Leave it to Ken Nagai of Ken’s Factory in Japan to create a custom bagger this cool. Even though Nagai brought a tall front wheel into the project, you’d have an easier time finding integrity in a politician than locating any of these baggers roosting outside some watering hole at a rally. It’s not so much a touring motorcycle as stripped-down sex machine with saddlebags and a sleek little fairing.
Dubbed “Hard Call,” this machine rocks a 106-inch Twin Cam powerplant swathed in a rubber-mount frame of Ken’s making. Between the Eaton blower and the aluminum bodywork Nagai brought to the project, it has the makings of a bagger built for speed right off the bat. Although he went large(ish) with a 23-inch front wheel set in his own girder front end, Ken wasn’t exactly feeling Big Wheel Mania when it came to this project. The wheel’s larger than a stock Harley rim but in the age of 32-inch wheels, it’s certainly not extreme. Come to think of it, I don’t remember a Ken’s Factory bike where Mr. Nagai did feel the Hula-Hoop vibe.
What I do know is that Ken’s Factory has figured out the balance point between too much and too little on the something different scale of custom. From Dynas and Softails to choppers and this here bagger, Hot Bike has featured a fair selection of Ken Nagai’s work both in print and online. That’s one trend I’m okay with seeing.