We go for a ride with Ammar Alhasan, and his beautifully customised 2017 Harley Davidson Road Glide Special.
AM: So, why bikes for you over cars?
AA: I do like cars, but for me motorcycles are far more personal & intimate. It’s just you, the bike and the open road.
AM: What bikes have you previously owned?
AA: What bikes haven’t I owned is the real question. Over the last 30 years I’ve owned the Sport Honda 400 cc, Harley Davidson Heritage, Rocker C, CVO Street Glide, two Ultra Glides, a Trike and this time, my first bagger project. I’m a massive Harley fan, as you can tell. I also have two Honda Gold Wing’s, one of them is a trike, and then finally, a customised chopper which I’m looking forward to receiving soon. All of these bikes have either had a full customisation or full accessories installed onto them.
AM: Why this bike?
AA: I previously tried to customise a bike by turning it into a bagger but I was not 100% happy with the final result, so I decided to have another go and this time it came up beautifully as you can see from the pictures. I am fully satisfied with the way it turned out. I’d also like to mention the chopper bike that I am currently waiting to receive (any day now), this bike is my dream bike. When I was 17 years old, I was a passenger on this Chopper bike and now that I’m a little older, I decided it was my turn to own one and to personalise it.
AM: How does your bike differ from others in the range before customisation?
AA: I normally buy my bike’s from the dealership as standard. But I make sure to spend a lot of time and money on customisation to make them special, different and unique from others. The level of customisation between my bikes really differs as well.
AM: Did you buy this bike with the intention of customising it?
AA: Yes! I brought this bike brand new, with the total intention of customisation, specifically for this project.
AM: How long did you have the bike before you decided to start the customisation process?
AA: From day one this bike has been under the customisation process. The parts list was already marked out even well before the purchase. It was just a matter of getting my hands on the bike and starting the process.
AM: Do all your bikes have to go through the customisation ritual?
AA: Yes thats absolutely true. I have quite a strong passion when it comes to personalising and making my bikes unique. All my bikes go through this process but as I said earlier each has a different level of customisation, and so far this bike has the highest level among all my current and past bikes.
AM: Talk us through how you have modified the bike in terms of speed, power and appearance?
AA: This bike has mainly been customised aesthetically. All body parts have been changed to custom parts, the wheels have been changed to give off an exotic look... with a bigger wheel in the front. I’ve thrown in a full air ride suspension, with custom paint job with gold leaf stripes. I also went crazy on the 1000-watt sound system which you can only compare to those of customised cars. I’ve added a lot of chrome parts, and a few more extra things to enhance the little details. The only modification I did to the engine is adding a custom stage one kit, which means a custom exhaust system and air filter along with an auto tuner.
AM: Where have you got the majority of the parts from?
AA: Most of the parts were ordered and made in the USA. The other accessories were bought from different Harley Davidson dealers, around the world.
AM: Have you made the modifications yourself or at a garage?
AA: All the modifications were done by either professional bike builders or at a Harley Davidson workshop.
AM: Did you encounter any problems while modifying this bike? if so what were they and how did you overcome them?
AA: We usually face problems while in the process of customising a bike, be it any bike. But with lots of brain storming and discussions, we always manage to overcome these issues. The key is to work with professionals.
AM: What are the before and after affects?
AA: The before and after effects are mainly just deep satisfaction...which I feel as a true biker. After seeing major changes happen before your very eyes, during every project, you just tend to sit and appreciate the beauty of all that you envisioned in a complete way.
AM: If you don’t mind saying roughly how much have you spent doing this bike up?
AA: Lets just say I’ve spent a lot of money on this bike...and the other bikes as well, but I have also had a lot of enjoyment from all these projects. It has enabled me to spend a good and enjoyable amount of time with my fellow riders, talking through the details of my projects and discussing what the next project will be. The spirit of a true rider is being able to share that passion with like minded people within the biker community.
AM: How much time have you spent on this bike? And has it been an enjoyable project?
AA: I have truly enjoyed building and customising this bike. I have a very good friend, Ali Alattar, who I give full credit to for the outcome of the look of this bike, and of course not forgetting our mutual friend Jerry Covington (Covington customs from Oklahoma USA), who really did a great job on building and converting all our ideas to this beautiful bike.
AM: How is the bike to ride now compared to how it was before?
AA: Normally with the level of customisation that we did on this bike you would expect to lose some of the comfort but you gain that special look. However to make sure we didn’t encounter that issue we made some extra modifications
to improve the comfort level of this bike. I added the air ride suspensions and the memory foam custom seat.
AM: Do you ride this bike a lot or is it more of a show piece? How often do you take it out?
AA: My bagger bike is a show piece but at the same time it is an everyday ride which is something I really like about this bike. You have the best of both worlds, the killer looks and the reliability on road at the same time.
AM: Would you do this again? Another bike perhaps?
AA: Of course, for me, there will always be another customisation project around the corner. But for now I am just waiting to complete my current chopper project before starting something else. Having said that, I would definitely go through the customising experience again... it’s wonderfully fulfilling.
AM: Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about modifying their bikes?
AA: My advice to anybody who can customise; please do it, go through this beautiful experience. But make sure you do it with the right person & listen to the right advisor.