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Tuesday 26 March 2024

Drag Specialties

"Big Power, Bold Colors" - the 2024 'FatBook' Cover Bike

Our thanks to Drag Magazine and Edge Advertising for these pictures and story.

The annual Drag Specialties 'FatBook' catalog cover bike is always an interesting insight into the way the wind is blowing in P&A demand terms, and this year's Softail by Gary Chipp and the team at Fat Baggers Inc. (FBI - Chariton, Iowa) is no exception.

Based on a 2018 FLXR Softail Low Rider with a Trask turbo kit, it shows that big power and bold colors never 'get old' - "a showcase of just how far you can push the performance envelope with a stock motorcycle, using parts from the Drag Specialties catalog."

"It was a challenging build," said Chipp. "We typically do bagger bikes - complete custom builds from the frame up. So, to take a stock bike and be given a parts list to create with, was something new for us. But it is such a neat honor to be asked to build a Drag Specialties cover bike, we just couldn't say no."

The standout part of the bike is the turbo kit from Trask. "I think we got the very first production kit off the line," Chipp said, "and I have to give a huge credit to Trask. The turbo kit went on flawlessly. 

"We did not have to make a single tech call or modify anything when we installed it. It just plugged right in and worked."

Chipp said that other parts of the build took a bit more work. "There aren't a lot of parts out there for this model of bike," he said. "For example, we wound up having to customize the stock rear fender. We smoothed it, trimmed it and fitted the license plate holder. 

"Same with the front fender - it is a Paul Yaffe front fender for an FL Touring bike. We modified it to make it work and had to make custom spacers for mounting it."

The handlebars were another area that needed work. "We didn't have a set of bars for this bike," Chipp commented. "So, we decided to develop some Fat Baggers EZ Install bars that will work with this type of bike. They are likely going to be a production item in the near future." They are a lower, reduced-reach type of handlebar.

"Reduced reach handlebars - that is a number one request we get at events we attend, especially from women riders," Chipp said. "There are a LOT of women riders out there, and a popular request is for reduced reach style bars. So, the process of making handlebars for this bike kind of pivoted off to that design. It worked out kind of neat."

Talking about the paint choice, Chipp says: "I was working with a stock bike and a parts list, so my chance to really customize was a bit limited. So, I told the Drag Specialties team 'It's going to be pink!' There is no reason a cool, fast bike can't also be a 'girl's bike,' so to speak. As I said, there are lots of female riders, and they like to go fast too! So, Jason Harter here at FBI designed a really cool look and chose colors that really make it stand out."

And it is definitely a fast bike, Chipp said. "It is a runner, a real hot rod. The turbo kit was part of the original build idea. The thought was to make a Pro Stock-style motorcycle. But during the build process we kind of changed it up, went with a different look. And it turned out great."

Fat Baggers has been a dealership for approximately 50 years, Chipp said. "And we always have the Drag Specialties FatBook on the counter. We use it all the time. We always enjoy seeing the cool cover bikes. Now, to see a bike we designed as the cover bike, knowing it is on dealer counters worldwide, that is a pretty big honor."