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Murray Baxter's Softail

 

Murray Baxter does his own thing his own way, and his motorcycle proves it. When shovelheads with no front brake, a Bates seat and metal flake paint were are all the rage, Murray built a softail S&S Evo with no rear stoppers and a flat Van Halen paintjob. Original thinking like that is why Murray's bike looks so good despite having a parts list that sounds less than desirable. If you go to events in California you've undoubtedly seen this dirty slut (the bike, not Murray!) hanging out as far away from the bike show as possible.

I asked Murray to explain why he chose a softy and what he's done to run that fender and sissy bar combo like that. Here's what he had to say:

Hey Bill, here we go... my little metal worker wife and I made the sissy & strut combo. the tall bar can be taken on and off super easy without removing the fender strap. Fender is welded to the triangle swingarm and moves with the wheel. Whole set up only gets about 1/2" or less of travel because i cranked it down and lowered it quite a bit. Have always ran a rigid mounted seat so the bike rides very close to a rigid frame bike. Let's face it Softails are not something you seek out and build. I'm building another motorcycle right now that has a rigid frame. lighter weight, simpler looking and cheap. This is a motorcycle I've had since 2003. Started as a Big Mike's Chopper that i got a screaming deal on new. first day i went in the garage and sanded off the glossy flame paint job and rattled it black. the only thing left from that original thing is the front section of the frame. I replaced the motor, tranny, wheels, front end, switched to chain drive, belt clutch, suicide shifter, brake, mid controls, seat, fender, gastank, pipes, lights, everything over the years.
I wanted to see if I could make a Softail 'good lookin.' I think I achieved it. That's why I call her the Slutty Softail. She's HOT, but a little rough around the edges, and I admit slightly out of style. but i don't give a fuck. Typical rock & roll groupie slut ya know. she rides great despite all the claims of bad handling. Of course if my goal was an awesome handling bike I would have Ducati touring sport motorcycle or something. I don't subscribe to trends with anything. Never have and never will, including my motorcycle dreams. Don't get me wrong I love old Iron and the history and the real worn in neat stuff. I certainly do believe the way the Japanese have stereo-typically modified the old American motorcycles is the raddest looking shit to me. All dingey and detailed in the most wacky ways. Not period correct or styled like the actual old vintage choppers. plus they ride em all the fuck over the place. obsessed i think. ha

My little metal worker wife and I made the sissy and strut combo. The tall bar can be taken on and off super easy without removing the fender strap. The rear fender is welded to the triangle swingarm and moves with the wheel. The whole set-up only gets about a half-inch of travel because I cranked it down and lowered it quite a bit. I have always run a rigid-mounted seat so the bike feels like a rigid. Let's face it: Softails are not something you seek out and build. I'm building another motorcycle right now that has a rigid frame. Lighter, simpler looking and cheap. This is a motorcycle I've had since 2003. It started as a Big Mike's Chopper that I got a screaming deal on new. On the first day I went in the garage and sanded off the glossy flame paint job and rattled it black. The only thing left from that original thing is the front section of the frame. Over the years I've replaced everything: the motor, tranny, wheels, front end, switched to chain drive, belt clutch, suicide shifter, brake, mid controls, seat, fender, gastank, pipes, lights, you name it.


I wanted to see if I could make a Softail look good. I think I achieved it. I don't subscribe to trends with anything. Never have and never will, including my motorcycle dreams. Don't get me wrong—I love old iron and the history and the real worn-in neat stuff. That's why I call her the Slutty Softail. She's hot, but a little rough around the edges, and I admit slightly out of style. But I don't give a fuck. She rides great despite all the claims of bad handling. Of course if my goal was an awesome handling bike I would have a Ducati touring sport motorcycle or something.

 

 

Owner:  Murray Baxter

Location: Costa Mesa, CA

Bike name: VH2: The Slutty Softail

Engine: '03 S&S 113 c.i.

Frame: BMC

Fork: Narrowglide. I shaved her legs. The bushy hair never grew back. It's amazing!

