Best Custom At 2013 Swiss Performance Show

69-269-369-169-6 69-5Some bike shows reward the most original radical bikes (some will read unrideable.) Others give the gold to the custom project closest to what people want to ride and could possibly build in their garage or request to be done by their local shop. Because your emails always remind me that you want publication of the right mix (which one?) of state-of-the-art motorcycles with those you can realistically dream of, I feature this Springer Softail, a good example of what can be accomplished for both ride and show… and ride again.

69-469-769-8Swiss have the reputation of being model students of precision. Taking a low budget donor bike, a 1997 Harley-Davidson FXSTS Softail Springer, small shop Rag Bag Machines, was able to turn it into a very clean and tight machine without breaking the bank of its client. Slight frame modifications to get rid of all “imperfections” of a stock chassis, a few new welded brackets to accommodate one-off gas & oil tanks, the right choice of components from the best of the industry both in the US & Europe (see listing in tech sheet), a clean classic paint job playing the right complement of colors between frame, front end and body, are all what it takes to mean Kustom without removing any privileges of riding a bike still titled as a Harley-Davidson. Rag Bag Machines Switzerland. (photography H. Roesler for Cyril Huze)

ragbagmachinesOwner: André Frei
Builder: Rag Bag Machines
Time Of Fabrication: 8 months
Model: custom Harley Softail springer
Motor: Harley 1997
Carburator: Mikuni HSR 42
Air Cleaner: Rebuffini
Ignition: Crane Single Fire
Exhaust System: BSL
Transmission. 5-speed Harlry
Primary: BDL
Shocks: Progressive Suspension
Front end. Springer type + 2”
Wheels: Performance Machine Heathen Contrast Cut 3.5×18 front, 6 X 17” rear
Tires: Avon 120-70.18’ front, 170-60/17 rear
Brakes: PM
Discs: Rick’s
Grips: PM
Gas tank: One-off Rag Bag Machines
Seat: Rag Bag Machines
Oil tank: One-off Rag Bag Machines

12 Responses to “Best Custom At 2013 Swiss Performance Show”

  1. 1 George Bradwell Nov 11th, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Nice and clean. But builders seem to run in a circle. Time to build something really new.

  2. 2 BobS Nov 11th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Big likes for this one. Put me solidly in the column of interested in rideable customs. I love most of the work I see on this blog, but wether online or live the first thing I see when I look at any bike is me riding it. If it looks slow, ill handling, or uncomfortable then even the most talented builder is starting out with a negative perspective that needs to be overcome by the quality of his work. If the second thing I see is if there’s a key left in it because it looks like a really fun ride then the builder is starting out from a much more positive perception.

  3. 3 Brett Wagner Nov 11th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Nice sled. Rideable.

  4. 4 Brandon Nov 11th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Another new bobber. Enough to ride around town. Enough to impress friends.

  5. 5 James just another crazy Kiwi Nov 11th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    There is the blurred line sometimes between the customised motorcycle and a work of art.
    To me the work of art is usualy not a pratical motorcycle to ride and the work done is too valuable for the average stiff to take out on the street.
    Both have merits but the average (note lack of the normal word) rider cannot get his head round something that is virtualy unrideable.

    I enjoy seeing old school styled bikes like the one above.
    Ok it is not a rigid and running a “‘Pan’ motor but it has the lines and the classic Springer front end and looks right.
    The initial glance at these Bikes always shows the stance or how the bike sits and if that is right usualy it follows that the bike will ge a goodun.

    It is very easy to be precious, and lose track of the fact that someone has put allot of thought, sweat and sometimes bucks into what they want.
    It is their dream bike not yours.
    Planning a bike is so much of the enjoyment and then the frustration of hunting down the right parts.
    Is also fun. The completion and buzz from the finished job.

    And the straights have no idea…poor poor pitiful them…respect to Warren Zevon

  6. 6 J. Roberts Nov 11th, 2013 at 6:30 pm


  7. 7 Zipper Nov 12th, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Nice chasis. ..Z

  8. 8 Terence Tory Nov 12th, 2013 at 7:30 am

    A neat bike that could go down an autobahn at speed.I doubt this bike would get ten miles down the road on a Swiss plate.My bet it has a German one.If you jacked up the rear on this thing you could leave other customs way behind,like nineteen fourties rigid big twins do to modern Hogs on a real road ride.

    Show bikes should have a license plate on the back and be street legal.Even Arlen Ness’s wacko Two Bad had a plate.Show bikes without are just ornaments for the idle rich.

  9. 9 Dave Smith Nov 12th, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Yeah…. You’re right Z !

    And the bike ain’t bad either!

  10. 10 Blackmax Nov 13th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Ditto & Double, what D. Smith said !!!!!

  11. 11 BCinSoCal Nov 14th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Nice work!

  12. 12 bshirk Nov 17th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    What is the semi-ugly chick with a gun for?????

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Cyril Huze