This new custom is called “Night Cap” because of the chosen whiskey-like paint color. At the opposite of an alcoholic beverage consumed to fall asleep, this new custom from Ken Nagai will keep you awake and surely will get your blood going when spinning it around town. It was designed to look like “unleashed adrenaline” although it was the client decision to keep the Harley motor in its stock configuration after a full rebuilt, except some aesthetic add-ons. If I didn’t tell you, you would not find out that the donor bike was a 1996 Dyna Glide. It’s always in Ken Nagai’s philosophy to rebuild Harleys to look like true one-off customs built from the ground up. And as illustrated, he is quite successful at this full makeover task.
To accomplish such a challenge, the Harley was stripped down to bare frame. Then tubing was cut in pieces to be either discarded or re-used to build the new frame platform. Of course, the neck piece where there is the factory stamped H-D VIN number was preserved to legally preserve the Harley title with the Japan DMV. Far from being prisoner of the Dyna classic look, Ken worked his magic to give the rebuilt H-D its own very unique personality. Helped by a big bag of money from his client, “Night Cap” got a new and interesting geometry with a 35-degree rake frame, a shop fabricated double-rail swingarm and an unusual rear suspension setup (2″ lower than stock) using a set of Ohlins shocks mounted almost horizontally.
In the front, Ken Nagai installed his awesome 3D cut propriatary system also working with anOhlins branded shock. For bodywork, Ken has always privileged aluminum beating. He formed and massaged a gas tank in the Sportster spirit and a very short rear fender tucked very close to the tire, a safe setup since the swingarm and fender move together. “Night Cap” rolls on a set of Renegade Wheels 23 x 3.75” front, 20 x 7” rear, respectively in Avon 130-23” front and 220-250 rear. Front and rear braking are both the duty of a Performance Machine 4-piston radial caliper. Most of the project was completed with Ken’s Factory own proprietary parts: grips, pegs, headlight, marker/taillights, air cleaner, rocker covers, cam cover, points cover, gas cap. They are all standard production items in stock and available through Drag Specialties or directly on Ken’s Online Store. Full detailed tech sheet is below. Ken’s Factory USA (photos courtesy Ken’s for C. Huze)