Honestly, I don't know what to call these bikes. Obviously not choppers and God forbid someone call one a bobber. I'll settle for "Club Style" since the first ones I noticed were ridden by certain 1%er club members. Those early ones were FXR's, but have since evolved into Harley's venerable Dyna. Since the hit TV show Sons of Malarky came out it seems like the things are everywhere. In Daytona earlier this year, Roadside Marty had the only one that I noticed. Otherwise, it appeared that the trend hadn't taken off with the fervor that is has here in California. Since several guys I know have either sold off their choppers entirely or added a Club Style Dyna to their stable of bikes, I figured it would be good to look into the formula. Chop Cult member H8TR just dumped a fortune into his, and it looks the business.
The evolution of the Club Style bike is something I'll have to speculate on, I'm surely no expert on the subject and if you have science to share feel free to add comments at the bottom of this article. As I imagine it, law enforcement probably used modern vehicle code violations to help put an end to outlaws riding choppers. OK, maybe not an end, but riders had to feel the weight of new requirements; turn signals, helmets, baffled-pipes and all the things good choppers generally don't have. So while enthusiasts can get away with getting a fix-it ticket or a little harassment here and there, a real outlaw wants to avoid contact with the law as much as possible. I would imagine the same theory could be applied to the old bike thing–who wants to wait on the dude with the cranky magneto when some important shit is going down and you could just have a push-button and get the hell out of Dodge? Enter the FXR. I'm a nerd, not an outlaw, but I happen to love mine, and I know several other guys who do too. At the time, the FXR's frame, rubber-mounted engine and other Eric Buell designs were revolutionary and looked different enough from a regular HD that the Motor Company eventually quit making them entirely. But, on this platform the formula for a modern hot rod club bike was born. Fast, good handling, reliable and easily modified for more performance. Small fairings and other pro-street elements made their way onto a lot of FXR's in the 80's and 90's and it's no surprise that the best looking bits of the pro-street days continued onto the Dynas, though thankfully they are usually black and subdued rather than the garish paint from a couple decades ago.
So, what makes a "Club Style" bike these days? In broad strokes I'd say this is the list: Dyna FXDX with gauges intact, Thunderheader, performance mods, tall risers with low bars, fairing, steering stabilizer, seat with some kick in the back and as much black as possible. In theory, every modification must be rooted in something practical or performance-oriented, nothing superfluous – and therein lies the beauty of these bikes. Even the fantasy outlaw scenario of "I don't know, it was an all-black bike, dude had on an all-black full-face helmet" makes it possible raise hell with a certain amount of anonymity. I will reserve judgement on the riders of these bikes, surely some are legit badasses and some just like to play dress-up, but either way the machines built in this purposeful style are fast, fun and look tough as nails.
I nailed down h8tr right after he got his bike back from Mackie up in Ventura. He made me ride it. He's a big guy, so who am I to say decline? I love railing around like a crackhead on my FXR but this Dyna will stomp my mostly stock 80" in a heartbeat. This particular Dyna sits a little high for me, but like I said, h8tr's a large dude and it fits him perfectly. The tall risers would take some getting used to for me, and honestly, I don't get the point of these much. A lower bar seems more performance oriented and fits through tight traffic easier. Is there a legit reason for the height? I get the tall risers and flat bars, with apes this size they would be wider and slip in the risers under heavy cornering. Other than one simple ergonomic complaint, this machine is glorious to ride. Full throttle runs will loft the tire easily and for a heavy bike the suspension and brakes feel up to the task. Over 90mph, the tail wags a bit, but h8tr's already got plans to get that dialed.
Bike name: The War Pig
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 2005 Dyna FXDXI, 95" Dave Mackie Engineering Mega-sphere heads and pistons, ported and polished heads, Mackie 590 gear drive cams, Fueling cam plate, Fueling oil pump, Fueling beehive valve springs, compression release valves, 48mm throttle body, zippers backing plate and air filter assembly, TTS Mastertuner, ceramic coated Thunderheader, Primo Rivera Pro Clutch. It's putting out 116 HP, 114 TQ.
Fork: 39mm hydraulic with Race Tech heavy duty springs and Gold Valve Emulators, adjustable for compression, damping and rebound.
Tire/wheel size and style: Stock mags (19 front, 16 rear) powder coated black, Metzler 880's front and rear.
Favorite thing about this bike: It's reliable, it's fun, it starts when I want it to.
Next modification will be: Sputhe or True-track chassis stabilizer.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Works Suspension dual rate rear shocks; Alth full foating rotors front and rear; over sized (13.5) rotors in the front.
I bought this bike after I sold my 1980 Shovel (see current issue of Greasy Kulture). I wanted something that would start and ride easily. My buddy, Mike D from Blotto Parts had an FXDX and loved it. So, I hunted around until I found a good base bike and went from there. It's a bike built for a purpose, a utility... beat it, thrash it, ride it hard and fast and whenever I want to. It's really fun to ride, it's loud and fast and does wheelies. Mike D sold his FXDX two days after I got this back from Dave Mackie, so now you'll see me cruising with a sexy red Ducati Hypermotard. Kind of an odd pair, but it seems fitting.
Mike D - www.blottoparts.blogspot.com
Dave Mackie Engineering, ask for Monty - www.davemackie.com
And, of course my wife and kids for the patience and understanding.