Looking at the world through a modern biker’s eyes…. 45dgree.com is an online showcase that presents the newest and best of what interests Bikeriders. We ride our machines and travel, we listen to music, we appreciate great photography, a wonderful meal and a good story – the finer things in life, like food, family and friends. Check out more awesome pictures and stories back at 45dgree.com.
Blame George B. Smith, CEO of S&S Cycle, for without his green light, this bike wouldn’t have been built.
S&S Cycle as you know from past editorial mentions in IW, had designed and built this ass-kicking engine, the X-Wedge for a customer base whose all but disappeared. Back in 2002 when the X-Wedge project was initiated by Brett Smith, then CEO at S&S, the world was a different place indeed and the aftermarket OEM V-Twin manufacturers needed their “own” engine and the X-Wedge was S&S’s answer to the challenge – a stout design.
But the aftermarket changed and so did the future’s fortunes for what was America’s newest EPA compliant V-Twin engine design. The X-Wedge sat, untended for the most part, while S&S retooled their business to meet the fiscal realities of a new day. S&S wanted to move engines out the door but since the X doesn’t fit in a “stock H-D“ frame and the custom market had slowed appreciably, they needed to get some projects going that showcased the 56 degree V-Twin engine to get traction.
Through a fortuitous meeting between George B. Smith and Doug Wozney of DOUGZ Custom Paint & Fabrication in 2010, this project came to be. Starting with a 1992 FXR chassis, Doug wisely left all frame mods to the most capable of frame folks, Rolling Thunder, located in Canada. Sammy Pileggi, Rolling Thunder’s visionary managed the very specific modifications, which included - pushing things 2up and 2out – allowing Doug to stably achieve mach speed velocities in a straight line with the 132.
The bike has a decidedly FXR appearance, there is no ignoring it’s lineage, but make no mistake Doug massaged every single “stock” part to fit better, tighter, smoother and cleaner As we all know thorough experience, black is a bad color to try and hide imperfections and this machine is black to a degree you cant help but admire if total absence of color and perfection in finishes is your thing. Its tight and well detailed, a clean machine in every sense.
Doug messaged me when I was tooling through that part of Wisconsin on my way to Iowa. Since I was with friend Holdsworth (the bikes model in our photo shoot) who is also a big fan DOUGZ, we couldn’t help ourselves but to stop by for a little abuse and some coffee…well abuse was on the menu anyway, we were on our own for coffee.
I really like the look of this machine, it has just the right amount of everything black– gloss, satin and wrinkle all working together to give this machine a very rich, deep appearance. Twin Super G’s lurk from under the tank and the 132 needs the volume of fuel and air these beastly sized pair of air mixers move. You can get all the specific particulars from the tech info, but what the tech sheet cant tell you is the nature of the machine – what it’s like to ride in other words?
Holdsworth was first up and his quick trip got the bike to the area where we shot: a busy industrial area down the street from DOUGZ. Engine warmed up, and off he goes with a clear, clean roarty sound that just lets you know there is hot rod lurking under the pretty black skin. He didn't have time for an extended ride, but you can read his impressions here.
Looking at the bike it is clear the geometry has been changed. The bike looks very much a pro street FXR. Doug and Rolling Thunder cured the FXR of it’s “stuffed in the ass look” as Doug so eloquently sums up.
No doubt the bike looks great – long lean and lanky very greyhound, and a clear riff on the FXR albeit one that has had a shot of Harley growth hormone. Laughingly tight in its stunning tuxedo gloss black with a single perfectly run pinstripe tying the bike together and ever so slightly breaking up the black – it’s perfect – this bike is a muscle flex in visual restraint – no Frazetta warriors on this machine! Using stock rims, dipped in luxurious gloss black are another good hot rodders cheap touch, cleaning up, smoothing, massaging of stock parts to achieve a full custom appearance. The air dam is another touch that smooth’s out and sports up the appearance of what would otherwise clearly be seen as a high horsepower hammer adding a little panache to the suit of serious black.
A 132cu in engine in this chassis is clearly a shot of massive overkill and its not too hard to deduce that Doug had one thing in mind when he thought this machine up – straight lines, as in street and strip racing. Sitting on the seat, you know you are on an FXR, the seating position, although different is definitely familiar. Fire up the X-Wedge and you know you are in for a dose of 132cu in thrill. The personality of the carb’d version of this engine is very much hot rod as opposed to the respectful refinement of the EFI spec’d unit, between the carbs and the exhaust, there is a lot of blammo going on with the FXRX.
Grab a handful and you are schooled with a rap on the knuckles that this is a straight line, go fast machine. It pulls and pulls hard and like an X-Wedge is prone to do, it doesn’t run out of stream in this 132cu in configuration and besides this burly powerplant is coupled to a bike that weighs near nothing.
What is does run out of and run quickly I might add, is handling manners. Whacking the throttle at the head of a long, street, I am expeditiously propelled with great fanfare to the end where I attempted to perform a cub to curb U-Turn (normally easy on a stock chassis FXR) and was promptly reminded, this bike is no longer an FXR, rather it is an FXRX – a very strong, very straight line hot rod machine and was, in a word – thrilling and in that specific instance, butt puckering.
Nice job DOUGZ, thanks for the ride.
P.S. this special, one-off machine is available, one of you lucky characters should grab it!!
DOUGZ Custom Paint & Fabrication
La Crosse, Wis.