Our opinions of baggers have recently taken a drastic shift as Ryan took a Road King for a tour of the New Zealand north island, discovering the extra power from the 103, the quiet life behind a screen and how looking at panniers through the rose tinted glasses of convenience, suddenly makes you want to strap them to your Sporty and wave a big middle finger at the haters.

Harley have taken it a whole step further with their ‘Pepper’ build; a 120 cubic-inch beast that might just be the words fastest bagger under 2000cc hitting speeds upwards of 160mph (256kph).

harley davidson land speed record street glide australia pepper salt flats road glide special

harley davidson land speed record street glide australia pepper salt flats road glide special

Photo by MCNEWS.com.au

The foundation of the build is a 2015 Road Glide Special, that has been stripped and rebuilt, but with clear effort made to maintain the integrity of the bagger style. In the interest of speed, this is quite surprising as even the bags themselves have been left in place and apparently are still fully functional.  (No doubt to keep a change of pants in after hitting those kinds of speeds)

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harley davidson land speed record street glide australia pepper salt flats road glide special

David Turney, Advertising & PR Manager for Harley “We wanted to create an absolute powerhouse and make a statement in a way that only Harley-Davidson can. And those hanging onto the bagger stereotypes of size, weight, power and agility, better get ready to see those misconceptions race past at speeds that’ll surprise you”. 

Some of the modifications for the build included     

• Screamin’ EagleTM 120RX engine
• Screamin’ EagleTM Variable Pressure Clutch
• PBI sprocket with RK Chain
• Custom Wegner stainless steel headers
• 4-inch lengthened swingarm
• Custom built lower engine fairings
• OE front fairing lowered slightly on frame
• Functional saddlebags with in-built air diffusers

They put the Glide to the test on the South Australian salt flats of Lake Gairdner where it set an Australian land speed record hit 165.131mph (265.753 kph).

harley davidson land speed record street glide australia pepper salt flats road glide special Turney continued to say “This is a fantastic achievement for all the guys, especially considering this is Pepper’s first official event and on a very unfamiliar surface. They’ve worked tirelessly. Even up to the night before we hit the salt they were burning the candle at both ends to make sure we were as prepared as we could be.”

There’s an 11 minute documentary of the experience that is well worth a watch. Check it out below.