A Harley Dyna Glide It Was…

1hardcall2hardcall2bishardcall5hardcall3hardcallThe most interesting custom builders may be those who don’t care at all about the “du jour” designing trends, and you can put Ken Nagai in this category. None of his creations can fit in any specific motorcycle category. This new project is a perfect illustration of his state of mind: “I don’t care what others are building.” Some will see a cruiser, others a bagger or a dressed FXR or…. Ken never follows any typical guideline, just building his ideas as a pure styling exercise, but never forgetting that he belongs to the motorcycle business, turning his one-off 2-wheelers into true road performers.

8hardcall9hardcall11hardcall12hardcallKen Nagai owns his style, without any doubt influenced by the Wabi Sabi aesthetics of his native Japan, but re-examined with Western values. The Yugen (the not obvious) and the Datsuzoku (unbounded by convention) Japanese ideals combined with very refined details inspired by European automotive designs. Faithful to his philosophy “Details Create Style” Ken Nagai’s creations mix the old, the new and the unexpected. So much that when he completes a new custom, Ken has somewhat difficulties too name it. It explains that this one is simply called “Hard Call”…

13hardcall14hardcall6hardcallFoundation is a Ken’s Factory rubber mount frame with no stretch and a 44-degree rake. In it ,a 2008 106 cubic inch Harley engine fully rebuilt with Wiseco forged pistons, S&S cam and pushrods. Special features are of course the supercharger setup with M62 Eaton Blower and Greddy Blow Off and the one-off exhaust system inspired by the C3 Corvette Stingray side pipes.

Primary drive was sourced at NH Power, with a belt final drive. In front, a superb Ken’s Factory 3D Girder style front end working with an Ohlins shock. It holds a Ken’s proprietary 23 x 3.75” El Mirage polished wheel wrapped with a 130/23 Metzeler tire. In the rear, a pair of Ohlins shocks is trusted again for smooth and progressive suspension. Between the bags, a 18 x 5.5” El Mirage polished wheel in 180/18” Metzeler rubber. Both wheels are slowed by Brembo brakes

10hardcall7hardcall4hardcallOf course, all bodywork in hand made. Front, rear fender, gas tank and fairing (in which is recessed a V-Rod headlight) and the superb saddlebags were massaged and formed out of aluminum sheets. These bags open like gull-wing car doors. Maybe not functional when parked very close to other bikes, but an absolutely beautiful system either closed or with bags wide open. Most of the other custom parts, when not one-off creations to be marketed later, have been picked from Ken’s Factory catalog.

A family of parts with the same neo-retro DNA and a rare attention to details. It includes the bars (on which were installed Beringer hand controls), the foot controls and ribbed pegs, the air cleaner, the gas cap, all engine covers from rocker boxes to pushrods to cam, the taillight, the turn signals, etc. 2-up seat was created and upholstered by Back Drop “Ace”. Molding and candy red with gold flames paint job was handled by Nomad Concept. All polishing by Long Beach Parts Supply. Ken’s Factory. (photos courtesy Ken Nagai)

Zipper's

33 Responses to “A Harley Dyna Glide It Was…”


  1. 1 domino Dec 19th, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I like it … The first thought when I saw this was, I would really like to take it for a ride! Looks like it would handle … and that powerplant … take your breath away … Good job Ken.

    ………………. Domino Dave ………………………..

  2. 2 Jeff Duval Dec 19th, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Me too 🙂 !… It is way overloaded but it oozes charm nonetheless and, as Dave says, it probably runs well; better than them ugly bloggers 😉 ……

  3. 3 Greeko Dec 19th, 2016 at 9:25 am

    A bagger that I like! Great job Ken Nagai.

  4. 4 Mark Brodlin Dec 19th, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Nagai is a great builder.

  5. 5 Jeffrey Dec 19th, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Love the aggressive stance and the bags system.

  6. 6 JohnyLetGo Dec 19th, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Superb rideable custom. Lots of work if you look attentively.

  7. 7 Mazz Dec 19th, 2016 at 10:05 am

    an incredible amount of work!! well done.

  8. 8 Jim Tom Dec 19th, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Nice!

  9. 9 seymour Dec 19th, 2016 at 10:19 am

    That is very very sharp and I’m going to try to incorporate that wabenlotnee style

  10. 10 VincenzosGhost Dec 19th, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Between the wretched excess decoration and the disparate parts it kind of looks like an Arlen Ness build gone very very wrong in the very worst of ways

  11. 11 18Bravo Dec 19th, 2016 at 10:59 am

    If you have to paint your design philosophy on the bike, perhaps your message is not getting across as intended.

  12. 12 rebel Dec 19th, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Arlen Ness comes to mind (that’s a compliment), lots of nice details (without reading the quote).

  13. 13 Ace Dec 19th, 2016 at 11:51 am

    This Ken guy, definitely a next force to be reckon with in custom design. Consistently fresh, young-feeling and original, with a open nod of respect to the past originators. Pushes the limits at the right points, which can be gauged with just the right amount of complaint coming from critics. Love it.

  14. 14 Tommy Dec 19th, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    WORLD CLASS!

  15. 15 richards Dec 19th, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    This is a perfect example why I feel “Less is Better”.

  16. 16 Leo Grange Dec 19th, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Love the work. K. Nagai is probably one off the most under rated custom builders. Deserve to be more known. Great bike feature.

  17. 17 Paul Ashley Dec 19th, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Should be all aluminum.

  18. 18 SIGFREED Dec 19th, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Paul Ashley – no, repeat after me, ALUMINIUM… 😉

    PS – kindly brace me upright again, I was violently struck to the ground by a feather, a ‘bagger’ and not with no 69″ front wheel…

  19. 19 rcupp Dec 19th, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Looks like what was a nice chopper with stupid looking purses hung on the sides!

  20. 20 badams Dec 19th, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Alot to take in on this build from Ken; there is likely a wow factor to the function as there is to the form.

  21. 21 charles barber Dec 19th, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Nice build with a eye on the European market ,more detail than photos will justify.

  22. 22 Zenaldo Dec 19th, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    It’s a something alright…

  23. 23 Joshua Dec 20th, 2016 at 8:43 am

    It’s intensive beautiful work.

  24. 24 calif phil Dec 20th, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Unbelievable craftsmanship. I like it.

  25. 25 Jim Dec 20th, 2016 at 9:02 am

    I’ll have to agree with ‘richards’ that ‘Less would have been More” – but I do like the profile and stance of this bike. Kudos to the builder: Undeniable craftsmanship – just over-detailed for my tastes.

  26. 26 Breeze Dec 20th, 2016 at 10:34 am

    In a age, that custom is defined by a big front wheel and a custom paint job.
    This thing is awesome.

  27. 27 bigalyts Dec 20th, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Wow! There is way to much to take in looking at this Bike in a Blog. this Masterpiece needs to be Shown displayed, featured in Person.Amazing, this is almost unbelievable.

  28. 28 Butcher Dec 20th, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    No flow to the bike front end looks like it is going 100 miles an hour . The ass end looks like it’s stopped dead in its tracks squatting ready to have a big dump.

  29. 29 Catamini Dec 20th, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    And your name is Butcher. Must know about chopping .Ha, ha. ha.

  30. 30 paul Dec 21st, 2016 at 1:01 am

    One word awesome

  31. 31 RUB Dec 21st, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    that hurts to look @ …………………………..

  32. 32 Blackmax Dec 21st, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Yes, it is a bit over the top
    Yes, you can see shades of Ness in there
    But, Man, I’d ride it !!!!

  33. 33 hacksaws garage Dec 28th, 2016 at 3:17 am

    hurts my eyes.

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