Article By: Joe Meilke
Photos By: Dave-O
Originally Published In The September 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
When you write for a magazine you meet a lot of people; a lot of interesting people, both good interesting and bad interesting. This month’s spotlight Dave-O is just a Koo Koo Bird from the west coast whom I only know through social media. I call him Koo Koo Bird with all due love and respect. Dave and I have never met in person but I have to presume that he is quite the character. Weekly if not daily I’ll get tagged in one of Dave’s Instagram posts where he accuses me of hacking his email or molesting his Chihuahua all in the name of being an FXR Freak from another planet.
CS: How did you get exposed to motorcycles? (Who, When, Where)
DV: I was first exposed to motorcycles by Mike Bockius who ran L & M Enterprises motorcycle shop out of Roseville, CA. He actually had the contract to service the Roseville cops’ Harley’s until he got stopped going 110 in a 45 mph zone on a Harley…owned by the Roseville cops. By the time I was W old enough to afford my own Harley, Mike had closed the shop but when I got ripped off and came home with an 89’ FXR with a blown base gasket and a mismatched fender Mike reopened the garage to show me how to freshen up an Evo top end and swap out an 18” wheel for a 21. Mike recently lost a leg to diabetes and now that he’s using a prosthetic, he’s 25% carbon fiber and 75% a—ole.
CS: What was your first motorcycle?
DV: My first motorcycle was the formerly mentioned 1989 FXR. Not sure which model, but I drove four hours to Yosemite to meet a short guy, possibly that dude on Game of Thrones, and his wife in the parking lot of a ski resort to score my first bike for $4,500. After the base gasket debacle I rode that thing every day for two and a half years. I even sold my car so I could pour money into the bike. While I didn’t hot rod the stock Evo or upgrade the suspension, I learned how to ride a motorcycle which was what my goal was when I bought it. That bike was murdered by a sadistic, wretched, STD infested, skinny jean wearing, b—- who blew a red light and hit two cars before hitting me. My life goal is carving “I didn’t even see him!”, into her forehead, which is exactly what she said after she T-Boned me.
CS: When did you get your first FXR?
DV: I got my first FXR in 2011 and aside from a thunderheader, swapping the belt drive out for a chain and an S&S carb I didn’t do much to help with the performance of the bike. The goal was simply to keep the rubber side down and fight to the death to avoid the “Murdered Out” flat black craze and the typical quarter fairing that’s become the norm.
CS: What led you to the FXR?
DV: What led me to the FXR was the now carbon fiber infused idiot Mike who ran the Harley shop in Roseville, CA. Mike always swore by the chassis. He told me it was the best handling bike Harley had ever made. He and the now defunct Citrus Heights, CA Harley Davidson guys built a 97 cubic inch FXR that set some kind of record in the early 90’s. Then I met the Holeshot Choppers guys in Rancho Cordova and they were really into FXR’s and going fast. Jason and Dave had both raced and built drag bikes and had a good ability to combine speed and handling on a Harley chassis and the best model to do that with is the FXR. Jason had a lot to do with the popularity of the FXR/Twin Cam conversion getting big in Sacramento and Dave knows everything. I’m not lying. He’s that dude who’ll talk to you 24/7 about everything from a flat head to a twin cam and can tear down and rebuild both those engines and every one in between to boot. He pointed things out on my FXR I hadn’t paid much attention to before, fixed them for me, and showed me how to do it myself.
CS: What FXRs do you currently own?
DV: I currently own a 1990 FXR Lowrider. After my wreck and when the insurance money finally got to me I bought the 90 and not long after I met a former local drag racer, Bill Visker. Billy used to build and race drag bikes with the formerly mentioned Jason and after meeting Jason at his shop, Jason showed me why the FXR was the bitchin’ bike that it is. My stock engine blew up a year after I bought the bike and Jason and Dave installed an S&S V111 and Dave went through my transmission. Jason rebuilt a T-Sport adjustable 39 mm front end and I threw on a super brace. After getting it back on the road, I swapped 12.5 inch Works shocks for the lowered Progressive ones to give me more clearance in the back. I also found a guy in the Bay Area who built me a rear chassis stabilizer.
CS: What other motorcycles do you own?
DV: Don’t own any other motorcycles currently, however my next Harley’s going to be an 82-83 shovel head FXR that’ll be hot rodded as well.
CS: What do you think makes the FXR such a great motorcycle? Why FXR?
DV: What makes the FXR so great is the bike itself. The concept of creating something that housed a Harley V-Twin that’s design allowed it to keep up with the sport bikes is pretty bad ass and against the grain for the motor company. Eric Buell and company hit it out of the park. Guys like me who started riding Harley’s after the FXR had been discontinued can buy a used one and we still have enough after market companies who offer replacement parts to keep the bike up and running. Plus the platform is great to build on and you can keep some individuality in the bike and not end up with a cookie cutter motorcycle. Why FXR? Because a medical professional who was once fired from John Hopkins medical school told me if I didn’t ride my FXR every day I’d die of herpes and rot in hell.
CS: If the Factory were to bring back the FXR platform would you buy one?
DV: I don’t know if I’d buy another FXR if the factory re-released it because those dumb buggers should never have discontinued it to begin with and I feel I’d be rewarding their stupidity by purchasing something that should still be manufactured. Not to mention that the brand new off the floor Harley’s are overpriced and if H-D wants younger customers they need to offer a bitchin’ big twin at an affordable price. Plus, if H-D did re-release the FXR it’ll probably have a twin cam which requires frame mods in the Evo models to fit the twin cam Bruce Jenners in the Evo frame. That being said, the new frames would probably be modified. I’ve heard that San Diego customs offers oil bags that allow you to keep the Evo frames intact during twin cam swaps. So maybe the factory would be smart enough to do some research and go with the original frame design. But I doubt it.
CS: Where is your favorite place to ride?
DV: Favorite place I’ve ridden thus far is straight down 80 to the bay and across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco and Oakland. Traffic sucks yes, but the ocean air is awesome. 50 east up into south shore Lake Tahoe’s great too, but be ready for some two lane twisties up in the mountains.
CS: Is there anything you would trade your FXR for?
DV: The only thing I’d trade my FXR for is a teleportation machine that wouldn’t turn me into a genetically fused half man/half fly like poor Jeff Goldblum.
DV: I’d like to give a big shout out and thank you to Mike Clinton and Chris at Clinton’s Custom Cycle Thank you to Dave for being an FXR Freak and for taking the time to put some words together for me. I do appreciate it. I just need to keep this nut happy people! Just so you know, I’m writing this month’s spotlight just 7 hours before I board a plane to Los Angeles. My friend Eric Bennett of Bennett’s Performance will be picking me up at LAX later tonight. I’ll be staying with Eric in Long Beach for about a week. During my stay we will be attending Born Free 8. This year the Born Free show is also hosting an FXR Show with San Diego Customs. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dave-O will be there. I’m guessing that he probably knows that I will be there as well. We may actually cross paths. Hell, because of social media and the internet he probably knows when and where my plane is landing. If this column is not in next month’s edition you can rest assured that something has gone terribly wrong and I have been abducted and possibly taken to the mothership. Please pray for me!! If you would like to see your FXR and story in a future issue feel free to contact me via e-mail at joe@fxrshow. com