get one position so it’s always a compromise unless you just say screw it and lower it to cut the fender gap so much there’s no ride or handling left. Not so here. Up front, what appears to be a stock Fat Boy front end with its beautifully huge headlight looks so right as is and keeps the factory profile intact.


    Running gear is surprisingly simple and yet totally effective while shedding the hefty look of the stock solid FLSTF wheels. Personally, I really like the look of laced wheels in stock sizes over those plain stockers. The fenderless front end emphasizes the fat tire look while adding a touch of hot rod sportiness to the package. Nice stock Harley disc brakes blend into the somewhat muted look while providing better than stock performance with an always good upgrade to braided lines instead of rubber. These are all sensible mods that give it its own look while enhancing its on-road performance. The builder made some smart choices here that show they have an eye for both style and practicality. Spending thousands on trick brakes was unnecessary and may have detracted from the finished result.


  Of course, it’s the built-up Twin Cam sporting Screamin’ Eagle parts along with a non-intercooled turbo that grabs your eye when you first see this ride. Figure this engine is probably good for about 150 horsepower at the rear wheel and that’s nothing to sneeze at especially when your hand is the one twisting the throttle. One slight twist and you’re gone like being shot out of a cannon. I’ve never ever wanted to be shot out of a cannon, but I would pull the trigger on this cannon and smile while doing it.


    Maybe it’s just me, but I love all the details like the Rocker-like seat that gives your butt something to push against when the bike is pushing against you staying onboard. The mini-apes might take a little bit of getting used to with this kind of power at your beck and call. But, they sure bring on the attitude as they always do and this build is all about attitude as far as I’m concerned. Even the floorboards were kept and that appeals to me as I’m a floorboard freak. I love the look of them and the ability to move around on them too.


   The final finish chosen makes this bike. It’s black with black and some more black along with a complete lack of respect for the chrome industry. Black wheels, engine, frame, bodywork and black whatever else you see is right up my black alley. It’s a timeless look that won’t be considered trendy in the future as all black is so Harley traditional as well as chrome. The builder let the overall look of this turbo hot rod stand loud and proud without the tiniest spot of bling to detract from the tough guy appearance. I don’t know about you, but this look is about as close to perfect as I have experienced in a Softail with the added benefit of outstanding performance and practicality too. For me, I would ride the hell out of this and thoroughly enjoy every single minute onboard. You can’t ask for too much more out of a custom Softail and if you did, I couldn’t even fathom what that would be. Kudos to the builder for a job well done.

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