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Coupled to a Daytona 75th Cross-Country Twice Blast

By Bandit with photos by Peter Linney and Micah


Micah McCloskey Owned Micah McCloskey’s Custom Motorcycles from 1979 until 2013. He’s a good shit to work with, a long-time member of the hard-riding Ugly MC, a performance motorcyclist and racing freak. During his time running a shop, he got to ride anything and everything.

Micah said he saw Indians everywhere.
Micah said he saw Indians everywhere.

He rode a wild highbar 1940 Indian Chief for 30 years until a San Fernando Valley Hells Angel introduced him to FXRs. “I felt 16 again,” Micah said and immediately rode to Beatty, Nevada on a whorehouse run on his first FXR. He made FXRs sing for several decades. Hell, Micah and I raced through lots of canyons over the years.

Micah was the assistant crew chief of EASYRIDER Streamliner 1989 and 1990. “l built the motors that eventually set the LSR of 322.150 mph,” Micah said. “Keith Ruxton built two motors also, but we burned ‘em up dialing in the timing, air/fuel and nitro percentage.” He drag-raced a 101-inch FXR in the ‘90s with AHDRA and South West HDRA. Long-distance event runs included four California 1000s in the ‘70s and the 3-Flags Classic in 1976 (first finisher) and 1977. “All on my 1940 Indian Chief (still have it).”
"He assembled the Easyriders liner engines," Keith Ruxton said, "With the components I had machined to be exactly the same as mine. That's the rule. And I handled the tuning. Just don't call Micah 'Nitro Breath.'"  

Then in 1999, Andy Hansen rode up to his shop on a 1999 Road Glide. Andy was a friend of mine since Navy days on the USS Maddox in 1970, when we were newbies to the chopper world. I helped him kick off H.E.S. Performance products in the ‘70s.

“You’ve got to ride this bastard,” Andy said and Micah straddled the Road Glide. In a flash, he was back and his life changed once more for the frame-mounted fairing configuration.

“I have always been into building performance rides,” Micah said. “That means stability, handling, braking and power.” Micah grabbed an ’01 Road Glide, did his thing and peeled through 94,000 miles.

In the meantime, Andy Hansen died while with a hooker. The pimp dragged his body into the street to avoid the connection. “But the story surfaced,” Micah said.

Micah ain’t innocent. His shop was originally owned by Gary Bang, who is boot-tough and rattlesnake-mean, but Micah pushed him out of town, north to Paso Robles, where he has a Harley dealership today. I asked him if he’s still tough. “Fuckin’-A,” he says, “but not as tough as Micah.”

One of the toughest bastards in the Satan Slave MC-controlled San Fernando Valley, Joe Scarber, took over the shop and Micah worked for him until he could send Joe packing and took control of the facility in 1979.

Smiling faces of New Orleans.
Smiling faces of New Orleans.

The streets of the Valley were riddled with gangsters, deviates, and chopper riders from hell. David Mann often crept into the Valley for madmen art subjects.

A couple of years later, Micah bought an ’03 Road Glide but stripped the sheet metal and front fender off the ’01 and mounted it to his new ride. “I couldn’t give up the Gambler front fender or the flames by Vince at Doug’s Customs,” Micah said. Vince recently opened his own shop called Conejo Valley Auto Body with his son, Vince Jr. “He is the absolute best at traditional Hot Rod Flames.”

I mentioned mild in the title because his recent 2016 Road Glide Special is not heavily modified, but Micah immediately turned to Vince for flames. He installed mid-range cams, and a local shop milled and ported the heads, while installing oversized intake valves. Micah hooked up a TTS ignition module, communications interface, tuner device and stepped Vance and Hines Pro Pipes. He touched it off with an S&S air cleaner backing plate and filter, then hid the action with a stock H-D round air cleaner cover. Gotta watch out for the EPA. He basically didn’t mess with the stock 103-inch engine.

From the Left, Harry, the Famous Ray, Micah, and so-so photographer, Michael Lichter, somewhere in Daytona.
From the Left, Harry, the Famous Ray, Micah, and so-so photographer, Michael Lichter, somewhere in Daytona.

When I mentioned handling and bagger sway, he started to bark about some aftermarket products. I backed off. “We tested the stock rear shocks shortly after I bought it,” Micah said. “They only had 1.5 inches of travel and after I sat on it, it was down to a ½ inch, with only air adjust on one shock. No good; it bottomed out all the time.” He quickly switched them out for Progressive 944s.

