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About the Time Doom and Gloom Hits the Horizon another Market Blossoms

by Bandit with photos by Wrench

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The Badlands represents the old west and now bikers, due predominately to the 80-year-old Sturgis Rally, Pappy Hoel and Michael Lichter. More brothers and sisters feel the magic in the hills and want to stay. Plus, for outlaw brothers of the wind, this area still represents freedom, and something untouched, for now.

I discovered a new breed of riders in Boulder Canyon in a large open shop. Hidden between pine trees were five Stupid Fast Harley Baggers, a Ducati Panigale and a tricked out 200 mph Kawasaki cop bike.

I just left a digital meeting in Deadwood, with David Zemla from S&S and Bradley from the Indian PR group about the King of the Baggers Race later this year in Laguna Seca. S&S is modifying a new Indian Challenger for this bagger road race against 13 other bikes, all Harleys.

I was intrigued by the race effort, but less than 30 minutes later I met these guys, who were the real deal. They represented where the racing and marketing meets the asphalt. A handful of guys with the moxie and the money to ride from Deadwood to Denver at 140 mph plus.

One of these characters was Eric Herrmann, the 30-year motorcycle artist from Cave Creek, Arizona, who just bought a cop Kawasaki capable of doing over 200. He altered the front fairing and installed a John Shoppe tour pack and rides. “I don’t like working on bikes,” Eric said. “I just wanna ride.”

Gotta have some fun with this...
Gotta have some fun with this...

Joe, a longtime, demolition, concrete and reclamation contractor from Denver, could choose to cut a dusty trail in a leather and burlwood Cadillac Escalade, or a Ferrari. But he’s a biker and his steed of choice is a late model Street Glide or Road Glide modified until it’s Stupid Fast. Except for a recent Ducati purchase, his street weapons of choice have all been Harleys and this is a major statement to the quality of the new Harley Chassis and the M-8 engine.

Joe has worked for several years with Randy from Dakota V-Twin in Spearfish, SD. He jams back and forth from Boulder Canyon, outside Deadwood to Denver and back on a regular basis. That’s just 550 miles due south through some of the best riding terrain and roads this side of the Mississippi.

Randy’s shop is located just 10 miles from Deadwood in Spearfish, SD and is a complete shop offering serious Dyno tunes during the rally. Here’s a menu of his service offerings.

Maintenance and Repair on all Harley Davidson’s and Custom American V-Twins
Big Dog Warranty and Service
Performance engine building, anything from Mild to Wild
Parts and Accessories sales
Dyno Tuning on Fuel Injected and Carbureted on ALL makes of motorcycles
Cylinder Boring
Electrical Diagnostics and Professional Wiring
Winterization and Storage
Crash Repair and Estimates
Custom Paint
Complete Restoration
Tires and Oil Changes
Machining and Custom part fabrication
Complete Detailing

When Joe buys a bike, Randy is on the spot immediately with the performance mods he needs and service work to keep the Stupid Fast Fleet in shape for long distance runs. Let’s take a look at the performance mods to Joe’s bikes:

2016 Street Glide Special

This was originally a 143-inch S&S Twin Cam built by Don Bloom in Denver, and Randy took it to 157 inches of thundering 190 horses and 194 pounds of torque. It’s a wonder you don’t need vice-grips to hold onto the throttle.

D&D is the only company making exhaust systems for this specific engine. And the rest of the driveline needed beefing, with a Baker Grudge Box, 6-speed transmission, Baker clutch and Zipper’s chain rear drive. They added an Ohlins upside down front end, enhanced Brembo brakes, super-light carbon fiber wheels and most of the sheet metal was switched out for carbon fiber.

This puppy is stupid fast. “It feels light and nimble,” Joe said when he compared the handling of the Street Glide to a Road Glide with a fixed fairing.

Joe has over $90,000 into this Harley and loves to pull alongside Eric at 140 mph.

2019 Road Glide Special

Joe had this puppy torn down with only 50 miles on the new clock. This monster rumbles with a 143-inch M-8 engine built by Rick Ward, of Zimmerman, Minnesota, with Rick’s rebuilt and ported heads. Rick installed a Dark Horse crank, welded and balanced. The inches come from Stock barrels bored out with sleeves.

The motor still looks like a stock 107 or 114-inch M-8. “The lower-end is still a stock configuration,” Randy added.