Tire/wheel size and style: Shinkos: 5.00/16 Classic & 3.00/21 Trials

Favorite thing about this bike: She runs killer

Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Original German WWII dress bayonet. AfterHours Titmouse taillight, Benchmark Evo breathers, FMA velo stack, La Briola suicide, Baxter grips, Baxter clamp, custom old seat, custom sissy bar/fender strut combo, custom bars, custom mids

Any building or riding story or info: Cross Country in seven 400-mile days consecutively in the rain

Thanks to: 

Biltwellinc.com

Lowbrowcustoms.com

AfterHoursChoppers.com

LicksCycles.com

Rouserworks.blogspot.com

LillianRoseChoppers.com

Old-Stf.com

Dicemagazine.com

CroCustoms.com

StreetChopperWeb.com

www.baxtermotorcycle.com


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Comment with Chopcult (34)

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 12:32 pm
 

A little to the left. I like it.

C

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 02:00 pm
 

ooo baby i like it raw, yeah baby i like it raw!

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 02:51 pm
 

fuckin slick!

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 03:57 pm
 

Sweetness.

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 04:05 pm
 

No rear brakes... Murray, your nuts! See you in the spring.

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 04:42 pm
 

Not that I'd want a bike with no rear brakes but when you give it some thought, removing the rear brake might be the smartest thing a lot of riders could do.

Seems like every used bike I buy has worn out rear brakes and like new front brakes. That tells me its previous rider didn't know much about stopping. Rear brakes will hurt you far quicker than front brakes-- especially on a chopper.

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 04:54 pm
 

I love this bike!

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 05:42 pm
 

perfection

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 06:06 pm
 

Murr is one burly, sexy man! I love it when he rides the hell out that bike of his.

One of the few that ventures north from the Orange current, and we love him for that.

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 06:09 pm
 

Cool bike and he and his wife are some cool people. Over the last year or so I've met some very cool people through the ChopCult smaller events.

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 07:49 pm
 

that bike is sweet

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 09:57 pm
 

I've seen this bike in the background of a lot pics on this site and its always caught my eye.

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 11:06 pm
 

STS forever

Commented on 1-24-2011 At 11:54 pm
 

i dig it and those s&s 113's scream

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 12:38 am
 

Murray is one cool guy. met him at the philo. im sure he knows i dig his bike.

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 01:21 am
 

Better no rear than no front, I'd think.
Except at very slow speeds.
OTOH, I don't have anything with as much rake as this bike..

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 02:32 am
 

tiny naked ladies made of metal? sold.

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 03:29 am
 

That sissy/fender strut combo would hold an elephant, I like it. In theory it is better to have no rear brake but it seems so odd to me. Let's face it many a flat tracker has no brakes and those dudes are pushing it to the limit with danger looking down on them at all times. Nice clean build in my opinion.

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 04:23 am
 

great stance!

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 05:46 am
 

Hands down top notch!!!!!

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 07:05 am
 

Always wanted to see the details on this bike, love every bit of it. Great bike and great grips!

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 02:12 pm
 

Bout time! I've been waiting for someone to cover his bike! Super cool guy,

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 08:43 pm
 

I saw this bike at Slab City and it's just as cool in person.

Commented on 1-25-2011 At 11:28 pm
 

Murray rules! hi Murray....

Commented on 1-26-2011 At 01:14 am
 

thanks very much to everyone for the nice words!
Hi Dan.

Commented on 1-26-2011 At 01:14 am
 

Cool man... I dig it.

Commented on 1-26-2011 At 04:25 am
 

That's been a fav for a while.

Commented on 1-26-2011 At 06:23 am
 

That is one tuff looking softie . . . love it.

Commented on 1-27-2011 At 07:05 pm
 

Very cool, Murray is one of the dudes I'd ride with for sure. He does it his way, period. On the way to the East Coast he decided he wanted one of the titmouse taillights and we put it on his bike that night on the motel room floor....done. He changed my mind on chopped softails 'cause he did it right and didn't give a fuck about what the rest of us were doing.

Commented on 1-28-2011 At 02:17 am
 

I have ridden with Murray several times, you would never know he didn't have a rear brake, the crazy bastard!

Commented on 2-1-2011 At 03:46 am
 

Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, fucking sweet...trends n what not be damned, this bike is koolsville....

Commented on 2-1-2011 At 08:38 pm
 

I wish everyone would see the potential in a softail, as much as the owner of this one did. There would be alot less gross bikes on the road.

Commented on 2-8-2011 At 08:29 pm
 

Murray is one cool dude, I dig his Van Halen softy... what a vision that guy.

Commented on 2-3-2012 At 07:31 am
 

that german bayonet shifter is bad ass, that is a sweet softail!

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