Paul's back yard.
Paul's back yard.

“The bike handles like a champ,” Micah said. “New bikes come with wider low-profile tires and they handle differently.” He felt much more of the road’s surface. “There’s less give in the sidewalls.”

Just recently, Micah peeled to Daytona from the San Fernando Valley with bro, Wally, through Tucson, where he picked up Paul. They jammed to Daytona and ultimately Key West. He blasted through 6,442 miles and now has 9,600 miles on the ’16.
Leon Russell pounding it out at the Iron Horse.
Leon Russell pounding it out at the Iron Horse.


“I could only go so fast, because Paul has a rule not to exceed five miles over the speed limit,” Micah said.

The 6-Bend Service Center.
The 6-Bend Service Center.

They blazed into Daytona for the 75th. Micah grabbed an Anniversary tattoo at Shelly Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona from Country at Asylum Tattoo. They hit it south to Key West for a steak dinner, and then back to 6-Bend Harley-Davidson for an oil change.

That’s where the gang split up. Paul peeled to Georgia for a wedding and Wally wanted to meander for three weeks. Micah split west on the 10 into Mississippi and made a stab at taking a shot at the state border sign, but bogged down in the mud trying to muscle the big bike back to the interstate. He survived thanks to an Iron Butt rider with a sidecar and a tourist in a station wagon.

Micah leaned toward New Orleans for some Cajun cooking. He tried alligator, peeled to Texas for barbecue, and didn’t attract the man, thanks to Paul’s code. He spotted cops in the brush in Arizona and hiding behind bridges in Alabama.

Interstate 10 kept him warm all across the country and out of the rain except for 10 miles. He thought about Andy and what a way to die. He had a code once, “to die at 80 (mph) at 80.” But vitamins and performance baggers are upping the ante to “90 at 90.” I’m sure he won’t stop until he’s good and ready.

“I never worked on foreign bikes or V-Rods,” Micah said of his shop days. “And now I don’t work at all, just ride.”

Bikernet Baggers Extreme Performance Bagger Tech Chart

Regular Stuff

Owner: Micah McCloskey

Bike Name: 2016 Road Glide Special

City/state: Winnetka, California

E-mail: micah.mccloskey@gmail.com


Year: 2016

Make: Harley-Davidson

Model: Twin Cam

Displacement: 103 inches

Builder or Rebuilder: Harley-Davidson

Cases: Harley-Davidson

Case finish: Wrinkle black

Barrels: Harley-Davidson

Pistons: Harley-Davidson

Barrel finish: wrinkle black

Lower end: H-D

Rods: H-D

Heads: Harley-Davidson, ported and milled

Head finish: wrinkle black

Valves and springs: oversize valves

Pushrods: adjustable

Cams: 211se

Lifters: H-D

Carburetion: H-D fuel injection

Air cleaner: S & S

Exhaust: Vance & Hines stepped pro pipe


Year: 2016

Make: H-D

Gear configuration: 6-speed

Primary: stock

Clutch: stock

Final drive: belt

Kicker: missing


Year: 2016

Builder: factory

Style or Model: swing arm

Stretch: stock

Rake: stock

Modifications: none

Front End

Make: H-D

Model: wide glide

Year: 2016

Length: stock

Mods: chrome lower legs

Sheet Metal

Tanks: H-D 6-gallon

Fenders: stock

Panels: factory

Oil tank: stock


Sheet metal: Vince

Base coat: gloss black

Graphics: flames by Conejo Valley

Type: traditional hot rod

Pinstriping: yes



Make: H-D

Size: 19-inch

Brake calipers: Harley

Brake rotor(s): polished H-D

Tire: Dunlop low profile


Make: H-D

Size: 16-inch

Brake calipers: stock

Brake rotor: H-D

Pulley: factory

Tire: Dunlop low profile


Foot controls: H-D

Finish: chrome

Master cylinder: H-D

Brake lines: factory

Handlebar controls: stock

Clutch Cable: hydraulic hose

Kickstand: stock


Ignition: TTS

Ignition switch: stock

Coils: H-D

Regulator: Harley-Davidson

Charging: stock

Starter: factory

Battery: still stock

What’s Left?

Seat: Stock

Gas caps: factory

Throttle: H-D by wire

Throttle cables: none

Special Credit: Flames by Conejo Valley Auto Body, Vince Sr. 805-777-8801


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