Side Street Cycles owner Kent Sweeney continues to create award-winning bikes

Kent Sweeney, owner of Side Street Cycles in Waukon, displays the motorcycle he created for a local motorcycle enthusiast, along with the First Place award the bike recently received in the Sport Custom Class at the 30th Anniversary Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show in Minneapolis, MN. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

Assistance from local businesses helps latest creation take first place in Sport Custom class

Following an initial custom motorcycle creation in 2015 that earned high accolades, Kent Sweeney of Side Street Cycles in Waukon was hoping to build on that momentum, and seems to have been able to do just that. A second such creation has already earned a first-place award in the Sport Custom Class of the 30th Anniversary Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show held in Minneapolis, MN March 25-26.

Sweeney once again teamed up with the local motorcycle enthusiast he had joined forces with to modify a 2003 Harley-Davidson Super Glide Sport in 2015 into a winner of two other Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show awards and high honors from Hot Bike Power Tour. With their follow-up creation, the pair chose a 2007 Harley-Davidson FXDSE, which Sweeney describes in plain words as a Screaming Eagle CVO Dyna.

Sweeney says that he and his colleague went "above and beyond the last build with technology, paint, horsepower, suspension and all-around style. The reason we chose this model is that it was a kind of forgotten-about motorcycle that came with a lot of one-year-only parts that I believed set it out from the crowd of basic motorcycles."

Sweeney admits that those one-year-only parts made the build that much harder, but also said he was ready for that kind of challenge. What most would have perceived as limiting obstacles, Sweeney said, instead, allowed him greater flexibility in customizing the bike.

With style and technology in mind, Sweeney and his partner decided to install a Big Bear Choppers FXRD body kit to modify and accept a full Kicker Audio system with bluetooth capability and to also accept a GPS system so the two could be linked together.

Sweeney also explained that a cutting edge adaptive LED headlamp was installed to keep all the lighting level to the road, and the rest of the bike was also outfitted with LED tail and turn signals to keep safety and style in mind.

As for horsepower, the bike already came with the Screaming Eagle 110 motor, but Sweeney knew there was a lot more potential in the motor than what came with the machine from the factory. He made a call to S&S Cycle in Viola, WI to set up a game plan for a motor build that would be high in torque and horsepower. Sweeney also called an old friend of his, Josh at Top Dead Center Performance in Rosenberg, TX, who modified the cylinder heads to get more efficient power out of the bike.

"So, basically, the motor was 100% torn down and rebuilt with the strongest and best parts in the business to aid in a long-lasting motor that would also add about 50% more power to the bike than what it started with," Sweeney described. "We finished the motorcycle out with a SuperTrapp exhaust system to be sure all of the motor work would not be wasted with a bad exhaust system."

With much of the technical internal work being done at those two locations, Sweeney turned to much more local connections to help customize the bike's exterior. "In an effort to keep everything as local as we could, we contacted many local companies and people that could help with the custom parts and paint that the bike needed," he said.

With the handlebars being a one-year part, Sweeney said modifying them proved to be a tough task but also said that Advanced Engineering Technology in Waukon was, indeed, up to the task. "They provided a clean solution that has had other CVO Dyna owners calling us to ask how it was done," Sweeney proudly shared.

Benjegerdes Machine of Waukon also helped out with some custom machining to make some one-off parts mesh with the factory parts, and when the new fairing didn't sit right for Sweeney's liking he worked with Glen Palmer of Palmer Repair in Waukon to modify the brackets to fit and set the fairing at the right angle for Sweeney. With the idea of getting the body work perfect on the new creation, Sweeney said Gordy's Auto Body in Waukon helped out with the finishing touches before Shawn Gallagher, formerly of Waukon and owner of SRG Graphix Custom Paint in Cedar Rapids, designed up a matching paint scheme and also painted the bike to provide the show quality finish that was desired.

Wanting this bike to be an eye-catcher as well as function better than most of the bikes out on the road today, Sweeney said the brakes were upgraded with one-off custom rotors built by Chopper Hauss. The suspension was also modified to optimize ride quality and performance.

"To say it handles like a Corvette but rides like a Cadillac would be an understatement," Sweeney said. "This bike you can ride all day and still have a smile on your face."

Sweeney said for this being just his second bike to show he didn't think a first-place finish was possible. But with all the good reviews from the judges at the Donnie Smith show he's hoping that the next few shows he takes it to will result in good finishes as well.

"All of the hard work and late hours paid off when we received first place," Sweeney summarized.