"Freedom - A Stunner At Any Speed"
What more could you ask for? Ron Shapiro had barely ticked 700 miles on his 1991 FXRS-SP before he started getting ideas. He made a few phone calls and his Harley was parked at C&C Cycle of Maryland. Within a few months he had the machine you see here. This stunning rebuild was enough to earn a first place trophy when he showed Freedom at Harley Davidson's 90th anniversary bash in Milwaukee in June. "That's half the f un, when you do a bike up the way you want and other people like it too," Ron said." That's when you find out you've really got something."MORE
The machine also drew admiring crowds at the Northeast Regional H.O.G. Rally in Lincoln, NH, in August. It’s easy to see why. This machine has the look of a well-planned project; nothing looks out of place or second-rate.
C&C Cycle of Crofton, MD, began its work on the frame, which it molded and smoothed. The rear swing arm got the same treatment. C&C’s Roy Chamberlin, who did the work, said he got together with Steve Sallins of Accurate Auto Body, Hyattsville, MD, to do the two-stage lacquer paint.
“I knew I wanted red, white and blue but I didn’t want a typical red, white and blue; I knew I wanted the flag on the tank but I didn’t want the typical flag,” Shapiro said. “We worked on it, we played around with some ideas. We actually had meetings over that tank logo.”
The red-white-and-blue lacquer job was unusually intricate and involved dozens of coats of paint and clear coat, Chamberlin said. The clear coat was used for shine and to equalize the paint surface during various buildup stages of the work. That red, by the way – get ready for this – is Mitsubishi raspberry red. The Stealth blue is courtesy of Chrysler. The white you see is actually “Artic silver.”
LOW RIDER LOOKS
Chamberlin tossed the FXRS-SP’s tank and replaced it with a standard issue Low Rider tank with top-mount gauge cluster. The machine was lowered three inches front and back, and he replaced the factory mags with twistedspokers. Four-piston Jay brakes were matched with drilled Russell stainless steel rotors front and back. “We polished those up so they look like chrome,” he said.
The rebuilding of Shapiro’s bike continued in the wiring harness and replacement of all hoses with Aeroquip braided lines and fittings. It’s no coincidence the colors of these fittings match up with the paint scheme.
The bike is a looker, but it’s also a goer.
The engine is remarkable because Chamberlin managed to extract 80HP out of the 80-cube Evounit with minimal modification. The stock cam was swapped out for a Screamin’ Eagle II replacement. Chamberlin did the inlet porting and polishing work in-house and managed to increase flow through the heads by about 5 percent. For the exhaust C&C Cycle custom-built a system out of a pair of shortened drag pipes fitted with Harley slip-on performance mufflers with baffles removed.
To feed the more efficient motor C&C installed a two-barrel 40mm Dell’Orto carburetor fitted with velocity stacks. “Everybody told us we’d lose with the Dell’Orto but what we got surprised everyone, me included,” Chamberlin said.
What C&C found when it put the machine on the dyno was that it produced two more horsepower at the rear wheel and that the power band had moved from a peak at 5,200 rpm up to 5,800 rpm (a Screamin’ Eagle ignition module allows the motor to spin up to 8,000 rpm). On the down side gas mileage took a cliff dive, though neither Chamberlin nor Shapiro seem to mind.
BUILT TO RIDE
“”It’s a very streetable motorcycle,” Chamberlin said. “Not too radical and you can ride it around town without burning up the motor. There’s enough performance to take on anything out there on the street. What fun is it if you can’t ride it?”
“I’m more likely to use power to get out of a problem than to slam on the brakes,” he said. “If some yo-yo does something stupid and pulls out in front of me I can crank open the throttle and get out of it.”
Shapiro, who lives in Rockville, MD, and owns a real estate management company and an educational computer software company, didn’t have to think long before settling on a name for his new machine: Freedom.
“Freedom symbolizes two things for me,” he said. “There’s the way I feel when I get on it – it’s a rush and a real head-clearer after a day at the office. That’s what I work for: my free time. Plus it’s about what the American flag means to me.”
The tag says it all: Freed’m.