You look at this lovely FXR and you’ve gotta think, there’s a guy that knew exactly what he wanted and didn’t take any shortcuts to get there. It had to be completely usable as an everyday rider or vying for awards at big custom shows. Even though it’s undeniably a Harley-Davidson FXR there’s basically nothing that wasn’t modded, replaced or changed in some little, but significant way. Maybe it’s not your cup of tea exactly, but it sure is Mark Hendrix’s and that’s all that matters.
Mark just so happens to be the General Manager of Ray Price Harley-Davidson in Raleigh, North Carolina, so that is a plus customizing your own ride. And, even better was the fact that Ray Price H-D has its own custom division, The Garage at Ray Price (TGRP), to make anything possible. Barnett’s Magazine Online has featured quite a few customs built by them over the years and, in my opinion, every one was stellar. The best part about them is that they all retained their usability while being showpieces. That’s basically what most Harley owners dream about being a dual-purpose motorcycle ─ show and go. The Garage at Ray Price hasn’t disappointed us yet and by the looks of this FXR, they’ve still got it.
With not much other than a 1991 FXR frame and a few parts, work began on Mark’s future FXR. Nothing was cut or modded on the frame itself, but TGRP crew replaced the (probably missing) stock swingarm with a beefier unit from a current H-D Touring model. All the better to make the fully adjustable coil-over Legend Suspension Revo FXR rear shocks be able to do their stuff. Just that change alone would make a good handling bike even better, but they didn’t stop there. Up front the forks got a complete makeover with DLC coating which is a hard coating on the tubes to lower friction and the insides got a complete re-valve. No lowering, no air ride to drop it onto the ground, none of the custom stuff that’s strictly for the show circuit. Sure seems like Mark had some serious North Carolina back road burning in mind.
Same goes for the rolling stock which came from a somewhat unlikely source. I always knew and respected the super serious work of Paul Lyndall of Lyndall Brakes who made pads and rotors that were the engineered for a lot more than just looks. If any guy in the world dreamed and lived coefficients of friction and design more than him you’ll have to prove it to me. Now, Lyndall Brakes also supplied the wheel package on this bike too. Nothing out of the ordinary size-wise just good looking wheels with a set of one-off rotors just for this bike. Performance Machine supplied the two six-piston calipers up front and a four-pot unit out back.
That kind of high-performance braking system makes you wonder if there’s enough sass onboard this FXR to need this extreme setup, but the late Ray Price besides being revered as a super nice guy also was a one-man drag strip terror. And, you don’t get to be a quarter-mile god unless you have the stuff to back it up and Mr. Price had it in spades. Since it didn’t have its Evo engine, TGRP built up a whole new engine based on a S&S Twin Cam block and one of the last sets of heads Ray Price worked on. The 95-incher has all the proper goodies inside and externally an S&S Super G carb sucks air directly from the atmosphere via an always beautiful velocity stack.
The engine then dumps its spent gas back into the atmosphere through a gorgeous looking stainless 2-into1 Steves Precision Fabrication exhaust with a lovely reverse cone megaphone. For some of us of a certain age, reverse cone megaphones are about as good as it gets. One thing I’m pretty sure of is that the SPF exhaust not only looks and sounds good, but it performs exceptionally well too or it wouldn’t make it onto the GM of Ray Price’s FXR. Another exceptional piece of kit is the BDL open belt primary (connected to a dry clutch) that was “it can’t be done” modified to accept mid-controls. Check them out as they’re just simply beautiful pieces showing the taste and imagination of the TGRP crew. One big plus of this engine installation was that somehow the frame didn’t have to be cut to fit the late model engine. Maybe some new tabs, but no cutting.
As I mentioned earlier, the bike still looks like an FXR and that’s because the basic bodywork is still reminiscent of the original. For instance, the fenders appear to be stock although the front one has been modified by none other than Dave Perewitz himself. And, even the tank is an FXR-style tank in profile although the dash on top is long gone and there’s a new cap placement with a Roland Sands Design gas cap standing offset and alone. OEM or aftermarket, it’s hard to tell what the tank could be and that’s a good thing here. Keeping the identity of the iconic FXR is a plus in my book.
Where this build took a sharp right turn, but still stayed on the FXR road is the “full” fairing that echoes the FXRT’s fairing with a twist of its own. Big Bear Choppers provided one of their Titanium Touring Fairing Kits for an FXR that includes subtle restyling along with a set of lowers that changes the whole look of the bike. Definitely gives it a different, but same look with a whole new attitude and a lot more space for paint. BBC also came up with one of their FXR Air Dam Chin Spoilers that brings the whole design of the extended fairing together and creates a smooth finished look to what otherwise could be hanging pieces of bodywork. The fairing does have a smoked plexi cover over the Harley Daymaker headlight, but I think the smoke immediately clears when the projector bulb headlight is switched on. Personally, I’m no fairing guy, but I gotta say this setup looks mighty good and brings a bit of mystery to a stock look.
As you might have noticed, I haven’t made one reference to this FXR as a bagger as its not a custom bagger in the current traditional sense with a big front wheel and more bodywork than a Miata has. Yes there are bags, no they aren’t extended or modified or full of audio equipment with eight-inch speakers on top ready to get rid of whatever hearing you may have left. The best part about them is that they are OEM FXR bags with their own style and shape along with their own way of opening too. They’d look totally out of place on a big wheeler, but they look absolutely splendid here. It’s gotta be nice having lots of old bits and pieces around the dealership and it paid off here. The period correct bags couldn’t look more period correct and that makes them special as they’re just not the bags you see every time a Harley Touring model goes by.
With the various bits and pieces in place like the cool Forbidden Motorcyles Moto-Style bars (with Performance Machine hand controls) and risers in place, the reach from the Jody Perewitz Signature Solo saddle looks perfect for mark. It was time to paint this beast and the same lassie that made that saddle was called upon to paint this EXR. It’s gotta be some tough being a painting legend like Dave and having a daughter like Jody Perewitz who’s become not only a speed queen of the Salt Flats, but an unbelievably talented painter on her own.
This multi-technique Old School style of Jody’s paintwork gave Mark Hendrix a bike that would always get looks even if it was speeding by an admirer. There’s a lot going on in a lot of different ways, but it all hangs together exceptionally well in an extroverted way. Somehow I got a feeling that every Harley rider in the Raleigh, North Carolina area knows who’s riding by on this FXR and what dealer he runs. That could be good or bad, but methinks this is only good PR and a fun way to do it.
Just in case you’re wondering, this FXR bagger is not for sale that I know of anyway. I really think this is Mark’s bike and he’s happy as the proverbial clam with the results from The Garage at Ray Price. When the boss likes and enjoys what you build, it’s sure got to make it just that much better coming to work. If this build revs you up FXR-style, then just get in touch with them and see what they can come up with especially for you. For more info, check out https://www.thegarageatrayprice.com/.
Photos By Jack “Ray Was The Man” Cofano
For more than 30 years, Ray Price Harley-Davidson has served as the center of motorcycle culture in Raleigh, N.C., and among the Southeast’s top motorcycle dealerships. Home to Hall-of-Fame racing legend Ray Price, dealership staff have centuries of combined Harley riding experience to provide award-winning customer service and education programs for beginners-to-expert riders. Ray Price was again named a 2014 Dealernews Top 100 business, as well as a Powersports Business Power 50 Dealer. The team actively supports area charities through a wide range of philanthropy projects. Ray Price Racing won the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) Top Fuel Harley Championship in 2014 and 2015.