The winner of the 2019 Battle of The Kings went to Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson in California. It was the first time for the West-coasters to compete, and as Matthew Laidlaw puts it, “we never expected to win, and this is definitely the highlight of my career.”
The Sport Glide is a throwback to Southern California style of the FXRT, coupled with emerging West Coast retro and club styles. To give the bike a hint of a purpose-built cruiser, they left the saddlebags on and added old school T-bars.
“We were in the race class, which technically could have been contested because of the bags and fairing. But we wanted a sporty, aggressive look with more of Cannonball or Iron Butt race feel,” said Laidlaw.
A 2-into-1 exhaust was installed, along with mid-controls for sporty ergonomics. To top it off, the high visibility wheels are an up-and-coming, dope-smoking, SoCal trend. With the FXRT regaining popularity, a lighter and shorter wheelbase for burnouts and tricks was a must for Laidlaw to attract younger riders.
“[We think] if Harley-Davidson rolled this bike off the assembly line tomorrow, it would be a best seller. There is already a base of people screaming for this type of bike,” Laidlaw said, adding that customers are already putting in orders for variants of the Coast Glide.
“Even though we are the world champs, it is interesting that all these guys at different dealerships have all these artisans,” Laidlaw said. But Laidlaw wants everyone to know that they are determined to defend their title.
Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson has been going strong since 1958.