Joe had Brock’s Carbon fiber wheels installed at Randy’s shop. All the body parts minus front fender and gas tank were switched out with Hoffman design carbon fiber units.

They are big fans of Burns stainless tuned exhaust, a tough BDL primary, Saddlemen seat to keep the rider securely in place and a set of stainless locking Twisted Chop floorboards.

He backed up the power base with a Baker Grudge Box, 6-speed transmission and rear chain drive. “The Baker gear set has beefier transmission gears,” Randy added. “We use the factory case.”

Most of his bikes are handling tuned with Ohlins front ends and shocks on the rear. Randy added 484 Radial Brembo brakes, Berringer billet controls, 64 mm Screamin’ Eagle throttle body to match the Rick Ward ported heads. All Ohlins suspension components are ordered configured for rider’s weight.

It puts out 200 horses and 180-190 pounds of torque. The M-8 configuration is capable of massive torque.

He spent just $70,000 on this highway flier.

2016 Street Glide

Next, we discussed his sharp, all-black 2016 Ultra Limited with the Stage 5 kit installed before it rolled out of the showroom floor.

It’s a heavier bike, but still has Brock carbon fiber wheels for reduced rolling weight. Like most of his bikes it is equipped with Brembo radial brakes and Ohlins suspension. More solid and stable caliper mounting. The exhaust is custom D&D, the trans is stock 6-speed and the engine is 110 inches. It took the high $40,000 mark to make it fly.

I asked about Joe’s tire selection and he told me they use 173 mph plus, soft Dunlop Sport Max tires. “They don’t last long, but they grip,” Randy said. “Joe has even blown them out.”

They always use Zipper’s rear chain drive kits with 530 heavy duty O-ring chains.

2010 Twin Cam Street Glide

The older bike of the team is a 2010 Twin Cam Street Glide with a Trask Turbo. The engine is a mild 107-inch. It doesn’t have the high-performance wheels, but Andrews gears in the transmission. Now it has CP pistons and will spin to 6259 rpm. “Turbo adds weight and heat,” Randy commented.

The front billet aluminum wheel looks to be Metal Sport, coupled with a stock rear wheel. This is still Eric Herrmann’s favorite bike because of the high revving Trask turbo, which might be a more efficient fit on the Twin Cam because of the improved pushrod angle.

We didn’t talk about money this time around.

2018 Road Glide

Finally, we studied his 2018 Road Glide, with a smaller engine, but it still puts out 160 horses coupled to a Baker Trans and to the road with carbon fiber wheels. This is Joe’s smooth-running bike capable of long, vibration-free runs from the Badlands to Denver.

George Vise originally built the 124-inch engine. Randy recently took it to 128-inches.
He used the S&S big bore kit. He had the lower-end fully balanced and welded by Dark Horse. He removed the counter-balance, which he handles on all M-8s. The pieces only come to 3 pounds, but it removes rotating mass. Can’t tell the difference, vibration wise with the balanced lower-end.

The S&S kit comes with bigger pistons and cylinders, cam chest and oil pump. Randy used a Rick Ward 550 max horsepower cam.

It also has a Burns stainless steel tuned exhaust, Zipper’s No-Loss air cleaner and a stock primary with an AIM lock-up clutch. Front suspension is still Ohlins and a couple of his bikes sport a comfortable CVO seat.

He likes the TT bars configuration but uses a set-back plate to bring the bars closer to the rider by 1.5 inches. This bike ran him just over $60,000.

That’s not all. Joe has a restored Knucklehead with a matching sidecar and two restored Panheads. He owns a big wheeled bagger that’s not used much anymore, a Harley from the ‘20s is in his living room and recently he was blown away by the new 2020 Ducati V4R Panigale. It weighs just 386 pounds and pumps out 214 horses and 91.5 foot-pound of torque. It redlines at over 19,000 rpm. He dropped a mere $40,000 into it, but had the dealer install a $6,800 aftermarket exhaust system before he rolled it out of the lot.

“They told me not to mess with the computer systems until I got adjusted to the bike,” Joe added. It has nine operating systems, including a wheelie-control computer and is stupid fast to say the least.

Let me know what you think of his Stupid Fast Fleet.



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(605) 717-0009



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Imogen wearing our new Women's Pit Crew Ballistic Nylon Vest. Click for the latest.
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