Some of our readers here at MD post they’d like to see a Harley-Davidson that, from their anti-cruiser perspective, not only looks good, but handles and goes well, too. Problem is, H-D doesn’t usually do very well on the sales floor with high-performance models like the V-Rod and XR1200X, which make up around a single digit percentage of total sales. If you want the mythical handling and performance these jaded readers want from Milwaukee iron, you have to spend some time modifying a stock bike, especially if it’s big Twin power and torque you crave.
So imagine the surprise and hope stirred up when a certain post popped up on the XR1200 riders forum. An XR owner in Holland claimed a local dealer had just uncrated a 2013 FXDX — big news, as H-D hadn’t made an FXDX since 2005. AKA the Dyna Super Glide Sport, the 1999-2005 FXDX was the twin-shock Dyna frame with a Twin Cam 88 motor, adjustable Showa suspension and dual front disc brakes with four-piston calipers.
The alleged 2013 FXDX looked enough like a factory product to fool at least one blogger, if not more. Not only did the fit, finish and design of the bike resemble a freshly built H-D, but the dealership — West Coast Motors in Alkmaar, Holland — packed the bike for shipment in an actual H-D packing crate, complete with quality-assurance stickers, dunnage and VIN labels on the crate. The friendly local XR owner, Richard Van Laar, snapped photos of the bike as it was being “unpacked,” as well as additional photos of the bike on the showroom floor.
Photos of the bike showed us something intriguing, if imaginary. The front end is quite plainly the large-diameter inverted Showa fork from the XR1200, complete with the 292mm brake discs and four-piston calipers and steel brake lines. A snazzy chin spoiler provides subtle good looks to the bike’s underbelly. In back, what looks like Öhlins shocks — longer than stock — provide a better (and fully adjustable) ride as well as more cornering clearance, and they’re bolted to an XR1200 cast-aluminum swingarm. The stock Super Glide dual exhaust has been ditched for a two-into-one system with a sportbike-style muffler with a plain aluminum finish. If it’s a fake, it’s pretty convincing, but when MD reader Randy D. pointed it out to us on an H-D discussion forum, other forum participants noted the fact that there were two VINs on the crate (one a 2013, one older), plus a label for the 96 cubic-inch motor on the air cleaner — suspicious when H-D told us last year the 103 motor is going in all the new big Twin models (a few carryover models excepted).
So we fired a quick email to H-D Media Relations Manager Jennifer Hoyer. “Just a dealership trying to get attention … and it worked. A hoax.” She also told us categorically there is no 2013 FXDX—period. So it was a clever custom build.
Who did it and why? A call to West Coast Motors was answered by the builder himself, Bas Leek. When he set about building himself a sweet-handling Dyna ready for high-speed European roads, he wanted it to look like a factory ride: “I don’t like aftermarket parts,” he told me in almost-perfect English. So the goal was to build a bike that looked like it rolled out of an H-D assembly plant. A stock XR1200 front end was grafted to the front, but the rear swingarm was more work — it was welded and modded by a local machine shop (where Bas worked while he was in college), converting it to work with the right-side brake and left-side belt of the Dyna. It was then powder coated to look like a factory finish. The swingarm got bolted to a set of modified fully-adjustable Öhlins dual shocks, with reservoirs removed to give the bike a more factory look.
The finishing touch is the Akrapovic (say “Ah-craw-paw-vitch, but don’t feel bad — Bas pronounced it wrong too) exhaust, cleverly finished to look like a stock item. It’s loud and makes good power — Bas expects to see over 100 horsepower on the dyno — but it also has an optional quiet insert to avoid trouble with the authorities when he takes it touring this summer.
But why post it to his Facebook page as a stock bike? He told me that he was “making a little bit of an April Fool’s joke,” but he also wanted to “see if people are liking something like this … we’d love to see it come from the MoCo.”
We would too! An MD tip of the hat to Bas and his crew at West Coast Motors for a job well done.