The Mudflap Girl FXR Saga

It all started when a brother was desperate for cash and I bought a basket case Dyna, and with the help of JIMS machine turned it into an FXR. I started to build it for my son, Frank, the tattoo artist, around an old Kenny Boyce-styled pro street frame. Making progress on this build, with a massive upside down Custom Chrome front end, a brother stumbled into my shop and told me about Paul Cavallo and Spitfire Motorcycles.

Paul’s been around the industry for a couple of decades. When the economy tanked, he hung on with his dad and started Spitfire motorcycles. He was struggling and a brother thought I could help by using a couple of his Spitfire components on a build. I went to visit Paul and was inspired by his non-stop drive to create new components daily, build world-class old school chops for customers, and kick ass at shows all over the country.

Then I was hit with the bike builder blues. My girlfriend left and I was forced to sell my 2003 Road King, leaving me with a ratty rigid Shovelhead and a Bonneville racer to ride. I needed a new girl and a long distance rider. Too often, around the campfire we debated twin cams versus Evos and most of the bros confirmed the solid stature of the FXR configuration. A plan formulated to build myself another FXR. I returned to Paul’s shop to cut a deal on a chassis for myself. Both were stretched, almost single-loop, long-distance riders with Spitfire Girder front ends.

Paul’s team built my chassis in pure traditional FXR style and Frank’s in the pro street configuration. We re-manned Frank’s FXR engine in black and chrome, and I ordered a bone-stock crate H-D 80-inch Evo. Both transmissions were rebuilt by the JIMS crew to be 6-speed overdrive units. I went with chain final drive and Frank used a stock belt.

The overwhelming concept revolved around building a bike that’s a chopper to the bone, but could be easily ridden across the country. My stretched gas tank holds well over three gallons, the oil tank contains nearly four quarts of oil, and I installed an oil cooler for heat waves. The Spitfire bars are held in place with Custom Cycle Engineering dog bone rubber-mounted classics.

I used Contrast Cut Performance Machine grips and pegs for style, yet road comfort. The bike is rubber-mounted for vibration-free riding. I worked closely with David Zemla of Progressive suspension until we configured a shock system capable of affording me some suspension with somewhat limited travel.

The girder is an uplifting quandary. With the Spitfire structure I could feasibly install almost any shock system, with whatever spring rate I decided on. I’m still messing with the gas-operated Rockshox.

I’m missing the best part, the Saddlemen seat. This seat was carefully configured at the Saddlemen manufacturing facility in Los Angeles, from the heavy-duty fiberglass seat pan to the spine-relieving slot, to the better than foam gel, and the ultimate breathing resilient fabric. That puppy is amazing.

The engine is virtually stock with the exception of a Bennett’s Performance-installed Andrews Cam, S&S oil breather gear, and Branch flowed heads, all their state-of-the-art valves and springs, and intake manifold. I ran an Andrews EV-27 cam and Andrews chrome-moly adjustable pushrods for less flex, a new cam bearing and the Branch flowed stock heads, for 8.9:1 compression, 78 cc Branch-flowed chambers, and 75-80 horses at 2,600 rpms.

The bike was built specifically for the road, but with chopper styling. I can’t leave anything alone, or ride a stock bike. It’s against my nature, but I can ride a scooter that will get me there comfortably in style.

For the first time in my bike-building life, I built this bike in bare form, wired it, and rode it for almost eight months. The benefits are immense, since I could make changes and adjustments throughout this road or rode research period. It gave me an extended period to investigate color schemes, build the front fender, break stuff, repair, and outright replace components, including my goofy chain guard.

It’s odd, but even with 2,000 miles under her belt, I still came up with last-minute changes during the paint and powder process. I added a keyless ignition system from Digital Dawg, which proved to be a safety and security feature. The drawback to riding a bare vehicle for an extended period included rust and oil management.

Still, when I assembled the bike for the final time, I ran into rear powder-coated fender expansion, and adjustments to the position of my one-off Spitfire oil bag to prevent chain damage. Maybe a rear belt would have been a wiser decision, maybe not.

Finally, the Mudflap Girl represents the open road. She represents the drawbacks of industry when it takes our girls away from us. And lastly she represents the desire to find our Mudflap Girl at home or down the road.





Name: Keith “Bandit” Ball
Owner: Lt. Ball
Builder: Ballintsky


Year, Make & Model: 2012 Mudflap Girl FXR
Assembly/Builder: Ballorama
Timeline: 8 months


Year/Model: 2012 Girder
Builder: Paul Cavallo, Spitfire Motorcycles
Type: Girder
Triple trees: Spitfire
Extension: 9 inches over stock


Year/Model: 2011 H-D
Rebuilder: New
Displacement: 80 cubic inches
Lower End: assembled by S&S
Balancing: S&S
Pistons: H-D
Cases: factory
Heads: Branch O’Keefe
Cams: Andrews
Lifters: S&S
EFI/ Carb: Trock modified CV
Air Cleaner: Roger Goldammer
Pipes: D&D
Ignition: Crane Hi-4


Year/Modifications: 2012 JIMS overdrive 6-speed
Engine sprocket: BDL
Trans sprocket: JIMS 23-tooth
Wheel sprocket: 51-tooth
Secondary drive: Biker’s Choice chain


Year: 2012
Designer/Builder: Paul Cavallo/Spitfire Motorcycles
Rake/Stretch: 5 inches up, 2 out


Bars: Spitfire
Risers: Custom Cycle Engineering dog bones
Fenders: Bar Knuckle/Toby/Bandit front, Biker’s Choice rear
Gas Tank: Biker’s Choice
Oil Tank: Spitfire
Headlight: Old spot
Taillight: Donkey from Biker’s Choice
Speedo: Wire Plus
Pegs: Performance Machine Contrast Cut
Electrics: Wire Plus, Digital Dawg (keyless), Biker’s Choice
Seat: Custom by Saddlemen


Front Wheel: Metalsport
Front Tire: Avon
Size: 19

Rear Wheel: Metalsport
Rear Tire: Avon
Hubs: Metalsport
Rotors: Metalsport
Brakes: GMA

Bodywork/Molding: none
Painter: Chris Morrison and George the Wild Brush
Color: Super silver
Powdercoating: Worco silver and asphalt satin black


Biker’s Choice


Custom Cycle Engineering

D&D Exhaust






Wire Plus

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