- Associated Press - Sunday, March 5, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The motorcycle looks reminiscent of vehicles on the set of the 1998 World War II classic movie like “Saving Private Ryan,” with that distinct shade of green and black accents.

But it was actually built by a team of technicians at Tallahassee’s local Harley-Davidson dealership.

Some of those technicians are veterans, and they built this World War II-themed motorcycle for the statewide Baddest Bagger competition. Baddest Bagger is an annual competition that invites builders to exhibit their custom-building skills and creativity.

The 82-horse-power, 105-foot-pounds-torque luxury cruiser will sell for about $45,000, the dealership’s service manager Ted Vaccari said. Part of the proceeds will go toward the Charity Honor Flight, a nonprofit that facilitates a trip for veterans to connect and gather in Washington, D.C.

“There’s a lot of custom fabrication on it, everything from some of the sidecar mounts to the machine gun,” said Jeremy Taylor, a U.S. Army veteran and local Harley-Davidson technician. He was one of the lead builders.

Aesthetics were planned to the most minute details to match actual military vehicles and styles of the era. The team was made up of about five technicians, including Taylor and Claude Sturm, a 25-year U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq. The technicians also drew from their own observations and military experience for the concept.

The visible bolts were treated with black oxide, and the paint and powder coats were matched to the federal standard 383 color.

“We really didn’t outsource much of anything,” Taylor said. The team spent about 150 hours over about a month building the bike. Planning began in December when the concept and renderings were drafted.

Previously, the dealership donated $600 from the store’s Bike Night proceeds to another nonprofit for veterans.

Tallahassee’s Harley-Davidson has participated in the Baddest Bagger program for the past four years.

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Information from: Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, https://www.tdo.com


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