They say timing is everything. Back in November 2003 I took delivery of an ’04 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard. As luck would have it, the move to a touring bike had been made just as “bagger madness” was about to sweep the nation. Tongue firmly in cheek, I christened her the Geezer Glide and the FLHT became a very unofficial Thunder Press test sled for a series of big bike changes and upgrades.
But, as the man said, that was then and this is now. These days, touring bikes are literally everywhere. And they’re not confined to just taking Mom and Pop on a two-wheeled vacation. Today’s baggers are not necessarily your daddy’s two-wheeled land yachts. When a slammed, bitchin’ bagger isn’t walking off with a big-time best-of-show trophy, another hopped-up touring unit has left the Interstate and is out on the Salt Flats hauling ass and setting records.
Where does this leave the venerable Geezer Glide? Frankly, with more than 70,000 miles under the old girl’s skirts, she needs and deserves a bit of a spiff-up if she’s going to keep up appearances among the growing bevy of stylish baggers on the streets today. Some bolt-on bling seemed the way to go. And, if the bling things improved how the Geezer Glide works, so much the better.
For a jump-start on the style front, we turned to the good folks at Billet Boys in nearby Danville, California. Charlie Stewart and the Billet Boys crew have an ever-expanding line of bike trim, lighting, wheels, grips, hubs and other upgrades for your Harley, touring or not. We grabbed the Billet Boys’ new lay-down styled LED taillight, rear turn signal mount kit, and chrome license plate frame. For good measure, Charlie tossed in one of their popular inner primary trim pieces.
To ensure that the installations were done right, we headed down to Lodi and My Evil Twin Choppers. Shop owner JP, an award-winning custom bike builder, and his staff know their way around a wrench. According to JP, My Evil Twin carries parts and apparel, and services all manner of V-Twin rides. (More information is available at www.my eviltwinchoppers.com or by calling 209.369.8529.)
Because the Billet Boys’ lighting assemblies come with fully assembled factory-type wiring connectors, hooking up the new units was a pretty simple task for JP and crew. With the butt-ugly stock items removed, the newly installed spiffy Billet Boys parts really cleaned up the Geezer Glide’s rear fender.
But good looks were only half the bargain: When JP squeezed the bike’s brake lever, the new LED taillight lit up like a five-alarm fire. The upgraded Billet Boys turn signal assembly, while much better proportioned to the bike (we mean lots smaller), nevertheless outshone the factory setup by a wide margin. Nice looks and improved function are always nice to have in one package.
According to Charlie, all of Billet Boys’ light assemblies feature their Xtra-Brite LEDs “that are four times brighter than any others.” Made in the USA, the taillights and license plate frames come in various styles that can include a combination of running, brake, and turn signal lights.