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Tuesday Edition

5-Ball Bagger Project Bike -- Wrecked Bagger

A wreck can lead to a New Beginning

Text and Photo's by Richard Kranzler


Sunday, March 23, 2014, a day that will be remembered in Bikernet Baggers history as the day that I decided to total the new to us, 1997 FLHTC bagger. I picked it up from Lifestyle Cycle two months and roughly 3500 miles earlier. It dragged my ass from Bikernet Headquarters to the Bikernet Baggers garage hidden away in the Pacific Northwest. We rode together through rain, sleet, sunshine (yes we get that up here once in awhile) and I was just starting to find her faults and what needed to be fixed. When we picked her up she had 30,000 miles on her and was in great shape for a bike almost old enough to vote. We made some terrific upgrades to her with Samson True Duals, Saddlemen Profile Seat, Primo Rivera LED headlight, LA Chopper bars and Lyndall Racing Brakes in the front. She was really starting to come along.
Twin Peaks Bars by LA Choppers
Twin Peaks Bars by LA Choppers

Lyndall Racing Composite Rotors
Lyndall Racing Composite Rotors

Saddlemen Profile Seat
Saddlemen Profile Seat

Samson 4" Caliber Exhaust
Samson 4" Caliber Exhaust

Then that fateful day approached. Sun was out, back roads were calling my name. We just finished the Sunday Post for the Bandit’s Cantina, sort of a private, topless Sunday News, and I was itching to hit the road. 
The road that day lasted about 8 miles when fate, bad luck, bad Ju Ju, marked dice, dealt the wrong hand, whatever you want to call it, reared its ugly head. As I was heading into an increasing radius corner, at 55 mph, the rear of the bagger decided to do the infamous wobble. Not a real big deal I had felt it before, so I tail braked as I leaned her into the corner hoping to settle the wobble down.
Video of the infamous Harley Wobble 
Nope at about the point I applied the rear brake the bike developed a case of the headshake, which quickly progressed into a true Tank Slapper. At this point shit started to happen way too fast, and all I can really remember was trying to stand her up and ride her off into the ditch. 
She had other thoughts and proceeded to act like a bucking bronco and threw me over the bars as she decided to flip end over end into the soft dirt road shoulder. I landed in a heap in the same ditch after a very long, slow painful air-born arc ending very abruptly in a heap. Gaining my breath, I did the typical limb check and came to a positive conclusion.  I was at least all in one piece, but in severe pain and bleeding. 
My first thought was THE BIKE. Surprised … I wasn't. I ran over to her. She had left a trail of fiberglass and destruction for 60 feet as she tried to rid herself of parts while tumbling end for end. The bags were toast, and the fairing destroyed. (I actually think I may have destroyed some of it with my shoulder as I exited stage left). The front and rear fenders were smashed. But she was still a motorcycle.
In my head I was already planning how I was going to rebuild her. With blood running down my face, I was on the phone making arrangements for the bike to be picked up, Police reports to be filled out and for me to get a ride to the nearest bar for a Drink. See what Adrenaline does?
I will say some of the greatest brothers a person can have stepped up and took over the situation faster than I could get the first shot of Jack down. The bike was going to a brother’s garage on another brother’s tow truck. Another stepped up and gave me a ride to the Bar where the rest of the crew had already set up Bike wreck central. I was handed a wet cold bar towel (to wipe all the blood from my face) and a shot of Jack, right before I was told I should really head to the Hospital. No way. Not until I knew that bike was safe and sound sitting behind garage doors waiting for me to start rebuilding her.
Within an hour all was taken care of. Bike was safe I had self medicated, adrenaline was wearing off, and I was starting to hurt. I realized I probably did need to go to the hospital at least for a few stitches if nothing else. My Brothers made arrangements to haul me to the hospital and this is where the Saga of March 23 ends.
What does the future hold? Bandit has thrown down the gauntlet; he wants the bagger back on the road in 30 days. I have work to do and a small bike wreck is not going to get in the way. With the help of our sponsors and a lot of late nights in the garage we will rebuild her. Will I make 30 days? I don't know but I am going to make it a hell of a challenge. We will also study every goddamn cause of high speed wobbles, and preventative measures. Stay tuned to Bikernet Baggers for weekly updates on the rebuilding of this bike as it is going to be a HELL of a Ride.
Hang on and ride safe


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Reader Comments

Krash, glad to hear you're OK. I went on the wobble attack with a True-Track bar and a CCE swingarm retrofit kit a while back on my '97 RK. While these help, it still feels like something's missing. When you start the rebuild, you might try (and report back to us) starting with the CCE Tour Track Tree, and work your way back from there. I'm interested to see if this helps. Buena Suerte.

Ay Caramba
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday, April 7, 2014
Editor Response We are looking at options and the CCE trees are one of them.

Check out part 2

Krash Kranzler
They guy in the video didn't crash! Hope you are AOK!

Tail Gunner
Palmdale, CA
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Editor Response Thanks, I am OK or as OK as you can be after doing a Superman Air without the tailgrab with a really bad landing. I will heal and the Bike will come out of this much improved.

Ride Safe
Krash Kranzler
sorry to hear that your rear steer ended up worse than mine on my '03 flht.

tom kellerstrass
ogden, UT
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Editor Response I look at it this way, that you didn't have to experience what I went through!

Ride Safe
Krash Kranzler

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