Photos courtesy of Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Cory Ness has built custom bikes for plenty of big-name clients, but even the president of Arlen Ness Enterprises must have felt a little anxious when the Sturgis Buffalo Chip asked him to customize a motorcycle for NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. Wallace is a living legend thanks to his 55 NASCAR wins and 349 Top Ten finishes. He and his son Steve opened their own bike shop back in January called Southern Country Customs in Mooresville, North Carolina, adding another layer of expectations. The motorcycle would also be sold at the Buffalo Chip’s second annual Rusty Wallace Ride with proceeds benefiting the NASCAR Foundation, All Kids Bike and SD Special Olympics – Rapid City Flame. No pressure, right?

The Ness family and the Buffalo Chip go way back, so when it needed somebody to customize a bike for the second annual Rusty Wallace Ride, they knew who to dial. 

Fortunately, Cory is the consummate professional, and putting his spin on a 2020 FLXH Street Glide Black comes second-nature. The bagger, donated by Black Hills Harley-Davidson, is a solid starting block thanks to its Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. Cory is also a savvy businessman and used the opportunity to launch a hot new batch of Ness parts in addition to outfitting the build in plenty of Ness’ current hot-sellers.

The Street Glide Cory Ness customized for the Rusty Wallace Ride had the first set of Ness Y-Spoked Forged Wheels with the new titanium finish. A Ness Fat Tire Kit and Hot Legs are also hot off the production line.

That list would include a Ness Fat Tire Kit and Hot Legs tapered fork. Throwing an 180mm wide chunk of black rubber on the front end of a bagger is gaining traction (we used one on the Road King we built for the Buffalo Chip, too), the beefy look befitting of the big bike. The Rusty Wallace Street Glide also sees the debut of the Ness Y-Spoked wheels with a titanium finish. When the Ness team wrapped a set of Pirelli Night Dragons on these striking 18” forged wheels, they weren’t even available on the market. Swapping out for a wider front tire meant a wider fender was in order as well, and the broad, sweeping Ness Wrapper front fender fits like the right tie to a good suit.

The Y-Spoked wheels aren’t the only thing to get the titanium treatment, though. The engine is decked out in a full Ness 10-Gauge collection with the new titanium finish including pushrod collars, transmission side and top covers, cam covers, rocker boxes, derby cover and horn assembly. The Ness Sidekick air cleaner sports the same striated design and titanium finish. The Sidekick also has a clear polycarbonate cover so you can see where the copious amounts of air being funneled into the engine is going. In addition to increased air flow, the fine folks at Rinehart Racing made a custom exhaust system for the project, so between the two this Milwaukee-Eight 107 will surely have extra pep in its step. The muffler needed a little extra finessing because it had to be extended five inches to fit the Ness Down-and-Out Stretched Saddlebag bottoms and custom back fender.

Ness Enterprises has a knack for keeping its finger on the industry’s pulse and while the titanium treatment is sure to be a hit, the Ness MX Floorboards on the Rusty Wallace Street Glide are already a hot ticket item. Ditto goes for the motorcycle’s Ness Modular Handlebars, a popular upgrade with riders thanks to their adjustability. Rounding out the bounty of good-Ness are motorcycle grips, shifter pegs and shifter arms from the Ness Air Trax line and billet Ness 4-piston calipers and rotors. LaPera chipped in by crafting a beautiful custom leather seat. Rounding out the motorcycle’s exclusivity is its stunning paint job. Mazz Enterprises out of Glendale, Arizona did a bang-up job of giving this Glide a commanding presence, combining a slick geometric honeycomb pattern with smartly applied stripes and titanium streaks.

So did the bike hit the desired mark? Let’s just say it put a big smile on Wallace’s face.

“I enjoyed working with Rusty. Certain things he liked, certain things I liked, and we blended design ideas together,” said Cory.

Best part is, the race-inspired 2020 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide sold for $60,000 before it even made it to the benefit ride. Day of the second annual Rusty Wallace Ride in Sturgis, Cory joined the NASCAR Hall of Famer, Buffalo Chip owner Rod Woodruff, and Black Hills Harley-Davidson’s Jim Burgess to proudly present the Special Olympics – Rapid City Flame with a supersized $60,000 check, the smiles on Special Olympian’s faces as they received the check, priceless.