Roland Sands Design Builds a Carbon Bagger

roland sands design builds a carbon bagger
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The CG rendering of what the Carbon Bagger will ultimately become.

Whodathunk 10 years ago that performance baggers would become all the rage? The Roland Sands Design crew certainly had its finger on the proverbial pulse before performance baggers were even a thang. The trend has certainly been somewhat of a roller coaster over the past decade: From massive front wheels and loud stereos with custom bodies and ridiculous paint jobs built for Daytona Main Street to the current trend of raced-out bagger making 150-plus horsepower at the racetrack.

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The RSD crew works hard to transform the crashed Street Glide into a svelte canyon carving tourer.

While the over-the-top bagger trend grew, Roland and company were at the forefront of building high-performance baggers. You may have noticed that “performance” and “function” have become legitimate calling cards for Roland and company with pretty much every bike they’ve ever built. After all, riding motorcycles are fun. Why not make them fun-ner? From Harley, Indian, Victory and Yamaha’s now defunct Star brand, they all got the RSD treatment through the years. So, it’s no surprise the RSD crew finds themselves back in the groove of a trend they helped create.

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Fitting the new 19×3-inch RSD Traction front wheel equipped with Galfer Wave rotors and Dunlop Sportmax tread in between Alloy Art fork lowers with nitride tubes and GP valved suspension.

With the growth and popularity of Moto America’s King of the Baggers series as well as the Bagger Racing League it’s been proven there’s a hunger and a home for track-ready Bagger race bikes. The real benefit of racing baggers is the creation of new high performance parts that work for the street. And this is where the current Carbon Bagger build begins.

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While the RSD crew spends a lot of time racing Indians, they’ve kept a close eye on the Harley side of the fence. Building a collection of high-performance baggers in the past the took the necessary know-how and developed a Sector product collection and chose the Carbon Bagger to debut the new line. The Sector parts are both high performance and beautiful. They are function first as is evidence by the machine lines and the nickel finishing but are lightweight with no frills. The product highlights only what is needed and necessary which is the same approach we are taking on the Carbon Bagger Build.  

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Carbon fiber saddlebags, fenders, side covers and more will shave a ton of weight from the chassis.

The build started life as a crashed Street Glide. We’ll spare you the details, but things didn’t start off clean, or straight… With a little help from their friends at Dr. John’s they straightened out the kinks and got the Carbon Bagger sorted with arrow like precision. Once the chassis was sorted it was off to Bennett’s for some engine mods. Parts were tough to get in time but Bennett’s was stocked with the necessary S&S items to boost the torque and horsepower to respectable numbers.

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A Horsepower Inc. Throttle Body was chosen to flow more fuel to the Bennett’s built motor. Of course a new RSD Sector air cleaner completes the intake mods.

Once the motor was finished the bike came back to the RSD shop to be outfitted with carbon components: Bags, upper and lower fairing, front fender and rear fender as well as sided covers. Carbon fiber is used because of its high-strength and durability, but because it’s also extremely lightweight. All of the new carbon fiber components significantly shaved some overall weight. The body will eventually get a stick-on racing style graphic over the carbon body allowing the owner to change out the look of the bike when, and if, he wants. The quality of the graphics and ease of application have made graphics for customs an obtainable and great looking concept.

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The rolling kit got a massive updgrade with RSD Traction wheels, a 19×3.5-inch front wheel with 19-120 Dunlop Sportmax tire and an 18×5.5-inch rear wheel with a 18-180 Dunlop Sportmax rear. Front brakes were upgraded to Brembo radial mount calipers with Kraus caliper mounts attached to Alloy Art fork lowers with nitride tubes and GP valved suspension. Öhlins rear shocks with remote reservoirs aided in raising the bike a few inches to achieve more ground clearance without going full race. 

The RSD crew continues to work day and night to get the Carbon Bagger ready to debut at the Born-Free Show on June 25-26, 2022. Stay tuned for more updates on their progress.

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